Social enterprise, also known as social entrepreneurship, broadly encompasses ventures of nonprofits, civic-minded individuals, and for-profit businesses that can yield both financial and social returns.
Most forms of assistance for housing, medical bills, or other personal expenses such as debt relief will come from charitable organizations or government assistance programs, rather than grants from foundations.
We do not give grants, recommend specific funders, or approach them on your behalf, but we can point you to information that should help. Often, the most effective method to raise funds quickly is to ask for help from the community.
A foundation is a non-governmental entity that is established as a nonprofit corporation or a charitable trust, with a principal purpose of making grants to unrelated organizations, institutions, or individuals for scientific, educational, cultural, religious, or other charitable purposes.
Foundation Center offers free and fee-based training courses on fundraising and management. We have courses to fit your schedule: in-person classes, live or recorded webinars, and anytime self-paced eLearning courses.
Including an evaluation plan in your program shows that you take your objectives seriously and want to know how well you have achieved them. More and more foundations expect to see an evaluation component in the programs they fund.
Individual donations, corporate contributions, foundation grants and fee for services are some of many sources of income for nonprofits. While opinion varies as to what a nonprofit's "ideal" mix is, utilizing several diverse sources to achieve sustainability is generally a good practice.
Current Offerings in University-Based Programs is a database of nonprofit management programs at more than 290 U.S. colleges and universities. Compiled by Seton Hall University, the site includes online programs, and users can browse institutions by name, state, or program type (noncredit, continuing education, undergraduate, graduate, doctoral).
Foundation Center does not offer any training in the use of Raiser’s Edge software, but Blackbaud, the software's vendor, offers a variety of online and in-person training options. Select "Search for Training" to review its offerings.
If you intend to raise funds from the public, rather than starting out with an endowment of your own that you will use to make grants, you will almost certainly be forming a public charity rather than a private foundation.
Personal or independent projects -- for example, traveling overseas for a mission, attending summer camp, raising money for a specific person in need -- typically are not eligible to receive foundation grants. However, if your project is artistic or research-related, or its primary purpose is to serve a larger audience and improve the community, you could consider fiscal sponsorship as a means to qualify for foundation grants.
Although many foundations prefer to support direct programmatic activities, many do give grants to help nonprofits cover administrative costs, also known as general operating expenses or overhead costs.
Crowdfunding is a way to raise funds for a specific cause or project by asking a large number of people to donate money, usually in small amounts, and usually during a relatively short period of time, such as a few months.