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How To Sustain your Small Business or Non-Profit During Covid-19: The Founder of Grantwatch.com Shares Tips & Advice

For most small businesses and nonprofit organizations, grants are the most important financial resource to secure funding. Receiving a grant could make or break the success of any community serving organization.

Today as we witness social justice issues exploding around America, GrantWatch.com has created a path for nonprofit business and individuals working towards social justice to apply for grants that will support their mission.

These available grants exist to provide services for individuals, nonprofits, businesses, communities of color that have been affected by racial injustice, prejudice and discrimination based upon their age, disability, ethnicity, gender, marital status, national origin, race, religion, and sexual orientation.

Today, we sit down with Libby Hikind, the Founder of Grantwatch to talk about grant opportunities available. Below are some excerpts from our interview.

Do you see any changes with the grant writing and grant making process under a new administration in 2020-2021?

Yes, each administration has a focus or priority area. I listen to three things to hear what’s going to unfold in the grant world:

  • The President’s Inauguration Speech
  • The President’s State of the Union Speech
  • The First Lady’s Initiative. 

These speeches tend to reveal new federal and state funding in various areas, including social justice. Foundations created by large corporations tend to follow the administrative direction and sometimes will partner with the government on these initiatives. 

Each administration has its preference. For example, a Republican administration will have more grant funding inclusivity with parochial and nonpublic schools and a Democratic administration will tend to prioritize funds towards Planned Parenthood programs. 

No matter who the new administration is, the police are likely to see more funding available for new equipment like body cameras, tasers; and additional training for how to deal with emotionally challenged individuals. 

Also, grant funding for 2021 will apply previous authorization of grant programs, a compilation of the current needs of the nation, the administration’s agenda and refunding of proven successful existing  programs that do not conflict with the new administration’s agenda.

Thank you, Libby. Can you share some advice to our readers? For instance, critical things that as a grant seeker they should be doing to secure additional funds for their small business, non profit or philanthropic objectives?

Yes, first and foremost, keep an open mind when searching for grants and get creative about the mission of the funding source (the grant maker) and the needs and capability of your organization. 

I recently got a call from a client who worked with one of our grant writers. The grant writer needed her IRS 501c3 nonprofit status letter. The client realized she had an EIN but that was not the correct number she should have been issued. So, the grant writer put a hold on future work. I advised her to apply for grants that include for-profits until she gets the IRS determination letter and to also look into a fiscal sponsorship with a local nonprofit taking the lead (for an administrative percentage), that she knows and trusts and for her organization to be the subcontractor. 

Any tips you can can give readers for securing grants in general?

Yes, make sure that you absolutely eligible. Before you start your application, there should be zero doubt in your mind. 

Make sure that you can locate or acquire all the documents required to apply and any pre-certification?

Are you able to locate or acquire all the documents required to apply and do you abide by the grant maker’s pre-certification check-list?

Finally, ensure that you run your grant funded activities with the actual grant funds allowable within the grant maker’s guidelines.

The bottom line is that there are many grant opportunities still available in 2020 — and especially in the shadow of COVID-19.

Many Fortune 500s, philanthropic organizations and government agencies set aside funds in the form of grants for specific reasons and if the money is not awarded — there is no guarantee the funds will be reestablished. There is a misunderstanding about how grants can benefit small companies and what the money can be used for ie: capital funding, staff training, equipment improvement, businesses development and restorations. 

Visit Grantwatch.com and speak with Libby Hikind about the opportunities that are available through 2020 before the monies run out.

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