Grants for Nonprofits: 11 Worth Exploring before the End of 2023
Grants offer tremendous funding opportunities for nonprofits looking to scale. Score the right grant, and you may secure all 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 for nonprofits, grant applications can be time-consuming for the grant writer and nonprofit organization. Grant writing requires skill, so choose the types of grants you pursue wisely to avoid losing time you could’ve spent 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 2023.
What Are Nonprofit Grants?
A nonprofit grant often looks like other financial donations typically given by public or private foundations, government agencies, or corporations. Since these come from large organizations, the sums are larger than you’ll receive from individual donors and are sometimes exempt from taxes.
You’ll also find that, unlike standard donations, grants typically have more rules and guidelines surrounding them. Often, funding organizations will stipulate how you can use your grant funds. So rather than using them at your discretion, you might have to put the funding toward a specific program or initiative.
In a sense, grants switch the fundraising model for nonprofits. Instead of encouraging supporters to donate to your program, you actively petition an organization to choose your nonprofit.
Whether in the process of sourcing a new grant opportunity or learning how to write a grant proposal, you need to stand out among the competition.
Scoring a 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 shows 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 might expose your brand to potential donors and partners.
- Repetition: 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.
- Government grants: Federal, 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.
- Corporate grants: Corporate grants come from large enterprises that often reserve a percentage of available funds for annual nonprofit grants or provide credit for goods and services. For example, Google Ad Grants offers up to $10,000 per month for eligible nonprofits. Learn more about Google Ads for Nonprofits.
- Foundation grants: Foundation grants come from philanthropic organizations (like families, private groups, public groups, or community funds) to help advance causes or nonprofits in a specific locale.
- Launch: Launch grants require that your funding go to a specific project, service, product, or campaign.
- Technology: Technology grants come from corporations and tech companies that 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 operations: General operations grants are nonprofit grants that allow you to use the money as you see fit.
- 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, which come 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 grants: Competitive grants require you to submit a grant proposal answering questions and explaining why your nonprofit deserves the grant funding. Reviewers will evaluate your proposal and give it a score 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 Know If You Should Apply for a Nonprofit Grant
Every nonprofit has a unique set of goals and funding needs. Because of this, knowing which projects or initiatives align with a grant opportunity can get confusing.
With so many grant types available, you’re almost always eligible for something. Corporations and community foundations provide grants for practically every stage of your journey, from building the infrastructure of your organization to scaling your services. Whenever you want to expand your organization or help more people, check to see if there’s a funding opportunity that can support you.
Winning grants takes work, and you’ll likely have to apply more than once. But stick with it. Scoring your first nonprofit grant is the hardest part. Once you’ve earned one, you can use that accomplishment and momentum to win more.
Equally important, take a strategic approach to which grants you pursue and when you apply. If you do your research, you’ll avoid wasting valuable time chasing a grant that won’t help you reach your short-term or long-term goals.
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 purposes outlined by the grant funder? For example, reconsider applying for a technology grant if you’ve already built a successful tech 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?
11 Best Nonprofit Grants to Explore Before the End of 2023
Not every nonprofit 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.
1. 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, 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 be eligible 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.
2. 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
- Environmental sustainability
- Health and human services
- Hunger relief and balanced eating
- Public safety
- Quality of life
3. Amazon Web Services IMAGINE Grants
Amazon Web Services (commonly referred to as AWS) offers its IMAGINE grant to nonprofits using cloud technology to solve the world’s problems. Award grant packages can 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. Your nonprofit also must demonstrate how technology is a mission-critical component of your projects, products, or services and how you’ll use the cloud to drive toward your goals.
4. Bank of America Charitable Foundation Grants
Bank of America’s nonprofit grants focus on funding local organizations to help improve people’s financial situations and meet community needs. The nonprofit areas include:
- Workforce development and education
- 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.
5. The Carnegie Foundation Grants
The Carnegie Foundation’s grants for nonprofits offer funding for state-based work that brings higher education and resources to African students. Grant submissions and approvals occur on a rolling basis, so no need to worry about meeting any deadlines.
In 2022, funding amounts ranged from $100,000 to $975,000.
6. 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. The Foundation gave out over 350 donation grants in 2021 and aims to invest 2% of Coca-Cola’s operating income into grantmaking in the future.1
7. Ford Foundation Grants
The Ford Foundation awards around 1,500 grants annually to nonprofits with transformative and scalable solutions aimed at eliminating 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.
8. The Rockefeller Foundation Grants
The Rockefeller Foundation is one of the most influential and long-standing philanthropic organizations in the world. Dedicated to promoting the well-being of humanity throughout the world, 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 been involved in eradicating diseases. Today, it continues to focus on global health issues, including supporting health systems and access to healthcare.
- Food: The foundation is committed to ensuring more equitable and nutritious food access and improving agricultural productivity to combat climate change.
- Energy: The foundation promotes access to sustainable energy, aiming 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.
9. W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grants
The W.K. Kellogg Foundation is one of the largest philanthropic foundations in the United States.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, and there are no deadlines or specific grantmaking cycles.
10. 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 been deeply involved in efforts to strengthen 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.
11. 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 United States. 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 its guidelines, deadlines, and focus.
Fuel Your Fundraising with Classy
While nonprofit grants may play a significant role in your organization’s strategy, these likely won’t make up the bulk 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 and support specific projects.
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 keep your nonprofit funded, including:
- Customizable donation websites
- Seamless donor management software
- Secure donation payment processing
- Intuitive event registration software for nonprofits
- Scalable peer-to-peer fundraising platforms
- Modern online auction software and mobile bidding
- Sustainable recurring donations
Request a demo to see Classy’s fundraising platform in action.
Copy Editor: Ayanna Julien
- “The Coca-Cola Foundation,” Social, Coca-Cola, accessed October 10, 2023, https://www.coca-colacompany.com/social/coca-cola-foundation.
- “Grantseekers,” W.K. Kellogg Foundation, accessed October 10, 2023, https://www.wkkf.org/grantseekers/.
- “4 Key Findings for Nonprofits from the 2023 Giving USA Report,” Bonterra, last modified July 26, 2023, https://www.bonterratech.com/article/2023-giving-usa-report.
See Classy in Action
Subscribe to the Classy Blog
Get the latest fundraising tips, trends, and ideas in your inbox.
Thank you for subscribing
You signed up for emails from Classy