Sources of Grants
- Unlike donations from private individuals, grants come from foundations, government agencies, private businesses and other groups. As these groups have access to larger accounts, the grants they give out are usually much larger than individual donations.
- Many grants are only available to 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations.
- Grant givers are often looking for an organization that meets the giver’s criteria in terms of the activities and projects conducted by the recipient. It is important that you look for grants that specify criteria you can meet in order to have the best shot at winning the grant.
Writing Grant Proposals
- Many grant givers have specific application procedures and deadlines, so make sure you are up to date. Many grant applications have two rounds to screen for appropriate recipients and save the non-profit the time necessary to prepare a full grant proposal. The full proposal, if you are invited to submit one, includes a cover letter, cover sheet, description of the organization, a needs assessment, program goals and objectives, financial information, a conclusion and any appendices or attachments as necessary.
- Approaching local businesses, banks or institutions for corporate sponsorship can also generate a large amount of revenue for the non-profit. Most corporate sponsors want some kind of recognition – such as their name and logo on a banner or t-shirt – for their contribution. However, you are only allowed to “acknowledge” your sponsor, not provide them with advertising. Providing them with advertising can count as unrelated business income (UBI) and be subject to tax or losing your 501(c)(3) exemption status. Consulting with an attorney may be helpful if you are not sure whether your form of recognition is acknowledgement or advertising. If you do provide recognition with a commercial value (advertising) than the donor can only deduct the difference in value between the donation and the item of commercial value provided the item exceeds $75 in value.
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