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This is the fourth and final installment in a
series of grantseeking pointers inspired by fundraising consultant, Stephanie Gerding’s great basic
grantseeking information on TechSoup
For Libraries that came out a few years ago. Find the first installment of this series, Developing
a Grant Project here, the second installment, Researching
government funders here, and the third installment on researching
Finding the right funders
that match your mission, your specific project, and your geographic locale is
quite an art. Finding corporate funding may be the trickiest of all funders to
engage. Here is her wisdom on finding corporate funders.
Corporations and businesses sometimes create
foundations or giving programs with funds generated from their profits. Some
companies operate an in-house corporate giving program in addition to a
foundation. Visit websites and offices of the businesses and corporations that
operate in your community for information about their priorities, grant
guidelines, and deadlines. Corporations operating in your area may have
community giving programs, or may offer other help, such as supplies or
equipment, in supporting your needs.
Clubs and organizations may have a service,
civic, or skill-based focus. They usually have local chapters. Examples include
the Lions Club International, Rotary
International, The Association of Junior
Leagues International, and Kiwanis
International. These organizations often have giving programs that involve
smaller gifts focused on supporting their individual communities through
service, materials and financial investments.
Professional associations often make grant
funds available to members of the association or organization. Grants and
awards are available for projects and individuals; for financing research
projects, fellowships, or degrees; and for continuing education opportunities.
Professional associations may have grant funding that is available only for
A shortcut to finding library grants is
available on a free website called Library Grants
that Stephanie Gerding has co-authored since 2005. They post new grants
every month and include the deadline, a brief description, and a link to more
Funders aren’t ATMs. They are real people,
just like you and I. Whenever possible, contact potential funders to clarify
your questions, discuss your project, and determine their interest in your
project. Develop relationships with the contact people. If your project is not
a match with a particular funder, ask if they know of other potential funders
who would be a better match.
Tell everyone you know that you are looking
for a grant and discuss your grant project, including staff, board members, and
volunteers. Approach potential partners and local leaders to let them know
about your search. Ask other nonprofits or libraries in your area about the
grants they have received and who funded them. Talk to your relatives, your
friends, and leaders in your community. Visit your chamber of commerce and
community foundation, to tell them about your project. Speak at local clubs and
organizations about your library projects and your search for funding. You
might be very surprised at who knows about potential funding that matches your
TechSoup offers a wide variety of
fundraising tools through its donation programs. From developing your own
online store to taking donations from your phone, TechSoup has you covered.
For more information on this, check out our Fundraising:
The Tech Tools You Need.
Also, I really like The
Association of Fundraising Professionals Technology Blog: An Underused
Fundraising Resource. And for even more, I’d recommend: The
Chronicle of Philanthropy 2013 Survey on Corporate Giving and Akhtar Badshah of
Microsoft on How To Get Corporate Grants.