I would like to comment on another source of funding called an “Endowment” which is not the usual competitive grant submission. Proposals requesting endowment funds are far different from the typical proposal requesting funding. Endowments are usually closely related to and reflect the interests and values of the giver.
Endowment refers to grant funds or gifts awarded to an organization that then invests the funds with the target of drawing down a percentage of these funds annually to support its budget. Endowment funds are commonly used for expenses in the upcoming year and are intended to benefit the organization indefinitely. Setting up an endowment is very difficult and perhaps the most complicated type of sustainability plan to secure and implement.
I think it’s a good idea to be familiar with endowment gifts and how to research and apply for endowment support. Even though few of these awards are made each year, when these awards are made they are usually significant in size.
Endowment funds can be unrestricted or restricted. If this endowment money is restricted, there will be a policy in place that requires spending in a given year, according to the agreement stated in the grant awarded. Unrestricted funds can be spent as the organization’s leadership sees fit. It is assumed that endowment funds are the organization’s key to long-term success. The Chronicle of Philanthropy publishes the market value of nonprofit endowments and this is a good resource for you to review.