What are the major types of grants that are available?

Government: The federal government sponsors 1,000 grant programs offered by the 26 grant making agencies within its jurisdiction. These grants are designed to accomplish many different purposes, such as delivering services to a specific population, or conducting scientific research. These are advertised in the form of RFP’s (Request for Proposals) or NOFO (Notice of Funding Opportunity) and generally have very rigid formats, specific purposes, and strict deadlines. The State of Washington also administers a significant number of grant programs.  Applications are generally accepted once per year by each funding entity for a wide variety of community-based projects. 

Foundations & Corporations: Many large foundations and corporations provide grant funding to local government, educational institutions and nonprofit organizations. Most foundations restrict their giving to projects within a specific focus and geographic area. The three types of foundations include:

  • Community Foundations: foundations involved in grant giving within a specific community or region, (e.g. Community Foundation of North Central Washington).
  • Corporate Foundations: foundations which receive contributions from a profit-making entity, such as a corporation (e.g. Citigroup Foundation). Many corporate foundations only fund programs which directly impact communities located near their company operations.
  • Private Foundations: foundations which receive income from an individual, family, or group of individuals. Funding priorities of private foundations are usually based on the personal philosophies of the founding members.