How to Fund Community Service Projects

When your organization plans to produce a community service project, it can be a difficult enterprise, one that is often made more difficult because of the need to raise funds for equipment, supplies, or other necessities to complete the project. Accessing funds for your community service project might be less difficult than you think. With just a little thought and diligence, you can find resources to fund your community service projects from the local to the federal level.

Things You'll Need

  • Computer with Internet access

Instructions

  1. How to Fund Community Service Projects

    • 1

      Investigate national sources of community service project funding. One of the best sources of new grant opportunities at the federal level is at nationalservice.gov. Once you have logged onto the site, view the various programs and grant opportunities and select those that are most compatible with your organization's mission and project goals. Each grant opportunity lists its pertinent details, requirements, and application procedures. Most grants can be applied for on the eGrants system; each grant will have an eGrant link to make your application. You can also link to other national community service funding sites like learnandserve.gov and Americorp.gov.

    • 2

      Identify state sources of project funding. Many states receive federal block grants that must be spent in support of state or municipal community development projects. Contact your state's office of the Secretary of State (or log onto the state website) for details on what programs and grand funds are available and how to make your application. Be prepared to present a clear and concise description of the project, your funding needs, and the beneficiaries of the effort.

    • 3

      Seek local public and private funding sources by contacting local churches, other nonprofit organizations, local businesses, and social organizations; many organizations may be willing to fund projects they don't have the manpower to complete themselves. Often businesses and social organizations based in the area or serving individuals who will benefit from the service project may donate funds in exchange for the opportunity to have their contributions publicly recognized. In addition, if your project is being put on by a tax-exempt (501(c) 3) nonprofit organization, any donations from organizations, businesses, or individuals are tax exempt and can qualify as a charitable deduction on the donor's tax filing.

    • 4

      Develop internal sources of funding. Never underestimate the potential of your own organization's ability to generate service project funds. Organize donation drives, can shakes, car washes, bake sales, or other fund-raising activities as a means of generating the needed cash to produce your service project.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be sure you have a clear understanding of your total funding needs; many state and federal funding sources will not allow you to request additional funding once your initial request has been fulfilled.
  • Keep detailed records of all funds you receive and how they are spent. Transparency and dealing in good faith should be guiding principles when making use of grants or donated funds. Nonprofit entities can fall victim to legal difficulties if they fail in their duty of accountability to their stakeholders.
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References

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