How To Apply For Environmental Grants In 2014
Establish a Nonprofit Organization
If you do not already have one, you’ll need to establish your nonprofit organization. Simply put, most grants are available for nonprofit organizations rather than individuals.
Search Online Databases
Perform a search online for databases that list current grant sources from government, corporations, and foundations. Search numerous websites that list federal, state, and local agencies for free money as well that you’ll never need to pay back. For instance, visit grants.gov to view several federal environmental grants.
Visit your local library for foundation directories. ‘Grants for Environmental Protection and Animal Welfare’ lists a variety of foundation and the specific environmental grants they offer. Ask the librarian if your library has direct access to any online subscriptions regarding foundation directories. The Foundation Center maintains a database known as ‘Foundation Directory Online’, a nonprofit organization that connects grant sources with nonprofits.
Read Grant Descriptions
Read and review grant descriptions to discover grants that may be conducive to your particular project and/or organization. Assess any limitations along with the stated purpose of each grant in order to be sure your project meets the criteria. For instance, certain programs list different types of projects that they will not fund – perhaps watershed restoration, marine conservation, or environmental education. Some funding is limited and is only available for certain projects.
Review Foundation Records
Review the records of different foundations you may be interested in to verify if they have recently provided any grants to organizations comparable to yours. Also, review their latest 990-PF form for any lists of nonprofit organizations that successfully obtained grants from them. Both Charity Navigator and Charity Check are online sources that offer free information relative to this subject.
Review the Application
Review the grant application and gather the necessary information. For instance, The National Audubon Society asks the name and address of the local area Audubon group that’s submitting an application for its planning grants in addition to requesting proof of 501(c)3 tax exempt status. Get a tax exempt letter from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for certain grants that call for evidence of the status of your nonprofit organization. Create a list of expenses including overhead, services, and any materials essential to your project. Make an expense budget that lists every expense item, the cost, and a description.
Always follow up on any grant proposals by calling after about a month if you’ve not heard back from them.
If starting your own nonprofit organization isn’t doable for you at this time, simply submit your project idea to a nonprofit organization that already exists. In order to increase your odds of obtaining funding, apply to more than just one source to obtain a grant. Also, be persistent and patient. Chances are you will get a few rejections before you’re finally successful at receiving the funds you need.