Hey Freedom Family, here’s an overview of grant funding, how it works and how you win from our Grant Writing division.
First, you have to understand that there are two categories of grants, with two types in each category and four funding instruments.
- Federal – These grants are funded directly by government divisions. Funding is available for a wide variety of applicants NOT JUST NONPROFITS. Funding is competitive & regulated.
- Private Foundation – These grants are funded directly by private NPO’s that normally chose the Private Foundation 501c3 status instead of the Public Charity 501c3 status (More black NPO’s need to look at a special type of foundation called a Private Operating Foundation but that’s a talk for another blog). Grant may or may not be competitive. You may need to get to know the foundation before they will issue you a grant reward. The foundation may have restrictions, things like region, industry, time in operation, etc.
- Announced – Standard, the grantmaker announces that funds are available and what the requirements are. Both federal & private grants make announcements.
- Negotiated – Non-standard, difficult to do with the federal government but not impossible, these grants are created by the organization that wishes to utilize the grant normally through an LOI (letter of intent) process. The need for the grant is normally something overwhelming ie. COVID-19, war, natural disaster, extreme crime… This type of grant strategy attempts to convince the grantmaker that you have the solution to a wide-sweeping problem but lack the funds to implement the solution.
- Grant – This is the funding instrument most people think about. It’s an award (not always a cash award) that trades in data it’s NOT FREE money the payment for a grant is normally data given to the grantmaker. A grant may or may not have a cost matching component.
- Concept Paper – This is a popular method of screening Grant applicants. The grantmaker will make a grant announcement for concept papers. The winners of the concept paper round will win an invitation to the actual grant proposal round.
- Co-Operative Agreement – This instrument is great for organizations that have limited capacity & need a grant team to have the best chance at winning an award. Substantial involvement is expected between the executive agency and the State, local government, or other recipients when carrying out the activity
- Procurement Contract – Most restrictive funding vehicle, there is a very high level of responsibility to the grantmaker for the conduct of the project and production of results. Unlike the other instruments, payment is based on deliverables and milestones in the contract not annual lump sum like the other funding instruments.
HOW TO APPLY FOR GRANTS
- Federal Grants – www.Grants.gov you’ll also need a CAGE code, a SAM number, & a DUNS number. Once you have your registration in place you can apply for any announcements. You can search without registration but won’t be able to apply for anything.
- Foundation Grants – There are multiple databases that houses private grant announcements. Yes, you can use Google but it may be outdated. Paid databases perform the best since their staff is paid to review and cultivate the database. Many private foundations have contact requirements which means that you need to contact the executive director in order to apply at all. So there is a relationship-building aspect to private grants.
Like anything the more you do a thing the better you get at it. If you are not a good writer I recommend that you hire a Grant Writer or a Strategist or both. The number one thing to understand is that single grant applications rarely win awards the best stats are about 66% (see 2020 State of Grantseeking report) however if you have a grant writing team that is willing to engage in a grant funding round and write at least 4 grants in a 12 month period your statistical chances of winning one award increase to 94% (Source 2020 State of Grant Seeking Report).
WHAT TO DO AFTER YOU’VE BEEN AWARDED:
Once you’ve been awarded the most important aspect of the execution of the grant is record keeping and reporting. You can actually receive automatic grant renewals based on strong reporting! Take a look at organizations like iHeart radio that exist based on grant funding that is renewed annually. Solid reporting is key and your grant writer will know how to give the impression that your reporting skills are top-notch in the language of the grant proposal.
If you need to talk to a grant writer at the Diaspora Freedom Initiative feel free to book a consultation HERE