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Nonprofit Fundraising 101 by Darian Rodriguez Heyman

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Chapter 20 Government Grants

“The care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only object of good government.”

—Thomas Jefferson

Introduction

According to the Urban Institute’s Nonprofit Sector in Brief, the U.S. government awarded nonprofits over $198 billion in grants in 2014. Government grants are available for a large variety of issues and programs, and are often sizeable. However, they also come with intense demands around implementation and reporting. Unless you have at least one staff person dedicated full-time to managing government grants, think carefully about your organization’s capacity before moving into this territory.

There is a saying among nonprofit professionals: “If you’ve seen a thousand foundations, you’ve seen a thousand foundations.” Basically, every foundation—government, private, or family—operates differently and has different requirements and expectations. So while there are best practices for how to research, request, and report to foundations, each situation will differ and require a customized approach, particularly among government entities.

To learn more about securing, managing, and surviving government grants, I sat down with Joshua Sheridan Fouts, government grant veteran and executive director of Bioneers, and he outlined top five tips to maximize your results.

Critical Skills and Competencies

1. Get Help

If this is your first experience applying for a government grant, Fouts highly recommends hiring ...

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