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Grants for Nonprofits: 17 Worth Exploring in 2024

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Published March 7, 2024 Reading Time: 8 minutes

Grants offer tremendous funding opportunities for nonprofits looking to scale. Score the right grant, and you may secure the funding needed to operate and grow your organization for the next 12 months. However, since grants are in such high demand, securing them takes a bit of know-how.

While grantmaking offers promising opportunities, grant applications can be time-consuming for the grant writer and nonprofit organization. Choose your grants wisely to avoid losing time pursuing other valuable fundraising opportunities.

Below, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about nonprofit grants, including eligibility criteria, tips for choosing the right ones, and top grant options for 2024.

What Are Nonprofit Grants?

A nonprofit grant resembles other financial donations typically given by public or private foundations, government agencies, or corporations. The sums are often larger than you’ll receive from individual donors and are sometimes exempt from taxes.

You’ll also find that, unlike standard donations, grants have historically had more rules and guidelines surrounding them. Often, funding organizations will stipulate how you can use your grant funds.

However, a growing movement within the philanthropic sector is advocating for a paradigm shift toward trust-based philanthropy, which aims to transform typical power dynamics between funders and grantees, emphasizing strong grantee relationships, community expertise, collaboration, openness, and a deeper understanding of nonprofits’ challenges.

Still, you’ll need to stand out to engage and secure the right grantmaker.

Whether in the process of sourcing a new grant opportunity or learning how to write a grant proposal, communicating your impact and providing tangible examples of what you plan to accomplish is critical.

Benefits of Grant Funding

Scoring a tax-exempt nonprofit grant can be a lot of work, but here are a few advantages grant funding can provide:

  • Free money: The only cost for securing a grant is the time you invest in the process (and perhaps an application fee). You don’t have to worry about losing equity or control of your organization or paying back loans.
  • Credibility: When you secure a nonprofit grant, it proves to onlookers that you’re serious about your work. It provides a tremendous prestige bonus and lets donors know you have a third-party stamp of approval.
  • Awareness: A grant can put your nonprofit in front of new eyes. The press surrounding the accomplishment can expose your brand to potential donors and partners.
  • Influence: Once you’ve received a grant, you can use it to influence future applications. Grant foundations will see that you’ve passed the test before and will likely be more inclined to approve your application.

Commons Types of Nonprofit Grants

Nonprofit grants come in all shapes and sizes. The source, purpose, and nature make each type unique. Below, we’ll cover a few common types of grants based on these criteria.

Funding Sources

  • Government grantsFederal, state, and local government grants are available to fund your nonprofit’s operations or administrations. The grant application process is stringent and competitive, but there’s often no fee. You can find many on grants.gov or local queries in your search engine.
  • Corporate grants: Corporate grants are awarded by large enterprises, which typically reserve a percentage of available funds for philanthropic purposes. For example, Google Ad Grants offer up to $10,000 monthly for eligible nonprofits. Learn more about the value of Google Ads for nonprofits.
  • Foundation grantsFoundation grants come from philanthropic organizations (like families, private groups, public groups, faith-based organizations, or community funds) to help advance causes or nonprofits in a specific locale.

Funding Purposes

  • Launch: Launch grants require that your funding go to a specific project, service, product, or campaign.
  • Technology: Technology grants from corporations and tech companies often require you to spend your funding on software advancements.
  • Infrastructure: Infrastructure grants are capacity-building grants that focus on solidifying nonprofit management, strategic planning, governance, and infrastructure.
  • General operationsGeneral operations grants are nonprofit grants that allow you to use the money as you see fit.

Funding Nature

  • Continuation grants: Continuation grants let you renew your grant. However, it’ll require reaching milestones, using funds appropriately, meeting reporting deadlines, and keeping communications and relationships open between your organization and the funder.
  • Pass-through grants: Pass-through grants from the federal government provide funding to state and local governments for local distribution. Apply for these federal grants when you want to make a local impact.
  • Competitive grantsCompetitive grants require you to submit a grant proposal answering questions and explaining why your nonprofit should receive the grant. Reviewers will evaluate your proposal and score it based on certain criteria. The organizations with the highest scores receive the funding.
  • Formula grants: Formula grants are non-competitive. These grants provide funding to organizations that meet predetermined criteria. If you match the requirements, you can receive the funds.

