How to Write for a Grant Application – Writing Tips and Advice

grant-writingWhy do think many people complain about their grant proposal failing to sail through to get the required funding even when their projects are genuine and deserve funding? Is it because of unorganized and ineffective grant proposal? Is it because they are not for worthy causes? One wonders! It is indeed very crucial to note that the grant agencies receive thousands of worthy cause’s applications for a single award.

It is therefore important that an organization’s application stands out in the stacks! My friend this is not a daunting task as you may think; many have done it why not you? Here is certainly one of the living histories! Read more ›

Posted in Grant Writing

The World’s 10 Most Popular Philanthropists and What They Did in Their Careers

Individuals who are celebrated in the World for making a difference to humanity by pledging at least one billion of their wealth to philanthropic causes include the following top ten philanthropists:

  1. bill-gatesWilliam Henry “Bill” Gates
    He has donated $ 28 billion, part of his $ 72.9 billion worth of wealth to charity for global health and development. The world’s biggest foundation initiated by Gates; namely, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has helped the less privileged all over the world. It was aimed at helping every person get the chance to live a healthy, productive life. Gates and Buffet initiated The Giving Pledge campaign which encourages the richest to give half of their wealth to charity.
  2. Read more ›

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If Only Money Grew On Trees!

In life we have dreams and aspirations that we'd like to accomplish. We set out our goals and we try our best to figure out a way to reach them. Sometimes we need a little help. That is why applying for a grant is such an important option if you are trying to attend a higher education institution or get your non-profit company off on the right foot. Unfortunately, money doesn't grow on trees. Researching your grant eligibility is a good first step to solidifying your dreams and making those dreams a reality. 

Benefits of a Grant 
A friend of mine recently applied for a grant in order to get funding for his environmental organization. It wasn't too long of a process and luckily he was able to secure a decent amount of money to invest into his organization. There were some outside costs that he had initially planned for that he didn't need to use the grant money to cover. He found office space for rent and was able to move his business out of his home and into a more professional setting. All it took were a few dumpster rentals through a simple call with Pro Dumpster Rental and some helping hands to get his business out his basement and in the hands like-minded individuals who shared his passion for environmental causes. Once underway, the business took off. It wasn't as if they company couldn't have succeeded without a grant; however, the monthly expenses and overall annual cost of running his business was better supported through his government grant. 

Applying For A Grant 
There are many ways to apply for a grant once you know you would like to do so. Simply googling "grants" yields many results and websites showing you step by step instructions on how to apply for the grant of your choice. In some cases you may be eligible for a grant and not even know it! Here are some categories where grant applications are considered: Agriculture, Arts, Business and Commerce, Community Development, Consumer Protection, Disaster Prevention and Relief, Education, Employment, Labor and Training, Energy, Environment, Food and Nutrition, Health, Housing, Humanities, Income Security and Social Services, Information and Statistics, Law, Justice and Legal Services, Natural Resources, Recovery Act, Regional Development, Science and Technology and other Research and Development, Transportation (GRANTS.GOV). Often times, people assume that grants are primarily for educational purposes. Of course, there are many grants such as "pell grants" where this is true. However, there are plenty of other grant opportunities that you can look into that may apply to your business endeavors. 

Once you've followed the initial application steps, you simply wait and see if you are approved. If you are than you can start putting that money towards the goals you've been wanting to reach. It's never a bad thing to ask for a little help. Especially, when you are trying to do something that can benefit you or the world around you. Giving back to the community is an important part of your civic duty and the grant application process acknowledges that, wholeheartedly. 

Posted in News

Locksmith Business-loan Checklist

Grants are provided to people every year for a number of reasons, from continuing education, business start-up to preserving historical monuments and art. Business grants are often given to the applicants that present a solid, reliable business plan. The more detailed your reports are, the better chances you have of getting the grant. If you are planning on starting your own locksmith business, the very first priority you would likely to be having is finding your start-up capital, and the best way to attain it is to apply for small business grants or loans. Prior to seeking financial assistance, you need to thoroughly assess your existing financial situation, available finances, required equipment, etc… Once you decide how much money you’ll need to start up a locksmith business, keep the following documents ready:

1. Your Personal Background

You are most likely to be asked to provide your personal background information, either as a separate document or part of your loan application. The information should include your previous addresses, criminal record (if any), names used, educational background, etc…

2. Your Business Plan

Every grand/loan program requires a solid business plan to be presented with the loan application. You business plan need to include a comprehensive set of estimated financial statements including cash flow, profit and loss and a balance sheet. Before you submit your business plan, why don’t you take a look at the official website of a Locksmith in Bournemouth in order to get an idea what a locksmith business is comprised of?

