KCResearch User Guides offer advice to specific sets of KCResearch users that may not necessarily be research about Kansas City, but will help build stronger communities.
There are currently three user guides: Tips for Grant Seekers, Tips for New Entrepreneurs, and Tips for Educators. The first provides thorough information about what you need to know if you have a project or research idea that needs funding to go through and includes a list of local and regional grants that may be of interest. The guide for new entrepreneurs offers steps to making a business plan and getting funding to make your business dreams a reality. The last guide, though still in development, will provide resources for teachers of varying levels about how KCResearch and similar types of resources can be integrated into the classroom.
If you have an idea for a guide that would be helpful to groups of people visiting KCResearch, please contact us via e-mail KCResearch@kclibrary.org and propose it!
The KCResearch team is currently working with a team of educators to create this guide.
KCResearch provides many types of studies and articles to help grant writers find facts and statistics to use when writing grants. However, grants must be identified before they can be written.
This guide provides tips on how to identify grants appropriate to your needs.
You first want to check to see what foundations offer the kind of assistance you’ll need. This can be achieved by using the three approaches listed above.
You can glean information about specific companies to determine whether or not they would be a good match for your proposal. See how their mission matches with your goals to determine which would be the best partner.
Found out what kinds of grants have been awarded and who received them. Many grant-issuing foundations list past projects and types of grants have been awarded. By studying what kinds of grants have been issued in the past, you can better know how your proposal would fit in with the past grantees.
A "990" is a document submitted by the grant-maker to the IRS each year. This document contains detailed information about the grant, including how much was awarded. It provides valuable information for the grant-seeker as it breaks down the grant into its specific, component parts.
There are different ways to go about finding grants, but many grants are funded by Foundations. In order to conduct grant research, it is crucial to understand the role of a foundation and what it does.
A foundation is a non-profit corporation or a charitable trust whose mission is to make available grants to organizations or individuals for cultural, educational, religious, scientific, or other charitable purposes.
The successful grant seeker should conduct exhaustive research in order to find right foundation. Foundations can be the sector of a corporation, a private non-profit aiming to further specific purpose, a federal agency designated to promote a specific cause, or even a Labor Union. This process might require extensive review of both print and online resources.
There are essentially three approaches to grant research. Both print and electronic resources may be used:
This approach is perhaps the most often-used, as foundations will express an interest in funding subject-specific programs. Look for foundations that are most likely to fund your proposal. Many government agencies and labor unions such as the National Education Association (NEA) offer grants and lists of grants relevant to the subject area.
Since foundations will often limit where they will fund projects to their region or location, you may want to include this approach as part of your overall searching strategy. For information on several local foundations, see Regional Grants below.
This type of approach is usually used in conjunction with Subject or Geographic research, and should not be confused with the Subject Approach. "Subject Approaches" will list programs that foundations want to fund, whereas "Types of Support" will offer what kinds of assistance the foundations will fund. For example, requests for funding for building/renovation, equipment, seed-money, or technical assistance would fall into the category of "Types of Support."
Francis Family Foundation
To be eligible for a Small Arts Grant, an organization must be located within the greater Kansas City area (60-mile radius); a tax-exempt 501(c)(3) public charity with a federal Employer Identification Number, or partner with another organization that can serve as a fiscal sponsor; and an arts organization with annual revenues of less than $300,000 last fiscal year, or a non-arts organization – regardless of budget size or mission – with a community-based arts program that provides access to arts and culture opportunities in traditional and non-traditional sites throughout the greater Kansas City area. The application deadline is August 31. The Francis Family Foundation’s areas of interest not specific to the Kansas City region are pulmonary research and lifelong learning with a particular emphasis on early childhood development.
Missouri Humanities Council
The Missouri Humanities Council award grants to non-profit organizations in support of locally generated programs. The Council provides grants for activities designed principally for adults in Missouri, particularly projects that help humanities institutions improve their programming and interpretive practices, and institutes and conferences for teachers. Grants are awarded by MHC board members in open competition, with multiple submission and review dates each year.
Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation
This private foundation's mission is to support programs that contribute to the quality and accessibility of the performing and visual arts in the greater Kansas City region. Grants fund general operations, program support, specific productions, fundraising events, and capital campaigns. Grant proposals are accepted from current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations, and are reviewed on an ongoing basis.
Jewish Heritage Foundation of Greater Kansas City
The Jewish Heritage Foundation provides grant opportunities “to promote health and well being in the Greater Kansas City area, with a priority to serve the Jewish community.” Grants are awarded to current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. The application deadline is March 1.
Menorah Legacy Foundation
This Foundation supports programs that foster the delivery, quality, or affordability of healthcare or healthcare-related social services in the Kansas City area’s Jewish community. Three grant categories exist with application deadlines of March 1 and January 15.
