When pursuing a government grant you have the choice of three fund sources to which many foundations belong to. Below we have attempted to demystify these three groups providing you with information about their structure and associated differences.
There are 26 Federal Grant making agencies that offer more than a thousand grant programs annually in a variety of different categories including Education, Housing, Community Development, Small Business, and Minorities, to name a few.
Government agencies are put into these categories according to the types of grants that they are offering. Some agencies can be found in multiple categories, as they offer a variety of grants. An example of this is the Department of Education that can be found under Education Grants, as well as Minority Grants, as they offer minority grants for educational purposes.
The most important difference between federal grant funds and the other two groups is that these agencies are administering funds from money generated by the United States public for this dedicated for this specific purpose.
Private Sector Grants
While federal government funds are a great source of grant funding, they are also the most recognized and thus the most competitive of funding groups. Many large private sector businesses and corporations also have foundations allocated to grant money to worthy individuals, groups and causes alike, and are a great alternative to government sources.
Grant seekers should, however, remember that the money being given in the grant has not been funded by the general public, but by the corporation alone. These private sector businesses are money making entities and at the end of the day are about the bottom line. That being said, when pursuing a private grant, look for how their granting you money can be mutually beneficial, and this could increase your chances.
Non-Profit Organization Grants
Non- Profit Organizations are another largely untapped source of grants and are a good avenue to solicit funds, if you find one that is in line with your goal. The funds offered by these organizations are usually funds raised by public fundraisers, or acquired through individual donations. These foundations are perhaps slightly more empathetic to individual hardships and necessities. Do keep in mind, however, that these foundations are normally quite organized, with their funds being managed by a board of directors or trustees, to ensure no mismanagement of the money; and as such require the same amount of preparation in the solicitation of a grant.