What are the three most popular foundation grants right now? The difficult part about foundation grants is that all of the data we have on foundation giving is often 18 to 24 months old. Foundations file their IRS Form 990 that outlines their contributions months after the end of their fiscal year. That is then the primary document we have for research for a whole additional year. It is very hard to predict what a foundation might give with data that is up to two years old. A lot can change in two years!
This is especially difficult as a lot has changed just in 2020, with the COVID-19 pandemic and the corresponding economic and social upheaval. So what have I seen most foundations do in their communications with my clients or to the community?
1. COVID-19 Relief: This is an obvious shift. Many foundations poured their 2020 giving into COVID-19 relief, including support for employment, basic needs, education, and supporting essential workers. Many foundations have created pooled funds to address these community needs as well.
2. Program Support for Existing Grantees: Many foundations have provided additional funding to their existing grantees. Foundations are also giving greater flexibility on the use of past grants to their existing grantees. This is a wonderful and welcome development if you are an existing grantee, and you should be taking full advantage of these opportunities.
3. Innovation: Funders are still interested in innovation to effectively solve problems in new ways. One aspect of innovation that funders are very interested in right now is around equity, diversity, inclusion, and improved outcomes for minority communities.
The key right now is to position your programs within each funder’s area of interest and make your requests relevant by fitting them into these three trends, if possible. If you need help, Millionaire Grant Lady can help you to position your programs for success and write winning grant applications.