Here are a few questions you must ask yourself if you want to apply for any kind of grant.
1. Is this a nonprofit that seeks to provide support for youth with disabilities?
Don’t get fooled by “indie,” “social” or “alternative” grants, which are often just for the wealthy. Charitable foundations, local community groups, faith-based organizations and other types of organizations do apply, but for many, only nonprofits offer “charitable” status.
And if the non-profit you want to apply for is run by religious or spiritual groups, you can’t apply for a grant.
2. What kind of grants are there?
To qualify for a grant from a foundation, your organization must have financial resources and a staff that can actually create, administer or manage a grant.
It doesn’t matter how many people you have in the organization, who work in a small or medium-sized business or how many kids you have, what they have to donate to fund the organization (a church, a school district or a local community clinic), how many days they have or how much training they have.
If your organization is looking for a grant to address specific issues, ask if grants will focus on one specific issue. Most grants are not for “one to one” solutions. There are grants for specific community projects that are not geared towards a particular issue.
3. Can your needs be addressed by your own donations?
Most nonprofit organizations are not able to use the money from donations alone. If you have children who need special education, and need to support them or their families, you might qualify for grants to help them or their families out.
To qualify for grants, your organization must have access to money that can be put toward specific purposes through a grant. You cannot ask for grant money to pay people or salaries, a home or to go out for events, as a result of your work as a charity.
Additionally, most non-profits don’t accept corporate gifts. The IRS has more information about corporate gifts to nonprofits.
When in doubt, contact the IRS at 1-800-829-1040 with questions, and do not give the gift.
4. If I receive a grant, will I be able to use the money for other purposes?
The IRS has additional information about grants and money management.
5. Are there other organizations that have grants?
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