Both private and nonprofit foundations, as well as government programs, can sponsor mini-grants, which usually pay about $500 but can run $100 to $5,000. Mini-grants are free money that never has to be repaid if obligations are met. Mini-grants are not renewable and are meant to fund one-time expenses. The application process is relatively straightforward.
Write a short description of the reason you are seeking a mini-grant. Always inform the grant sponsors the why, when and where of your project. If buying equipment, explain your present predicament, how you are working to maintain existing equipment and how new equipment will help.
Arrive at the amount of grant money you will need. This is very important when seeking mini-grants, because smaller grants are usually given before larger ones. Thus, give considerable thought to requesting the proper amount. If you request too little, you could get the grant, yet receive insufficient funds to fully fund the project.
Search for a mini-grant online among various foundations. Next to the words “mini-grant” in your search engine, also list the type of grant you are seeking, such as education, gardening, community-based or unemployment. Gov.org and foundation.org are also good websites to find various types of mini-grants.
Read and follow directions very carefully. Many foundations will immediately discard incorrectly completed applications. Most mini-grants will require a short intro to the project, plus a list of supporters. Thus, failing to provide such data will immediately invalidate your application.
Be patient. Most foundations are not exclusively in the grant funding business and have various other duties besides reviewing applications.