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Nonprofit guides

Top Grants for Nonprofits in 2024

April 19, 2024

Grants for nonprofits give you tax-exempt funding to unlock new fundraising possibilities for your mission. It only makes sense that most organizations jump at opportunities to secure grants for operations, projects, and future investments.

A high volume of applications and an endless list of grant options can make finding and applying to the right options for your nonprofit seem daunting. Luckily, you landed on a guide to the top nonprofit grants for 2024. 

Dive into helpful resources to secure your nonprofit funding, including:

What are nonprofit grants?

Grants for nonprofit organizations are large donations gifted from public or private foundations, government bodies, or corporations to qualifying organizations. Grants are crucial to fund missions and projects that create change within communities and grow nonprofits' capabilities. 

When we say grants are a large donation, we mean way larger than a standard gift any individual or major donor can give. Grants often have a value equal to an entire fundraising campaign, which makes them a great addition to your annual strategy.

While it can feel like you’re getting free money, there are rules, eligibility criteria, lengthy application processes, and sometimes restrictions about how grant funding for nonprofits can be used. That's why getting familiar with the process and different types of grants available can help you prepare to put your best foot forward.

Government grants for nonprofits

The federal government awards grants nationwide, but established nonprofits can also tap into their state and local agencies. 

A government grant may have more eligibility criteria for applicants and a more complex application process. At the same time, they can offer nonprofits higher amounts of funding that are typically available year-round.

Due to the rigorous selection process, these grants are also considered more prestigious and can support a nonprofit's reputation and status. For example, you can mention your government grant in marketing to donors and your annual report to stand tall with stakeholders.

Government grants may come from:

  • State governments
  • County governments
  • City or township governments
  • Special district governments
  • Native American tribal governments (federally recognized)
  • Native American tribal governments (other than federally recognized)

Foundation grants for nonprofits

A foundation grant comes from a private or public organization supporting the greater community. A public foundation often collects donations to support grantmaking efforts, while a private foundation does not. 

Both offer a great funding source to select nonprofits that align with the foundation’s vision. Every foundation is slightly different regarding the grant application process and the type of projects it may want to support.

It's always helpful to build relationships with foundations that seem like a good fit and create long-term partnerships to tap into over time as new grant opportunities are continuously arising.

Corporate grants for nonprofits

Corporate grants come from companies supporting specific nonprofit causes, charitable projects, and activities like research. Forbes predicts that in 2024, businesses will increasingly look for ways to support corporate social responsibility by partnering with nonprofits.

Nonprofits might find it easier to navigate corporate grants as they usually come from large brand names to which they can relate their mission. There might also be fewer steps or policies than a government grant for eligible organizations. 

Corporate grants can also be flexible, including exchanging goods, employees, and services. Later in this article, you’ll see an example in our list of top nonprofit grants.

How to find grants for nonprofits

The best way to find grants for your nonprofit is to know where to look at a local, state, and nationwide level. Whether you’re starting a nonprofit that needs a jump start in programming or exploring grants to scale operations, there are grant options to explore. 

Nonprofits of any mission, size, or location can find support if they search in the right places. Check out this simple 3-step approach to find a nonprofit grant match.

Step 1: Seek out local grants

Foundations near your nonprofit, either on the state or city level, are great places to find grant opportunities. It's also helpful to apply when your mission directly impacts the foundation's local community or roots.

You can find local foundations and government grants with an online search targeted to your area. An example would be "New Jersey foundation grants for nonprofits 2024," which surfaces a list like this one to find one that resonates.

Step 2: Lean on foundation directories

State and local databases can also help you filter search results down by your cause category and location to get where you need to go faster. 

A few directories and grant databases to explore are:

  • GrantWatch surfaces grants available nationwide with a quick preview of the eligibility criteria and a detailed view of information and deadlines to apply.

  • United Philanthropy Forum provides a member directory for searching nearly 100 regional and national philanthropy-serving organizations (PSOs) that may have grant opportunities or become strategic connections to build relationships.

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Step 3: Search government agencies

State and local governments often have databases covering all available nonprofit grant opportunities. The California Grants Portal is an excellent example of how simple it can be to check out what’s available in your area. 

If your state doesn’t have a comprehensive database for grants or you’re interested in seeking out even more opportunities, will give you the biggest selection of government grants.

How to choose the right nonprofit grants

When you start diving into the databases and search results for nonprofit grants, you may find yourself needing help to decide which one to apply for. The following considerations can guide your decision-making.