Bess Spiva Timmons Foundation
This Foundation was established by Bess Spiva Timmons in 1967 “to enable her children and grandchildren to carry on an already existing program of assistance in the areas of education, health, medical research, the arts, and programs with emphasis to benefit minority groups, social services, and ecology.” The Foundation accepts grant proposals from organizations in the United States west of the Mississippi River. Grants range to $10,000. No application deadline is stated.
Edward G. and Kathryn E. Mader Foundation
The Edward G. and Kathryn E. Mader Foundation supports the health, education and welfare of children in Greater Kansas City. The Foundation accepts grant applications from 501(c)(3) nonprofits in the Greater Kansas City area. Awards typically range from $5,000 to $30,000. Applications are accepted from March 1 to May 1 of each year.
Hall Family Foundation
The Hall Family Foundation concentrates its philanthropic efforts in the Kansas City area. Grants fund programs and organizations dedicated to education; children, youth, and families; the arts; and community development. Grants are made to charitable organizations, which qualify as tax exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. No application deadline is stated.
Helen S. Boylan Foundation
This Foundation funds organizations and programs working within the Kansas City Metro region. The Foundation considers a wide range of proposals within the following areas: arts, education, health, human services, environment, and public interest. Grants are awarded to non-profit charitable organizations that are tax exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, or to public governmental units. Applications are considered four times per year; and must be received by March 31, June 30, September 30, or December 31.
The Sosland Foundation
“The Sosland Foundation awards grants in a broad area called social welfare to address the issues related to poverty in the United States specifically in Kansas City. We support programs that promote self-reliance and economic independence and positively contribute to the quality of life for the underserved.” Grants are awarded to I.R.S. Section 501(c)(3) approved organizations in the Kansas City area. The grant review committee meets quarterly; grants range from $1000 to $5000.
Grant Fraud is an issue that you, as a grant seeker, need to be aware of. Grant fraud happens when the money appropriated for a grant is misused due often to conflicts of interest, lying or failing to properly support the use of funds, and outright theft. This set of slides, prepared by the United States Department of Justice, outline how grant fraud can occur by outlining what constitutes a conflict of interest, “lying” and theft of funds appropriated for specific purposes. This is something to be particularly aware of if you are applying for federal grants, as it is taxpayer money that must be accounted for. There are people who investigate grant fraud and these cases are tried in federal courts with penalties, such as prison time or steep fines that may exceed the award of the grant that has been taken fraudulently.
If you are uncertain of whether or not you might be viable to commit grant fraud, your risk can be mitigated by following these steps:
The Foundation Center's Guide to Winning Proposals by Sarah Collins (2008)
Collins assembles actual grant proposals that have garnered actual money for nonprofit organizations, as a guide for newcomers to grant writing. She presents them in sections on special single-year and multi-year projects, endowment, building or renovation, general and operating support, seed money, and planning grant. She also provides examples of letters of inquiry, cover letters, and budgets. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.
How Foundations Work: What Grantseekers Need to Know About the Many Faces of Foundations by Dennis P. McIlnay (1998)
In this groundbreaking book, Dennis McIlnay offers a unique and remarkable look inside foundations, exploring the complex workings of the mysterious and often misunderstood organizations that so often determine the success or failure of a nonprofit's fund raising ventures. Drawing on his extensive research and on insights from foundations, McIlnay gives the grantseeker an edge in the highly competitive world of foundation grants by both debunking many of the myths and misconceptions surrounding foundations and including more productive strategies for dealing with them. Structured around six perceptions of foundations—judges, editors, citizens, activists, entrepreneurs, and partners—this book provides a thorough understanding of what makes foundations tick and how this affects their interactions with nonprofits. Distributed by Syndetic Solutions, Inc.
Getting Grants: The Complete Manual of Proposal Development and Administration by Alexis Carter-Black (2006)
Getting Grants deals with every step of the process: how and where to find sources of funding the pre-proposal planning and development stage the components of a grant proposalthe role of the grant writer and/or grants office in an organization the role of the project director in the grants process proposal writing (with tips gleaned from a decade of experience), and moreThe primary markets for the book will be non-profit organizations, public and private K-12 schools, public and private universities and colleges.The book includes a CD-ROM with forms, job descriptions, rules for a grants office, and useful excerpts from successfully funded proposals.
Grant Writing Made Simple: 87 Tips for Great Grants by Sally Stanton (2009)
With an approach based on common-sense principles, the book offers plenty of advice from foundation grant reviewers, writing instructors, grant-writing students, and others -- a compendium of the best and most useful tips and techniques. These little nuggets of wisdom are small enough to fit in your already-crammed-full-of-facts brain, but big enough to help you out when you get stuck just before that important grant deadline.
Demystifying Grant Seeking: What you Really Need to do to Get Grants by Larissa Golden Brown
Written for nonprofit professionals and fundraisers of varying levels of expertise, this guide provides crystal clear, practical guidelines for writing grants, based on a five-step program and a definition of the principles that underpin a successful grant-seeking process.
