Are You Searching for Grants the Wrong Way?

Are you having difficulties finding grants? You could be searching for grants the wrong way! When it comes to your grant search, remember: “not what grants you’re eligible for, but what programs of yours are eligible for grants.” A grant search is just that – a search. If you go in with the mindset of “I need…,” then you may have difficulties finding potential grant opportunities. Whereas, if you search with the mindset of “does my project meet the needs of this grant,” you will open yourself up to more grant opportunities.

Do you want to know if you’re searching the wrong way?

Here’s a little test:
– Jenny is a part of a new nonprofit organization located in Michigan.
– They need funding to purchase more equipment to manage the land for their beehives, which supply honey to the community.
– She looks for grants specific to equipment for beehives but she doesn’t get any results.
What should she do?

Before you read the answer below, think about what you would do.

There are several different methods Jenny could try, and here’s just a few we would recommend she do:

  • Grants can be very specific, or they can be very broad. Since there are no grants specific to equipment for beehives, Jenny should seek broader terms like ‘Agriculture‘ and ‘Farming.’
  • While there may be no results when Jenny searched for “equipment for beehives”, she should try simplifying her keyword. We would recommend using the keyword “beekeep” instead. This will include all grants that include the extended words ‘beekeeper’ and ‘beekeeping.’
  • Since the beehives supply honey to the community, Jenny could also look through the category of Community Services. There are many foundations that offer grants for projects and programs that help to benefit a community.
  • Being a new nonprofit, Jenny may need to build up her grant award history. We would also recommend Jenny view the current in-kind grants that are available since they may be easier to win.

Did you think of these ways? What other potential categories and keywords could Jenny use in her search? As we demonstrated, your grant search requires some thinking outside of the box. In conclusion, remember that the grant is not the missing puzzle piece when it comes to funding — the project is!

Another Tip for Searching

When searching for grants, you want to make sure you search for grants in your state. You should choose the state that matches the address on your tax return, business registration, or tax-exempt status. Your results will yield:

  • All grants available within the specific state (includes specific counties and cities).
  • Grants available nationwide (that include the state you chose).
  • Grants available worldwide (that include the state you chose).
  • All grants available to your business/organization for projects in other states and/or countries that you serve.

Pro Tip: In the grant synopsis (the preview paragraph) if it says “in eligible” regions/locations, then these will be for specific counties.

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