The biggest misconception we see in the grant world is the assumption that your organization doesn't qualify for grant funding. In reality, there are grants out there for just about everything!
What is a grant?
Before we launch into what grants can fund, let's back up and talk about what grant funding even is.
At the most basic level, grants are a financial gift from an individual or organization to fund a specific activity, program, facility or venture. There are generally two sources of grant funding: The public sector (federal, state, and local government) and the private sector (foundations and corporations). Unlike loans, grants do not have to be repaid.
What do grants fund?
To quote Mean Girls, "The limit does not exist."
But in general, you're most likely to find grant opportunities for projects that serve the public good. That could include:
Spurring technological innovation
Creating jobs and economic growth
Driving social equity
Enhancing public health
Providing disaster relief
Supporting environmental sustainability
How do I find grants?
Ah, the million dollar question. Many grant opportunities won't show up on a Google search, so you need to get craftier. At SCOUT, we've found the best way to search for grant opportunities is to use a combination of different databases such as Instrumentl, Foundation Directory, Grant Hub, and Grants.gov. Some library systems also offer free grant-finding resources.
We believe the research phase is the most important part of the grant application process. Your chances of success are drastically higher if you spend your time applying for five grants that are a perfect fit for your organization rather than applying for 20 that sound like they could work.
To learn more about SCOUT's grant research services, head over to the Funding Strategy page.