The benefit of being a non-profit organization is the number of non-profit grants available for specific projects and programs. As a non-profit, you qualify for most federal, state and private funders. However, your grant request must also qualify through each funder’s granting program.

The most common type of non-profit funding is community-focused grants. Non-profits across the nation can apply for non-profit grants that impact the area within its service area. Grants for non-profit organizations vary in focus and restrictions, but all are for the betterment of the community or target area to which the non-profit grants are awarded.

Non-profit government grants are given directly to a non-profit to meet a specific need and to determine a benchmarked outcome. Nothing that is outside the scope of work set by the grantor will be paid for by the non-profit grant. A non-profit government grant usually covers the cost of shelters, fire trucks, fire stations, ems stations, 911 centers, recreational activities or equipment, senior centers, community centers, etc.

In some cases, a local governmental entity may partner with a non-profit and apply on behalf of the non-profit organization. This makes the governmental entity the application and the non-profit a sub-recipient. A sub-recipient is an organization that does not qualify directly for the non-profit government grant, but is receiving the funds indirectly through the applicant to pay for a qualifying project.

Foundation grants usually specify the need for a non-profit to be the recipient of funds. Foundations always offer the widest variety of non-profit grants. It is important for projects to be clearly defined when applying for a non-profit grant regardless of who might be the applicant. Every organization establishes a mission statement when it is incorporated. Specific projects are a method to meet the organizations mission statement. A good way to determine if your organization is eligible for a particular non-profit grant is to compare your organization’s mission statement with the grantor’s priorities and goals established for their non-profit funding program.

Some grantors will only award non-profit grants to a specific geographical area or a specific type of organization. Make sure you qualify before you go through the effort of preparing a non-profit grant proposal. Proposals can require a lot of time to prepare properly, but if you follow the guidelines and prepare a competitive non-profit grant application, it can be very rewarding for your organization and the area you serve.