A Nonprofit's Guide to Getting Your First Government Grant

How important is government funding to nonprofits?

We learned from the recently released Causes Count: the Economic Power of California’s Nonprofit Sector – New Findings that government funding represents 30% of nonprofit revenue in California, more than foundation funding and individual giving combined! We also learned that nonprofits struggle to find and secure government grants – particularly their first one.

In total, government provides more than ten times the funding to nonprofits as foundations, especially in human services, health and education, but also in the arts, environment, animal welfare, consumer protection, and elsewhere. But there are lots of workshops and resources on getting foundation grants compared to very few on getting government grants. We hope our new A Nonprofit’s Guide to Getting Your First Government Grant helps community nonprofits access government funding.


It includes:

  • How nonprofits find government funding opportunities and get their foot in the door
  • Why getting a government grant is like getting a job
  • Advice from real nonprofit folks who secured first-time government funding for their organizations How government proposal writing is different from foundation proposal writing
  • Potential pitfalls of government funding

You can download the Guide here. And, let us know what you think!

We can only advocate on behalf of nonprofits or produce reports and resources like these because our members support our work! If your organization is not yet a member, please consider joining. You will strengthen the voice of California’s nonprofits, and get great perks that can save you time and money.

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