Traditional values plus hard work equals sweat equity, and that’s exactly what agencies of all kinds look for when looking over applications for available community grants. A community grant is funding at a set amount solely designated to achieve a specific purpose within a local community to promote quality of life standards. Community grants are usually awarded to 501-C-3 organizations, opposed to businesses or individuals. Good old Uncle Sam also knows the value of sweat equity and using the trickle-down theory, and allocates federal money to states made available in the form of community government grants.
When seeking community grants, the knowledgeable government grants for community seeker will turn to corporate foundations first. One of the first things you need to know about corporate community grants is what they will not fund. Generally speaking, most corporations will not accept community grants applications to fund the following:
- Programs outside the awarded site community
- Endowments or capital-improvement campaigns
- Unrestricted gifts (Non-set amounts or general use purpose community grants)
- Sectarian or denominational religious organizations
- Private schools
- Organizations that practice discrimination
- Sporting events or teams
- Healthcare organizations even if nonprofit
- Arts organizations
- Any form of advertising
- Scholarship awards in the name of another organization (Secondary scholarships)
- Fundraising activities or events, raffles, or giveaways
- Travel or tours
- Extracurricular activities or clubs
- General operating expenses for debt-retirement for organizations
Now that you know what won’t be funded, if your project falls outside the scope of the above you have a pretty good shot at winning one or more available corporate community grants. Some of the top five major players offering corporate community grants are:
- The Intel Corporation
- Home Depot
- CVS / Caremark
- Best Buy
- Pepsi Cola Foundation with the new Pencils Down project
Now, let’s turn our attention to community government grants. Community government grants are applied for and won at the state and local levels. Following federal mandates, good old Uncle Sam has to dole-out federal revenue to states which are in turn required to pass that government grants for community allotment along to local cities and counties.
The l Public Welfare Foundation, a little known and used federally supported foundation offers financial assistance in the form of community government grants in the areas of criminal justice, juvenile justice and workers rights. The American Legacy Foundation is a federally supported foundation which offers local community government grants of up to one hundred thousand dollars to support efforts to reduce or prevent tobacco use.
When searching federal and state databases for current community government grants, be sure and use keywords specific to your mission or cause. A prime example of this is the state of Alaska. Alaska has plenty of available community government grants in the areas of state conservation, waterway maintenance, and fishing. By contrast, the state of Florida offers community government grants to help keep up and restore beaches.
Keep in mind that traditional values and hard work equals sweat equity, and that’s exactly what agencies of all kinds look for when looking over applications for available community grants. Select private foundations and corporate foundations have money available and don’t forget to look for available community grants.