Common Grant Application

The Common Grant Application(R) simplifies the lives of grantmakers and grantseekers alike. It is an online system that is similar to the Common Application for students – only this one applies to grants.

One broadly based system available is straightforward, easy, flexible and inexpensive. Both grantmakers and grantseekers can use the Common Grant Application Web Site not only to apply for and manage grants, but also to request a demo or to sign up for free webinars.

Common Grant Applications were developed in order to reduce the administrative burden for non-profit organizations. There are both national and regional groups that use the basic concept of the common grant application.

The purpose of the Common Grant Application is to simplify the grant seeking and grant management process by providing a single platform to either apply for or manage the process of offering a grant. So if you are applying for a grant, one application will go to several grant makers. Typically the grant application is made online. For information on writing any kind of grant proposal, be sure to see Writing a Good Grant Proposal.

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Regional Common Grant Applications

It is a great benefit that Grantmakers in many areas have joined together to simplify the grant application and management processes. This move can save you lots of time and energy if you manage it right.

Who Uses the Common Grant Application? It's interesting to know that you can view a current list of applicants on the Common Grant Application website. The list includes the name of the organization, a brief profile provided by that entity, and sometimes a website. This could be useful for you to take a look at to see if you have something in common with these groups. That would suggest it could be encouraging to use the Common Grant Application. You might also contact a particular group to see if they might give you some tips – whether they have been successful or not. Though the CGA is a membership organization there is no charge to applicants.

Before pursuing a Common Grant Application in your area there are a few important things to remember:

  • First is that there may not be a Common Grant Application in your particular region. This situation can change so it is worth checking periodically to see if one has developed.
  • Common Grant Applications are modified and updated on a regular basis, so be sure you are using the most current version when you apply for a grant.
  • Just because there is a CGA in your region it doesn't mean that all organizations that award grants will accept it. There are still some that like to use their own customized application materials and you must comply with their specific requirements.

Following are examples of some groups with CGA's. There are many of them across the United States! You may see one that applies directly to you below though only a handful are listed. Check out their websites if you are eligible in their areas. Otherwise, do a web search and enter the terms “common grant application” along with your particular area of interest (e.g. “common grant application Florida”.

Colorado: According to the Colorado Common Grant Forms website, the Common Grant Applications and Common Grant Report make it easier for those who make and those who seek grants to look for and provide standard information that reinforces productive practices for not-for-profit organizations. In addition, everyone gets to save time and effort by not reinventing the wheel with every opportunity and application.

Washington State: In the state of Washington, the Washington Grantmakers' members created formats for applications and reports considering input from grantseekers and evaluation experts, to facilitate grant application and reporting. Go to Washington's common grant website to apply for a grant or to list your grantmaking organization.

Santa Barbara: Some common grant application groups are limited to a particular city or group of cities. In California such a group has been formed in Santa Barbara County. It is specifically for the use of local nonprofits. Visit The Nonprofit Support Center for further information and action.

Maine Philanthropy Center: On the opposite side of the U.S., the Maine Philanthropy Center is made up of 93 Maine grantmakers of all imaginable varieties. They share a dedication to enhancing all aspects of the philanthropic community in the state of Maine. If you are in this area, visit the Maine Philanthropy Center.

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