How to Choose the Right Nonprofit Grants

Here are a few questions to consider before applying for a grant:

  • Grant purpose: Does your nonprofit need funding for the purpose(s) outlined by the grant funder? For example, reconsider applying for a technology grant if you’ve already built a modern data stack.
  • Funding amount: Is the funding amount worth your time and energy?
  • Return on investment: Will the grant funds compensate you for the time spent on the application process? How will the funds help build your nonprofit or change your course?
  • Requirements: Do you meet the eligibility criteria outlined?

17 Best Nonprofit Grants to Explore in 2024

Not every grant will be the right fit for your organization. However, we wanted to jump-start your search by highlighting a few of the top nonprofit grants available.

1. AWS for Nonprofits IMAGINE Grants

Amazon Web Services’ Global Healthcare and Nonprofits team offers two IMAGINE grants to nonprofits. The Go Further, Faster award and the Momentum to Modernize award empower nonprofit organizations to prioritize technology as a mission-critical component of their goals.

Grant packages range from $30,000 to $150,000 in unrestricted financial support and up to $100,000 in AWS promotional credits. To be eligible for a grant application, you must be a nonprofit organization with a 501(c) status.

2. Google Ad Grants

Google provides several resources for eligible nonprofit organizations. With them, you can get premium access to Google’s platforms, such as Google Maps, the YouTube Nonprofit Program, and Google Workspace for Nonprofits.

It also provides up to $10,000 in Google Ads credit renewable monthly to boost your nonprofit’s marketing efforts. Use the ads to attract donors, find volunteers, and build awareness for your nonprofit.

To qualify for Google Ad Grants, your organization must match your country’s nonprofit criteria requirements and not be a government entity, hospital, healthcare organization, school, or educational institution.

3. NBCUniversal Local Impact Grants

The NBCUniversal Local Impact Grants awarded nearly $2.5 million to nonprofits in 2023 through 11 NBC and Telemundo-owned television station markets. Organizations with total expenses under $1 million can apply for unrestricted funds to support the diverse community across youth education and empowerment, next-generation storytellers, and community development.

4. Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Grants

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offers grants to nonprofits that achieve measurable impact in eliminating poverty, disease, and inequity worldwide. Grants account for 90% of the organization’s charitable giving, which is its largest vehicle for funding. U.S.-based 501(c)(3) organizations can apply for funding to make a meaningful difference.

5. Bloomberg Philanthropies Grants

Bloomberg Philanthropies awards grants to nonprofits in Canada, Mexico, and the U.S. The organization looks to fund nonprofits supporting five key areas: the arts, education, environment and sustainability, government innovation, and public health.

6. Silicon Valley Community Foundation Grants

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation supports nonprofits in many areas. Consider applying if your nonprofit advances financial stability, early childhood development, housing, arts and culture, environment, faith, health, and many other impact categories.

7. Walmart Foundation Community Grants

The Walmart Foundation provides local community grants (from $250 to $5,000) to nonprofits that directly benefit the area where the local Sam’s Club or Walmart store operates. Your nonprofit can use the funds in various areas:

  • Community and economic development
  • Diversity and inclusion
  • Education
  • Environmental sustainability
  • Health and human services
  • Hunger relief and balanced eating
  • Public safety
  • Quality of life

8. Bank of America Charitable Foundation Grants

Bank of America’s nonprofit grants focus on funding local organizations to help improve people’s financial wellness and meet community needs. The nonprofit areas include:

  • Workforce development and education
  • Food
  • Housing
  • Economic mobility
  • Community development

Grants in smaller markets will range from $2,500 to $25,000, while grants in larger markets can range from $5,000 to $50,000.

9. Coca-Cola Foundation Grants

The Coca-Cola Foundation provides grants to nonprofits that help local communities by empowering women, protecting the environment, educating scholars, and enhancing communities. In 2022, the Coca-Cola Foundation gave over 387 donation grants.¹

10. Ford Foundation Grants

The Ford Foundation awards around 1,500 grants annually to nonprofits with transformative and scalable solutions to eliminate inequality. Opportunities and open fund grants change with time, so check out the Ford Foundation’s grant page to see what’s available. You can also sign up for email updates to learn when new opportunities arise.

