When you are looking to secure funds for your nonprofit, there are going to be 3 ways your nonprofit is going to receive the bulk of its funding.
The public sector, the private sector, and general fundraising.
The differences between the 3 are as follows:
Public Sector: These are grants issued by a government entity, and are funded by taxpayer dollars. There are a whole plethora of government entities that will grant funds to you for different purposes. The catches are that they only become available every so often (these can be called cycles) and they are only for very particular things. Sometimes you will be able to plug a government grant into your organization, sometimes you will not. What you will be able to spend the money on, will be dictated by what stipulations are in the proposal. Find which government agency correlates with what you are doing, and then make sure to sign up for their updates for funding. They will send you alerts as to when something becomes available, that you can apply for. A good place to start is signing up is with your Secretary of State’s registrar office and Grants.gov. If you procure funds from all 3 sectors, and they all contain stipulations as to how the money is spent, the tricky part is going to be how to make all three fit like a puzzle. If I could pick what funds you are able to procure in your first year, government funds would not be it. They are bureaucratic, extremely technical, and irritate me to no end.
If I could plan this all out for you, I would want you to focus more on Private Funds and Fundraising. Much simpler and much more personal.
Private Sector: These are funds that are issued by a private, grant making foundation. There are quite a few of these, and the paradigm shifts according to what the trustees want to focus on at that particular time. Just like funds from the public sector, those funds are given for a specific reason, and you can only use those funds for that reason. This sector is much more personable than the government sector. I don’t think I need to explain to you as to why this is. The down side is that finding out who can fund you can be a pretty lengthy process. You can also narrow the search down and subscribe to a grant writing Software Company that will do most of the work for you. So far, the cheapest company I have found that provides this service is called Grants Station.
Fundraising: These are funds that are just donated from the general public/random donors, and these don’t have to be used for a specific purpose unless, you conveyed that they were going to be when you solicited the funds. Make sense? Technically, you can spend the money on magic beans if you want. However, if you misuse what a donor gives you, which is known as a “Donor Burn,” then good luck going back to them for anything else. Fundraisers can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes from fancy dinners, to auctions, to pageants. The sky is the limit as to how you can raise money this way.
Pretty simple huh?
Until Next Time,
Bare Philanthropy LLC