Types Of Nonprofit Grants That Every Nonprofit Must Know

Grants serve as important financial sources for nonprofits since they help in funding the daily activities of the nonprofit without any need of paying back the money.

According to the type of nonprofit and its goals and objectives, there are many different types of grants which are available from government agencies, foundations and other organizations. Given below are some types of nonprofit grants.

Start-up Grants

Start-up grants or seed grants are designed to provide financial assistance to new nonprofit organizations which are just starting out. They can be provided by foundations or other government organizations. The concerned organization might lay down certain rules regarding how the nonprofit should utilize the grant money.

Before you apply for a start-up grant, your nonprofit will have to file for a 501(c)(3) status. Although there are many grants available for new nonprofits, obtaining them can be a hard task. You can make use of websites like and to find a startup grant which your nonprofit qualifies for. These websites will help you find grants which are available in your particular state.

Government Grants

As the name implies, government grants are grants awarded by the federal government freely to the nonprofit without any interest or money back policy. Nonprofits can use these grants for research, organization development, education or other endeavours to fund their cause. These grants also tend to cover the operative and administrative expenses of a nonprofit.

You can find government grants which your nonprofit is eligible for on Make sure your organization is legally eligible for the grant before you fill out the application. Government grants are quite difficult to attain because of the large number of applicants and high competition. In order to increase your chances of receiving government grants,

  • Provide thorough documentation of the problem your nonprofit will tackle.
  • Lay out specific and measurable results your nonprofit plans to achieve.
  • Propose practical and reliable strategies which you will use to address the concerned issue.

Corporate Grants

Corporate grants are grants which are awarded by major corporations like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Apple and other corporate giants. Most corporate grants have a formal application process including specific rules regarding the kind of cause they want their grant money to go towards. With the help of a proper research database, you can find out which corporations award grants which are tailored to your nonprofit’s mission.

Do thorough research on the values of each corporation and filter out the ones your nonprofit aligns with. When you fill out grant proposals or applications, make sure you include all the relevant documents and frame your appeal letter in a proper way.

Private Foundation Grants

Foundation grants are usually awarded to more established nonprofit organizations. They generally don’t fund operating costs and are usually provided to help a nonprofit start a new project or expand their existing one.

The foundations usually have rules and regulations regarding the way the funds must be utilized by a nonprofit. The various types of grants provided by foundations include in-kind grants, specific program grants, general support grants and research grants.

Capital Grants

Capital grants are usually awarded by government agencies or other organizations to fund the construction of buildings, equipment or for renovating existing capital. Capital funding involves large sums of money so the nonprofit must be financially equipped before they can receive such grants. These grants cover the majority of funding costs and the remaining costs must be covered by the nonprofit through other means.

Majority of the organizations awarding capital grants will review the nonprofit’s specific building plan, engineered drawings along with the total project cost. Some even require the nonprofit to be equipped with 50% of the total project cost either through pledges or other grants.

General Operational Grants

General operational grants are designed to cover the operational expenses of a nonprofit organization. These grants can usually be used by the nonprofit in any way it deems fit. Compared to other types of grants, there are lesser rules regarding the manner of usage. They help in funding expenses like rent, daily operation costs, salaries of employees and other ongoing projects.


Do thorough research and find out which type of nonprofit grant your organization is eligible for. Make sure you comply with all its rules and requirements before you submit an application or grant proposal.


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