Natural Disasters & The Grants That Help Those Affected

Natural disasters, such as hurricanes, are becoming the norm in today's world. There are ongoing debates as to the reason behind the increase in the intensity of said disasters. Whatever your beliefs, one thing is certain, the devastation that follows is becoming increasingly drastic.natural disasters

Recently, our friends and family in the eastern Caribbean and the east coast of North America waited with bated breath for hurricane Dorian to dissipate. The storm, dubbed as one of the most devastating natural disasters of this century,  ravaged the islands of the Bahamas, speared South Florida and continued north to wreak havoc as far north as Canada. In the days following the storm, Grant Watch's customer service department was inundated with phone calls, emails, and direct messages. People wanted to know if we had listings for grants to assist those affected by the storm.

A search of returned more than 400 disaster relief and financial assistance grants for nonprofits. But, the grant application process can sometimes be a lengthy one and those affected needed immediate help. We had an alternate suggestion. YouHelp! YouHelp is a crowdfunding platform powered by Grant Watch. This platform in 100% free! You keep all the funds raised, and the folks at GrantWatch will help to spread the word about your campaign. We suggested this ‘secret weapon’ to our users. With YouHelp, they can start a campaign to raise funds for administrative costs or simply use the funds collected to tide them over until their grants are approved.

According to, Every year natural disasters kill around 90,000 people and affect close to 160 million people worldwide. Here in Florida, we are home to an amazing array of natural disasters. Hurricanes, tropical storms and tropical depressions, tornadoes, wildfires, and floods regularly affect Florida's residents and visitors. I say, let’s be proactive. Let’s start to seek funding for our nonprofits before the need arises. Start a YouHelp campaign, use the funds collected to fund your nonprofit.

What else can you do?

  • Go to and donate to a campaign dedicated to helping the victims
  • Start a campaign of your own – you do not need to be part of a nonprofit organization to do this. Ask your friends and family to go fund your campaign.
  • Search for grants that will assist your nonprofit.
  • Look for donation station in your area – Give!
  • Are you an expert in supply chain or logistics – volunteer  – We all mean well, but if relief is not organized, chaos ensues.

How can we help you?

Where to Find Grants for International Economic Development

Getting that first grant takes a lot of time and effort for most grant seekers. People all over the world turn to GrantWatch for assistance when looking for funding for nonprofits or small businesses furthering economic development. 

The scope of financial assistance grants can include financially struggling individuals, families, communities, or tribes; general operating costs for your nonprofit or small business; and meeting basic nutritional needs. 

Other areas to search for international grants include community service grants, education and literacy, workforce development and advancing technology, improving medical conditions, and meeting healthcare needs. You can also find international grants for such critical areas as conflict resolution in war-torn regions of the globe, farming and agriculture to provide for people's needs, as well as export opportunities for the world market, improving the transportation infrastructure, and expanding a country's travel and tourism sectors. 

The first rule to remember when searching for a grant is to always check your eligibility. Don't waste time applying for a grant if you don't meet the funder's eligibility requirements. 

Once you win a grant, finding another is easier due to having gone through the process already, having built a relationship with the funder, having much of the required paperwork already on file, and having gained familiarity with the process. If you need assistance, you can hire a grant writer

Grants from US Government to Support International Development

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Nonprofits, For-Profits, Agencies, and IHEs to Support International Development Strategies, Deadline: 9/11/19.  

Grants to USA, Canada, and International nonprofit and for-profit organizations, IHEs, governmental organizations, and international and multilateral organizations to pilot and test creative international economic development strategies. Funding is intended to support ideas that can dramatically improve or save the lives of impoverished populations in developing countries. 

Innovations are not required to be technology-based but should be evidence-based. Other criteria are cost-effectiveness, and that will ultimately reach millions of people and become sustainable – not needing continued outside support.

These grant submissions can include applications to fund:

  • New technologies.
  • New ways of delivering or financing goods and services.
  • More cost-effective adaptations to existing solutions.
  • New ways of increasing uptake of existing proven solutions.
  • Policy changes, shifts, or nudges based on insights from behavioral economics.
  • Social or behavioral innovations. 
  • Economic Development


Grants for Nonprofits 

Nonprofits eligible for international grants can be based in the United States and serve other countries, or based in other countries. There are grants for refugee and immigrant needs, justice, quality of life, disaster relief, and all other categories listed on GrantWatch. 

Here are two international grants that can be used for education, community and economic development, social services, the environment, workforce development, and the environment.   

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Nonprofits for Basic Human Needs and Human Resources Development, Deadline: Ongoing. 

Grants in the areas of basic human needs, human resources development, and the promotion of international cooperation. Within this funding category, the Foundation will especially respect trans-national, cross-border activities, local and regional undertakings that may fall outside the reach of the public sector or other donor agencies, and initiatives to tackle pressing issues and long-range or persistent problems that require prompt and systemized care. 

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Nonprofits for Education,Social Service, Economic Development, and Environmental Programs, Deadline: Ongoing. 

Grants to International nonprofit organizations and educational institutions for charitable programs and projects that focus on the areas of education, social services, community and economic development, and the environment. The funding source considers requests for operating, program, capital, or endowment support. Priority is given to organizations that feature employee volunteer participation. 


In-Kind Grants:

An In-kind grant is a contribution of goods or services, other than cash grants – that speaks to the expertise or product of the funding source.

In-Kind Grants of Technical Resources and Assistance to USA, Canada, and International Nonprofits to Improve Software Operations, Deadline: Ongoing.

In-kind grants of technical resources and expertise to USA, Canada, and International nonprofit organizations to implement a software initiative. This program is intended to help nonprofits improve their operations by increasing efficiency and expanding outreach. Applicants should demonstrate how the project will engage as many users/supporters as possible. This grant is ideal for entities that have a high volume of internet traffic and are looking to expand on it.