3. Your Resumes

Not all, but few lenders require adequate evidence of business and management experience, especially for loans that are planned to be utilized to initiate a new business.

4. Personal Credit Report

Lenders are going to ask you for your personal credit report with your application. Nevertheless, you should always obtain your credit report from all of the 3 major consumer-credit rating agencies prior to submitting your loan application. Make certain that there are no inaccuracies on your credit report, since it can hurt your odds of getting a business loan approved terribly.

5. Business Credit Report

Are you already in locksmithing business? You need to be prepared to provide a business credit report. The lenders prefer to review your business credit report along with the personal one before your application is processed.

Other important documentation required to obtain as small business loan include income tax returns, bank statements, financial statements, collateral and legal documents.

Posted in News

Writing Successful Grant Applications

When it comes to starting and running a nonprofit organization there are many resources which prove to be essential. But of all essential resources the most important is undoubtedly funding. A nonprofit which does not have adequate funding is an organization which cannot reliably carry out its mandate. Considering the fact that many people simply do not know how to get funding for their nonprofit, or are afraid of being rejected, here we will take a look at some ways to get your nonprofit the funding it needs.

One of the most important ways of getting funding for your nonprofit is to seek grants. Grants are usually obtained through a process which includes the submission of a so-called grant application. While when it comes to looking for grant money it is recommended that you go along established routes, it is also recommended that you think outside of the box. For example, if you have a nonprofit which is focused on helping military veterans re-enter civilian life, you may ask for grants from the Department of Defense and other government entities, but you may also look to companies which wish to do business with the military when attempting to write a successful grant application.

Another way to help give your grant the best chance of being approved is to know when the organization’s which will be granting the money typically do the bulk of their giving. For example, if plan to make an unsolicited grant proposal, it would probably be best to present that proposal to the target company during the time of year in which the company is reviewing and approving grants. This will give your grant the best opportunity to be potentially considered along with the others. Additionally, should there be a problem the other grant applications, your application may just be approved as an alternate.

Sticking with the theme of timing, remember that a lot of organizations and philanthropists tend to give heavily near the end of the year. If you play your cards right, you may be able to take advantage of some of this end of year gift giving, and receive funding that may have eluded you otherwise.

Posted in News

Getting a Business Grant

By definition, a business grant is an amount of money provided for a definite purpose which the business owner does not have to pay back. Grants are usually given by governments, charitable institutions and organizations.

If you are a small business owner looking to expand your business, a business grant would be a most welcome injection of additional capital. For instance, you are a Bromley Locksmith and thanks to a very informative website, your clientele is growing in numbers. Naturally, you would like to establish branches in nearby districts to serve more customers in the UK. In a situation like this, your business can indeed benefit from a business grant.

Acquiring a grant is not done at a snap of a finger. Prior to being a recipient, there are certain criteria that you have to meet to qualify for a grant. Once qualified, you also need to comply with specific regulations and reporting requirements. Also, in most cases, you will be asked to put up funds as your counterpart for growing your business.

To find a suitable grant for your business, do your research first. There are literary resources you can read but the best option is to go to government-run websites that provide the necessary information. Alternatively, you can visit the local government’s economic development office and make inquiries. Some governments provide counselors who can give you useful advice on what grants to apply for, depending on the industry you’re in, your gender and ethnicity, and your market.  

Part of the grant application will be your submission of a grant proposal. This will require you to give details about your business and what you intend to do with the grant funds, once approved. For most business owners, this is the bottleneck of the application process since formulating a proposal needs a lot of time and effort. For this reason, many applicants hire the services of a professional to write the proposal for them.

Being a business grant recipient will not only give you the benefit of having access to additional funds for your business. An intangible but equally important benefit is your business being deemed as potentially successful and you as a serious business owner. This can consequently open other opportunities for you in the industry.

Thus, if you are seriously considering growing your business today, think about applying for a grant. Doing so might not only establish the growth of your business; but, establish your reputation as a businessman as well.

