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How To Win Grants From Banks

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013

Banks are a source of grant funding you may not have tried.  The first question on your mind may be: where do I find bank grant opportunities?  Banks are everywhere, in every state and every community.  However, banks vary greatly in their grant making programs, and some may have no formal program at all.  Those with formal grant programs may have funding priorities and guidelines like other corporations.  Some banks may be open to any community needs.  I’ve come across hefty applications and short applications.  I’ve seen both local grants and the more competitive regional grants.  Some larger banks have foundations that handle their charitable giving and many consider sponsorships as well as grants.  With annual charitable giving in the hundreds of millions of dollars, banks are worth a look.

There are two places to start your search: locally and online.  Look around you.  What banks have a branch in your community?  They are all potential funders for your organization.  Does your organization bank with any of them?  (That’s not a necessity).  What banks do your board members use?  Which banks are the closest to your facility?  These are just places to start.  As the development director, you can walk into a local bank and ask who the community giving officer is.  You may be met with a blank stare or you may be given the name of the branch manager.  That manager will lead you to the correct person.  To initiate the conversation introduce yourself and ask when their next grant making cycle is.  You may be handed an application, warmly told that they love your organization, or informed that there is no application process and you just need to write a proposal letter. I like stopping in a bank in person and making that contact.  If that person knows of your organization that is a good thing.  Especially when they say, “just bring your application to me and I’ll submit it to the committee.”  Often bank funding is decided by branch representatives so you want that one person fighting for your proposal.  Of course, you may prefer to research online instead of in person.

How To Win Grants From Banks by Victoria M. Johnson

Banks Want to Support the Communities They Serve!

When I typed in bank community giving in my search engine (such as google or yahoo or bing) several options popped up, including:

US Bank

https://www.usbank.com/community/charitable-giving.html

People’s United Bank

https://www.peoples.com/peoples/Footer/About-People%27s-United/In-The-Community/Charitable-Giving

TD Bank

http://www.tdbank.com/community/corporate_giving.html

Bank of America

http://about.bankofamerica.com/en-us/global-impact/find-grants-sponsorships.html#fbid=d9rOCmnTCCe

Wells Fargo

https://www.wellsfargo.com/about/charitable/

Chase Bank

https://www.facebook.com/ChaseCommunityGiving

You can also search online by typing in your state or city name in your search engine, for example, when I typed in bank community giving California more options popped up such as:

Union Bank

https://www.unionbank.com/global/about/corporate-social-responsibility/foundation/index.jsp

California Bank & Trust

http://www.calbanktrust.com/about/community-grant.html

You can also type in your bank’s name and the words community giving.  Or go directly to their website and use their search feature with a word like: community, charitable giving, corporate giving, foundation, or social responsibility.  These options take more time than the first two options above.

Once you go to the bank’s website you’ll find grant guidelines and deadlines and a contact person.  Follow the guidelines (and my tips) just as you would for any other grant proposal.  Remember, you can’t win a grant if you don’t apply.  Good luck!

Guerilla Grantwriting Tactics

Wednesday, February 16th, 2011

Are you fed up with grant request rejections? Are you at a loss how to improve your chances of winning grant funding? Are you ready to throw in the towel? Don’t give up! You’ve come to the right place. The Grant Whisperer will reveal secrets for grantwriting success. So if you’re ready to kick-butt, take names, and smell victory, then it’s time to get busy.

Kids in School

Pull out your most recent rejected proposal and let’s take a look at it. We won’t talk about the visual appeal of it today. I’m more concerned about the content. Did you write with confidence, with clarity, and with specifics? Did your writing seize the reader? When a grant writer drones on, and beats around the bush, and makes vague statements, it’s difficult for a grantor to see the impact they’ll make by funding your proposal. Look again at your paragraphs of description and see if there are opportunities to specifically show the grantor how you’ll make a huge impact with their grant support. Articulate your passion for what you do. These are what grantors need to see.

For more on this topic, I dedicated two episodes of my BlogTalkRadio show to Guerilla Grantwriting Part I and Guerilla Grantwriting Part II. They are available to listen to at any time.