There are grants for small business - just not for "for-profit" businesses. Here is an example:
The Brown Rudnick Charitable Foundation Corporation issued a request for letters of interest from tax-exempt organizations on April 17, 2009. Responses are due by May 1, 2009.
Some keys here for any business seeking grant money. This foundation, and many just like it across the nation, seek to provide grants to "tax-exempt organizations" - meaning non-profit - 501(c)(3)s.
Further, the foundation's mission is to improve "inner-city education." - meaning that your non-profit must also comply with their mission - by providing inner-city education services. To explain this a bit more - just look at their requirements for their letter of interest:
It should briefly contain the following information:
1) Identification of the organization.
a. Organization Name
b. Main Address, Phone #, E-mail
c. Contact person (and address, phone, e-mail if different)
d. Website (or, if none, person to contact for more information)
e. IRS tax exempt status.
2) Narrative description of your educational proposal, including:
a. How this proposal will improve inner-city education for specific, identifiable individuals?
b. How do you know it will work? How do you know that your organization is the one to make it work?
c. What the anticipated cost will be to achieve those results (and how much are you seeking in your grant from the Foundation)?
3) Any other information you think would be important for us to consider.
Pay particular attention to section 2 - part a - here the foundation asks for very specific information on how your company will help them meet their mission. If you cannot specifically explain this - your letter of interest will be rejected.
Moreover, in section 1, the foundation does want to see your tax exempt letter for the IRS - not a provisional letter or that you submitted an application for exemption - but the actual letter granting you the status.
Most foundations follow these procedures. Your company must be a 501(c)(3) and must offer services that help the foundation meet its mission and goals.
The foundation will usually solicit a letter of interest (no more than two pages). The foundation will review these letters and then invite the companies they feel meet their requirements to resubmit a full, formal application.
Just keep in mind - this process - from the letter of interest to actually funding can take 3 to 6 months or more.
Business Money Today
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