What is the best way to find grants for a non profit organization dealing with the elderly and terminally ill?
I have an idea for an organization which would help Alzheimer’s patients, the elderly, and the terminally ill record their memories by a medium of their choice (i.e. audio, video, writing, or some way unique to them such as painting or photography). This will be something left for friends and families after the person involved is deceaced. I don’t want anyone to think they can’t come to us due to lack of money. That is very important. I would really like to start this in my area. Any idea where I could find a grant or some other way of helping this off the ground? The idea I am envisioning is a place where there would be no obsticles keeping someone who wishes to participate from it, a place where a person isn’t judged by their income, religion, race, ethnic background, sexuality, etc. Where anyone who wanted to share their stories with their families after they have gone can feel free to do that.
Set up your non profit as 501C3 organization from IRS. Most private foundations, federal government and even private companies will not give to an organization that is not classified as 501c3. You can find information from the IRS website http://www.irs.gov/charities/charitable/index.html
I was previously involved in the setup of a non profit, and we were able to get a pro-bono lawyer who set up everything for us, including getting the 501c3 tax status. Contact other non profits in your area and check if there are lawyers willing to work for free to get you started.
As for funding your non profit, the best resource for this is Foundation Center http://www.fdncenter.org . They have a very good database covering all organizations giving grants and you can find foundations that are interested in supporting your type of cause. However, it’s a subscription based website ($19.95 per month I think is the cheapest subscription price). But it certainly is worth the fee. You can subscribe one month, and make sure you get all the info you need and then stop the subscription.
If you want to try federal sources, you can go to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) http://www.cfda.gov and Grants.gov http://www.grants.gov – these are two sites created by the federal government to provide transparency and information on grants.
CFDA has several ways to search for grants. I suggest you search by beneficiary and select Private Non Profit Organization and you can find listings of grants available http://126.96.36.199/pls/portal30/CATALOG.BROWSE_BENEF_RPT.show
How to Find Government Grants