Best Grants for Nonprofit Startups

Person looking at Nonprofit grants on a tablet.

Grants provide funding for organizations working to make a difference in their community and beyond. Nonprofit startups can seek these funding opportunities to gain capital, operational support, or even opportunities to join accelerator programs.

There are a myriad of grants available for nonprofits looking for funding opportunities to further their initiatives. If you're looking for a grant for your nonprofit organization, you're in the right place. From technology grants to government grant opportunities, these are the best grants for nonprofits this year.

Types of Grants for Nonprofits

Before you begin your search for the best grants for nonprofits, you should be familiar with the different types of grant funding options available to you. There are several varieties of grants for nonprofits, but the three most common types are government, corporate, and foundation grants.

Government Grants

Government grants can be distributed by state, local, and federal governments or organizations such as the Small Business Administration (SBA), AmeriCorps, or NASA. The most common way to search for state, local, or federal grants is through, which allows you to search for grants related to your industry as well as browse the government agencies that offer them. 

Corporate Grants

Corporate grants are awarded to nonprofits by companies such as Amazon, Google, and State Farm. Grants offered by corporations can commonly be financing, resources, tools, or acceleration programs. 

Foundation Grants

Foundation grants are offered by nonprofits for nonprofits. Often, foundation grants will be offered by corporate foundations such as The Walmart Foundation and provide funding for other organizations’ initiatives. However, there are also private foundations that offer a variety of grant options for nonprofit startups.  

Best Nonprofit Grants for Startups

1. Google Ad Grants

Google Ad Grants powered by the search engine of the same name is a unique grant offering built to help nonprofit organizations reach a global audience. Rather than offering a grant in the form of capital, the Google Ad Grants provides grant winners with credits towards search ads displayed on when people search for similar organizations. Grant winners receive up to $10,000 in search ads per month.  

Grant eligibility for Google Ads Grant requires organizations to be registered as a charitable organization in a qualifying country and verified by Google for Nonprofits’ partner Percent. Then, organizations must meet their country’s individual eligibility requirements and agree to terms and conditions. Government entities, hospitals and healthcare organizations, schools, and academic institutions are not eligible. 

2. Lawrence Foundation Grant

The Lawrence Foundation is a private family foundation established in the mid-2000s. The foundation is dedicated to supporting environmental and human services organizations to better the world. 

Grants through the Lawrence Foundation are given twice yearly in June and December. To be eligible, nonprofits must qualify for 501(c)(3) status. However, public schools and libraries are also eligible. 

The foundation awards grants primarily in the following categories: environment, human services, and disaster relief. However, eligible organizations are not limited to these categories. The grant includes between $5,000 to $10,000 in funding, of which up to 50% can be used for indirect costs

3. Amazon Web Services (AWS) IMAGINE Grant Program

Technology is the key to unlocking solutions to many of the world’s problems. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers two grants within their IMAGINE Grant program to help nonprofit organizations leverage technology to make a difference. Both grants are awarded once per year to US-based nonprofit organizations with 501(c) status.

Go Further, Faster Award 

The Go Further, Fast Award is a grant dedicated to innovations built with the cloud. Eligible nonprofits must utilize advanced cloud services, including artificial intelligence, machine learning, and more, to develop scaled, repeatable solutions for their industry or sector. 

Grant includes: 

  • Up to $150,000 of unrestricted capital
  • Up to $100,000 in AWS promotional credit
  • Project implementation guidance 
  • AWS training and support 
  • Opportunity for AWS marketing promotion 

Momentum to Modernize Award 

Updated technology is a necessity for more organizations to succeed. The Momentum to Modernize grant is given to organizations that require updated technological infrastructure to improve or enhance their core mission, such as migrating servers to the cloud. 

Grant includes: 

  • Up to $50,000 
  • Up to $20,000 in AWS resources
  • Project implementation guidance 
  • AWS training and support 
  • Opportunity for AWS marketing promotion

4. Walmart Foundation

The Walmart Foundation awards grants quarterly to qualifying organizations. Their grants are available in three ways: open application, request for proposals (RFPs), and invitation only. The only grants available for applications are their Local Community Grants and the Northwest Arkansas Giving Program. 

Local Community Grants

These are quarterly grants given to organizations that benefit their local communities. Eligible nonprofits must operate at a local level, directly benefiting the service area in which they are located, and must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization verified by CyberGrants FrontDoor. 