This grant is wide in scope. Any project that assists or enables organizations that are focused on improving the well-being of humanity and/or the natural environment are welcome under this grant.

Grants for Businesses 

Competition for grants for start-up businesses and nonprofits is steep. Perhaps it's even higher in Africa than in other areas of the world.

Here are some differences that exist in what's considered a grant in Africa and some other countries. 

Three types of grants African businesses and nonprofits encounter when looking for funding on their continent include direct grants, equity grants, and repayable grants. 

Direct Grants: 

Direct Grants are cash awards given as part of the start-up capital or budget for expansion of a business. Direct grants are generally given only to those with substantial skin in the game – those who've invested a substantial amount of their own money in the total of investment capital required for the project.  

Equity Grants:

What Americans would call investment capital is often referred to as "equity grants" by African funders. Here the grant funders obtain partial ownership or equity in the business. 

Repayable Grants

When we in the United States talk about grants, we generally refer to money given for a specific purpose that does not need to be repaid. In Africa, and some other countries, some funders offer a type of loan they call "repayable grants." Repayable grants are offered to business owners, that are to be repaid over a period of time from revenues once a business is up and running. If for some reason the business fails the loan does not need to be repaid. 

So, make sure whether the grant you're applying for internationally is really an award that does not need to be repaid, or a type of low-interest loan. 

Find international grants for your business or nonprofit and more on  

About the Author: The author is a grant writer for GrantWatch and all GrantWatch affiliated websites.


Why Would You Think You Were Awarded A Grant If You Never Applied For It?

Did you ever get a call from someone claiming you'd been awarded a grant?

The saying, "If it sounds too good to be true, it is," holds true for grant offerings. Many listings for grants are not legitimate. If you didn't apply for it, you did not get a grant. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, FBI, and other federal agencies, fake U.S. grant scams are on the rise across the country. 

At GrantWatch, we research every grant we list so that people searching for grants can be sure of the authenticity of everything they find on our site. GrantWatch lists grants you can apply for. Our grants go through a grant researcher, grant associate, proofreader, editor, and publisher to make sure they are all legitimate and to protect people from scams. 

While you should never pay for a grant, you might find it helpful to pay for assistance in researching, locating, and applying for grants. What GrantWatch does is aggregate grants from foundations, corporations and government agencies, and lists them all in one place, published in an easy user-friendly searchable format. Due to all the work involved in the process, there is a fee. 

How to avoid a Grant Scam 

People get calls, emails, or letters claiming to be from branches of the federal government like the IRS or the FBI that say they've won a free grant, and that all they have to do is pay the processing fee or provide their bank account and/or their social security number to receive the money.

Remember: No legitimate federal government agency employee would ever call and tell you that you qualify or have been approved for a grant that you haven't applied for.

According to Security University founder and CEO, Sondra Schneider, "There's definitely a lot of people who send out bait and want to get a hook into you, so you need to check the hook. Check the URL address, explore the website, do a screenshot when you get emails or texts." 

"You want to validate the hook. There's no way a valid URL will look fishy. If people go to places like SAM to apply for grants, chances are slim that you'll be scammed. Real grantors will never call you up and ask you for personal contact information, after you've already been awarded a grant."  If you applied all of that would have been in the original application.

If you're really awarded a grant, you will get an email, a letter, and a phone call from the grantors to set up a time to meet with you.  

Fraud Alert

    What not to do

    • Do not assume the caller ID is accurate. Caller IDs can be manipulated to provide false information. Have you ever gotten a call (or email\) that look like they're coming from you yourself? Clearly, that's not possible, so suffice it to say that if scammers can make the call look like a call is coming from you, they can make it look like it's coming from Discover Card, Merchant Services, or the IRS.
    • Do not pay any money for a grant and never share your banking information with anyone if you are not sure who they are no matter how hard they pressure you or try to convince you of their legitimacy. 
    • Do not give your personal information over the phone. Ask for the caller to send you the proposal in writing. You will most likely not hear from them again. If you do, check the email carefully. 
    • Do not make any payments by prepaid cards or money transfers. These are like using cash and there will be no way to get your money back once you've paid. 

    What to do 

    • GrantWatch makes it easy to find grants and send you directly to the link of where to apply for foundation and government grants without having to go through a difficult search navigating the web. Grant applications that are from will start with is the only official list for all federal grant opportunities.  
    • Check to be sure what agency the grant issuer represents. Do a search and make sure that agency, department or foundation actually exists. 
    • Check the Index of Government Agencies. Many scammers are "look-alikes," seeming to be the real agency but with wording that is slightly different.


    If you think you've made an error in judgment and have been taken advantage of, contact the Federal Trade Commission Department of Consumer Information as soon as possible, and file a consumer complaint or contact your state through the State Consumer Protection Offices and your State's Attorney General

    You can learn more about these scams and be sure you are not falling for one on the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services website – website as well as on the website.   

    For more information, visit the Federal Trade Commission's Consumer Information page on government grant scams. 

    For information on real grants your nonprofit or business can apply for go to where you will find thousands of verified grant listings that are updated daily. 

    About the Author: The author is a grant writer for GrantNews and all GrantWatch websites.


    Achieve Independence Through Start-Up Grants For Businesses and Nonprofits

    The Fourth of July is a time we naturally think about independence. What does independence mean to you? In what ways do you wish to be more independent? GrantWatch lists many start-up grants for nonprofits and small businesses

    Everyone loves the idea of "free money." Nothing sounds better if you're starting or running a business. Many small business grants are primarily open to companies in the science, technology, or health fields. If your business is involved in research and development, environmental and climate-related initiatives, then federal grant programs might be available to you. 