This guide exists to assist you, if you are looking to fulfill the dream of owning a business. Some of the advice offered in this user guide will help the potential entrepreneur start on the path towards a successful business venture. We have broken it down into three useful guides for you. If more help is needed, please feel encouraged to visit the H&R Block Business and Career Center at the Central Branch of the Kansas City Public Library. It is an excellent resource for new entrepreneurs. To contact an H&R Block Business & Career Center librarian by phone, 816.701.3717, or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.
A business plan outlines your business and should include:
Your business plan should be read and reviewed frequently so that you can update it as conditions in your business, industry, and/or economy change.
Most business plans include six to eight key sections:
Let's look briefly at each of these sections.
The executive summary is a brief (2-3 pages) overview of your company. It should contain:
The business/company description section is where you describe the structure of your business. Include:
The products and/or services section is where you explain what your company will do.
Outline who your customers are, where they are located, the current and projected state of the industry and your competitors. Describe how you plan to market, promote, and encourage growth in the demand for your product. Think of this section as the place to justify the need for your product and to explain why your company will be successful.
Describe in detail who your customer is:
Your business plan needs to include information on your competition: highlighting specifics on your major competitors, including their size, pricing, advertising methods, and quality of goods. Some of the research you employ in this section will need to be primary research.
Create a SWOT analysis of the industry that you are operating in. A SWOT analysis looks at the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats to the industry. Identify the maturity of the industry, the growth potential, the underserved population, your niche, changes in the industry that will provide opportunities and/or threats, and consumer trends. Reveal what might impact the industry for good or bad, be it the economic climate, growth in competitors (domestic and international), change in governmental regulations, advances in technology, and lifestyle changes.
Now that you have outlined your customer base, your competition and the industry arena, explain the strategy for marketing your product or service.
This is where you describe the details of the daily operation of your business.
A key source to use when evaluating your financial statements is Annual Statement Studies Robert Morris Associates. This source gives the ratios that are average in your industry and is used by bankers when evaluating loan prospects. A similar source is Dun & Bradstreet's Industry Norms and Key Business Ratios.
The following books can provide you with a more complete understanding of financial reports.
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There are many sources in the library that can assist you in the writing of your plan. You can read actual successful business plans in the Business Plans Handbook.
The following books will give you additional information about business plans:
One of the major reasons for new business failures is lack of sufficient capital. Yet developing a good funding package can be difficult.
The primary structures of financing are:
Grants, or money that does not need to be repaid, are practically non-existent for small businesses. You might have seen infomercials about government grants to start your business, but these grants do not exist except in very restricted situations. Any grant that might be available from the federal government can by found by searching the Loans and Grants search engine or Grants.gov.
There are three areas that a lender evaluates when looking at a loan application.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has a number of financing programs for start-up and existing small businesses. The most active is their Basic 7(a) Loan Guaranty. The purpose of the loan guaranty is to help small businesses who might not otherwise qualify for a conventional loan. The loan is not given directly by the SBA, rather SBA guarantees a large percentage of a loan made by a commercial bank which reduces the bank's risk exposure.
The Library has numerous books that can help you learn about business financing. They can be found by using the subject heading of small business finance and small business loans. Some sample titles include:
When forming a business, there can be many forms that need to be filed with a number of state and local governmental offices. The forms vary depending on the legal formation of your company (partnership, LLC, etc.) and whether you have employees, retail sales, a franchise business, and many other variables. Businesses can be subject to tax filings, zoning clearances, occupational licenses, permits, and much more. Hiring the services of a qualified lawyer and accountant can ease you through the process.
A good starting place to learn what needs to be filed is the Missouri Small Business & Technology Development Centers. You are encouraged to go to their website for more complete information.
Both wholesalers and retailers need to be registered with the Missouri Department of Revenue. Go to their website for forms or call at (573) 751-2836 to get a sales tax number or sales tax exemption.
For Kansas City, Missouri, minimally you must have both a zoning clearance and an occupational license. There can be additional licenses and/or permits you need depending on the nature of your business. See the city's web page for forms and additional information.
Additional county forms, licenses, permits, and taxes might need to be filed. Make sure you check with your county's requirements.
need to be filed with the city. Check with the Finance Department for additional information.
Some businesses need to have a Federal Identification Number and/or Employer Identification Number. Go to the IRS web site to learn more and to apply online.
There are many additional licenses, clearances, taxes, and forms that might need to be filed for your business. It is important to contact the local, state, and federal licensing, taxing, zoning, economic development, and other possible agencies to learn what is required for your particular business. Qualified lawyers and accountants can be of great help to you in this process.
Websites that give good overviews include:
For information about licensing a business in the state of Kansas, please consult the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) from the Kansas Business Center.