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Is it Time to add Foundation Grants to your Nonprofit Portfolio?

Most of the nonprofits I work with need help finding and winning grants from private and public foundations. But occasionally, I get requests from larger organizations with lots of federal and state grants, but very little experience with foundation giving.

They believe foundation grants can help them scale smaller initiatives and increase revenue for emergency support programs (especially now during Covid), while maintaining their highly regulated, government-funded programs.

And I couldn’t agree more! According to Giving USA, Foundations gave $88.55 B in 2020, a 17% increase from 2019.

Other benefits to adding Foundation funding are:

  • Diversifying funding sources helps nonprofits weather the storm during hard times.

  • They can contribute to Federal and Government Match Requirements.

  • Grant decisions have a shorter turnaround time.

  • Quicker payments help “stand up” new, supplemental, or short-term programs.

  • More flexible grant agreements and easier reporting requirements (most of the time).

Some of the challenges to Foundation grants are:

  • Harder to “crack the code” on what they are looking for in an application

  • Takes time to build up solid relationships

  • Smaller awards, shorter grant periods

  • Takes up too much staff time for the financial “payoff”

If adding Foundation funding to your grant seeking strategy sounds right for your organization read “What Motivates Grant Funders and How You Can Use that to Your Advantage.”

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