Anyone who has ever applied for grant funding on behalf of a non-profit organization knows too well the hurdles involved in identifying the appropriate grants, filling out the stacks of paperwork, and then persuasively identifying the reasons why a particular organization deserves to get the money.
Although there is no foolproof formula for winning grant awards, the staffs of GRANTS Inc. and the Non-Profit Institute at Indiana University Northwest on Sept. 20 will demonstrate a useful online tool, Grantstation, that can help 501-c3s of all sizes simplify the application process and better their chances of qualifying for grants that are right for them.
“The first time you go for a grant, it’s pretty daunting,” said Patricia Lundberg, Ph.D., executive director of the IU Northwest Center for Regional Excellence, one of the NPI’s formative partners. “The 10th time, it’s pretty daunting, but at least you know how to use the software.”
One advantage of Grantstation is that its search criteria can be narrowed to meet budgetary and other specifications of particular non-profits, making the search results more useful and concise. The Grantstation online database program will be available for public use at the IU Northwest Library Conference Center, and NPI officials also are working to provide software licensing to area public libraries for added convenience.
Classes on the use of Grantstation will be held at 12 p.m. Sept. 20 on the second floor of the Library Conference Center. The training is provided as part of the Non-Profit Institute’s open house and resource fair, which will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. that same day. Anyone wishing to sign up for Grantstation classes should contact NPI project manager Sandra Bowie at (219) 981-5673, or e-mail her at email@example.com.
Administered jointly by the IU Northwest Center for Regional Excellence and local grants-assistance organization GRANTS Inc., and funded by a three-year grant from Lake Area United Way, the Non-Profit Institute is intended to be a clearinghouse for information, networking and grant assistance for 501-c3 organizations, of which there are an estimated 2,500 in Lake County alone. These include everything from social-service organizations to schools, municipalities and Little League.
Those involved with a Northwest Indiana 501-c3 in any capacity should attend the NPI open house and resource fair to learn how the Institute can assist their organization. Sixty non-profit organizations and related vendors are registered to participate in the resource fair.
For more information about NPI or the Sept. 20 event, contact Sandra Bowie at (219) 981-5673, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org