To effectively target the programs most relevant to your project, utilize internet search engines with advanced search queries and well-crafted keywords and phrases. Think about how your project may be linked to other projects or needs within the community. For instance, perhaps there is a growing concern over drunk driving in your community. In addition to seeking funding through the Department of Justice and other “law enforcement” type funding sources, also look at the Department of Transportation’s funding opportunities. Keep in mind that websites are updated very frequently—sometimes several times each day—so it can be beneficial to conduct your web searches often.
eCivis Grants Network offers a unique solution for an organization’s grant researching needs: access to key resources, as well as a vast collection of analyses that present important and relevant grant information in a standardized and searchable grants management system. In addition to visiting online grant databases, such as eCivis’s Grants Network, you can find grant information by searching the websites of specific federal or state governmental agencies as well as foundations with missions in line with the purpose of your project. These websites often have sections dedicated to providing information on grants, loans, and other types of financial assistance. Organizations that host information for a particularly large number of grant programs may also invite interested parties to participate in listserv subscriptions or mailing lists to keep up with any updates to grant programs.
There are also a few non-electronic resources that could be helpful in jump-starting your grant search. Contact funders directly and ask to be placed on any mailing lists. Also, have discussions about grant programs with people—reference librarians, members of state or local municipal leagues, foundation board members, members of state legislature, or congressional staffers are all potentially excellent resources.
Finding funding for your project can be challenging, but you can stay one step ahead of other grant seekers by developing an effective and repeatable grant searching methodology. Target specific funding agencies, conduct strategic online searches to identify grant programs, as well as other funding agencies that you may not have heard of, and leverage the knowledge of people in-the-know for help along your grants search.