Philanthropy is the inclination and effort to improve the well-being of others through charitable donations. Providing grant money to non-profit organizations, educational institutions and other qualified entities an opportunity to expand their programs and have a greater impact on your community. If you want to offer grants, it is imperative that you know how to set up a grant so that your mission remains effective.
Decide whether you want tax benefits from providing grants to non-profits or others. A foundation or registered organization gives you a method of controlling what organizations receive your contributions and how they spend the grant funding.
Determine how you will provide grants. Private foundations often require significant start-up costs or investment, especially when you want to provide grants. If you want to save money, you may consider providing a grant through a community foundation or a donor-advised fund.
Figure out the type of cause or program that you want to support. When deciding what type of organization to give funding to, you should carefully consider your personal interest. If you are religious, you may want to focus on religious organizations or churches. If you or someone you know is a breast cancer survivor, you may want to provide grants to health organizations, cancer research institutions or other survivors. Create a name for the grant that you set up. This may be in honor or in memory of someone.
Examine your current finances, including your current investments, real estate assets, savings, bonds and other financial information. Carefully prepare yourself and make sure of the amount that you want to provide. Once you provide a sum of money to your private foundation, community foundation or through a donor-advised fund, you will not have the capability of getting your money back.
Create a grant application and specific requirements for applicants. Determine how you want the grant proposal laid out, such as a cover sheet, history, accomplishments, needs and other areas that you definitely want covered through documentation. You should always figure out the deadline before developing a grant application.
Post your grant through the Foundation Center, Grant Station or other grant database to make sure that organizations can find your grant opportunity. You will need to provide information about who you provide grants to, your areas of interest, address, phone number and other data on how to apply.
If you choose to start a private foundation, you should speak with a lawyer to make sure that you follow IRS regulations when setting up a charity.
Avoid becoming oblivious to potential grant applicants. Many non-profit organizations become wary of organizations that do not respond via phone, mail or email. Develop a system where you can properly communicate with applicants and let them know the status of their grant request.
- If you choose to start a private foundation, you should speak with a lawyer to make sure that you follow IRS regulations when setting up a charity.
- Avoid becoming oblivious to potential grant applicants. Many non-profit organizations become wary of organizations that do not respond via phone, mail or email. Develop a system where you can properly communicate with applicants and let them know the status of their grant request.
Andrea Helaine has a Bachelor of Philosophy in theology and is currently finishing her thesis course for a Master of Fine Arts in creative writing. Helaine has been writing professionally for over 10 years and has been published in several anthologies and is currently breaking into the screenwriting market.