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Finding a Grant

  • Making the Search Easy

    Finding the right grant opportunity can often be the most difficult part of the grant process. Searching for grants can be cumbersome, but by following a few simple steps you can significantly reduce unnecessary efforts and the amount of time spent searching:

    1. Define your search
    2. Start your search
    3. Narrow down your results
    4. Seek approval and move forward
  • Define Your Search

    To help set up your search parameters, ask yourself the following questions:

    • Who would be interested in funding this type of program or target group?
      • A government department?
      • A related company that might have a foundation?
    • Who is funding similar programs or target populations?

    For example: You are looking for staff and equipment to support the Dental Hygiene program. Ask yourself: What companies might support this type of program through their foundation? Dental related companies like Colgate or Oral-B would be a good place to start searching in this instance. If your project is related to training and employment in the field, perhaps government agencies supporting workforce development, like the Department of Labor or Workforce Florida, would have a grant opportunity that would fit. Does your program expose high school students to this field? Maybe the Florida Department of Education or U.S. Department of Education has a grant opportunity.

    Another key search tactic: find out who else is funding the type of program you’re looking to support. Do you know of another institution that just expanded their Dental Hygiene program? Did they receive a grant to support their expansion and who was the funder?  

  • AFI GrantNavigator

    This new tool is provided to SPC faculty and staff in order to streamline the grant search process. It allows you to view insider notes related to certain grants, view grant summaries and allows you to track your search results. This is a customized database that will be updated daily by the Grants Department with new opportunities and notes for you to view. You are encouraged to search the AFI GrantNavigator as a first step in your search process.

    Note: For document security purposes, the AFI GrantNavigator database currently requires you to login through the Grants SharePoint site in order to perform a search.

    Begin your AFI search now by clicking here to access One College Support SharePoint.  

    Websites and Resources

    Below is a gathering of useful links to help seek external funding:


    Below is a sample of private foundations awarding grants in higher education:

    Grant Search Engines:

    Government Funders:

    State and local agencies:

  • Narrowing Your Results

    Grant opportunity outlines, typically called a Solicitation for Grant Application (SGA) or Request for Proposal (RFP), can be anywhere from 20-70 pages long.  The appearance of the document can be overwhelming, but there are common areas to direct your attention to before reading the entire document.  Here are the key areas to review that will help you decide if you should proceed further:

    • Summary – Does the grant opportunity fit with your overall idea or need? Does it align with SPC's mission?  Do not force your concept to fit with the funder’s focus; however, you can get creative by thinking outside the box on ways to meet it, while also helping to fund your need. 
    • Eligibility – Does SPC qualify under the eligibility requirements?  In some cases, a funder may require a nonprofit to be the lead.  In this instance, you could align yourself with a community partner that is eligible, or approach the SPC foundation to play this role.
    • Deadline – Will you have enough time to pull together a plan and develop a proposal? Don’t dismiss a grant if the due date has passed. It will likely be released the following year around the same time.  Keep it on your radar and start preparing in advance.  The RFPs tend to remain close to the same year after year. 
    • Amount –How much is the grant award maximum?  You need to measure the value of that amount with the time you put into writing the proposal and the time for managing the grant if awarded.  If the grant requires more work than what the award seems to support, it might not be a strategic decision to apply.
    • Number of Awards – How many awards is the funder projecting to award?  Knowing this information will help you to determine just how competitive is the grant.
  • Deciding to Move Forward

    Before you start planning and writing, please ensure you have the proper approvals to move forward by completing the following steps:

    1. Seek and document your supervisor or department head's s approval to proceed (Dean/Provost/Vice President).
    2. Contact the Grants Department with your project idea. We want to ensure that the College hasn’t previously applied for this grant and/or there isn’t another department applying for it.  The Grants Department also needs to ensure the proper approval process is maintained through the President's Office and Board of Trustees.  Additionally, the Grants Department can help in the decision process regarding whether to move forward.
    3. Once the approval process to proceed has been granted, you can begin the next stage: Writing a Grant.