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Finding Emergency Grants During Crisis: Tips for New Grant Seekers

Adapted from an original article published by Grants Plus on Foundant

Amidst an emergency like the COVID-19 crisis, we advise nonprofit organizations to contact their existing grant funders as soon as possible.

But what if your organization does not have current grant funders? Perhaps you’ve received grants in the past but aren’t currently managing any active grants now. Or maybe your organization has never received a grant before.

If you don’t have active grant funders to call upon, you still need an emergency course of action. We advise you to take the following immediate steps to put your organization in position to begin getting grants.

Seek out emergency nonprofit grants

In 2020, foundations across the U.S. made billions of dollars in emergency grants to help organizations impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. Many foundations have since exhausted these emergency funds, but others are continuing to make emergency COVID grants in 2021. Check the details and requirements for the emergency fund in your area.

Contact your local community foundation or United Way to learn if they are granting emergency funds. If you meet the eligibility requirements for an emergency fund, act fast to apply.

Find grants your organization is more likely to win

Every foundation has a specific set of requirements, priorities, and preferences that determine the grants they make. Some foundations’ guidelines will be a better match to your organization than others. It’s important to carefully evaluate every funding opportunity and hone in on those grants you stand the greatest chance to win. Consider these criteria:

  • Alignment: Review the funder’s mission. Does it relate to the mission of your program or organization?
  • Geography: Does the foundation make grants in your target geographic area?
  • Focus: Do their past grants show they give to similar organizations serving similar populations?
  • Relationship: Can you find a connection between someone at the foundation and a person on your staff or board?

The more factors you can answer affirmatively, the stronger your potential. View our complete guide to deciding whether to go or not go for a grant opportunity.

Prepare a winning grant proposal

Be ready to apply for grant funding opportunities by preparing a well-written, persuasive grant proposal. A grant proposal must demonstrate that your organization’s work is important, unique, meets an urgent need, and is worthy of investment. It also should be tailored to show how your mission aligns to the individual grant funder’s own vision and funding priorities. If you haven’t prepared grant applications before, the good news is that you can master the skills and techniques of good grant writing. Read our comprehensive Grants Plus Guide to Nonprofit Grant Writing to learn how to prepare a grant proposal that will secure grants for your cause.

Build your skill and confidence to take the right steps with grant funders

For many of us, the COVID-19 crisis has disrupted our regular routines and forced us to stay at home. That makes this a great time to further your knowledge and build your skills. Spend time now to read philanthropy blogs and seek out professional development resources. You are invited to register for our series of free grant seeking webinars. Consider it fuel for the future: learning how to find grants and raise funds can put your organization on the fast track to new funding.

This has been a challenging time for every organization, but especially for organizations without a long track record of grant funding. Fortunately, there are steps you can take today that will make a difference in the months and years ahead. If you are in need of support, know that you can contact Grants Plus to learn about our services for nonprofits.

Grant seeking can be challenging and highly competitive. To help guide your efforts, reach out to Grants Plus today!

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