Grants have become one of the go-to sources for nonprofits that need funding for a project. Grant seeking can be an extremely time consuming process, though, so it’s crucial that you absolutely need a grant before you look for one.
In his book “How to Win Grants,” Alan Silver laid out 17 alternatives or supplements to grant funding:
- Sell unused assets and use the proceeds to fund the project.
- Eliminate another service or program and replace it with the proposed project.
- Charge fees to support some or all of the costs of a new service or program.
- If you are already charging fees, increase them to include the cost of the proposed project.
- Get a bank loan and pay it off with the fees you charge.
- Request a local, state, or federal appropriation.
- Use sources such as gifts-in-kind organizations to acquire new equipment, supplies, software, and other items.
- Explore state and federal surplus equipment programs.
- Recruit volunteer labor and expertise.
- Improve the efficiency with which you provide the service.
- Get a third party to pay for a portion of the costs, because the project saves them money in addressing the same problem or need.
- Identify and secure a major contributor or sponsor.
- Launch a fundraising campaign, beginning with your own board and stakeholders, or hold a one-time or continuing fundraising event.
- Explore co-marketing arrangements with business to create income.
- Create a for-profit business enterprise and use its income to support your project.
- Join another agency’s proposal as a sub-grantee or subcontractor.
- Combine two or more of these alternatives to assemble sufficient resources.