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Knowledge Base
Q:
How can I find funders that offer a particular type of support?
A:

A types of support approach to grantseeking differs from a subject approach in that it focuses on identifying grantmakers that have expressed an interest in providing the specific types of support your organization needs. For example, there is no point in approaching a funder for emergency funds if the foundation only funds research or building/renovation projects.

To identify funders that offer funding for a specific type of support, consult the types of support index in Foundation Directory Online or Center print publications. The Center has identified more than 50 types of support in its print and electronic resources. Below is a list of types of support terms and definitions.

Foundation Directory Online is available for free access at all Foundation Center libraries and Funding Information Network locations.

Types of Support Terms—Grantmakers and Grants

Please note: Foundation Directory Online has separate lists of types of support terms for the Grantmaker and Grants files. These are similar but not identical to each other. Unless otherwise noted, the following terms are used in both the Grantmaker and Grants files of the database

Annual campaigns: Grants to organizations for any organized effort to secure contributions on an annual basis; also referred to as annual appeals.

Awards/prizes/competitions: Grants to organizations to fund awards, prizes, competitions, housing, living space, or work space. Usually associated with artists. Grants file only.

Building/renovation: Grants to organizations for constructing, renovating, remodeling, or rehabilitating property.

Business startups/expansion: Loans to or investments in organizations or companies to finance the development of business. Grants file only.

Capital campaigns: Grants to organizations for campaigns, usually extending over a period of years, to raise substantial contributions for a variety of enduring purposes, such as building construction or acquisition, endowments, or land acquisition.

Cause-related marketing: Usually associated with corporate grantmakers, contributions to organizations linked with marketing promotions conducted by the grantmaker's sponsoring company. This might involve donating products that will then be auctioned or given away in a drawing with the proceeds benefiting an organization. The advertising campaign for the product will be combined with the promotion for the organization. In other cases it will be advertised that when a customer buys the product a certain amount of the proceeds will be donated to the organization. Often, contributions made to organizations stemming from cause-related marketing are not considered charitable and might be assigned as expenses to the corporate department in charge of the program. Public affairs and marketing are the departments usually involved. Grantmaker file only.

Charitable use real estate: Investments in properties to be used for charitable purposes. In most cases, property such as a building is held by a grantmaker that in turn donates it or leases it at below market rates to an organization. In other cases, property consisting of land or buildings is held for a period of time by a grantmaker and then either donated or sold to an organization. Grants file only.

Collections acquisition: Grants to libraries or museums to acquire permanent materials as part of a collection, usually books or art. Grants file only.

Collections management/preservation: Grants to organizations for maintenance, preservation, and conservation of materials. Grants file only.

Commissioning new works: Grants to organizations to support the creation of new artistic works. Grants file only.

Computer systems/equipment: Grants to organizations to purchase or develop automated systems. Grants file only.

Conferences/seminars: Grants to organizations to cover the expenses of holding a conference, seminar, or workshop.

Consulting services: Professional staff support provided to organizations to consult on a project of mutual interest or to evaluate services. Grantmaker file only.

Continuing support: Grants to organizations renewed on a regular basis.

Curriculum development: Grants to schools, colleges, universities, or educational support organizations to develop general or discipline-specific curricula.

Debt reduction: Grants to organizations to reduce indebtedness; also referred to as deficit financing.

Donated equipment: Surplus furniture, office machines, appliances, laboratory apparatus, or other items donated to organizations, schools, or hospitals. Grantmaker file only.

Donated land: Land or developed property donated to organizations. Institutions of higher education often receive donations of real estate. Land has also been donated to community groups for housing development or parks or recreational facilities. Grantmaker file only.

Donated products: Usually associated with corporate grantmakers, products produced by the grantmaker's sponsoring company donated to organizations. Product donations can include periodic clothing donations to a shelter for the homeless or regular donations of pharmaceuticals to a health clinic resulting in a reliable supply. Product donations don't necessarily have to be tangible; for example, a donation of air transportation. Grantmaker file only.

