Non-Profit Operational Grants are not restricted to any specific project or set of specified activities. They can be used to support general operating expenses that support an organization’s normal activities. Non-Profit Operational Grants provide unrestricted income to help an organization carry out its goals without imposing the requirement to develop activities directly attributable to the grant.
Many foundations are reluctant to respond favorably to requests for non-profit operational grants because there is less visible evidence of results than with project grants. The ability to evaluate specific projects and outcomes as a result of their grants is a priority of most funders. In times of tight money, organizations often need non-profit operational grants for survival. Fortunately, despite a general preference for project grants, there are foundations willing to provide non-profit operational grants.
The Foundation Directory Online provides access to a vast database of private and corporate foundations that provide nonprofit operational grants. Enter your state into the geographic focus search field to retrieve all U.S. foundations that make grants in your state or enter “General Operating Support” in the types of funding field to retrieve all U.S. foundations that give non-profit operational grants. According to a recent search on The Foundation Directory Online, there are more than 5,000 foundations in the United States that award grants for general operating support, including:
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Lilly Endowment, Inc.
The Ford Foundation
David & Lucile Packard Foundation
John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
Non-Profit Operational Grants are awarded in every state, but some states have far more foundations than others. For example a recent search found only 44 foundations that give general operating support grants in Alabama, but 1,092 foundations giving such grants in Massachusetts. If seeking non-profit operational grants for Alabama, it is helpful to search also for foundations that provide grants nationally. There are over 594 foundations that give general operating support nationally.
As a participant in one of the USGG Grant Writing Workshops or Online Certificate Courses, you will receive a list of foundations in your state that give non-profit operational grants, as well as foundations that give these grants nationally. For example, a recent search for a participant in our San Antonio workshop, produced a list of over 950 foundations interested in funding operating support grants in Texas or nationally.