More Help In Finding $$$ in Your Own Back Yard

Grant Advisors Ray Sweeney and Frank Klimko suggest the best way to start your funding search is by first looking in your own backyard. We provide a list of local and state resources here. We will periodically provide additional lists for our readers.


The Sheltering Arms Foundation provides grants to nonprofit organizations located in and providing services in the state of Minnesota that benefit children and their families who have the least access to resources. The foundation’s funding priorities include: improve access to early childhood education and childcare, support educational enrichment, and strengthen family relationships. The foundation supports direct service programs and advocacy efforts that raise the level of public awareness and commitment to the well-being of children. The foundation accepts grant requests up to $20,000 with an average grant award of $10,000-$15,000. The next round of grants is to open later this year.


The Ethel S. Abbott Charitable Foundation supports nonprofits in Lincoln, Omaha, and Western Nebraska. Fields of Interest: education, art, environment, human services, sports, wellness programs and disadvantaged children. Funding varies. Rolling deadlines. Capital grants are a priority although the foundation will occasionally make an operating grant for the start up of a new 501(c)(3) or a program which will become self-sustaining after the start up period.

New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Vermont, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania

The Viola W. Bernard Foundation sponsors the Youth Mental Health Grants Program, which provides seed money for innovative mental health programs with an emphasis on families and children. The purpose of this program is to support innovative programs that address the interplay between social conditions and the psychological health of children and families. Award amounts vary. Eligible applicants include projects or programs for youth that involve a mental health component. Awards range from $10,000 to $15,000; the 2014 deadline is Nov. 2.

North Carolina

The mission of the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust is to improve the quality of life and education for financially needy families and children of North Carolina. Education is a priority. It supports efforts in middle school to help students achieve academic success and to prepare them for high school graduation. The maximum grant amount for capital construction projects is $350,000; the maximum grant amount for capital equipment projects is $100,000. The 2015 deadlines are Feb. 10 and Aug. 11.


The Oregon Community Foundation’s Community Grants Program supports projects that address one of the foundation’s four primary funding priorities: nurture children and strengthen families, enhance educational opportunities, increase cultural opportunities, and preserve and improve Oregon’s livability. Grants average $20,000; 2015 application deadlines are Feb. 1 and Aug. 1.


The Albert and Ethel Herzstein Charitable Foundation supports education, enrichment and quality of life programs. The foundation funds organizations impacting the Greater Houston–Galveston area. The Foundation does fund grants outside of the area on occasion. Rolling deadlines. The awards average $5,000 to $10,000. Schools have benefited. The foundation awarded a $25,000 grant to the School of the Woods, Houston to help with the construction of a new high school.


The Vermont Community Foundation provides support to more than 600 nonprofit and community organizations in the 65 communities in the state. The Small and Inspiring program offers grants of up to $2,500 to organizations that focus on connecting people to each other and their community. The Innovations and Collaborations program provides grants up to $20,000 for creative programs that solve community problems. The Paul Post Fund supports public or school libraries’ young adult programs, grades 6-12. Deadlines vary by program.

About Frank Klimko

Frank Klimko is a nationally known journalist, grants expert and speech writer/speaker. He has years of experience helping nonprofits devise lists of the right funding opportunities and secure funding from these foundations and corporate entities. Clients have focused on an array of areas including child care, homeless, hunger and K-12 education.

Additionally, he is a Freedom of Information Act expert, who has helped numerous clients with securing proprietary information from the federal government.

Currently, Frank Klimko writes the Children & Youth Funding Report and Private Grants Alert, which are Washington DC-based publications. CYF is a daily publication covering Congress, the Education Dept. and the various federal regulatory agencies. PGA, another daily publication, covers the world of private philanthropy.

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