As reported in our last blog, the largest four areas of giving by philanthropists, individuals, and corporations expect to continue or increase for 2017-2018 will be in health care, education, and social causes. Government giving follows similar trends.
As your nonprofit organization seeks funding from private sources, don't forget opportunities that you may find via the Federal Government. Some government grants are quite large. The top giving by the Federal Government includes health, education, science and technology, natural resources and environment, and income security/social services.
Although there could be a shift in a couple of these areas due to the new administration's proposed or implied budget cuts, so be mindful that some programs may be abruptly cut.
Grants.gov is one of the best resources for finding government grants, and it's not an easy or short process. They have, however, improved the portal to search and apply for grants and offer a host of tutorials, videos, and information to help you get through the process.
Benefits to obtaining a government grant are that it can
- give a nonprofit organization credibility that can pave the way to funding from other sources.
- provide additional networking opportunities.
- provide an opportunity to give input on public policy.
There are some cons too. Aside from the lengthy and time consuming grant applications, some agencies only reimburse, and don't give funds up front, therefore, the nonprofit must have available funds to cover the investment. Reimbursement can be slow which can halt charitable activities.
Also, procurement of a government grant can be perceived by the public and funders that the charity has plenty of funds. So while it's great public relations to boast this achievement, you must also be diligent to communicate and be transparent about how the funds will be spent, and the need for additional funding.
If you need more information or need help getting started with a government grant or other fundraising, Contact Us!