Foundations

A wide range of foundations have provided funding for bicycling and walking. A few national and large regional foundations have supported the national organizations involved in bicycle and pedestrian policy advocacy. However it is usually regional and local foundations that get involved in funding particular bicycle, pedestrian or trail projects. These same foundations may also fund statewide and local advocacy efforts as well. The best way to find such foundations is through the research and information services provided by the national Foundation Center. They maintain a huge store of information including the guidelines and application procedures for most foundations, and their past funding records. They can be reached on the world wide web at: www.fdncenter.org

Grant Writing Tips

The following are some helpful tips for successful grant writing (e.g., for government grants and private foundations):

  1. Read the directions and applications thoroughly.
  2. Find out what projects were previously funded.
  3. Obtain a copy of a successful application.
  4. Find out who reviews the applications and talk to him or her; it may be an individual or a larger group.
  5. Always include a picture and graphic that quickly conveys what is being asked for in the proposal.
  6. Identify key words and concepts in the grant application and then use them in your narrative.
  7. Convey a sense of urgency-for example, if funding is not obtained, something of value such as a rail corridor will be lost.
  8. Provide a timeline-demonstrate that the project is ready to go once funding is secured.
  9. Focus on a tangible product-e.g., construct something, purchase some property, etc.; minimize the amount that goes for overhead and design.
  10. Demonstrate that you are leveraging funds and that this is not the only funding source; no one wants to be a sole source of funds for a project or program.
  11. Demonstrate community support through letters from neighborhood associations, advocacy groups, and local businesses.