Private Grants Alert

Know the Difference Between Private, Federal Grant Making

Grant Guru is an occasional feature in which we answer questions from our readers about fundraising and the giving universe. It is part of our continuing effort to enhance our coverage. --------------- Dear Grant Guru: We are a small organization and wanted to know the difference between private grants and the federal ones. Which ones would be better for us to pursue? Grant Guru: Good question. There are significant differences between private opportunities, which tend to have a less structured application process and federal competitions, which include pages of instructions and usually come with mandated priorities. We won't go into a chapter and verse breakdown of the private-federal giving space. That would consume an entire online webinar. But we can highlight some important similarities and differences. In today's grantmaking climate, you need to have an array of funding that makes use of federal grants and private funding, which includes foundations, corporations and advocacy groups. --------------- Please Make Sure We Have Your Correct E-mail & Mailing Information! --------------- One thing in common: federal agencies and private grantmakers frown on being the only players financially supporting an organization. They want to see a range of supporters from federal and private sources. Even novice applicants must show they are reaching out to various federal and private sources in addition to providing solid research and data that their program works. Without that, you won't be competitive. Private funding opportunities abound in communities, from the local bank chain and retailers to community foundations and corporations. Here's a thought. Why not focus on private sources first, while keeping an eye on the larger federal funding opportunities. Once private funding is secured, federal funding may be easier to obtain. Federal opportunities, for the most part, offer an annual deadline through a Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) or a solicitation. Keep in mind that solicitations that are active for multiple years will only be posted on Grants.gov once. Federal notices usually have a very narrow application window, 30 days or less; which means that you have to be extremely nimble and well-prepared to apply on time. Our funding forecasts at CD Publications...

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