Posted in News

A Few Pieces of Advice for Those Who Plan to Start a Charity

To be able to best help out people, charities are set up to be non-profit organizations. Unfortunately, this leads to them not being able to generate income that they can use to support themselves. This is why many charities today operate on the goodwill of other people. Fortunately, so many people from all over the world continue to donate money and other resources to charities. On the bad side, these donations are often not enough. For this reason, charities need to actively seek out money for their operations. Luckily, there are many organizations out there that give grants to charities. Through these grants, charities are able to continuously provide for the needs of those they are trying to help out whilst being able to support themselves.

If you plan on setting up a charity, you need to consider applying for grants right from the very start. Unfortunately, though, getting grants isn’t as easy as it sounds, especially for new charities. Organizations that give grants make it a point to be safe when it comes to awarding money to charities, so unless you are a high-profile person or group or have been operating for a considerable amount of time, chances are you’re really going to have a hard time convincing organizations to give grants to your charity.

The good news is that even if organizations are willing to give grants to your charity right now, you can still support yourself through other means. One of these means happens to be binary options trading. Many charity workers ask, is binary options trading good or bad? The answer is that yes, so long as it is done properly, one will be able to legitimately make money through binary options trading. The only thing people have to do to ensure their success in binary options trading is find a legitimate brokerage that offers amazing services.

For most people, Banc de Binary happens to be the best binary options trading brokerage. There are many reasons for this, and you’ll see these reasons on the Banc de Binary website. One of the most common reasons why people love working with Banc de Binary is that it is regulated in the EU. Because it is regulated on the continent, people can expect Banc de Binary to always do good business with them wherever they are in the world. Also, Banc de Binary offers people the chance to deal with underlying assets in many of the world’s major markets at anytime. Through this perk, people are able to make the most amazing trades with the brokerage.

If you are planning to start a charity, you need to cover all your bases. By considering getting grants and having those working with you do binary options trading, you can definitely ensure that your charity won’t run out of financial resources. You can definitely expect people to regularly donate to your cause, but you can’t expect their donations to always be enough to take care of your needs. Fortunately, this isn’t that big a problem nowadays.

Posted in News

Grant to Beautify a Women’s Shelter

A women’s shelter is a place intended to provide refuge and support to women who have endured difficult situations. As such, it is important the property is well maintained to show respect for the women and the struggles they are working to overcome. Recently, our nonprofit organization was able to help the management of the shelter apply for a grant to landscape the front lawn and backyard of the facility.

We are pleased to report that the request was approved. The funding will help them purchase the gardens supplies they need to fix the area. Our own staff were so pleased about this initiative that many of us have also volunteered to help with the work.

The staff and residents at the shelter are all excited and willing to help in working with the facility’s front and back lawn. They already approached a local landscaping company which is willing to give a substantial discount on all the supplies needed to do the job.

Creating a Beautiful Yard and a Healthy Garden

The chair of the shelter board was able to convince a professional landscape designer to work with the women to plan their project. It all sounds good. The front lawn will have new, low maintenance turf with shrubs installed near the house and colorful flower beds along the walk. They are even going to tuck a few herbs among the flowers.

The backyard will feature a vegetable garden to provide a steady summer supply of healthy food for the residents. There will still be plenty of green space for a picnic table. Fortunately, there are two large trees already well positioned to shade a seating area. Of course, no backyard is complete without a barbecue on a patio.

A Beautiful Garden, an Inspiration

Having a garden in the women’s shelter can help in the women’s recovery period. A beautifully landscaped garden filled with flowers and shrubbery makes them realize there are still good things to happen in their lives. Such surroundings encourage the women to breathe deeply and relax into the nurturing peacefulness of nature.

Some of the women are already remembering how good it feels to be planting and weeding a garden. They speak about a sense of soothing rhythm and then the pride of accomplishment at the end. It is often during those quiet moments the healing begins. It will be a long journey for many of these women

Being able to live in a lovely environment and receiving great support from volunteers and other organizations gives the women hope for their own lives. Just as they see the flowers and vegetables grow into things of beauty and usefulness, the residents of the shelter can appreciate their own growth as they move past their pain.

