If you needed grant money quickly look for foundation grants with short deadline dates, or look at your own community to find a business partner to fund your needs.

But what if you need big money for a project? You might need $50,000, $100,000, $500,000 or even more. While there are a few foundations that give money in those ranges, most of the big grant money comes in the form of federal or state grants. It is true that quite a bit of money has been pulled from these grant programs because of the bad economy, especially in certain parts of the country, but these are still your best sources if you’re looking for big grant money.

You probably already know that any time you deal with the federal government or a state government, things tend to be complicated. The same is true when you apply for a federal or state grant. For one thing, the application is generally longer and more complex than those applications used by foundations or corporations who give grants. I’ve seen federal applications that go into the hundreds of pages.

Don’t let me scare you away, though. Many of the pages are informational, and you don’t have to do anything but read and understand them so that you can fill out the rest of the application properly. On the other hand, you will need a very detailed budget, a detailed assessment program, and of course, a detailed plan to remedy the problem that resulted in you applying for a state or federal grant in the first place.

Your first two steps for applying for a state or federal grant should be:

  1. Define the problem that you have which requires you to seek a large amount of state or federal grant money.
  2. Use a good school grant database to find the state or federal grants you need.

Now available from BCI Burke, a complete and up-to-date database of Federal, State and Private Foundation grants available to schools and non-profit organizations including those with religious affiliations in the eight categories listed below:

  • After-School
  • At-Risk/Character
  • Community Involvement/Volunteerism
  • Early Childhood
  • General Education
  • Health/PE
  • Family Services
  • Facilities/Maintenance


You can also explore The School Funding Center school grant database. They do charge a subscription fee for the use of their database, but it is the most comprehensive and most up-to-date database available.

If you can’t find what you need there, you might look at the following federal sites:


If you are looking for a state grant, you can go to your state education agency website using the following link:


Seeking big money requires you to do more work. However, if you will read instructions carefully and follow them exactly, you should be able to apply for state or federal grants with limited headaches. Just remember, you’re going to have to work more to get the bigger grants.