This is a continuation of our section on Important Grant Related Terms.
This section includes definitions of terms related to particular types of grants, the different types of funds that may be part of grant awards, and other non-financial support that may be provided. This information should help you better understand what you are looking for and what you may find:
Capital Support: These are funds which are provided for major expenditures. They are typically long term assets such as buildings or major equipment.
Capital support may also refer to endowment funds (funds which are invested and managed for the long term with only income from the fund spent) and for construction. Typically capital expenditures are over $5000.
Challenge Grants: These are grants which are given subject to the requirement for the recipients to find other funders as well. that means that the Grant Maker will not be the sole funder of the project.
Sometimes Grant Makers will offer a Challenge Grant if the requestor is in a wealthy neighborhood, or to provide an incentive to stimulate other donors.
Need help Finding Grants? Check out our article on that specific subject — and read below so you will know what the grant makers are talking about!
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Foundation Grants are grants that are given out by Foundations. These are private organizations that are funded either by donors or frequently by a bequeath by an individual person, a corporation, or a family. The foundation will have a very specific vision and set of goals and will only consider grant applications which are closely allied with their objectives. You often will not find applications or invitations to apply on their websites. They prefer to learn about an organizations vision and goals and if they are inspired by them they may invite that organization – usually a nonprofit — to apply.
In-Kind Contributions: Sometimes support is offered in ways other than financial. An organization or foundation may offer contributions of office equipment, computers, supplies, office space or special expertise instead of money. These are called In-Kind Contributions. Some of the best In-Kind Contributions can be received from large corporations that may offer software, hardware and equipment at no charge.
Matching Grants: These are funds offered to match funds raised from other donors. They are often powerful incentives to encourage lots of people to donate to causes – we all love to double our money! Remember that the matching grant may have stipulations e.g. matching only for donations to a new building or new project.
Operating Support Grant: This type of award is given to fund ongoing operational expenses such as existing staff and the expenses already in the budget. This differs significantly from other grants that often specify that they be used for items specifically not in an organization's current operating budget. If you're looking for help with operations costs, you may find business opportunities listed at the Federal Business Opportunities (FBO.gov) website.
Grants for Equipment and Facilities: Sometimes grants are awarded to help organizations build or upgrade their buildings or to buy new equipment. These are assets that are expected to last a long time. Because of that the organization awarding a grant will be interested in the grantee’s current condition and programs but also its finance and program projections several years out. Not surprisingly, they will want to be sure that if they fund a major purchase it will have a long productive life in a successful organization that does a great job providing services to its clients.
Seed Money: Seed money refers to funds provided to start new projects – i.e. to “plant a seed.” They may be used to pay people's salaries or to cover any other expenses needed to get a project going. Before applying for Seed Money, it will be important to have a well thought out plan and presentation. Because these are given for new projects, they are often riskier investments for grantors.
Technical Assistance: Technical Assistance is actually a fairly broad term covering a variety of support other than monetary that may be funded by a grant or directly provided to an organization. Services may include financial and/or program planning, fundraising assistance, legal aid, marketing consulting and support, and other management assisance and advice. This type of assistance might also cover funds to pay an outside consultant. Learn more about how this assistance may help you on our Grant Writing and Grants Process pages.