Working on this particular grant application has been a satisfying task for the staff of our organization. We all know the money is being used not just to improve the shelter property, but also to tell the women living there that they deserve the beautiful results. The bonus, of course, is the teamwork and coming together of residents, staff and volunteers to make it all happen. Such a project is definitely the kind we love to support.

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Do You Need A Grant For Low Income Housing?

Most people think that you need a grant of some kind to qualify for low income housing, however, that actually is not the case. Low income housing is designed to help people find a home for people who can’t afford to find a home on the private sector. It was created by the government to give people decent, safe, and comfortable homes. Generally, it applies to the elderly, low-income families, and people with disabilities. Applying for low-income housing requires a careful set of steps that you must follow exactly.

The first step in applying for low-income housing is figuring out your eligibility. Your eligibility is determined via your annual gross income, whether you qualify as elderly or disabled, and whether or not you are a citizen or an eligible immigrant. You will also need to supply references that indicate your are a good tenant that won’t lower the quality of living for your neighbors. You should also know that there is a ton of information available specifically if you are a senior citizen looking for low income housing.  There are also program specifically for families with children, veterans, and other special interest groups.

You can qualify as a low income family if your income is under 80% of the median income for your county or for very low if its below 50%. Naturally, this level will vary depending on where you live as well as the size of your family. There isn’t any one guiding rule, as limits vary wildly depending on the individual city, let alone the state, where you reside.

If you qualify, you need to find a local HA office or a HUD office and fill out an application. They will need to know several things about you and your family before allowing you to move in to the housing unit. Supply the name, age, sex, and relationship of everybody in the home. You’ll also need to provide your current address and telephone number. Family conditions, such as being a veteran or disabled, should also be indicated as reasons why you should be allowed to move in to the housing unit.

You will also need to include the name and addresses of current and previous landlords, for reference purposes. Next, you’ll need an estimation of your anticipated yearly income and the source of the income. Include information about the name and addresses of your employer and banks to verify income and deductions.

After providing this information, a member of the PHA may come to your home to innterview you and inspect your current living condition. If your home is a mess or run down, they may turn down your application. Try to keep your living conditions as clean as possible at all times. Your housing program will also be detailed by your HA represenative, who will answer any of your questions.

Documentation such as birth certificates, tax returns and bank information are necessary as is a signed release form. You will be notified as soon as possible if you qualify for housing. As soon as a home is available, you can sign a lease and move in to your home. So as you can see, you won’t need an actual grant for low income housing, but you will need to know what to expect and how to apply. We hope we have answered those questions here!

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Can You Make a Career in Philanthropy?

philanthropy-careersNow that we had looked at how philanthropy can make us achieve our set goals, it is also important that we find out if we can make a career in philanthropy.

I learned as a child that sharing is a good thing. Little did I know that I was practicing philanthropy – I just knew that giving to other people for important causes made me feel better? Years back, many people tended to give to the organizations that touched their lives, such as religious, medical and educational facilities. These are still the most popular recipients of charitable giving.

Currently, there are thousands of charities and foundations operating all over the world representing every conceivable cause on the planet.

These organized philanthropic entities are necessary because:

  • Their services are ever in demand.
  • In most countries government funding is declining and, in fact, disappearing.
  • Poverty levels have risen.
  • Natural disasters and wars have not spared us their damaging aftermath.

People like you and me must therefore be part of those that are generously giving donations towards all of the above worthy causes, and more. Donors have become savvier and now require greater accountability from the charities to which they give. I would personally make a career in philanthropy but it is important to learn how philanthropy works, the various ways in which I can contribute and how I can make sure my donation is going where it should. I am also aware that tax-deductible gifts and volunteerism are some of the ways of giving.

Most of the major corporations do social justice projects that are related to the field of industry or work. Some of the food products companies for instance, work to address the issues of nutrition and hunger in the community while others that create semiconductors promote science and math education and access to technology in the whole world. These are all forms of career opportunities in philanthropy.

In my understanding, philanthropy is anything that represents a direct effort to help others – ideally, effort expended without expectations of getting any form of pay back. Many charity groups directly help people who are in need; others, such as conservation nonprofits contribute in ways that indirectly but significantly affect us, our children and our grandchildren. I would like to freely give my money to charities that assist causes I believe are important.