    Small business grants you can fall under are Federal, state, local or corporate grants. We also have listings by categories that can help you locate the best grants for your start-up business or nonprofit. Make sure to find out everything you need to know about eligibility requirements, timelines, and the application process for each grant.

    Grants for women
    Grants for minorities
    Grants for veterans
    Grants for capital funding

    The Small Business Administration (SBA) is also a helpful source for small business owners, helping business owners create, build and expand their businesses. The SBA is primarily known for its great loan programs, but the agency also offers a few business awards. 

    If you're looking to start a nonprofit, here are some tools from the Council for Nonprofits to help you get started, or a guide from 

    Here are 5 top grants to gain independence  

    Grants to USA Small Businesses to Research and Develop Marketable High-Risk Technologies, deadline, 12/12/19. 

    Grants to USA and territories small businesses for early-stage research and development projects. A Project Pitch must be submitted prior to the full proposal. Funding is intended to support the development of innovative, technically risky technologies in nearly any science and technology field that are likely to produce a societal or commercial impact. 

    Grants to USA Small Businesses to Promote Business Expansion, deadline, 8/15/19.

    Grants of $1.000, $2,000, and $10,000 to USA small businesses for business expansion. Funding is intended to assist business owners in bringing their operations to the next level. Applicants must describe how they overcame a past business challenge or how they're addressing a current challenge. Grants will be awarded to a grand prize winner, first runner-up, and second runner-up. 

    If you dream of starting a school, you can find Grants for USA New Charter Schools in Multiple States to Support Start-Up Activities, Deadline: Ongoing 

    Grants to Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York City, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, and Washington, D.C. charter schools that opened in 2018 or those planning to open in 2019 or 2020. Applicants must complete an eligibility questionnaire before applying. Funding is intended to support the start-up and launch costs associated with opening a new school.

    Traditional start-up grants vary depending on funding needs and network size and range from $100,000 to $325,000. The Foundation is currently accepting inquiries from operators that opened a school in fall 2018, or are planning to open in 2019 or 2020. 

    Even if you don't live in the United States, start-up grants could help you start a business or nonprofit. Start-up grants and grants to expand production and improve operations are listed on GrantWatch for Canada and other countries as well 

    Financial Assistance to Canada Businesses and Nonprofits in Multiple Provinces to Improve Operations, Deadline: Ongoing

    Financial assistance to New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island businesses and nonprofit organizations seeking to expand or improve their operations. Applicants must contact their local program office prior to submitting an application. 

    They can help you start up, expand or modernize your business. Focusing on small and medium-sized enterprises, they provide access to capital in the form of interest-free repayable assistance. Most business sectors are eligible except retail/wholesale, real estate, government services, and services of a personal or social nature.

    Businesses can apply for financing to: 

    • Start-up, expand and modernize
    • Develop and commercialize products or services
    • Improve their competitiveness

    Grants to USA and Canada Women Entrepreneurs to Start a Business or Grow an Existing Business, Deadline: Ongoing

    Grants of $2,000 to USA and Canada women entrepreneurs to start a business or develop an existing business. One grant will be awarded each month. One of the 12 monthly winners will be awarded a $25,000 grant at the end of 2019. Funding is intended to help women achieve their entrepreneurial dreams.

    In addition to grants, crowdfunding can help you start or expand your business or nonprofit. Start a free crowdfunding campaign on YouHelp and follow the six weeks of success tips.

    Find start-up business grants and funding to expand your existing business on MWBEzone, or grants for your nonprofit on GrantWatch




    About the Author: The author is a staff writer for GrantWatch and all GrantWatch affiliates.


    The Summer Solstice Is A Great Time to Apply for Agriculture Grants

    The Summer Solstice happens at the same moment for everyone, everywhere on Earth. It marks the first day of summer 2019 for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere and in the NH it will be the longest day of the year.. For those who live in the Southern Hemisphere, this is the shortest day of the year and the arrival of winter.

    This year Summer Solstice arrives on Friday 21st June.

    Due to the tilt of the Earth on it's axis, 23.5 degrees relative to the plane of its orbit, different places on the planet have longer days or shorter days at different times of the year. Each hemisphere experiences half a year tilted toward the sun and the other half tilted away from it. For those tilted towards the sun this half of the year, the June Solstice means we are in the warmest time of the year,

    a time of planting, sowing, and harvesting, a time for vacations and travel, a time to be more active, a time for exploring nature, going to festivals, and spending more time with our loved ones. 

    Now is a great time to apply for agriculture grants funding as well as farming and agriculture grants furthering future development.  

    Urban agriculture grants 

    Cities have limited space for gardens and farming. Community gardens have become popular for those wishing to have a plot of land in the city for organic gardens for themselves and their families. 

    Grants to New Jersey Individuals and Non-Federal Entities for Conservation Projects on Agricultural Land, Deadline: 07/14/19 

    Grants ranging from $25,000 to $75,000 to New Jersey non-Federal entities and individuals to promote the development and implementation of creative conservation strategies and technologies on agricultural lands. Required registrations may take several days to complete. The proposal must involve Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) eligible producers and should demonstrate the use of innovative technologies or approaches to address a natural resource concern in one of the following sub-categories: Urban Agriculture, Soil Health, Forest Health, and Hydroponics.

    Grants to San Francisco, California Nonprofits, For-Profits, Agencies, and Property Owners to Track Irrigation, Deadline: Ongoing

    Grants of up to $10,000 and additional rebates to San Francisco, California nonprofits, schools, hospitals, local government agencies, groups, neighborhood associations, property owners, developers, and businesses for the installation of a dedicated irrigation water service and meter. 

