10 Disaster Relief Grants That Nonprofits Should Know About

by | Jun 10, 2021

disaster relief grantsThe times we live in are difficult. Today we have COVID-19, natural disasters, and weather anomalies.

Disaster relief grants help businesses of all kinds survive in our turbulent times. Non-profits are particularly vulnerable because their operating funds come from donations.

During periods of hardship, gifts tend to disappear as donors struggle to pay bills. They’re far less likely to give to community causes when their own survival is in jeopardy.

If you run a non-profit and would like to benefit from available grants, this article is for you. Here’s an overview of some of the emergency grants that you could apply for.

How Nonprofits Qualify for Disaster Relief Funds

Non-profits looking for relief can apply for grants based on hardship status. Hardship status means they can prove they’ve experienced financial loss directly caused by disturbing current events.

The process involves contacting the grant-giving foundation and making inquiries about how to apply. There are as many different requirements as there are grant-giving sources, so you will have to find out the specifics.

Having to do a lot of paperwork is normal, but most foundations genuinely want to help and try to make the process as user-friendly as they can. Getting a grant for your non-profit can help you keep the books balanced and help your business survive until things get better.

1. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

One of the most well-known worldwide sources of disaster relief funding is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. They specialize in helping in instances of acute emergencies. As a non-profit, you can apply on their website by filling out a Request for Proposals form.

Although the famous couple has experienced recent marital difficulties, they have promised to keep their foundation work going strong.

2. Actors Fund Entertainment Assistance Program

This grant is for actors who struggle with a loss of work. Because actors work intermittently anyway, a natural or health disaster like COVID-19 can make surviving almost impossible. This grant can help struggling actors with things like rent, food, and basic bills.

3. Artist Relief Project

The Artist Relief Project helps artists who have been negatively impacted by COVID-19 shutdowns.

Nonprofit organizations pool funds from the community and reserve them for helping people when times get tough. Artists are especially vulnerable to periods of economic disaster because they often freelance and don’t have luxuries like health insurance.

When a pandemic like COVID-19 strikes, artists are especially vulnerable because their work is often thought to be “non-essential”. This means their sales may drop as their customers lose their own abilities to buy anything beyond basic necessities. If they teach art, as many artists do, they also lose money because of class cancellations.

4. Musicians Foundation

This grant helps musicians with medical and dental issues, as well as a variety of personal crises. It is also available in the event of natural disasters and other emergencies. Like visual artists, musicians are especially vulnerable during pandemics. They can’t travel and do in-person events like concerts, which may provide most of their income under normal circumstances.

5. Pfund Foundation

This grant helps people deal with the effects of COVID-19. It is especially geared toward members of the LGBTQ+ community and addressing their needs during the pandemic.

6. Emergency Business Grants from Government and Other Sources

If you’re looking for a nonprofit guide to disaster relief, start searching online. You’ll find a plethora of interesting resources for non-profits experiencing hard times.

The SBA or Small Business Administration is a great place to find emergency business grants for companies of all sizes. You can also check with your state and federal representatives for information about available emergency money.

7. Open Road Alliance

The Open Road Alliance provides $50,000 to non-profits that have to reschedule their fundraiser events because of COVID-19. It is a low-interest loan that can be used for anything related to fundraising losses.

Since most non-profits survive because of donations, having access to this type of assistance is a lifesaver. Without fundraisers to bring in the donations, some non-profits may lose over 50% of their standard operating budgets.

8. Hello Alice

This foundation helps members of the African American community in emergency situations. They distribute $10,000 grants and also keep a database of other resources that members can rely on.

9. Professional Beauty Association

The Professional Beauty Association offers a disaster relief grant of $500. It’s designed to help licensed beauticians and hairstylists survive emergency situations. They also extend some organizational benefits to other salon employees.

COVID-19 hit salons especially hard. Many people were rightfully afraid to go out during the pandemic, and getting their hair worked on lost its appeal. Salons closed, and many hairstylists were laid off. This is just one example of why this grant is such a great resource.

10. Small Business Grants from Facebook

Most non-profits rely heavily on Facebook and other social media platforms to keep their communities informed and engaged, and to raise money.

Facebook provides a certain yearly amount of grant money to small businesses. They focus on helping companies that use Facebook for their marketing.

It’s not uncommon for them to receive many more applicants than they can possibly help, so apply early each year.

Find Disaster Relief Grants for Your Organization

So now you’ve seen several examples of disaster relief grants. They’re all available to non-profits and individuals in times of disaster. If you run a non-profit it pays to know about these different options. This way you can better run your organization and reach out to individuals in your community.

We help non-profits manage their accounting activities and specialize in handling all the different kinds of financial issues they face. If you’d like to find out more about financial resources for non-profits, schedule a free consultation with us today!


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