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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 foundations here.
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 members.
Specialized Print Directories:
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 information.
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 project.
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.
Excellent article Jim. Although it's dated 2013, most of the information you provide continues to be useful and relevant today in 2017.
One request though: Any chance of updating the link to Rotary International to the home page rather than a long gone "About" page? The link should be https://www.rotary.org/.
Thank you for your consideration.
Andrew, thanks for catching this. I just updated the Rotary International link. Jim
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