Revisiting the 990 Search Feature: Can It Help You Find the Right Grant?

Chances are, if you’ve searched for grants, you realize that the process can take a lot of time. It can feel as though you are looking for a needle in a haystack. It’s also clear that tips for a grant search can certainly come in handy. One of the challenges grant seekers face is the time consuming nature of the grant search. If your focus is too broad, you may find yourself wasting a lot of time. But if your search is too narrow, you may end up eliminating grants that could be a good fit. GrantWatch would like to take this opportunity to remind our readers about a tool that’s still relatively new but super helpful to use in your search for funding.

Often, when searching for grants you will zero in on specific keywords. For example if you help “special needs” children or “disabled veterans.” Of course, using those keywords is bound to bring up some good matches. But you may be overlooking grants that your nonprofit may qualify for a more general grant to support children or families or a grant to help homeless regardless of disability or military status. So, while it is a great idea to search with relevant keywords, you also want to do some broader searches as well. But, what if there was a way to cast a wide net but still focus on specifics? There is; it’s called the 990 Search Feature.

What Is It?

A 990 is an IRS tax form that provides required financial and tax information about nonprofits. Tax-exempt organizations must file this form annually to comply with federal regulations. More importantly though, it’s your peek behind the curtain, so to speak. With this one single document, you have access to information like the amount of money they award each year, what projects and nonprofits get funding, and the size of the giving foundations assets.

Where Do I Find It?

More and more subscribers are using the 990 search feature on GrantWatch every day. It really has become one of our preferred search tools. To begin, locate the 990 button on the blue ribbon on our home screen. This takes you to the 990s Foundation Search landing page. Once there, simply enter the name of the foundation or keywords in the search field. It’s that simple. From here you can dive into the ocean of information waiting for you.

Why Should I Use It, and How?

The 990 search feature is an excellent tool to use to find relevant grants for your project or foundation. It allows you to search specific giving foundations and glean information about them. For instance, if you know of a specific foundation that donated to organizations in your community or to similar causes, you can see if they have current grants available that may be a fit. All you do is plug in their name, et viola, you have the information you need to tailor your grant application to that foundation. Conversely, let’s suppose you don’t have the name of a foundation in mind. No problem; plug in some search word and the 990 search feature will return a list of foundations for your to peruse. It really cuts your research time significantly. Of course, it is not a guarantee that you will be awarded a grant but, this can point you in the right direction.

To conclude, tools like this can help you streamline your grant searches, saving you time and energy. In addition, they can also make your search have more of an impact. 

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