“Crystal Ball” Predictions for Grants: Is COVID-19 Still Impacting Foundation Giving?

This is the fifth of a six-part series on 2024 predictions for grants. If you missed part 1 , 2 , 3, or 4, you can still check them out here. In this series, Millionaire Grant Lady and Associates are sharing our insights into foundation giving. These predictions are based on the most up-to-date information available as well as our in-the-trenches work with our nonprofits. To date, we have won more than $103 million in funding for our clients. Every day, we use these insights to win more dollars for a wide variety of organizations all across the United States, and these insights can help increase your funding, too.

A lot of us now tell time based on COVID-19. For example, when referencing a past event, we may say “Before the pandemic” or “After the pandemic started.” COVID-19 created a clear division between the way life was and the way life is now. Just as the pandemic influenced just about every aspect of daily life and permanently shifted some things, it impacted foundation giving as well.

Is COVID-19 still impacting foundation giving?

This is a tough question to answer. 990s, on which so much of our understanding of foundations is based, are 18 to 24 months old. This means we are still receiving a significant amount of data from 2021 as well as 2022.

990s are showing a lot of funding for community health measures. We also know from working with our nonprofit partners that in the years following COVID, we have seen more unrestricted giving because foundations seem to understand that many nonprofits need dollars that can be used to support a variety of expenses, not just program costs.

While I know many nonprofits would love to see more foundations provide unrestricted funding, unfortunately as we look to this year, we have no way of knowing whether or not these trends will continue.  Our recommendation is to get to know the funder. Review their webpage, read any application instructions you find, arrange an in-person or phone meeting if they will allow it. This will help you to align your grant request with what they are open to funding.

Prediction for Grants: More foundations may be open to providing unrestricted funds, but the only way to know for sure is to get to know the funder. Need help doing your research? We can help.