Understanding Types of Grants
If you're in charge of seeking funding for a nonprofit, it's important for you to be aware that there are several different types of grants from various funding sources. When you apply for grant funding, it's important to understand the intent of the grant program so you can ensure that your application makes a clear case for why your request should be approved.
Project or Program Grants
Funds that are granted to support a particular activity of a nonprofit organization are referred to as project or program grants. These types of grants provide money that is earmarked to cover expenses associated with specific activities carried out by a charitable entity.
General Purpose Grants
Some grant programs offer general purpose financial support, providing monies that can be used as the funded organization sees fit. If you are fortunate enough to receive this type of grant, you'll be able to utilize the funds for operating expenses, programs, projects, planning, or to meet any other need that the entity you represent may have.
Start Up Grant
If you are looking into the possibility of starting a new charitable organization, you'll want to apply for start-up grant funding. These types of grants provide what is often referred to as "seed money" designed to help a new entity get started. Funds may be provided for a year or two, after which time the entity is expected to be self-sustaining, either through its own activities or through other grant programs.
Facilities and Equipment Funding
Some types of grants provide support specifically to enable charitable organizations to build and maintain the facilities necessary to provide programs and services, as well as to purchase needed equipment. For example, these types of grants might cover all or part of the expenses for constructing a new building or purchase equipment to outfit a computer lab for an after school program.
Planning Grant Funding
Planning grants provide funds to support the initial research efforts necessary to establish a new program. If you're going to apply for this type of grant, you'll need to be able to make a strong case for why the program you are trying to establish is necessary.
Technical Assistance Grants
Grants classified as technical assistance funding provide grant money to support the administrative functions of a nonprofit organization. The funds aren't used for a particular program or project, but are rather provided to cover the overhead expenses associated with running the entity, including marketing and financial management.