Developing a Fundable Grant Proposal
Part 2 - Identifying Funding Sources
Grant funders can generally be categorized into one of four types of organizations. These include government agencies, foundations, professional organizations, and corporations.
- Government agencies will provide funding for a wide variety of efforts. The larger funded programs are generally from federal agencies. For example, the National Institutes of Health has a budget of over $27 Billion dollars, and more than 80% of the budget is awarded to researchers through competitive grants (NIH, 2007). The U. S. Department of Education (DOE) administered a budget of about $88.9 billion in 2005. Approximately 65% of the funds were discretionary appropriations and 35% were in mandatory appropriation. The funds from this department operate programs that impact every area and level of education (DOE, 2007).
State and local government agencies may also provide opportunity for grant funding. Usually these agencies will fund projects that support local efforts and programs. Consequently, the applicants are often required to reside in the jurisdiction of the agency.
- The second major source of funding is private foundations. A foundation is a nonprofit organization that gives money and other resources to organizations or people for a specific purpose. Foundations determine what they will fund. The determination is based upon the mission or purpose of the foundation. Often foundations will specify what they will fund. The submission procedure may vary, so it is important to contact the agency before submitting a proposal.
- Professional organizations may also provide opportunities for funding. It is typical for the organization to require that the applicant be a member of their organization. Professional organizations are interested in funding projects that further the goals of the organization and/or support the membership. For example, as one of the AAHPERD Research Consortium's strategic goals is the facilitation of research, the Consortium provides funding opportunities to support the research of student and professional members of the Consortium. [For more information, visit the Research Consortium Grant Program Web page].
- Corporate sponsorship may be another avenue for support. Corporate sponsorship can help support community health efforts in a variety of ways. For example, the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life fund raising effort receives support from a variety of different corporations in the form of materials, personnel, and prizes, as well as monetary pledges. Automobile dealers might support driver/pedestrian safety efforts through grants or by providing a location for safety education programs.
In , you will find examples and links to a number of these types of grants.
- Each funding agency may have a unique procedure for their application process. Most agencies will publish a contact person with the request for proposals (RFP). Take the time to contact this individual with questions you may about the process and application guidelines.
- Grant applications are often scored as a part of the review process. Be sure you are aware of the score criteria. Focus your efforts on those sections of the application that are worth more points.
- Agencies may require a letter of intent (or inquiry) before an application can be submitted. If a letter is required, be sure to address the requested items in your letter.
- Each grant application is unique, so take the time to read through the application before starting to write. While there are differences in format and length requirement, most grant applications will include the following: title/introduction/abstract, need or problem statement, goals/objectives/solutions, procedures/methods, evaluation, budget, facilities/space/equipment requirements, personnel, and references.