Grants or contributions used to start a new project or organization are called non-profit seed money grants. Non-profit seed money grants may cover salaries and other operating expenses of a new project. USGG Grant Writing Workshops and Grant Writing as a Career Certificate Course training includes details on how to apply for non-profit seed money grants. All participants receive a 381 page workbook full of funding resources, sample grant proposals, and grant writing tips. Each participant receives a list of 115 places to research grants such as nonprofit seed money grants.
The Foundation Directory Online provides access to a vast database of private and corporate foundations that provide nonprofit seed money grants at http://fdncenter.org. Enter your state into the geographic focus search field to retrieve all U.S. foundations that make grants in your state or enter “seed money” in the text field to retrieve all U.S. foundations that give non-profit seed money grants.
Another resource that gives non-profit seed money grants is Guidestar. Much of the information on this website is free, but you do have to log in to access the information. Guidestar has information that helps nonprofit organizations identify foundations interested in their cause and also helps foundations and philanthropists identify nonprofit organizations they would like to fund. All nonprofit organizations that complete a 990 form are listed on Guidestar’s website. Nonprofit organizations should update their profiles regularly to increase chances of having foundations and philanthropists choose them for funding.
Grants.gov is THE site to find and apply for more than $360 billion in competitive federal grants across all 26 federal grant-making agencies. Currently there are more than 2,050 active grant opportunities posted on the site spanning 20+ diverse grant categories. Over 70 active electronic grant applications packages are available on Grants.gov to apply from federal agencies, including the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, Health and Human Services, the Environmental Protection Agency, Social Security Administration, and the National Endowments for the Arts and Humanities.
One of the best single sites for learning about all federal grants is Grants.gov. Anyone can sign up to receive daily e-mails announcing federal grant opportunities for free. Each grant posting in the e-mail notification also has a direct link to get details on the grant opportunity. There are usually 10 or more opportunities each day if you sign up to receive all notifications. Federal grants are not the best source for finding nonprofit seed money grants, because federal completion is extremely high and most federal grants will go to nonprofits and government agencies that have a long track record of success and can demonstrate the organization has the capacity to successfully implement and administer a federal grant. Nonprofit seed money grants are normally awarded by corporate foundations, family foundations, and community foundations.