Grants are not just “free” money. Grantors want to see a return on investment, usually in the terms of impact and ongoing sustainability. Eligibility varies and each grant has its own requirements. Entities must apply for grant funding for a specific project or purpose.
Grantors will request information to document capacity: the ability to manage the money and carry out the proposed project/program after the grant runs out. This often includes financial records of the organization (possibly audits), number of staff or volunteers, history of programming, experience managing grants, and certifications or credentials.
Grants typically come with a lot of rules and restrictions on how funds can be spent. Failure to comply with the grant requirements can result in having to pay back the grant.
- Grant funding comes from foundations, corporations, or the government.
- Generally, only non-profits, units of government, and federally recognized tribes are eligible for grants. Opportunities for for-profit businesses are very limited (often tied to job creation or a specific industry).
- Grantors don’t like to fund 100% of a program/project, they want to see other funding and support.
- Most grants are project or programming based.
- Construction and general operating grants are very rare.
- Some grants require the grantee to spend the money upfront and then they are reimbursed for eligible expenses by submitting proper documentation including things like receipts, paid invoices, etc.
This list is not intended to be all-inclusive, but rather highlight some accessible opportunities.
EcoDevo does not always have the capacity to offer assistance with grants and may decline requests for assistance.
EcoDevo can sometimes serve as a fiscal sponsor for projects if approved by our board of directors. You can learn more about fiscal sponsorship here.