Raising Funds With Grants: The Basics

By December 13, 2016

A grant is a sum of money given by a private foundation or government agency to a nonprofit organization to fund projects or programs that provide services for the betterment of the public they serve. Unlike loans, grants do not have to be repaid.

In the case of a nonprofit behavioral healthcare provider, a grant can supplement programs you have in place or provide funding to start new programs. Some grants can be used to cover operational and administrative expenses related to a project or program in conjunction with other consistent funding sources.

Private Foundations
Private foundations are formed by groups, families or individuals with very specific, mission-directed charitable goals. The grants they offer usually carry very few reporting requirements but are pre-determined for a specific cause such as domestic violence or homelessness. Foundations also offer capital grants for new building and remodel projects that will be used to support cause-specific services. More rare but often attractive, operational grants can be used as the applicant sees fit. These are often popular for organizations that seek help funding overhead expenses.

Government Grants
Government grants usually provide large sums of money and require very specific outcomes and reporting for the funding to continue or be renewed. There are grants available at all levels of government: federal, state, county, and local municipalities.

Adding Grants to Your Funding Stream
Successfully adding grants to your funding stream requires developing a grants program and a plan to regularly research and apply for grants. The commitment and time involved and the ongoing possibility of your application getting rejected may have you wondering where to start and if it’s worth the effort. Like a lot of things, once demystified with a few sound pointers, applying for grants is achievable and may be the financial boost your behavioral health organization needs.

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