    Sustainable agriculture grants 

    In addition to the category of sustainable agriculture, you can find grants under conservation and environmental preservation. 

    Grants to USA Farmers, IHEs, Nonprofits, and For-Profits in Northeast States to Promote Sustainable Agriculture, LOI deadline: 6/25/19, Deadline: 10/29/19 

    Grants starting at $30,000 to USA farmers, researchers, educators, graduate students, and agricultural service providers in the Northeast region for research to promote sustainable agriculture in the Northeast region. Applicants are required to submit a preproposal prior to applying. The Northeast region includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Vermont, and Washington, D.C. 

    Applicants must have the institutional capacity and support networks necessary to carry out the project. Northeast SARE welcomes preproposals from a wide range of stakeholders including university and extension staff, agricultural nonprofits, research farm, and experiment station personnel, private consultants, agriculture-related businesses and organizations, government agencies, and others who work in farming and food systems.

    Applicants will be notified if they are invited to submit a full proposal on August 12, 2019. Feedback that may be used to strengthen a full proposal will be provided to project leaders with invited preproposals by August 30, 2019. For preproposals not invited to submit full proposals, feedback will be provided to project leaders by the end of September. 

    Professional development for farmers 

    Grants to USA Farmers, IHEs, Nonprofits, and For-Profits in Northeast States for Training in Sustainable Agriculture

    Grants starting at $30,000 to USA farmers, researchers, educators, graduate students, and agricultural service providers in the Northeast region for training in sustainable agriculture practices. Applicants must submit a preproposal prior to applying. The Northeast region includes Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Vermont, and Washington, D.C.  

    About the Author: The author is a staff writer for GrantWatch and all GrantWatch affiliates.

    5 Grant Myths That Need to Die

    Being in the world of grants and nonprofits, we hear a lot of half-truths, misconceptions and downright myths surrounding grants and funding, and its time to set the record straight. Our goal is to clear up some of the misconceptions that our audience may be under so that they can apply for grants with the correct information in hand. So for your viewing pleasure, here are five grant myths that just need to go away forever.

    1) Grant Money Has to be Paid Back:  

    This is one of those questions that we at GrantWatch get all the time, "When do I have to pay the money back? A grant is not a loan, and unless a nonprofit breaks a rule regarding the funding, the money never needs to be paid back. Be aware that there are rules regarding how the funds can be spent, and grant recipients must allocate all the requested funds in the grant application.

      2) Grant-Giving-Organizations Require Upfront Payment:

    Of all of the myths on this list, this might be the one that we get calls about the most. Unfortunately, there are a lot of scams out there, and this is one of them. It should never cost a nonprofit or individual to apply for or receive a grant. If you are asked for upfront payment in order to receive funding, it is most likely a scam. Avoid this at all costs. And if you or anyone you know is the victim of a grant-related scam, fill out a report at

    If you think you may have been a victim of a government grant scam, file a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission online, or call toll-free, 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357); TTY: 1-866-653-4261. You can also report grant-related scam attempts to the Health and Human Services (HHS) Fraud Hotline at 1-800-447-8477.

    3) Nonprofits Should Only Apply For Grants in Their Direct Sector:

     So this is a less obvious myth, but no less harmful to successfully navigating grants and funding. Grants generally have multiple categories which grant seekers can apply under. For example, there's a grant listed on with this description: "Grants ranging from $3,000 to $15,000 to North Carolina nonprofit organizations and government agencies for new or existing programs that make a positive impact on the lives women and girls in Avery, Ashe, or Watauga Counties". This grant is listed in the grants for women on the website but is cross-listed for other categories such as children, community service, secondary education, and youth/out-of-school-youth, among others. 

    4) Re-applying for a Grant Next Cycle is a Waste of Time:

    This myth actually makes sense, but it's predicated on the wrong criteria. There is a limited amount of grant funds that are allocated from the source giving out funds, whether it's a municipality awarding funds to a nonprofit to improve a community or a foundation giving a specified amount of money for a category-based-project. Qualifying for a grant doesn't guarantee funding, but there's always next quarter or next year or whatever the criteria are for re-applying.

    5) Grant Applications Are Useless After Rejection Or Submission:

    This is not exactly a myth, because it kind of depends. If you hire a grant writer or someone in your nonprofit writes an incredible application, then that piece of writing is inherently not useless. A good piece of writing can be re-examined, tweaked, and be used again for another application. That's why it is critical to save all the parts of the process and past applications. This also has the added benefit of allowing you and your team to see what works and what doesn't. Having proficient writers on your team, or hiring out to resources like GrantWriterTeam, is a crucial step to take when filling out your grant applications.

    Hope this myth-busting list helps you on your grant journey, happy searching! 

    About the Author: Lianne Hikind writes for and other publications.

    Capital Grants: Do You Know the Five Essential Elements?

    Capital grants are unique in the grants world. They are the most time-limited of projects with finite objectives and closed-end Gantt charts. Moreover, opportunities for capital grants are highly competitive.

    As we speak, I am aware of at least ten multi-million-dollar capital campaigns in progress within sixty miles of my home. That is a lot of capital need to spread around in a small philanthropic community.

    With that said, do not be dissuaded from pursuing your capital dreams. According to the Foundation Center, capital grants represented about 21 percent of all funds awarded to nonprofits in 2011. That’s up by a few percentage points from prior years, suggesting funders see capital projects as a viable way to leverage the outcomes of their philanthropic investments.