There are eight areas of funding for this grant type, including community and economic development, diversity and inclusion, human services, hunger relief, education, and environmental sustainability, to name a few. Grant amounts are between $250 and $5,000.

5. The Unless Project

The Unless Project is a grant accelerator hybrid program offered by A Little Better Co (ALBC). Rather than offering a simple amount of funding, grant winners undergo a six-month intensive to refine, build, and scale their organization. The program includes strategy, operations, branding, marketing, pitching, and more topics that help to set the organization up for success. 

Four organizations are awarded the grant yearly. Organizations chosen must operate within one of the following four categories: environmental sustainability, artistic activism, human health and wellness, and social progress and advocacy.  

Grant includes: 

  • Up to $150,000 in services and resources 
  • Six-month intensive accelerator program 
  • $2,500 cash grant

6. Bank of America Charitable Foundation

The Bank of America Charitable Foundation offers two different types of grants that vary slightly in eligibility year-by-year: Economic Mobility Focused on Needs of Individuals and Families and Economic Mobility Focused on the Needs of the Community. 

General amounts of grant funding given are $5,000 to $50,000 for larger markets and $2,500 to $25,000 for smaller markets. To apply, organizations must pass the eligibility quiz and apply by submitting a grant proposal with their requested amount. 

Economic Mobility Focused on Needs of Individuals and Families

These grants are focused on organizations serving families and individuals in the community in the following areas: health, such as access to healthcare or services for houseless individuals as well as employment support, including youth workforce development and skills training for adults. 

Economic Mobility Focused on the Needs of the Community

This Bank of America grant is focused on organizations providing affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization, and small business resiliency, such as technical assistance, incubators, or small business funding. 

7. State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship Company Grants

State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship Company Grants are awarded to organizations making efforts towards the betterment of safety, development, and education within their communities. Grants awarded by State Farm are by invitation only, meaning there are no open grant applications available. 

State Farm grants are awarded to US-based 501c3 nonprofits, 501c4 volunteer fire companies, educational institutions, and governmental programs that align with the focus of the charity. 

Safety Grants 

State Farm’s safety grants are dedicated to institutions developing solutions to address auto and home safety as well as disaster recovery, preparedness, and mitigation. 

Community Development

The Community Development grants offered by State Farm are awarded to organizations working toward solutions for affordable housing, small business development, job training, financial literacy, or neighborhood revitalization, among others. 


The third tier of nonprofit grants from State Farm is dedicated to organizations in the education sector. Specifically, higher education, K-12 academic performance, K-12 STEM, and pathways to college or career readiness. 

How to Find Grants for a Nonprofit Startup

Finding the right nonprofit grants for your organization is an important step toward serving your community. There are several useful resources available to identify nonprofit grants and determine if they are the right fit for your organization so you can narrow down your list. From grant search tools to freelancers, these are the best tips for finding the best grants for nonprofits.

Grant Databases

Starting your search on a grant database is an excellent way to identify all relevant grants for nonprofits and narrow down your list. For government grants, databases like GrantWatch and GrantFinder are great options to find government grants at the state, local, and federal levels. 

For other types of nonprofit grants, there are several grant tools and databases available, such as Instrumentl,, and Candid

Find Grants in Your Area

Whether you search for groups in your community offering grants or local government opportunities, looking in your area for funding can help make the search a little easier. Some local government websites and offices may have information about grants in the area that you may qualify for. 

Additionally, checking in with community foundations or community-based organizations that help fund nonprofit projects like yours may get you closer to finding the right grant for your nonprofit startup.

Go by Industry

One of the best ways to find grants that your nonprofit has the highest likelihood of obtaining is to seek grants within your industry. Each grant and foundation is dedicated to a specific cause, such as sustainability or diversity. 

When you’re searching for the perfect grants for nonprofits like yours, you should prioritize grant opportunities that align with your industry to ensure your organization qualifies.

Hire an Expert

If you are having trouble finding grants or with the grant application process, you may want to consider hiring a grant writer to help. Grant writers can be brought on as staff members or hired as freelancers. 

Grant writing can be a challenging and time-consuming process. A grant writer is a great resource to help find grants, streamline the grant application process, assist with grant writing, and ensure you meet eligibility requirements.