The Nebraska Community Foundation works with community, organizational and donor-advised affiliated funds serving 250 communities located in 80 counties. NCF and its affiliated funds have reinvested $269 million in Nebraska since 1994.
While grants should not be thought of as a primary source of funding, they can provide income for affiliated fund and community projects. If your affiliated fund is considering applying for a grant, there are some things you should know and some guidelines you must follow to increase your chances of success and minimize risk to your fund and the Nebraska Community Foundation (NCF).
There is a common misconception among novice fundraisers that millions of dollars are available through grants; they just need to write an application. Foundations do have millions of dollars, but only for projects that fit their specific guidelines and purpose, and competition for grants is fierce. Grants can certainly give your affiliated fund a boost in meeting your final fundraising goal, but it is important to keep the role of grants in perspective.
There may be local, regional or national sources of grant money available to your affiliated fund. The most common sources of grant funding are private foundations and the government. Private foundations typically focus their grants in a specific geographic area (e.g., the hometown of a family foundation or communities in which a business operates) or field of interest (e.g., education, health, the environment). Government grants typically come with significant restrictions and reporting requirements, and in many situations are made only to local governmental entities.
- Finalize your budget.
- Have your case statement ready.
- Get approval from your FAC to apply for the grant and keep them informed.
- Raise money and pledges locally to demonstrate local support for your project.
- If you are thinking about hiring a grant writer, contact NCF first.
- Complete the online application and save your draft.
- Contact NCF with your login information so we can review the application.
- Once you have received NCF approval, you may submit the application.
- Provide NCF with a copy of your submitted application.
Small-town libraries receive a helping hand thanks to an affiliated fund of the Nebraska Community Foundation. The Kreutz Bennett Donor-Advised Fund, established by the late Shirley Kreutz Bennett, provides matching grants for public libraries in Nebraska communities with a population of less than 3,000.Read more →