A few days ago I read a post about a small community nonprofit organization that was seeking advice on how to get funding. Creating a nonprofit is tough, and figuring out where to find the money needed to operate it can be a challenge. New charities rarely have any ability to demonstrate that they have the where with all to become a sustainable organization instead of being merely a fly by night.
If you have a nonprofit organization that is new, you know that you have to do a lot of digging.
Finding money is not impossible. You have be ready to turn every stone and look at every opportunity. Before you get started, one of the best things to do for your organization is to get a group of experienced experts and advisors associated with your nonprofit. This will be particularly helpful with foundation and corporate grant requests because it will demonstrate that you have the brain trust to help your organization become an essential part of your community. Doing intensive research is another critical element in making sure that your nonprofit turns into a sustainable and vital part of the conversation concerning your cause.
If your nonprofit is very new and still in formation (e.g., not with an IRS 501(c)(3)) and you’re looking to begin to raise funds, something that you might want to consider is to find a fiscal sponsor. Partnering with a fiscal sponsor will allow you to apply for and obtain funding for your nonprofit, even as you work on getting the necessary documents to be fully operational. When you work with a fiscal sponsor, funds will be accepted using the fiscal sponsor who will charge you a small administrative fee and provide you with the money you need for your operation.
- Corporate Giving Start-up Programs
Corporate funding is an excellent place to look for start-up funds, especially since corporations are familiar with investing in research and development. Double the Donation has an excellent resource for corporations that help fund nonprofits and charities.
- Federal Programs
The federal government does provide grants to community-based organizations and can provide substantial funds, although the process might be somewhat long and cumbersome. To find federal subsidies that can help you, go to Grants.gov.
Another excellent tool for you to research is GrantWatch. GrantWatch is a great site to find federal, state and corporate grant opportunities that can be significant, based on your mission and grant criteria.
- Sparkplug Foundation
The Sparkplug Foundation is a family foundation that helps start-up groups involved in music, community organizing, and education. The grants that the organization provides are generally those that are significant enough to make a nonprofit sustainable.
- Center for Nonprofit Excellence (CNE)
CNE sources three grant opportunities each week and provides its members with a diverse selection of grant prospects. The group also provided information to nonprofits that are new to foundation grants or seeking to diversify and develop their grants program.
When you’re looking to find start-up money many groups will suggest that you reach out to your network of friends, family, and community to raise funds. While reaching out to those who know you is the best place to begin, more significant funds for your organization can come from the government and corporations. Also, remember that the Foundation Center has many opportunities for corporate and foundation grants.
A final word of advice is to Google “start-up nonprofit grants” or a variation. Make it a point to look for start-up grants. There are more of them than you might imagine available to your organization.