According to Charity Navigator, foundation giving increased 3.5 percent in 2016. The total contributions including grants from independent, community, and operating foundations equaled $59.28 billion. Whether it is to supplement existing government funding or buffer oneself in the face of future federal uncertainty, foundation awards are worth exploring. Here are five tips that cover the basics, along with links to previous eCivis articles with more information.
1. Assess Compatibility
Most foundations have specific funding objectives. Instead of wasting your time and theirs, find out in advance if your project and their mission are a good match for each other. "Corporate Grant Seeking 101" will help you ask the right questions. Read more.
2. Find the 411 on a 990
An IRS Form 990 can help you determine the fiscal soundness of a foundation, who is on their board of directors, and who they have previously awarded grants to in the last year. "Form 990: The Financial Picture of a Private Funder" tells you where you can locate them. Learn more.
3. Build Good Relationships Even Before You Apply
A successful relationship with a foundation's program officer can work in your favor. "3 Strategies for Building Relationships with Funders" gives you tips for the preapplication interview, site visits, and follow-up. Read more.
4. Maintain Good Relationships After You Receive Your Award
Being a grateful and gracious winner improves your reputation in the funding world. "Good Press for Your Grantor" explains why reciprocity is a key element in the grantee/grantor relationship. Learn more.
5. Understand What Makes Foundation Funding Unique
Foundation funding has some distinct dissimilarities from government awards. Compare and contrast the differences with "Federal vs. Foundation Funding - Embrace Them Both." Read more.