Finding Grant Opportunities
Once you have an idea, including an estimate of the funds you will need for the project, finding the right source for the grant is the next step.
A note about right source. When reviewing possible sources of grants for projects, it is important to determine how your project meets the criteria identified by the funding agency. The first issue is to determine eligibility. Marietta College is a 501(c)(3) organization, so it is generally eligible for any funds that require 501(c)(3) status. Some grantors will list more specific requirements. Here is a list of common limitations designated by grantors:
Geographic: A grantor may be listed as having an Ohio focus, but further review indicates that it only funds organizations in the Toledo area. A project at Marietta College would be disqualified before it is even read.
Type of Institution: Grantors may limit their funds to elementary schools, community colleges, homeless-serving agencies. The best match occurs when the funder identifies an interest in private higher education, but Just the words “higher education” or “any entity with nonprofit status” would indicate an open door to us, too.
Size of budget: This criterion has two factors to consider. The first is the size of the total budget of the organization seeking funding. For example, the grantor may state that the annual operating budget must be under $1 million. In that case Marietta College would not qualify. The second and more common criterion is the limit on the size of grant the funder will consider. Both upper and lower limits are frequently established. While one funder may limit grant considerations to a maximum of $10,000, others may not consider applications less than $250,000. Either limit is an important factor when considering the fit between the funder and the project.
Grant sources are divided into two major categories: public (government) and private (foundation and corporate).
Public sources can be further divided into federal, state, and local entities.
Federal grants are usually announced via time-limited requests for proposals (RFP). RFPs from most federal entities can be found by accessing grants.gov, the common grant-access portal. The link below connects to the list of federal agencies that offer grants
Direct links to federal grant sites frequently used by MC are listed below:
The State of Ohio does not have a single grants-access site. The major state offices that may provide grants to higher education include:
All proposals prepared for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) must first be approved by Buckeye Hills-Hocking Valley Regional Development District. Information about ARC grants can be found at http://www.buckeyehills.org/
The Foundation Center is the primary source for information about private foundations.
Note: The Legacy Library at Marietta College hosts a Cooperating Collection of the Foundation Center. A link to the full database of grants available from foundations and corporations Foundation Directory Online Professional and the Foundation Grants to Individuals Online is available from any computer in the located in the library.
Other sources for private funds include associations, consortia and special interest groups. A few that may apply to MC’s faculty and staff are listed below. Associations within your discipline may also offer special grant programs; be sure to watch for grant competition announcements in their newsletters and correspondence.