Funding can be fearful. For most NGOs especially the grass-roots one, they may find it difficult to find the right international funding agencies for their development projects. In India for example, with an estimated 1.2 billion population, the NGOs are thriving—with 1 for every 600 people.
With India being a developing country, grants to Indian NGOs are also booming. It became an avenue for funding agencies to set foot and provide long-term support. But while this looks stars to the eyes, NGOs shouldn’t stress on funding at all. Why not start on small grants?
Small grants for NGOs are more flexible and are much easier to get than big grants. They usually start around $100 to $25,000 and are typically allocated NGOs with inadequate budget. On why donors give small grants come with different reasons. One, the donor may have limited resources and only gives away small amounts. Another reason could be the donor is heavily interested in helping small NGOs that work at the grass roots level or they feel that they will be more influential funding a smaller NGO.
Starting from small will provide NGOs the capacity to grow while getting to know the sector around them. In India for one, with a multitude of NGOs fighting for funds, it can be overwhelming for funding agencies to step in for support. This is why small grants help in providing convenience without sacrificing quality in the long run.
Poverty alleviation remains to be one of the focus points of funds for NGOs in India. A research from Business Today revealed that India accounted for the largest amount of people living below the poverty line, with 30 percent of Indian population lives on less than $1.90 a day.
In response to this issue, NGOs in India go hand in hand in solving poverty through proper allocation of national budget and methods such as feeding program and access to free education. These projects often require a big amount of funds and can be a difficulty for NGOs.
NGOs who wish to access funding at a quicker rate often rely upon an extensive research. A well-rounded research includes compiling a comprehensive list of international funding agencies for NGOs that provide small grants. After gathering the agencies, perform a side by side comparison on these agencies to find what best suits your NGOs. They may provide small grants, but keep in mind that not all funding agencies are the same.
When looking for international grants for individuals, on the other hand, research still play a key role as it provides a keen understanding of agencies that support small and local NGOs and individuals. Example of this is grants to NGOs in India. With more than two million NGOs in the country, a number of them are accounted as local NGOs with limited budget. Research steps in to provide these NGOs a grasp on where to find the funding agency that is right for them.
After selecting the right funding agency for your NGO, you may now start contacting them. You can send an email or call them, but make sure that a concept note is within your reach that summarizes your program in which they could be interested.
Getting a yes from prospect donors can be unnerving, but this is actually giving you a head start on what to expect especially when applying for bigger grants. As you wait for the magic word, keep an eye on other funding agencies. Broaden your options and always ask for suggestions from your colleagues in the sector.