  • Start with your goal: When you keep your ideal outcome for any grant funding in mind, you can quickly sift through applications that will help you achieve it. Maybe you’re looking for grants for new nonprofits or want to focus on grants to advance research.
  • Evaluate the eligibility and requirements: Considering eligibility closely will help you avoid wasting application time for grants tailored toward highly specific causes and initiatives.
  • Look for alignment: You can usually trim down your list of grants to apply to by looking at which funding organizations most align with your nonprofit. This might be in terms of location, mission, values, people, or purpose for funding.
  • Assess your return on investment: Numbers matter, and it's essential to ask yourself if the amount you may be granted is a good return on the time you invest in each application process.

Check out 6 steps to start a nonprofit with no money

What are the most common grant opportunities for nonprofits?

Another critical factor in finding the best grants is seeing which type(s) of support would benefit your current priorities. You might seek a combination of grants or narrow your search around one type you know will make the biggest difference.

  • Capacity-building grants help nonprofits grow in areas needing more funding by covering process improvement and investment instead of a specific project.
  • Conditional grants fund nonprofits upon meeting certain expectations and conditions. There are restrictions in place that the funder and your nonprofit agree to ahead of time.
  • Endowment grants offer funding from foundations to nonprofits that are earning interest. An endowment fund typically receives contributions from grantors based on milestones and can come with support for governance standards.
  • Facilities and equipment grants (capital grants) cover the costs associated with facilities owned by a nonprofit. Government grants are popular for equipment, building, and infrastructure support.
  • Project grants support nonprofit activities, programs, and specific outcomes outlined during the application process. These grants often have restrictions on where and when funds can be spent.
  • Operating fund grants are an option for established nonprofits seeking support for operation expenses. These grants look for nonprofits who manage monthly finances without support.
  • Research grants fund nonprofits that are involved in the learning and exploration of new insights. Research can be financially covered to support the intended outcomes.
  • Technical assistance grants pay for support in the form of experts in various fields that a nonprofit may need to fill gaps. Consultants might help with legalities, finances, accounting, marketing, and other vital functions.
  • In-kind grants support nonprofits without money but instead look at things like cars, technology, facilities, and services.

The 6 best nonprofit grants available for nonprofits in 2024


The Amazon Web Services (AWS) IMAGINE Grant empowers nonprofits through technology adoption and learning. The organization believes that technology is mission-critical and looks for opportunities to provide financial assistance.

Nonprofits can use the grant to support existing projects or new ideas centered on tech. The following three award categories are currently offered.

  • The Pathfinder Generative AI Award:
    • Supports innovative projects using generative AI
    • Awards up to $200,000 USD in unrestricted cash funds
    • Awards up to $100,000 USD in AWS promotional credits
    • Includes marketing and implementation support from AWS
  • The Go Further, Faster Award:
    • Supports projects using the cloud to scale missions forward
    • Awards up to $150,000 USD in unrestricted cash funds
    • Awards up to $100,000 USD in AWS promotional credits
    • Includes marketing and implementation support from AWS
  • The Momentum to Modernize Award:
    • Supports foundational projects operating with technology
    • Awards up to $50,000 USD in unrestricted cash funds
    • Awards up to $20,000 USD in AWS promotional credits
    • Includes marketing and implementation support from AWS

Do I qualify?

All 501(c)3 organizations in the United States, United Kingdom, and Ireland are eligible. AWS welcomes nonprofits of any budget, mission, and size to apply.

Check out specific requirements and past winners for the awards listed above.

Timeline to apply : The 2024 application process is open from May 3 to June 3. 

2. Bank of America Charitable Foundation

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation focuses on responsible growth and social progress. It offers grants to nonprofits that support low—and moderate-income communities.

Bank of America aims to partner with charitable organizations that enable vulnerable populations, including working families and those impacted by the criminal justice system.

An Economic Mobility grant is currently open and focused on the needs of the community, which includes:

  • Housing development 
  • Minority homeownership programs
  • Pathways to stable housing or homeownership
  • Sustainable development 
  • Revitalization, preservation, and stabilization
  • Transit-oriented development
  • Community arts and cultural institutions 
  • Resiliency of communities 
  • Environmental efforts
  • Supporting organizations/initiatives that bring energy efficiency
  • Small business resiliency

Do I qualify?

Any tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organization not classified as a private foundation or working through a fiscal sponsor may apply. Bank of America also requires nonprofits to either be based in or serve vulnerable communities, including:

  • Working families
  • Youth
  • Seniors
  • Individuals living with disabilities
  • Veterans
  • Those impacted by the criminal justice system

Read full eligibility criteria

Timeline to apply: Request for proposals (RFPs) will be accepted between May 27, 2024 and June 21, 2024.

3. Google Ad Grants

Google Ad Grants award qualifying nonprofits with search ads to help their fundraising efforts reach more audiences. Nonprofits can receive up to $10,000 worth of monthly Google Ads credit.

Recipients can also gain premium access to the various technology tools Google owns, including:

Do you qualify?

