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Ed Stephon

Ed Stephon

Common Grant-writing Myths

Never fall for these misconceptions when applying for a grant: 


  • Connections are needed to get a grant. 

This might be the most common fallacy related to grant writing and is never a factor in obtaining a grant.  Foundations currently accepting grant requests are open to anyone who meets their criteria.  Page 10 of the IRS Form 990-PF, the annual tax return of a foundation, always indicates whether applications are being accepted, along with the required criteria. 

  • Funders’ contact information is secret. 

This is never true.  All contact information as well as the grants made during the past year are always in the 990-PF. 

  • Grants are only made to well-known institutions. 

Although grants to individuals are not nearly as numerous as those made to nonprofits, there are still many grants available, and these can be researched.  Also, even though small nonprofits may not be as well known as larger ones, they qualify for grants if they meet the criteria in the 990-PF. 

  • Grant money is unavailable right now. 

This is never the case. Every year, there are billions of dollars yet to be claimed.  In fact, according to IRS regulations, foundations are required to disperse at least 5% of their asset values. 

By the Numbers

Consider the recruitment opportunities for your organization that these stats indicate:

  • About 63 million Americans (25% of the adult population) volunteer their time, talents, and energy to making a difference.
  • These people spend an average of 52 hours/year volunteering.
  • 72% of volunteers are involved with only one organization, while 18.3% are involved with two.

Random interesting stats presented monthly from various sources.