Getting to Know Grants and Funders

Coastal groups look harder to bridge the budget gap

Southern Ocean Chamber has always supported the community with much needed information for our coastal nonprofit organizations. Through in person Non-Profit Forums, webinars and articles, grant funding remains one of the most requested topics. With more groups competing for limited funding, grants are seen as a way to extend budgets or make needed improvements to programs. Many local nonprofits rely on volunteers to help with grant applications or have new personnel that are taking on that challenge. Southern Ocean Chamber has applied and received a record number of grants in the past decade and has also advocated for organizations to begin the process to help expand funding partners past the region. Some essential information for beginners is what type of organization can apply.  In general, most nonprofit organizations with an IRS Letter of Determination are eligible. Charitable, Faith Based and local governments are successful recipients of funding. Most grants are geared towards 501(c)(3) nonprofits, but there are exceptions for groups classified differently. 

It is also important to understand who are the grantors that issue Request for Proposals. Most funding comes from Government Agencies at a state, county or local level through programs they are administrating or block grants for certain geo graphic locations. The other source are foundations, that fundraise to repurpose as grants or donations. These charities either appeal to the public to support their efforts or are funded through a private entity who generate available funds.  Grants fall into categories such as a matching grant where the applicant needs to provide a monetary match, flat which has no additional funding required. Most grants are restricted, where funding and budget has been based on the project or program written in the approved proposal. 

Grant reporting is a standard requirement when funds are awarded. Most grants are contingent on those reports being approved, before all the funding is released to the recipient. If the organization does not have the record keeping or personnel to report, it is recommended to search for unconditional grants that serve more like sponsorship dollars with little reporting as the full amount is given upon acceptance of the application. 

For additional resources:


Grant Watch

Non Profit Source