Foundation Government Grants

When one searches for possible foundation government grants, what is found? Generally, one discovers the following: foundation grants and government grants. Further, one discovers that some qualify for foundations government grants, generally at the federal or state levels, depending on the key interests and initiatives of the foundation.

Let’s start with a clarification. When looking for foundation government grants, it is important to understand the term foundation. A foundation can, in fact, be a public charity, private foundation or a private operating foundation. All three carry a 501&#169 status. As the name implies, a public charity receives most of its funding through public means. Private foundations, on the other hand, receive their funding through relatively few sources. However, different rules apply for each in regards to IRS reporting, etc.

When analyzing eligibility criteria at the federal government level, one must read carefully the definition of “Eligible Applicant.” Eligible applicant may include: state governments; county governments; city or township governments; special district governments; nonprofits having a 501&#169 status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education; nonprofits that do not have a 501&#169 status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education; for profit organizations other than small businesses, or
small businesses.

And both federal and foundation grants fund many and varied initiatives that support numerous social causes. Most foundation and federal grants do not fund individual requests, although there are exceptions. Generally, these exceptions involve fellowships for post-doctorate work in certain scientific and medical fields.

The clearinghouse for federal funding opportunities is, though, once can search for grant opportunities by department or agency. Foundations that provide funds to public charities require additional research, and many have their own websites for such review.

Both the federal government and private foundations have different application procedures, eligibility requirements, and other criteria that determine if a particular request will receive funding. Careful review of a foundation’s requirements is essential. In some cases, a private foundation will not accept unsolicited applications. In other cases, the private foundation requires that the prospective applicant write a “Letter of Inquiry (LOI)” before submitting a full proposal. Based on the LOI, the private foundation will request a full proposal. Of course, too, some private foundations encourage applicants to submit applications for innovative ideas that address social issues.

The federal government when it announces funding opportunities does so with certain, specific criteria. In these announcements, all determinate are outlined in detail, and must be adhered to by the potential applicant. There are no Letters of Intent, no preliminary correspondence as with private foundations. Again, it cannot be emphasized enough, the guidelines for federal funding are strident, and failure to comply means time wasted with no funding obtained.

Thus, do the homework. Identify the need. Identify the opportunity. Does the applicant meet the federal requirements? Does the applicant meet the requirements of a private foundation? Critical questions asked early on provide a road map on how to submit applications for grants, and then receive a favorable response.

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