Google Ad Grants require your nonprofit to request a Google for Nonprofits account. Any charitable organization recognized by its country as a legitimate nonprofit in good standing is eligible.

Exceptions to eligibility include organizations that are:

  • Government entities
  • Hospitals or healthcare organizations
  • Schools, academic institutions, and universities

Timeline to apply: Applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the year.

4. Walmart Foundation

The Walmart Foundation's grant program is community-centric. Every year, Walmart and Sam's Club stores provide cash grants between $250 and $5,000 to charitable causes.

Nonprofits are encouraged to apply for a Spark Good Local Grant through their local store. The funding aims to directly address community needs and offer solutions that improve quality of life.

Do you qualify?

A Spark Good Local Grant may be awarded to any 501(c)(3) organization that completes verification by Walmart's third-party verification service.

Common grant recipients include:

  • Schools
  • Faith-based organizations
  • Food pantries and soup kitchens
  • Clothing closets
  • Law enforcement and fire departments

Read more about grant eligibility

Timeline to apply: Applications are accepted quarterly on the following schedule for 2024:

  • March 1- July 15
  • August 1 - October 15
  • November 1 - December 31

5. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Grants

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation supports nonprofits that promote health equity. Organizations can partner with the foundation to fund specific projects that offer health services or support to individuals and communities.

The foundation currently has three active grant opportunities for nonprofits to explore:

Do you qualify?

All applicants must be based in the United States. Teams with members split between the US and other countries are also eligible.

Preference is given to institutes of higher education, nonprofits, and public entities. The various grant opportunities may require additional criteria regarding health equity and projects supporting the RWJ Foundation's goals.

Grab resources to prepare and explore the grant process

Timeline to apply: Applications are open all year for every grant except the RWJF Culture of Health Prize, which has a deadline of June 3, 2024.

6. Silicon Valley Community Foundation Grants

The Silicon Valley Community Foundation (SVCF) awards nonprofit grants for health and environmental support. Twice a year, the applications open to invite organizations looking to fund community-based solutions.

The SVCF's Community Action Grants Program granted over $3 billion to Bay Area nonprofits in 2023. This year, the foundation will notably support organizations led by people of color and a clear focus on racial justice.

Do you qualify?

Charitable organizations with annual budgets under 3 million may apply, with a preference to those with budgets under $1.5 million. Organizations should support San Mateo and/or Santa Clara counties, even if they are not headquartered there.

Focus areas should include:

  • Arts and Culture
  • Capacity-building and leadership investment
  • Environment
  • Faith and neighborhoods
  • Health
  • Local journalism
  • Movement- and power-building

Timeline to apply: Round 2 applications will open on August 1, 2024, and decisions will be announced in October 2024.

Grab grant updates and learn more about the application process

Grant application tips

Now that you know what's available for nonprofit grant funding, it's time to wrap up with some best practices for your application. Each grant may require a unique proposal, but there are a few general tips you can apply universally.

Make a big impression with your executive summary 

Think of your executive summary as your first impression among applicants. This is your opportunity to stand out and capture attention.

Creating a memorable executive summary means knowing as much as possible about the foundation or organization awarding a grant.

Consider the following questions as you get writing:

  • What is the funder's primary goal, and how can you help them achieve it?
  • Are there any alignment points between your nonprofit's story and the funding organization?
  • What is the best way to quickly introduce the problem and solution you're seeking funding for in a compelling way?
  • How can you show the funder you've read the application criteria fully?

Create a convincing need statement

​​Your need statement is where you make your official ask for funding in a way that persuades a reader to select your nonprofit. It's all about balancing what you want to receive and what the funder is looking for in return.

Your need statement should be short, sweet, and thoughtful to show that you understand your funder's goals. However, short doesn't mean vague.

This is the time to be highly specific and entice someone to continue reading your application through to the end. Help your readers feel confident that they have all the information about a specific problem you’re addressing and why the funding you’re requesting makes a timely difference.

Offer clarity in your project and organization descriptions

Once you've hooked a reader with your executive summary and need statement, it's time to invite them in. Your project and organization descriptions should offer as much clarity as possible with a bit more personality.

You want the person reading your application to feel like they know you, can connect with your mission, and want to see your project come to life.

Consider elements like:

  • Quotes from beneficiaries
  • Examples of desired outcomes
  • Proof of concept from similar projects in the past
  • The feeling a community might experience from your impact

Secure your highest funding yet with Zeffy

Nonprofit grants are an avenue of raising funds that many organizations bring into their fundraising strategy. While you’re sifting through the options to find the best fit, don’t forget about the supplemental funds you can raise with a creative and simple campaign.
Zeffy offers nonprofits the only 100% free fundraising platform built for charitable organizations to take the guesswork out of reaching new donors and converting them with easy-to-use donation forms.

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