A philanthropist is not characterized by the size of the gift; in fact, an independent survey found that people in the lowest income brackets tend to donate as much or more than their higher-income counterparts. The average American household, for example, donates about 2 percent of its regular income to support people who depend on these individual gifts for survival. That’s why I feel that a career in philanthropy would be satisfying for me even if I only donated my little gifts to charity. I am determined to start small. I must, however, identify a legitimate charity organization to launch my career in philanthropy.

It is believed that an efficient and worthwhile charity should use 50 to 60 cents of each dollar it receives to do the actual charitable work and use the rest of the funds for administrative, marketing and other relevant operational expenses. To know how efficient a charity is, one should start by determining whether the organization is registered or licensed and allowed to operate by the local Social Welfare Department. There are non-commercial organizations such as Red Cross, Salvation Army and others whose functions are elaborated in some of the philanthropy journals online and in the library. Many charities post their reports on their websites to attract potential donors.

Most have directors and boards to address financial and overall program services, management or operation and fund raising.

  • Program service expenses – Include research grants, food sent to feed hungry families or public information brochures aimed at explaining a disease.
  • Administration or operational costs – Expenses covering daily operations of the charity, including rent, office supplies and salaries of administrative staff.
  • Fundraising costs – Printing and mailing of appeals, marketing and fees paid to professional fund-raisers.

All charities solicit support in various ways using individuals, direct mail phone, and internet methods. Any information conveyed should clearly identify the charity and state its purpose.

I learned that donations can be made in several ways: Donation by check payable to the charity organization, bequeathing funds, land, etc as part of one’s will, donating products such as computers, used cars and services.

Posted in Careers in Philanthropy

A Foundational Directory – The Funds Are Out There. Here’s Where to Start to Find Them.

grant funds

grant fundsMost often than not, many people do complain about lack of the right information regarding availability of funds in form of grants for various projects. In our last post, we gave you information about resources that can get you started and even how to write your grant proposal. This is the best time to read or scan through if you have not! All in all you are indeed at the right place to get the right information that you have been looking for. You have at one time heard news about a local hospital winning over $ 100,000 grant and you are wondering how that is possible. If you are seeking grant funding for such similar issues or you wish to improve the quality of your community members then you are definitely at the right place and at the right time.

Grants are typically awarded to a nonprofit organization from a foundation, government agency or corporation. The grantmaker focuses its giving on certain types of population (such as churches or environmental groups, a specific population (such as children or organizations) and particular types of support (such as program development or funding for equipment). Grants are not often an easy way of getting funded as many people do think simply because grant money is free. It is always important to invest considerable amount of effort, thought, money and time even though you do not pay back grant money given.

Get your house in order before you look for grant funding. Before you ask for support, ensure that you have the capability (expertise and knowledge) to carry out a program. In addition, you need to have an in-depth understanding of the needs of your community in order to develop an effective solution to meet the problem. Have knowledge of the resources available for your organization to enable you ask for the right type and amount of support to match your program. Do a lot of research to know an organization’s priorities and criteria for giving. It is also important to use the right language skills to write an effective proposal.

Many people start projects without injecting even a single cent on their projects hoping to get funding to start them up. This should not be the case! You are advised to have enough cash flow to run your organization and its programs as you wait for grant funding. Some grantors distribute funding by reimbursing for expenses already paid for. Reporting back to the funder is certainly very crucial after winning a grant. What should one report? A good question! You should monitor income and expenses, success and failures of your project or program and ensure that all this is reported to the funder at the right time.

It is of essence that you prepare your organization for success and not failure. Finding money is not always the first step in starting a nonprofit as many people think. Apart from having a good idea, there is a lot more to raising money than many people would imagine. There must be a need for your organization and the intended community work because foundations and nonprofits exist for one main purpose which is to benefit the public. Find out if there is an organization already addressing the problem you plan to address in your area adequately before looking for funding for a new program. After establishing the need for a project, find a way of convincing the donors that your organization has the ability to carry out all the outlined projects.

Take note on the following in your efforts to convince the donors; clear mission and vision, goals, and objectives, committed board members, capable management, staff, and volunteers, legal standing to do business in your community, appropriate tax status, accounting systems, programs that are vital to the well-being of the community, fundraising plan, which seeks support from many different sources, facilities, equipment, and maintenance. This will definitely make your organization to sail through smoothly in your efforts to secure funds for viable projects!

Posted in Foundational Directory