11. The Rockefeller Foundation Grants

The Rockefeller Foundation is one of the world’s most influential and long-standing philanthropic organizations. Dedicated to promoting the well-being of humanity worldwide, it has provided billions in funding for groundbreaking initiatives across various sectors.

Here are some of the organization’s priorities:

  • Health: The foundation has historically worked to eradicate diseases. Today, it focuses on global health issues, including supporting health systems and access to healthcare.
  • Food: The foundation ensures more equitable and nutritious food access and improves agricultural productivity to combat climate change.
  • Energy: The foundation promotes access to sustainable energy to end energy poverty and boost economic development.
  • Innovation: The foundation values innovative approaches to solving global challenges, often funding new technologies or strategies scalable for greater impact.
  • Economic opportunity: The foundation supports efforts to expand access to meaningful work and promote economic stability, especially when addressing economic disparities and promoting inclusive growth.

12. W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grants

The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the U.S.² Rooted in supporting children, families, and communities, its mission is to create and implement transformative solutions to address conditions that ensure all children have equitable opportunities.

WKKF accepts applications throughout the year without deadlines or specific grantmaking cycles.

13. The Kresge Foundation Grants

The Kresge Foundation seeks to expand opportunities in America’s cities through grantmaking and social investing. Over the years, the Kresge Foundation has strengthened pathways to opportunity for low-income people in American cities. Annually, the foundation gives more than 400 grants to nonprofits, averaging around $160 million in recent years.

14. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grants

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation works to improve the health and well-being of individuals and communities in the U.S. It focuses on major health issues, including access to care, healthy communities, and public health. RWJF periodically issues calls for proposals (CFPs) for specific projects or research areas. Each CFP has guidelines, deadlines, and focus, so check them out before applying.

15. Big Sea’s Wavemakers Grant

The Wavemakers Grant by Big Sea is a competitive marketing grant tailored for nonprofit organizations pursuing innovative marketing projects. This grant empowers nonprofits to transform their unique and impactful marketing ideas into tangible results. Offering up to $30,000 in marketing services, this grant supports nonprofits ready to launch groundbreaking advertising campaigns.

Recipients of the Wavemakers Grant gain access to Big Sea’s comprehensive expertise in nonprofit content marketing. Services provided include assistance in refining and defining your brand, clarifying your messaging, developing your website, designing marketing materials, and expanding your donor community.

16. National Endowment for the Arts Grants

The National Endowment for the Arts is an independent federal agency committed to fostering the arts across the U.S. Each year, the NEA awards approximately 2,300 grants to nonprofit arts organizations, fueling a wide range of creative projects and initiatives.

NEA grants cater to a diverse spectrum of needs to support small and large organizations. The Challenge America grant specifically aids small nonprofits in extending arts programs to underserved communities with grants valued at $10,000.

17. Wells Fargo Nonprofit Grants

Wells Fargo supports nonprofit organizations through grants focusing on community development, education, and environmental sustainability. In 2022, the organization launched a $420 million national small business recovery effort, which includes grants and donations for nonprofits. Apply on Wells Fargo’s website to download the right forms and learn about the grant process.

Fuel Your Fundraising with Classy

While nonprofit grants may play a significant role in your organization’s strategy, these likely won’t make up most of your fundraising. In fact, Giving USA found that grants from foundations and corporations make up just 21% of the giving pie, while contributions from individuals make up 64%.³

That means fundraising will likely be the primary way you fuel your nonprofit, and grants will help provide supplemental revenue to support specific projects.

Fundraising campaign built on Classy Studio

Trust Classy’s comprehensive fundraising platform to fuel your direct giving, peer-to-peer, and hybrid event fundraising efforts. Our platform provides everything you need to attract supporters, inspire donations, and sustain your mission, including:

Request a demo to see Classy’s fundraising platform in action.

Copy Editor: Ayanna Julien

Article Sources:

  1. “The Coca-Cola Foundation,” The Coca-Cola Company, accessed March 4, 2024, https://www.coca-colacompany.com/social/coca-cola-foundation.
  2. “Grantseekers,” W.K. Kellogg Foundation, accessed March 4, 2024, https://www.wkkf.org/grantseekers/.
  3. “4 Key Findings for Nonprofits from the 2023 Giving USA Report,” Bonterra, accessed March 4, 2024, https://www.bonterratech.com/blog/4-key-findings-nonprofits-2023-giving-usa-report.
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