Almost a Nonprofit…Can I Apply?

shutterstock_101610340Dear Libby:

I'm still working on becoming a 501(c)(3).  Is there any way that I can still apply for grants from organizations?  

Regards,

Almost a Nonprofit

Dear Almost a Nonprofit:

Your question is a good one and it’s one that we see often at GrantWatch.com. You found a great grant opportunity for your organization, but the grant is only being offered to 501(c)(3)s. You haven’t quite gotten there yet. Is there still room to be hopeful?

The answer, in short, is yes.

As you are probably aware, a 501(c) organization is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization in the United States. There are 29 ways to receive exemption status under the Internal Revenue Code section 501(c), including the 501(c)(3). The 501(c)(3) determination is limited to organizations whose activities relate to religion, education, charity, science, literacy, testing for public safety, fostering of national or international amateur sports competitions or prevention of cruelty to children or animals.

Once an organization establishes its 501(c)(3) status, its donors can claim tax deductions, provided their contributions meets certain regulations.

Before you receive 501(c)(3) status, there are ways in which you can still apply for grants that will not turn off funders who want the IRS tax deduction. Fiscal sponsorship might be a good choice for you right now.  By joining a fiscal sponsorship, you may qualify for more funding opportunities and be able to start your project sooner.

According to the National Network of Fiscal Sponsorship, this process refers to the practice of legal, nonprofit organizations offering their tax-exempt status to groups with similar missions as the nonprofit. It typically involves a fee-based, contractual arrangement between the organization which does not yet have 501(c) status and the established nonprofit. This will give you time to continue working on getting your own nonprofit status, your 501(c)(3).

Fiscal sponsorship has become more common in the past decade as there are many advantages to this arrangement. However, it is important for both parties to understand the exact terms of this set-up before an agreement is final. An organization that is joining a fiscal sponsorship must understand that its project will be controlled by its sponsor(s), who may be held legally responsible for the operations and activities of the venture. Therefore, it is wise to weigh the benefits of immediate tax-exempt status and administrative support against the lack of autonomy and the fees typically charged by the fiscal sponsor.

To find grant opportunities related to fiscal sponsorships for which you may be eligible to apply, search for "fiscal sponsor" at www.GrantWatch.com in the search box on the right side of the page.

fiscal sponsor

On behalf of GrantWatch.com, I wish you success in receiving your 501(c)(3) status, and in funding all of your worthy projects.

All the best to you and yours,

Libby Hikind
CEO & Founder
 
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How To Get Funding For Media Equipment?

media equipmentDear Libby:

We need to install a screen, projector, microphones and support equipment in our church sanctuary. This will be used primarily by our youth and senior citizens programs. 

Where may we get a grant of up to $15,000 for this purpose?

Blessings,

Christian Church

Grantwatch.com Subscriber

Wanamaker, IN

Dear Subscriber:

Thank you for contacting GrantWatch.com with your question.  I am sure that there are many institutions with similar needs who will gain from the following information. 

Though you require equipment for your Church, the focus for your grant search should not be for grants which specifically fund the installation of a screen, projector, microphones and support equipment. The best way for you to achieve your goal is to focus on grants that support the programs you wish to provide for, i.e. youth and/or senior citizens.

If your nonprofit status is under a religious institution, I recommend searching for grants given to faith based institutions.  This information will be included in the grant’s eligibility requirements.  Additionally, searching for intergenerational programs might also be helpful.

I recommend that you check the following grant categories at GrantWatch.com:

Once you find the grants that might be appropriate for funding your equipment, you will need to create an attractive proposal which will help you secure the funding that you need.  The focus of your proposal should be that in order to run your youth and senior citizen programs successfully, you require the acquisition of specific equipment such as a screen, projector, etc.  Be sure to describe the equipment usage in your application objectives, goals and activities and include equipment costs in your excel budget and budget narrative.

If you do not have experience with writing a grant proposal, it might be worthwhile to retain the services of a professional to either assist with writing the entire proposal or review the proposal which has been created.  Professional grant writers are experts in determining the best way to present information so the application is accepted and the grant is awarded.  For further information, please visit GrantWriterTeam.com.

Another possibility for you to receive the equipment you need is to ask the Executive Director of your organization for assistance.  He/she should network and set-up private meetings with the CEO’s of your local stores or corporations.  A request can be made for these companies to donate surplus or open box equipment.  They may even be able to get a tax deduction for their donation to your church.

I hope that this information will be helpful to you. We wish you much success in not only acquiring your needed equipment but also in implementing quality programs to benefit all the members of your church. 

All the best to you and yours, 

Libby Hikind

CEO & Founder

www.GrantWatch.com

www.GrantWriterTeam.com