Applying for grants can seem intimidating, especially when navigating the different types of funding (e.g., federal vs. state), eligibility requirements, and determining which grants are most suitable to support your organization’s work. It can sometimes feel like an endless rabbit hole. While the grant application process seems daunting, it’s not all doom and gloom.
As a part of our mission to create positive change and to honor Martin Luther King Jr.’s work, SGA conducted research to help make information and tools about the grant application process more accessible to community-based organizations. This blog lists out considerations to get you started, where to search for applicable grants, and how to begin planning for the actual application process. We’ve also included a list of 22 grants that you could apply for as a climate-related organization!
Get Ready! Here’s Your Checklist to Get the Grant
The first important step when searching for funding is to determine the scope of your project and what specific activities need to be funded. Once you’ve figured out what your project will entail and how much funding you would need, then you can determine the type of grant that would be most appropriate for your organization’s efforts.
Eligibility is another important consideration when beginning the grant identification process. When searching for grants, it’s important to keep in mind who can receive the funding. Sometimes your organization can apply to receive direct funding and other times, you can apply by association with larger organizations that are eligible.
- Determine the scope of your project
- Determine the appropriate grant type
- Determine avenues for collaboration/partnership –
- If you’re not eligible to apply directly, you can often apply with another agency.
Databases to Explore, Key Tips and More
As you determine the type of funding that would best fit your project, you’ll likely find that grants are organized into state versus federal funding. There are various types of search portals, websites, and databases that you can explore based on whether you need state or federal funding.
Here are some grant search portals to get you started.
- Take advantage of powerful keyword tools on various databases
- Use filters to further narrow your search (e.g., grant amount)
- Use keyword searches (e.g., air pollution )
- Sign up for newsletters to get the most up-to-date information about specific grant opportunities
From Grant Preparation to Grant Application
Once you’ve found the appropriate grant to apply to, you’ll need to prepare action items and a general timeline to keep your organization on track for grant deadlines. Take a look at your grant’s application requirements to understand what materials are needed and when they are due. Some grants require pre-application concept letters and early deadlines.
Here are some grant application resources to get you started.
To make the grant process even easier, we’ve also compiled a list of grants available for climate-focused non-profits.
- Before applying, thoroughly read the grant application requirements
- Create a timeline for deadlines
- List the materials and steps of action that need to happen leading up to the final submission of the grant application.
The grant application process can be overwhelming, but always remember that other organizations are working towards the same goals who you can apply with. Once you get started, there is only more that you can learn from there, helping you get closer to fulfilling your organization’s goals and mission of making a difference in your community.