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Nonprofit Services -

Introduction to Grants

Steps for Grant Seekers:

  1. Is a Grant Right for your organization? First, decide if your organization is ready for a grant and learn more about the grant making process:

    Foundation Center: Introduction to Finding Grants
    Learn about the grant making process, who gives to Nonprofits, what is their selection criteria, and how to create a prospecting list. Also learn more about Foundation Center's publications, many of which the library owns.

  2. Decide on the approach:
    The next step is to decide where you should go to get the funding, for what programs, and how to find out about funding opportunities. There are many different types of grants: Federal, State, Foundation, and Corporate: follow the links below to explore the similarities, differences between them and where to go to search for the funding opportunities.  

  3. Do your Homework!:
    In order to approach grant makers you need to develop your case to show your need for funding. If you need help on finding statistics and research information, try the links in the community analysis section.
    -- see Community Information
    Then develop a list of possible funders by searching business and grant making databases.
    -- see Business & Nonprofit Databases
    Finally, when you compile a list of funders that match your organization's criteria, continue with further research on your prospect to make sure your organization and theirs is a match.
    -- see Prospecting

  4. Writing the Grant Proposal:
    There are many sites and books that show how to write a grant proposal. If you have already developed your case, then putting a proposal together is much easier. Just a note, writing and sending a proposal will still not guarantee a grant. Successful grant writers network to connect with their intended funders, so pick up the phone and call them!

Book Resources:

Browning, Beverly A. Perfect phrases for Fundraising. (2013)
-- NP 658.15224 Brown

Carlson, Mim. Winning grants step by step : the complete workbook for planning, developing, writing, successful proposals.
-- 658.15224 Carlson (MK)

Foundation Center. The Foundation Center's guide to winning proposals. (vols. 1 & 2) -- NP 658.15224 Foundation

Foundation Center. The Foundation Center's guide to proposal writing. (6th ed. 2012) -- NP 658.15224 Foundation

Karsh, Ellen. The only grant-writing book you'll ever need. (2014) -- NP 658.15224 Karsh

Web Resources:

Foundation Center: (Course on Proposal Writing)

Economic Research Institute: (990 access)

Environmental Protection Agency:

National Institutes of Health and Extramural Research:

Nonprofit Guides: