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Doing good in the world requires changemakers to navigate the never-ending question of how to fund their missions. Grants are often high on the list of funding options for nonprofits, but figuring out how to get your foot in the door—or even knowing which door to knock on first—can be tricky to figure out.
We’ll walk you through common types of grants for nonprofit organizations and share popular corporate grants you can apply for today. Plus, we’ve got additional resources for finding the right grant for you nonprofit and top tips for taking grant funding to the next level.
Common types of grants for nonprofits
Each grantmaking institution and individual grant has its own requirements, stipulations, and deadlines, but most grants for nonprofits come from the following sources. Understanding what type of funding you’re applying for will help you better understand how to get grants for nonprofits.
Government grants for nonprofits 💼
Government grants for nonprofits are financial awards provided by federal, state, or local government agencies to support the activities and initiatives of nonprofit organizations, making them ideal for organizations addressing broad societal issues.
Foundation grants for nonprofits 🏛️
Foundation grants for nonprofits come from private, family, or community foundation funds and are suitable for organizations with a specific focus on diverse areas, including social services, healthcare, and the arts.
Education grants for nonprofits 📚
Education grants for nonprofits aim to support projects and programs dedicated to education or support educational institutions, making them suitable for organizations working on after-school programs, literacy initiatives, STEM education, and scholarships.
Technology grants for nonprofits ⚡
Technology grants for nonprofits provide funding to enhance technological infrastructure, making them ideal for organizations looking to upgrade software, hardware, or implement new technologies to improve their efficiency and impact.
Community grants for nonprofits 🏘️
Community grants for nonprofits focus on supporting initiatives that directly benefit local communities, making them well-suited for organizations involved in community development, neighborhood revitalization, social services, and cultural events.
Operational grants for nonprofits 💪
Operational grants for nonprofits are designed to cover day-to-day expenses, making them suitable for organizations in need of funding for staff salaries, rent, utilities, and other administrative costs.
Unrestricted grants for nonprofits 💸
Unrestricted grants for nonprofits provide flexibility in fund usage, making them ideal for organizations that require general support for their mission and the freedom to allocate funds where they are most needed.
Corporate grants for nonprofits 🛍️
Corporate grants for nonprofits involve direct financial contributions or in-kind services from businesses, making them suitable for organizations looking to collaborate with corporations like Google, Microsoft, IBM, Coca-Cola, or Walmart for support in technology, community well-being, education, and more.
You’ve likely heard of a few of the big philanthropic institutions built on corporate fortunes like the Ford Foundation or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Whether funds come directly from a corporation or through the family foundation of its founder's heirs, the rise of corporate social responsibility means businesses of all kinds are giving back in big ways.
Keep reading for popular corporate grants you can apply for today (and insight on the typical grant cycle for each).
10 popular company grants available for nonprofits
1. Bank of America 🏦
The Bank of America Charitable Foundation focuses much of its grantmaking for nonprofits on programs related to housing, jobs, and ending hunger.
In 2021, they announced a four-year, $1B initiative to fund economic mobility, health care, and racial equity. They’ve been issuing requests for proposals twice a year, so check out the criteria, important dates, and frequently asked questions to see if your nonprofit would be a good fit!
2. Clif Bar 🏔️
Three times a year, the Clif Bar Family Foundation awards grants to support the daily operating costs of grassroots organizations. The deadlines to apply are February 1, June 1, and October 1.
Applicants must meet two of their three funding priorities:
- Strengthen our food system
- Enhance equitable community health outcomes
- Safeguard our environment and natural resources
3. Coca-Cola 🥤
The Coca-Cola Foundation offers community support by way of grants and sponsorships to a wide variety of organizations, donating 2% of its operating income to charity last year. Just note that they do not fund initiatives that have a heavy focus on nutrition and physical activity—at least they stay on brand!
4. Dick's Sporting Goods 🏀
It’s no surprise that Dick's Sporting Goods is a big supporter of youth sports. They also help cover the cost of athletic registration fees and equipment and provide resources for teachers.
Nonprofit programs and public schools can apply online for grants up to $25K, but you must have a Dick's Sporting Goods store located in your community to be eligible.
5. GEICO 🐸
The GEICO Philanthropic Foundation awards grants to charities focused on education, community engagement, diversity, equity, and inclusion. Eligible nonprofits can request funding from January 1 through November 30.
6. Kroger 🛒
Primarily focused on diversity, equity, inclusion, health, nutrition, ending hunger, and eliminating waste, Kroger donates $300 million every year through its charitable giving arms, including the Zero Hunger | Zero Waste Foundation.
You can read through their full guidelines and apply for a grant online.
7. State Farm 🏡
Jake from State Farm gives back! This insurance giant offers several community-based grants, including its Good Neighbor Citizenship program, which funds initiatives related to safety, community development, and education each year.
Reach out to a community contact for corporate responsibility in your state to ask about upcoming opportunities.
8. Walmart 😀
Walmart awards community grants of $250 to $5,000 annually under eight areas of funding:
- Community and economic development
- Diversity and inclusion
- Environmental sustainability
- Health and human services
- Hunger relief and healthy eating
- Public safety
- Quality of life
Walmart accepts applications until December 31, so get to it before the ball drops.
9. Wells Fargo 🏇
Wells Fargo offers grants that strengthen communities through financial health, housing affordability, small business growth, sustainability, and environmental justice. They prioritize those with a broad reach that support the needs of underserved communities and work to advance racial equity.
Even if you haven’t been invited to submit a proposal, your organization can submit a grant interest form.
10. Whole Foods 🥕
Whole Foods has several charitable foundations through which it funds community-based organizations working for access to healthy foods, nutrition and wellness programs for kids, and efforts to alleviate poverty in the US and globally. Each has its own grantmaking process and requirements.
Additional resources to find the right grant for your organization
Candid (formerly Foundation Directory Online) is a popular grants database for nonprofits. Other sites, like Grants.gov and GrantStation, can also help you wade through all these funding sources to match you with the best opportunities for your particular organization.
Plus, new platforms like Instrumentl let you do all of your prospecting research and keep track of the entire grant application process in one place.
Check out these other free resources to save time whenever you’re ready to stop digging through grant opportunities for nonprofits and start applying:
Take grant funding for nonprofits to the next level
Funding a nonprofit is hard, never-ending work, especially for organizations with a smaller staff and limited budget to begin with—not to mention groups working in historically marginalized communities. A solid nonprofit fundraising strategy weaves together several funding sources, so don’t put all of your eggs in one basket.
As you work through the grant writing process and put together your grant proposals, Givebutter is here as a complementary fundraising tool for your nonprofit. We help changemakers raise money with hundreds of online fundraising and donor engagement tools—all completely free to set up and use.
Sign up for your free account and see how Givebutter can help level up your fundraising game as you grow. You’ve got this! 🚀
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