If you have family foundations in your area you may be in luck. That is, if you can get your foot in the door.

In my geographic area, the secret to getting a grant from a family foundation is in building a relationship with a contact at the foundation. I suspect it’s that way everywhere.

I recently read a blog post from The Grantsmanship Center that deals with how to get make connections with family foundations. Give it a read and let me know if you have any successful secrets for creating relationships with family foundations.

Any seasoned grant writer will tell you there are a gazillion (don’t use that word in a grant proposal) places to find grant writing information. You can search for them on the Internet. But I don’t have time for that, so I look for one-stop shops that offer resources, funding information, and professional development.

To save time and get a good return on your investment, find a service that offers what you need and then stick with it. Get to know all it has to offer and slowly make them your go-to site for all things grants.

If you can locate a service that fits your needs, you will save yourself time and money in the long run. Here are the components of my favorite grant writing resource:

  • A great research tool that allows me to search for private foundations and government grants (never going to grants.gov again). A good resource will let me search by a variety of categories and will provide me with a good funder profile.
  • A weekly email newsletter that comes straight to my inbox. I need something that will tell me about new grant opportunities without having to remember to go to the site. Big. Time. Saver.
  • Professional development opportunities that are offered in a way that I like to consume them. I want something that offers blog posts, webinars, and podcasts.
  • Tutorials on basic grant writing as well as tips for seasoned writers. (I’ve been around a long time, but I’m always ready to learn something new.)
  • Other resources at my fingertips. There is a lot of great information out there. I need a service that collects it for me in one convenient site.
  • Affordable and convenient. I need research and learning at my desk, whenever I’m ready and at a price I can afford.

There are many great grant-writing resources out there, but I always consider that my time is money and I want something good, convenient, and provides value for the dollar.

I use GrantStation and after thinking about what I want in a service and looking at what they have to offer, I plan to use them more and more. They seem to fit the bill for me.

I hope the list above gives you something to think about and will encourage you to find your own go-to site that gives you everything you need. Spend your time bringing in the big bucks instead of surfing the Internet.

By the way, I think Grant Station is such a good value for the money that I got them to offer a fantastic (and secret) sale on a one-year subscription. As in less than $10 a month for 12 months good! Better than the sale they are offering on their website good!

Here’s what to do next:   Sign up for my 20 Tips for Great Grant Proposals and you’ll get on my list to receive the link for the special GrantStation sale on December 6th and 7th. (Remember, this sale is even BETTER than what they offer on their website.)

The Grant Coach

VIP Days | Grant Writing | Coaching for Success

Finding sources is the most difficult part of the grant writing process. You can write grant proposals all day, but if you don’t have anyone interested in funding you, you’re out of luck.

In almost every case, the funder will award a grant to a nonprofit that can help the funder further its mission and extend its reach.

The funder has the money and the desire to do good work, but the nonprofit has the knowledge and the programs to match the funder’s mission. Your job as a grant writer is to make the perfect connection between the nonprofit and the funder.

So, let’s start working on the process of finding funders. There are several different categories of funders that you’ll encounter in your research. Private or family foundations are a great place to start, especially if they are in your geographic area.

Private or Family Foundations

A private foundation is a nonprofit that is formed to distribute money and offer the donors tax write-offs. In order to keep their nonprofit status, foundations are required by the law to give away a certain amount of money to nonprofits (charities) each year.

Private foundations are frequently established by a family to support good works in their community. Family foundations usually have a definite focus, geographic limitation, or are interested in projects that benefit the community where they are located.

Sometimes the founders have passed away and their children and grandchildren are operating the foundation. Unfortunately, when the operation of a foundation passes on to the next generation, the focus may change.

The family members may live in different areas of the state or country, and they may lose interest in the very community for which the foundation was originally set up. If there are no family members left, management of the foundation may even go to the trust department of a bank.

How to Contact a Private Foundation

When you check directories and databases for private foundations in your area, make note of how to contact them. The foundation profile in the database will provide you with plenty of information on the foundation. (Don’t expect them to be as formidable as the family in the photo above.) If it’s allowed, call the foundation to make a personal contact. If not, perhaps you can strike up an email conversation.

The old saying is still true: People give to people. Develop a relationship with the foundation personnel, get to know the gatekeeper, ask questions, and provide information about your organization. Don’t be a pest and don’t ask questions that are already answered on the website.

Just remember, the closer to home your prospect is, the better chance you have to be seriously considered for a grant, so focus on foundations that are local or who fund locally.

Not sure where to find a list of foundations in your area?

I use GrantStation as my number one research tool. I can use it right at my desk, which means I don’t have to go to a library or other location to look for funding sources. What a time saver for me! Check this directory out at GrantStation.com. They’re having a sale on memberships right now, but DON’T buy from them yet.

Wait for it!!!

Coming up in early December, GrantStation is allowing me to offer you an even better deal on a one-year subscription. As in, 12 months for $10 a month good deal! The offer will only be available for two days when it opens. And, you can only get the link if you are on my mailing list.

To get the link when the offer is open, click here get on my mailing list. You’ll get my 20 Tips for Great Grant Proposals and you’ll be among the first to get the link to this great deal on a GrantStation subscription. Do it now so you don’t miss out.

To get more grant writing tips and hints,  Like The Grant Coach Facebook Page.