    Of course, they’re right. Capital grants cover a wide range of activities and are often the most high profile of nonprofit endeavors. For example, capital grants support:

    • Equipment, furnishing, and other major material purchases
    • Renovations, refurbishment, remodeling, rehabilitation, etc. for outdated facilities
    • Construction of new facilities
    • Land purchases
    • Capital campaigns (formal approaches to major construction projects)
    • Matching/challenge grants for capital campaigns

    Let’s be clear. Grants are not going to be the sole source for your project unless you find a single funder to support a small renovation project or piece of equipment. The larger the capital need, the more types of support you must secure for it. In most cases, you’ll need to align more than one grantor (private or government), more than one sponsor, and more than a few donors to support the full cost of your project.

    Five Essential Elements

    I have worked on capital grants to support projects from mobile health units to IT infrastructure improvements to major new construction projects. The successful ones always contain five essential elements.

    • Grants are part of a larger, phased capital campaign.
    • The capital campaign secures lead donors and board gifts before grant seeking begins.
    • The project offers potential grantmakers, and especially corporate sponsors, volunteer opportunities—both large and small.
    • The campaign incorporates regular and authentic public recognition of funders through diverse communication channels.
    • The campaign publication materials include a recognition policy with naming opportunities by giving level.

    These five elements reflect a common theme. Capital grants are especially ripe for an integrated approach to grant seeking. What is an integrated approach? It involves incorporating the best practices from fundraising, communications/marketing, and grant seeking in ways that yield a significantly more coordinated approach, more invested funders and donors, and a broader audience of supporters.

    For example, the use of naming opportunities is a standard development practice. If that is so, and since grant writers are development professionals, it only makes sense to include naming opportunities in a grant proposal—especially for a capital project. Similarly, getting TV or radio coverage for the campaign is a fantastic opportunity to recognize publicly your lead funders, sponsors, and donors via mass media. It is also an opportunity for potential funders—perhaps some you have not even solicited—to buy into your project because they see their philanthropic colleagues invested in your work.

    A Deeper Look at Matching and Challenge Grants

    I’m sure some of you are curious, as I once was, about the differences between matching and challenge grants. They sound perfect for capital projects, don’t they? But what are they? And are they really different?

    • Challenge Grants —When awarding a challenge grant, a funder agrees to pay an organization a set amount of funds based on meeting a set fundraising challenge (i.e. raise X dollars from only new donors, raise X dollars from any donor in a defined period, raise X dollars from a combination of new and returning donors, etc.). Challenge grants only award funds after an applicant organization meets certain conditions; thus, the amount of money the organization receives could vary widely depending on its fundraising results. For example, the Kresge Foundation used to provide major capital challenge grants whereby the organization was responsible for raising 75 percent of the total funds needed, and once it did the Kresge Foundation would provide the remainder after some agreed-upon stipulations were met.
    • Matching Grants —When awarding matching grants, a funder agrees to pay an organization a specific amount of funds to match (i.e. one dollar for every one dollar raised, two dollars for every two dollars raised, etc.) what you raise in a defined period. Generally speaking, matching grants are not awarded contingent upon any set conditions and are usually awarded for a defined amount. For example, PBS commonly uses matching opportunities during its Spring Fundraising Drive. For every one dollar that I donate, one of its donors or sponsors will match my gift by contributing one dollar. Last year my local station had a three dollars to one dollar opportunity, and it spurred me to call in my returning membership because I knew it leveraged such substantial money from other sources.

    The Circle of Service Foundation in Chicago is an excellent case in point. It provides challenge grants based solely on the amount of new, private funds an organization raises during the grant period. It provides one dollar for every new dollar raised because it believes challenge grants help nonprofits attract new donors, improve board participation, and re-engage lapsed donors, among other benefits. That’s a ringing endorsement for using matching and challenge grants in any campaign but is especially helpful in major, multi-million-dollar capital projects.

    In the final analysis, challenge and matching grants are quite similar. The timing is one way to differentiate between the two. If the opportunity is at the beginning or end of the campaign, it is usually a challenge grant (unless they are used to shore up a campaign that is failing). Matching grants are more commonly an ongoing effort throughout the project. You should consider either or both of these grant opportunities for your next capital campaign.

    Bottom line

    There are capital grants available for your project, but they cannot stand alone. Integrate your grant seeking within the broader development plan, and you will secure more grant funding for your capital project.

    This article was originally published by CharityChannel. Reprinted with permission.

    Find capital grants under the capital funding category on

    About the Author: Heather Stombaugh has more than 15 years of experience in nonprofit leadership. She is an author and presenter for’s Nonprofit Charitable Orgs Channel, Charity Channel, CharityHowTo, and Thompson Interactive.

    Turning Tragedy Into a Legacy In Perpetuity – Jennifer Riordan Foundation Grants

    Last April, tragedy struck the Riordan family when a Southwest Airlines jet engine failed mid-flight, killing 43-year-old Jennifer Riordan and injuring seven other passengers. Jennifer Riordan, the wife of Michael and the mother of two, was vice president of community relations at Wells Fargo in Albuquerque and a prominent member of the Albuquerque community. It was a miracle that no one else on Southwest Flight 1380 was killed when the Boeing 737 plane flying from New York to Dallas with 149 passengers blew an engine which caused an explosion that blew out a window and damaged the fuselage. 

    Riordan served on the boards of many nonprofits and community projects like the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the University of New Mexico, and the local city government.

    The Jennifer Riordan Memorial Trust, created by the Riordan family, provided grants of $50,000 to seven nonprofits in 2018 from donations in her memory received from all over the world.

    Grant giving foundations annouce their grants by clicking this link

    These donations sparked the creation of the Jennifer Riordan Sparkle Fund, a donor-advised fund managed by the Albuquerque Community Foundation, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. 

    "The Jennifer Riordan "Sparkle" Fund is an endowed fund that is intended to last in perpetuity so her spirit and her generosity will continue on for the end of days,” said Joanna Colangelo, community impact director at Albuquerque Community Foundation. 

