In seeking for grants, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) have the tendency to seek for opportunities which give them the grants with the highest monetary value. A lot of small grants are then overlooked due to other available grants. Hence, in this article we have come up with a list of reasons why small grants are just as relevant as large grants.
1. For small or startup NGOs, getting hold of a large grant may be quite challenging especially given the fact that you will be put up against bigger and more experienced NGOs and nonprofits. Apart from competition, your level of preparedness for such large grants may not be there yet. Small grants for NGOs help startup NGOs in gaining experience and exposure in grant-writing alongside the other processes needed in applying for grants.
2. As an NGO, it is a given that funds are necessary to survive and continue operating. Hence, it shouldn’t be forgotten as well that NGOs are also in need of other things such as capacity building. Capacity building will enable small and inexperienced NGOs to gain experience and exposure in areas like grant-writing and the processes need in applying for grants.
3. Small grants are just as relevant as large grants. You may not get the amount you wish to raise, but somehow it can enable you to. For example, if you’re planning to build a community for victims of natural disasters in developing countries, a small grant may not allow you to build the entire community but it will enable you to perhaps purchase the land where you would like your site to be. After which, you can apply for several other small grants and finally be able to fund the entire project.
4. Small grants are also powerful enough to keep an NGO’s business running. Your expected amount of funding may be greater than what small grants would have to offer. But nonetheless, acquiring a small grant is still better as compared to the rejection of large grants. Constantly getting rejected by large grants will cause NGOs to go bankrupt and eventually need to shut down given the shortage of funds.
Essentially, everyone needs to start somewhere and that does not exclude NGOs. Seeking for small grants for NGOs in developing countries should not be seen as a hindrance to reaching out to larger grants but rather like a stepping stone to one day reach large grants as well.
In fact, Indian NGOs have seen small grants as an opportunity rather than a hindrance and hence several small grants for Indian NGOs have been taken advantage of. An example of this would be WWF India’s Small Grants Innovation program. This small grant is to be applied for by organizations who have initiatives that conserve the environment and natural resources such as wildlife, oceans, forests, and clean water. This particular small grant provides the maximum amount of INR 400,000 to organizations who can prove themselves to be deserving of this. Another example would be the U.S. Embassy in India who offers small grants specifically for cultural preservation. Cultural preservation includes the protection of cultural heritage sites, the maintenance of languages and dialects, and study of several religions. The preservation of culture in many parts of the world pose difficulties with the many western influences. For countries like India who pay huge emphasis on rich history and culture, preservation has indeed been necessary.
It is a given fact known to all that small grants may not be sufficient in funding several projects. Thus, it is a good step in attaining larger funds in the future. At the end of the day, attaining something will still provide progress for your organization over the rejection of large grants.