Grants 101 – Types of Grants

by | Jul 7, 2017

We love seeing our partners accelerate their impact and serve their communities in diverse ways. We understand the challenges you face and know that to do good work, you need funding. Grant writing, as part of our “Grants 101,” is a key strategy for raising funds to accelerate your organization’s impact.

There are two types of grants, Foundations and Government, and both come with their benefits and challenges.

Foundations Grants 101

Foundation grants can be community, public, private, family, or corporate. According to Giving USA, foundations gave $59.28 billion in 2016.

grants 101 infographic


  • Foundation grants are usually broad in scope. They cover a variety of causes and are offered to organizations of all sizes.
  • These grants are usually more flexible. You are often free to make the grant work best for your goals and needs.
  • Once you receive a foundation grant, you will realize how much more hands-on foundation representatives are with your organization. There is a relational aspect as you go through the process and utilize the funds.  
  • Often, the application for foundation grants is more manageable.


  • Foundation grants have a limited timeline. They are typically for one-year and often for smaller amounts.  
  • As noted above, foundation grants are more relationship-oriented, which can be a benefit AND a challenge. If you are a recipient of a grant from a foundation, you will likely work closely with the people gifting the funds and are more susceptible to their opinions and ideas.

Government Grants 101

Screen Shot 2017-07-07 at 9.43.29 AMGovernment grants are awarded at the federal, state, and local levels. The federal government spends over $500 billion annually distributing grants to state and local governments. 


  • Government grants are usually awarded in more significant amounts and are often gifted over multiple years.
  • Government grants are more stable funding sources, and you can use these grants to make goals/plans for the long-term impact of your organization.
  • Government grants can be a great way to scale and expand a program or service.


  • The guidelines and requirements for government grants at any level are often more prescriptive and rigorous than foundation grants.
  • Applications for government grants can be cumbersome and often require more information on your organization, track record of success and results, and strong systems in place.
  • The competition for government grants is often high.
  • There are usually more reporting and accounting requirements with government grants, which can be a challenging process to monitor.


At Transform Consulting Group, we sit on both sides of the table. We work with funders to develop, implement, and manage funding programs AND grantees (or recipients) of those funding sources. We know looking for, writing, or applying for grants can become a daunting task, so stay tuned for future blogs with helpful tips for taking your next step.

When we begin working together, many clients approach us with unique challenges or opportunities. Because we have worked with the funders and grantees, we can bring a holistic perspective and understanding to our clients regardless of what side of the table we sit on. This often leads to meaningful engagement and collaboration – which we love!

Is your organization ready to tackle a grant, but don’t have the manpower to work through the application? Are you wondering what grants are available for your specific cause? Contact us today!

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