    “Our family has been absolutely overwhelmed with the compassion and support we’ve received from people around the world who have been touched by Jennifer’s spirit,” her husband Michael Riordan said in a statement. “The sole mission of this fund will be to continue Jennifer’s philanthropic enthusiasm to support organizations who shared her core value of striving to always be kind, loving, caring and sharing.” 

    The Albuquerque Community Foundation In Memory page described Jennifer as an inspiration to all who knew her.

    "Jennifer Riordan's DNA was comprised of love and kindness. In moments of division, Jennifer was a unifier. In times of need, Jennifer was giving. When a project seemed impossible, Jennifer became the champion. Jennifer's sheer existence was a lesson to others in how to not only be a good person – but to be a humble person, full of dignity, grace and unwavering joy. 

    Jennifer's energy touched every one of us at the Foundation and we will miss her laughter, enthusiasm and warmth tremendously. Jennifer: as your colleagues – and as your friends – the staff of the Albuquerque Community Foundation will forever carry your name, your generosity and your spirit. Your legacy will rest in all of us who continue to be guided by your infectious belief that when we work together for our community, nothing is impossible.   

    All of the funds received to date will be granted to nonprofit organizations this year, the news release said. An advisory board is working with the Albuquerque Community Foundation to identify how to use those funds in programming aligned with Jennifer Riordan's philanthropic spirit. Beneficiaries of the Jennifer Riordan Sparkle Fund are expected to be announced this summer. 

    The groups were selected with help from the Albuquerque Community Foundation for exemplifying four pillars of work designed to continue Jennifer Riordan's legacy: financial literacy, education, women's empowerment, and Albuquerque vitality. 

    Jennifer Riordan Grant Award Recipients 2019

    The Jennifer Riordan Foundation Awardees for 2018 were: 

    Junior Achievement $10,000
    Working Classroom $10,000
    Barrett Foundation $10,000
    Crossroads for Women $5,000
    Family Advocacy Center $5,000
    Galloping Grace Youth Ranch $9,000
    Annunciation Catholic School $1,000

    To qualify, organizations are invited to apply for the grant and propose how they will use it. 

    Grant to a New Mexico Nonprofit, School, or Agency to Promote Academic Success for Middle School Children in Eligible Areas, Conference Date: 6/5/2019, Deadline: 7/10/2019 

    The Jennifer Riordan Educate 2 Elevate (JRE2E) Grant is a collaborative funding opportunity that brings together funders from across New Mexico to pool resources and make at least one high impact grant of $50,000. The grant is a collaborative investment from funders in various sectors and encourages organizations to demonstrate similar collaborative thinking when submitting applications.

    The JRE2E grant is focused on supporting educational initiatives for middle school students. Funding is intended to advance the future personal, educational, and professional pathways of students in grades 6 through 8. Eligible initiatives must serve students in Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia and/or Torrance counties.

    • Funding areas include: 

    • Parent/adult/mentor involvement

    • Out-of-school time/extended learning programming

    • Project-based learning

    • Transitional programs

    • Career readiness

    • Teacher/professional development 

    This year's grant awards will be announced in August. 

    “My hope is that Jennifer’s Sparkle Fund is going to be a part of Albuquerque for as long as the Albuquerque Community Foundation,” Michael Riordan said. “I want my grandkids to be working on the board of the J.R. Sparkle Fund.” 

    In addition, Albuquerque Business First has created a Jennifer Riordan Woman of Influence Community Impact Award with Annemarie Ciepiela Henton, vice president of business development and marketing at Albuquerque Economic Development, named the first recipient on February 25, 2019. 

    People can make donations to the Jennifer Riordan "Sparkle" Fund through the Albuquerque Community Foundation. 

    For more grant-related news and listings of grant opportunities subscribe to the GrantWatch email list.

    About the Author: The author is a staff writer for GrantWatch.


    How Did We Get Grant Funding Solutions All In One Place for Nonprofits and Businesses?

    When Libby Hikind, founder and CEO of GrantWatch launched her first website in 2010, she was already an established, professional grant writer. Hikind, a national grants expert, began her career as a teacher in the New York City Department of Education, where she taught for nearly 30 years.  During her teaching career, Libby wrote a number of grants for her classroom and later went on to raise 11 million dollars for a Brooklyn school district. 

    While teaching in Staten Island, Libby continued to raise funds for the local elementary school and the community. This led her to establish her own grant writing agency in 1994, and the 1999 through 2001 publication of NYC GrantWatch, a grants fax newsletter for nonprofit organizations. 

    With the Internet and the possibility of digital notifications, NYC GrantWatch grew to NYS GrantWatch and then the tri-state area and the rest as they say "is history!"   GrantWatch is now the number one national and international grants website in the funding industry., the online resource for grants for nonprofits, government agencies, small businesses, and individuals, is a current up-to-date grant search engine for nonprofits, categorized geographically, by grant interest and keywords. 

    Each month, more than 120,000 people visit Visitors to the site cover the broad spectrum of grant recipients, nonprofit organizations including hospitals, universities, schools, community-based groups, neighborhood nonprofits, and small businesses. 

    • is a current up-to-date grant search engine for individuals and small businesses, categorized geographically, by grant interest and keywords. When you subscribe to GrantWatch you have full access to and

    • Libby’s second website, launched in 2013, matches grant seekers with highly skilled experienced grant writers. Grant writers assist nonprofits, small businesses, government agencies and individuals with a variety of services including researching funding opportunities, developing curriculum and designing crowdfunding campaigns. GrantWriterTeam's grant writers to help organizations with all these tasks. 

