Maybe if money grew on trees, you wouldn't need grants to buy homeless shelter beds or rescue mission mattresses.
But money does not grow on trees, which means grant money is necessary to keep your shelter going.
However, if you're not sure how to go about getting rescue mission grant funds, then that's a bigger problem than the fact that money doesn't grow on trees. Keep reading and learn how to access federal and state grants so that you can purchase bedding for your homeless shelter or rescue mission.
Update your status
No, we're not talking about your Facebook status. This is a much bigger deal than that. Before your homeless shelter or rescue mission can be approved for non-profit grant funding, you must obtain your tax exempt status, or 501(c)3.
To apply for tax exemption, you need to file IRS Form 1023 to the Internal Revenue Service.
Insider Tip: Don't go into Form 1023 anticipating a simple application. This form is about 30 pages, and its purpose is to provide the IRS with a full understanding of your organization so they can be confident that your non-profit is legitimate.
Build a good reputation
Once the IRS confirms your non-profit organization's legitimacy, your next step is to gain credibility with your clients and in your community. Funding institutions are more likely to provide grants to missions and shelters that have earned a good reputation than those that have no one to vouch for them.
Networking isn't just for college grads. Connect with other homeless shelters and rescue missions to see how they approach funding. Ask where they look and who their point person is. Often you can learn a lot more by talking to someone than you can by doing a Google search.
Pick the right places
Don't waste your time applying for grants if your shelter or mission doesn't meet the eligibility requirements. We know you're eager to complete the process and check these grant applications off your list, but it's important to carefully read the qualifications and criteria before you apply.
Wouldn't you rather complete two grant applications and get one approval than fill out ten applications and get ten rejections? Save yourself time and energy by putting extra effort into researching which grants to apply for. Remember, work smart, not hard.
Any good businessman will tell you to never stutter when saying numbers—especially if those numbers have dollar signs in front of them. Stuttering casts doubt in the minds of your listeners and cause them to feel uneasy about the numbers you're giving them.
The same goes for applying for grant money. Be confident and clear about the amount of money you're requesting and what you need it for. If the persons reviewing your grant application sense uncertainty, they will likely choose to put their money elsewhere.
Sometimes getting approval for grants can take awhile. While you're waiting, browse our catalog by clicking on the banner below! If have questions, contact us online or give us a call at (800) 203-2507. We'd love to share a bit of that industry knowledge we've picked up over the past 20 years!