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BlogGrant Funds and Their Role in Capital Campaigns

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Grant funds vs individual donations graphic

Grant Funds and Their Role in Capital Campaigns

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, relief funds have been poured into communities in an effort to revitalize our economy and industries. States and counties throughout the U.S. have received American Rescue Plan funds also known as ARPA, to disperse to projects that would stimulate growth or relieve the negative impacts experienced by the coronavirus pandemic. In some states, such as in Iowa, economic development departments have created grant fund programs to support the state’s tourism, business and nonprofit sectors. These new funding opportunities have encouraged nonprofits to think of new ways to expand their services in the community. But what happens when the nonprofit’s idea or project is not selected for funding or is underfunded through these resources? Many nonprofits may wonder how they will raise the remaining funds if they do not receive sufficient grant funds to accomplish their new vision.

Grant funds vs individual donations graphic

In reality, grants typically make up a small percentage of the total funds received for a campaign. As with annual funding sources, nonprofits receive an average of 15% of their campaign funds from grants in the corporate, foundation and government sectors. The remaining 85% of capital campaign funds are received from individual donors.

Although grant funds can help build momentum in a capital campaign, the majority of dollars raised are contributed by individuals through major gift asks. In fact, many grant funders, especially foundations, want to see evidence there is community support for a project before they will decide to contribute.

  • As an organization, have you done your due diligence and assessed the level of community support for your project with a feasibility study?
  • Have you developed a compelling case for support?
  • How much funding have you secured from other sources in the community?

By checking these boxes, you’ll increase your chances of securing the smaller but important portions of funding that can come from grant funds.

Has your nonprofit identified a need to build, renovate or expand its services, but your grant application was underfunded or not funded at all? Consult with one of our AMPERAGE fundraising advisers at or 319-268-9151, to determine the right next steps for you to fulfill your organization’s strategic direction.

Written by:

Melissa provides fundraising counsel for AMPERAGE’s nonprofit clients, leading feasibility studies and providing solutions that drive successful fundraising campaign results. A Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE), she uses her experience and extensive skill set to continually advance her fundraising practices and develop campaign-specific strategies, materials and training to help clients reach their campaign goals and advance their mission. Melissa has vast experience working in the nonprofit sector, having served in development and leadership roles with Sisters of Mercy and the Alzheimer’s Association. In addition, she has served as a volunteer and board member with local nonprofits, such as the Catherine McAuley Center. Faith-based organizations and causes are of particular interest to Melissa. Melissa moves the needle by always looking for new opportunities and ways to improve professionally. She is currently president of the Eastern Iowa Planned Giving Council and a past president of the Association of Fundraising Professionals-Eastern Iowa Chapter. Melissa holds a Master of Strategic Leadership degree from Mount Mercy University. This busy professional, wife and mother enjoys sports and live music in her free time. A fan of Cubs baseball and Iowa Hawkeye football, Melissa and family enjoy football tailgating, where she’s known for her breakfast burritos. She enjoys the local band scene but says a Foo Fighters concert is her all-time favorite.