    Those seeking grants hire a grant writer when they don't have the time or know-how to effectively research, write and complete grant proposals while carrying out all their other job responsibilities. Hiring a professional, experienced grant writer can greatly increase an organization's chances of being awarded the grants they seek. 

    Grant writers can assist you by:

    • Researching grant prospects: Grant writers will do the research to locate grant opportunities the entity that hires them is eligible for, and pinpoint which are best for them to apply for from among federal, state, local and foundation grants and contracts. 
    • Developing business plans: Sometimes grant writers act as consultants evaluating the needs of a business or nonprofit. This can include developing marketable programs; putting together a plan of action; setting their goals and the steps to reach them down on paper, preparing mission and vision statements if the organization lacks them; making sure they have all the required documents required to submit with the grant proposal; and identifying venture or angel funding. 
    • Writing and developing curriculum: Grant writers often write or compile educational surveys; research existing curricula; and write age-appropriate curriculum.
    • Grant writing: Included in writing a the grant proposal are writing the grant proposal narratives; developing budgets; researching the needs of the target population; completing needs assessments; and researching literature for best practices. 
    • Evaluating programs: In addition, after a grant has been awarded, grant writers are often asked to be the ones to prepare evaluation reports and monitoring quality assurance to make sure that the organization can keep all the monies awarded. 
    • Crowdfunding: Another possible reason to hire a grant writer is to develop crowdfunding campaigns for entrepreneurs, nonprofits. teacher and students, artists, inventors, researchers, start-ups, social movements, sports teams. Grant writers can help their clients in developing social media strategies, fundraising materials, and identifying perks for contributors. 

    Other sites founded by Libby Hikind have grown the GrantWatch brand and provide comprehensive grant funding opportunities. 

    • This site synergizes crowdfunding with grant writing. The site enables you to raise money from individuals via the Internet. No waiting for a grant to be awarded – the money is in your nonprofit account the next day. You've already mapped out your proposal – so you just need a few pictures, a video and the passion for your program and the ability to reach your crowd through social media, email marketing, text, and calls. 

    • This website offers late-breaking grant and fundraising news. GrantNews is where organizations can showcase their cause, share their fundraising successes and read about other organizations’ personal trials and tribulations. Nonprofits can write about their organization and later include the article in their grant applications.

    Libby Hikind will be at the GPA Annual Conference at the Washington Hilton, November 6-9. Libby is speaking on the topic Get Your Writing Team on Task on the morning of November 7 at 11:00 am (11-12:15 pm).

    If you have an upcoming conference and would like Libby to speak – contact our office at 561 249-4129,

    If you are in need of grants or awards money, go to and sign up. Just put in your information, pick a plan and subscribe. Then, you can begin your search. You can also tour our archives for free!

    About the Author: The author is a staff writer for GrantWatch and all affiliated websites.


    Are You Ready To Launch A Capital Campaign?

    If you're preparing to launch a capital campaign, a lot of work goes into figuring out exactly how much money a nonprofit can realistically raise. When looking to raise large sums, proper planning, preparation, and execution of all phases of the capital campaign are crucial. 

    Nonprofits such as museums; community centers; faith-based organizations like churches, synagogues, mosques; and homeless shelters often seek funding through intricate, involved, capital campaigns to raise funds to purchase land, build a building, and/or renovate or preserve an existing structure.

    Capital campaigns can last for years, but it's important to list an end date and not let them drag on indefinitely. If you don't reach your goal, you can have a new campaign in the future, apply for grants and/or loans, or change your budget to reflect what makes sense based on the funds you've actually been able to raise. 

    According to Robert Happy, President of Averill Fundraising Solutions, LLC, "Nearly every nonprofit institution struggles when it comes to successfully executing capital campaigns." He offers some great tips in his article 10 Capital Campaign Do's and Don'ts for Better Fundraising, published by The Giving Institute. 

    In addition, Averill Fundraising Solutions offers a comprehensive toolkit on its website. Capital Campaigns: 11 Steps to Set and Exceed Your Goals, with information on Setting Capital Campaign Goals, Exceeding Capital Campaign Goals, and Maximizing Capital Campaign Success. 

    Another helpful article on the subject is 9 Capital Campaign Best Practices to Help You Succeed by Aly Sterling Philanthropy. 

    Here are 10 Best Practices to increase your capital campaign's success culled from our experience as well as gathered from nonprofit, philanthropy, and fundraising experts.

    1. Plan Ahead!

    This can include some of the steps below. Running a successful fundraising project of this magnitude generally requires a strategic plan and having a good team in place to ensure the campaign all runs smoothly.  

    It's important to make sure that you preserve annual giving so that you will have funds to continue operations, and possibly the higher expenses linked to a larger facility after the campaign. Donors who've just made donations in the tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars can feel overtaxed or put upon if expected to continue to give annually at the same level. 

    2. Choose your team 

    Your team can consist of a combination of your staff, executive committee, and board members.

    • Choose members who have experience with fundraising, connections, and/or you know are dependable and will remain actively involved until you reach the finish line.
    • Make sure the team can is cohesive and can operate effectively together.
    • Fragile egos and controlling attitudes can cause enough friction between staff and top-level volunteers to negatively impact your results. 
    • Determine what everyone's roles will be. 
    • Research and choose fundraising consultants who understand your needs, but will also be able to tell you the truth, no matter how hard it is to hear! 

    3. Hire a capital campaign consultant 

    • Successful campaigns will benefit from an outside fundraising and strategic planning expert or group of experts.
    • Fundraising consultants generally offer assistance with fundraising, strategic planning, and training leaders. Fundraising solutions and strategies generally include fundraising assessments, feasibility studies, and capital campaign management.
    • Even if there's an expert on your board or executive committee, if they are too close to the project, or emotionally involved, they will not be able to accurately and dispassionately gage how much you will be able to raise. 
    •  Determine your nonprofit's needs and goals together with the fundraising consultant. Fundraising consultants generally offer assistance with fundraising, strategic planning, and training leaders. Fundraising solutions and strategies generally include fundraising assessments, feasibility studies, and capital campaign management.