Electronic media/online services: Grants to organizations for electronic media or Internet projects, including online publications and databases, Web site development, electronic networking and messaging services, CD-ROM products, or interactive educational programs. Grants file only.

Emergency funds: One-time grants to organizations to cover immediate short-term needs on an emergency basis.

Employee matching gifts: Usually associated with corporate grantmakers, grants to organizations to match contributions made by employees of the grantmaker's sponsoring company. Many companies support employee matching gift programs in higher education to stimulate their employees to give to the college or university of their choice.

Employee volunteer services: Usually associated with corporate grantmakers, volunteer services provided to organizations by employees of the grantmaker's sponsoring company. The involvement is coordinated by the company and might be during work time or after hours. Employees might also volunteer on their own initiative; however, this is not considered employee volunteerism. Many companies honor their employees with awards for outstanding volunteer efforts. In making grants, many companies favor organizations with which their employees volunteer. Employee volunteerism runs the gamut from tutoring to the sale on work premises of employee-made goods to benefit organizations. Management of employee volunteerism programs can range from fully-staffed offices of corporate volunteerism to a part-time coordinating responsibility on the part of one employee. Grantmaker file only.

Employee-related scholarships: Usually associated with corporate grantmakers, scholarships made directly to employees or the children of employees of the grantmaker's sponsoring company. Employee-related scholarship programs are frequently administered by organizations such as the National Merit Scholarship Corporation, which is responsible for the selection of scholars. Grantmaker file only.

Endowments: Grants to organizations intended to be kept permanently and invested to provide income for continued support.

Equipment: Grants to organizations to purchase equipment, furnishings, or other materials.

Equity investments: Investments in organizations or companies to acquire equity. Returns on the investment are dependent on the profitability of the investment vehicle. Grants file only.

Exchange programs: Usually refers to grants to organizations for educational exchange programs for foreign students. Grantmaker file only.

Exhibitions: Grants to museums, libraries, historical societies, and other organizations to install an exhibit or mount a touring exhibit. Grants file only.

Faculty/staff development: Grants to educational institutions and other organizations to train or further educate faculty or staff members. Grants file only.

Fellowships: Usually refers to grants to educational institutions for fellowship programs. A few grantmakers award fellowships directly to individuals.

Film/video/radio: Grants to organizations to fund a specific film, video, or radio production.

Foundation-administered programs: Funds for programs administered by the grantmaker. These programs can include museums or other institutions operated exclusively by the grantmaker or research programs administered exclusively by the grantmaker. Grants file only.

General/operating support: Grants to organizations for day-to-day operating costs or to further the general purpose or work of an organization, rather than for a specific purpose or project. Also referred to as unrestricted grants.

Grants to individuals: Grants made directly to individuals, including scholarships, fellowships, awards, and medical payments. Many grantmakers have a specific limitation stating that they don't make grants to individuals. Grantmaker file only.

In-kind gifts: Non-monetary donations to organizations, including donated equipment, donated land, or donated products. Some grantmakers might also donate facility space or staff time as an in-kind gift.

Income development: Grants to organizations for fundraising, marketing, or to expand audience base.

Interim financing (bridge loans, cash flow financing): Short-term loans to organizations to provide temporary financing until more permanent financing is available. Grants file only.

Internship funds: Usually refers to grants to organizations for internship programs.

Land acquisition: Grants to organizations to purchase real estate.

Line of credit: Lines of credit extended to organizations that can be accessed at any time up to an established limit. Grants file only.

Linked deposits (usually CDs): Funds deposited with financial institutions to induce the financial institution to finance an organization's project. By accruing no or low interest on the deposit, the grantmaker essentially subsidizes the interest that would ordinarily be owed by the organization. Grants file only.

