Getting grants is not unusual, especially in the case of non-profits which sometimes get more than 25% of their income from grants from funds. The number and value of the grants depends on the state of the economy. In a rising economy the number of grants will also rise, but that does not mean that in a falling economy you should not explore this opportunity.
Individual donors offer almost 75% of all the grants for nonprofits while the rest comes from corporations. Corporations, having a larger financial power, give important grants, but also have more requirements to be met by the companies that send an application.
Going for grants for fund is not only recommended, but might be a requirement if you want your non-profit to survive and the way to do it is through networking. The first place you should start exploring to find grants is your local community. This is a good tactic because you can influence the people in your community and gain their trust. They can see what you do, what your values are and, chances are, that they even worked with you at some point so they are more likely to sustain your cause. Start building credibility and talking directly to a group of supporters who have a lot of influence locally.
If you built relationship locally and got funding in your area you can go for more valuable national or regional grants from more influential funders.
One way to find good funders is to rent ready-made databases of such funders. This will save you a lot of time, which you would otherwise spend doing research and you can get introduced much quicker to the people that can actually make the decision of offering the grant. Keep an eye open for newspaper articles that may feature possible funders.
Is your nonprofit new? Don`t let that limit your possibilities. Most people think that if a nonprofit is new it has few chances of getting grants. The reality is that the size and age of a nonprofit is not always an issue, investors being more interested in the profile of the nonprofit, its ties with the community, its plans and if the managers seem motivated enough to actually put the money to good use.
If you are still undecided try testing the ground. Small foundations do not always require a big proposal package so you could send a letter of inquiry and ask about the possibility of getting a grant. If they are willing to do it or even slightly interested they will give you a response and tell you what their requirements are and what they expect from you.
Go ahead and use the power of grants from funds to achieve your goals and do good in this world.