It can be difficult to obtain a small business grant however it isn’t impossible. Small business grant money is primarily available to 501(c)(3), non-profit organizations whose mission, vision, and goals are aligned with the grantmaker offering the funds. There are also some organizations that offer small business grant money to for-profit businesses, although these are much more difficult to come by. They key to winning a small business grant is knowing where to find grantmakers that want to donate funds to your type of 501(c)(3), non-profit organization or for-profit business. In this blog, I will educate you on what you need to do to increase your chances of being able to find and obtain a small business grant.
Search Small Business Grant Databases
Small business grant databases like Grants.gov and Grant Forward provide a list of hundreds of grantmakers that offer billions of dollars in grant funds each year. If you’re searching for a small business grant, your best bet is to start with one of these grant databases. They may not list all of the small business grants available but you can find some that are suitable for your organization. Keep in mind that not all small business grant databases are free. Some do require you to pay hefty fees to access them. If you don’t have the cash to pay for one of these databases, I suggest you head to your local public library. Most public libraries offer free grant database access.
Find Suitable Grantmakers
You can’t just apply for any small business grant. You have to be sure the grantmaker is specifically interested in funding your type of non-profit organization or for-profit business. When searching a small business grant database, you should be able to view the grantmakers profile. Their profile should outline the type of people, programs, and projects they are interested in supporting. If who and what they support matches the interests of your organization or business, you may have a good chance of being able to qualify for a small business grant with them.
To find out if you have a good chance of being able to qualify, I suggest you send the grantmaker a “letter of inquiry.” A letter of inquiry serves as an introduction of your organization to the grantmaker. It lets them know you are interested in applying for a grant with them because you believe that your interests are aligned. If the grantmaker is interested in learning more about your organization, they will suggest that you apply. (If you never hear back from them, it means they don’t believe your organization is a good fit for their small business grant program).
Write a Winning Grant Proposal
The number of people in need of a small business grant is high. The competition to win a small business grant is stiff. Searching a small business grant database and finding grantmakers that are a good match for your non-profit organization or for-profit business is the easiest part of the process. The hardest part of the process is writing a grant proposal that will help you win the funds. The best grant proposals provide grantmakers with very detailed information on what your organization is all about. This includes what projects you are implementing or programs you are offering, who you are targeting, how you will reach them, and how much it will cost (amongst other things). Grant writing can be a time consuming and confusing process if you have never done it before.
To increase your chances of winning a small business grant, I strongly suggest you seek expert help. In fact, we have expert grant consultants on our team at QT Business Solutions. We do more than write grant proposals, we teach you how to operate your non-profit legally and ethically, continuously raise funding from different sources, find suitable grantmakers for your organization and help you write the best grant proposals. If you’re interested in learning more, contact us today.