    4. Perform a feasibility study 

    • Phase one of a successful capital campaign will include a feasibility study to determine if your organization will be able to raise the funds you seek.
    • Simply wanting (or even needing) to raise a certain dollar amount isn’t enough to justify setting that as your fundraising goal. 
    • Prepare your case, learn your capacity, and prepare your donors and leadership for the campaign.  
    • Be willing to alter your plans based on the results of the study and the advice of the fundraising professionals you've contracted. 
    • Don't have architectural plans drawn up until you know how much you can successfully raise from your capital campaign.  

    5. Leverage the power of matching gifts. 

    It's important to ask for both lead gifts and major gifts. 

    • Everyone loves matching campaigns. Matching campaigns create win-win situations.
    • Does your organization have any members or businesses who contribute large sums annually? Ask them if they would be willing to match contributions up to a certain dollar amount as part of their annual giving.
    • Matching campaigns promote a sense of urgency and immediacy. 
    • Have a deadline for the matching campaign. 
    • Large donors often feel burdened, like they are carrying all the weight of insuring that the organization meets its financial obligations. They can get behind incentivizing others to give more.
    • Matchers along with grant funders, want to be sure that there are people who will step up to help the nonprofit in times of need and that they will not be expected to sustain it forever. 
    • People who can only afford smaller donations are motivated to give more when they know their contributions will be doubled, tripled or quadrupled.  

    6. Ask companies for donations.

    • Choose the right people to be involved in the ask. Do they have a connection with a certain company, or are they well-known influencers? Corporations will be happy to give if they are asked by a familiar name.
    • Provide the talking points and information to your fundraisers and donation solicitors.
    • Donations requested can be straightforward contributions, matching funds, in-kind donations, or a combination of these. 

    7. Apply for grants.  

    Part of your overall strategy can include supplementing your capital campaign funding with grants. GrantWatch lists grants for capital campaigns under the capital funding category. 

    • It's not always clear from the name and initial description of the grant whether it can be used to fund a capital campaign. 
    • To find grants for your capital campaign, look under grants in your state. Get creative and look under other categories as well, depending on the nature of your organization. 
    • Don't rule out in-kind grants. 

    Capital Campaigns Strategies that Work

    Here are some grants available on GrantWatch for capital campaign funding. 

    Grants to Central Indiana Nonprofits for Education, Health, Human Services, and Community Development, Deadline: Ongoing

    Grants to Central Indiana nonprofit organizations and cultural institutions for activities in the areas of education, community development, health, and human services. Funding may be requested for either capital campaigns and operating support. As an Indianapolis-based organization, the Foundation predominately makes grants to Central Indiana organizations as well as a few national medical research institutions.

    Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits to Benefit Residents of Hampden and Hampshire Counties, Deadline: 8/01/19

    Grants of up to $50,000 to Massachusetts nonprofit organizations to improve the quality of life for residents in Hampden and Hampshire counties. Prospective applicants must prequalify prior to submitting an application. Proposals may be in the areas of youth development, education, health, arts, religion, environment, and education. Capital Campaigns, building and renovation, land acquisition, and annual campaigns are all causes of particular interest to this Foundation. 

    8. Hire a professional grant writer. 

    A capital campaign is not the place to scrimp and save. Don't be pennywise and pound foolish. Getting a grant can make a huge difference for your capital campaign's success. 

    • If your nonprofit doesn't have a development director with grant writing experience and you don't have anyone on your team with grant writing skills, we recommend that you hire a professional grant writer.
    • To find an experienced, professional grant writer, put up a request for a grant writer on Our experienced grant writers will bid on your request and then you choose the grant writer who best suits your requirements. 

    In The Trenches, Are You Ready for a Capital Campaign

    9. Get commitments in writing and follow up on all pledges.

    Who will be responsible for making sure that all pledges are paid-in-full, quickly? Collections can be tricky and very delicate for nonprofits who count on maintaining good relationships with all donors. Life-circumstances can change and people are sometimes not able or willing to follow through on what they've committed to contributing. These can include any number of unplanned, unfortunate events including economic downturns, recessions, divorce, major illnesses, hospitalizations, and even unfortunately bankruptcies.   

    • Allow for a certain amount of leeway and wiggle room in your budget so you will not be caught in a bad situation if pledges promised don't materialize.
    • Make sure you have a system in place for collecting the funds, and a back-up if people don't follow through on their commitments.  
    • Invest in up-to-date donor management software for proper record keeping, accounting, to provide evaluations and feedback, and to help you get you poised for your next fundraising project. 

    10. Express Your Gratitude

    Be sure you thank all your contributors. Not enough can be said about the importance of making sure that each donor feels appreciated, included, and knows that you are grateful for their support. 

    • Send written thank you notes and letters.
    • Make it a point to express your thanks to donors at meetings and events and in your newsletters. 
    • Have a special event to thank major donors. 
    • Acknowledge donations through permanent reminders such as plaques on doors or wings of buildings. 
    • Be sure to thank volunteers as well for all their sweat equity support. 

    And for even more resources, here are two highly recommended books on the subject include Andrea Kihlestedt's, Capital Campaigns, strategies that Work, and Are You Ready for a Capital Campaign?: Assessing Your Nonprofit's Ability to Run a Major Fundraising Campaign by Linda Lysakowski.

    Find grants for your capital campaign on GrantWatch.   

    About the Author: The author is a staff writer for GrantWatch.