Loan guarantees: Collateral provided to financial institutions to guarantee a loan to an organization. Grants file only.

Loans for loan funds: Loans to or investments in organizations or companies with special "lending pool" lending capabilities. Grants file only.

Loans/promissory notes: Loans to organizations to finance projects related to the grantmaker's stated charitable purpose and interests. Grants file only.

Loaned talent: Volunteer services provided to organizations by professionals or executives to help organizations in an area involving their particular skills. Areas of assistance might include strategic planning, dispute resolution, or office administration. Grantmaker file only.

Loans—to individuals: Loans made directly to individuals, including student loans. Grantmaker file only.

Management development/capacity building: Grants to organizations for salaries, staff support, staff training, strategic or long-range planning, capacity building, budgeting, or accounting.

Matching/challenge support: Grants to organizations to match contributions provided by another donor or grants awarded that will be paid only if the donee organization is able to raise additional funds from another source.

Mortgage financing: Loans to or investments in organizations or companies providing low-interest mortgages to needy individuals. Grants file only.

Performance/productions: Grants to organizations to fund performing arts productions. Grants file only.

Professorships: Usually refers to grants to educational institutions to endow a professorship or chair.

Program development: Grants to organizations for specific purposes or projects, rather than for day-to-day operating costs or to further the general purpose or work of an organization.

Program evaluation: Grants to organizations to evaluate a specific project or program; includes grants both to organizations to pay for evaluation costs and to research institutes and other program evaluators.

Program-related investments/loans: Loans or other investments (as distinguished from grants) made by a grantmaker to another organization for a project related to the grantmaker's stated charitable purpose and interests. Program-related investments are often made from a revolving fund; the grantmaker generally expects to receive its money back with interest or some other form of return at less than current market rates, and it then becomes available for further program-related investments.

Publication: Grants to organizations to fund reports or other publications issued by an organization resulting from research or projects of interest to the grantmaker.

Public relations services: Public relations services provided to organizations, including printing and duplicating, audio-visual and graphic arts production, assistance in planning special events such as festivals, piggyback advertising (advertisements that mention a company while also promoting a nonprofit), or public service advertising. Grantmaker file only.

Research: Grants to organizations to cover the costs of investigations and clinical trials, including demonstration and pilot projects. Research grants made directly to individuals are usually referred to as fellowships.

Scholarship funds: Grants to educational institutions and educational support organizations for scholarship programs. The donee then distributes the funds to individuals through their own programs.

Scholarships—to individuals: Scholarships made directly to individuals. Grantmaker file only.

Seed money: Grants to organizations to start, establish, or initiate new projects or organizations; includes salaries and other operating expenses. Also referred to as start-up funds.

Sponsorships: Usually associated with corporate grantmakers, contributions to organizations combined with a public endorsement of the organization by the grantmaker's sponsoring company or support of charitable events. Grantmaker file only.

Student aid: Grants to educational institutions and educational support organizations for student aid, including grants, loans, or scholarships. The donee then distributes the funds to individuals through their own programs. Grants file only.

Student loans—to individuals: Student loans made directly to individuals. Grantmaker file only.

Technical assistance: Operational or management assistance given to nonprofit organizations. It can include fundraising assistance, budgeting and financial planning, program planning, legal advice, marketing, and other aids to management. Assistance might be offered directly by a foundation or corporate staff member, or be offered in the form of a grant to pay for the services of an outside consultant. Might be used interchangeably with Management development/capacity building.

Use of facilities: Rent-free office space for temporary periods, dining and meeting space, telecommunications services, mailing services, transportation services, or computer services donated to organizations. Grantmaker file only.

See other Knowledge Base articles related to this topic:

-What are in-kind gifts, and how can I find out more about them?
-What is cause-related marketing?
-What are employee matching gifts?
-Will foundations fund overhead or administrative costs for nonprofits? What is an acceptable overhead rate?

More articles on Funding Resources»

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