Multi-million-dollar grants can make big waves, but mini grants can be a good way to show generosity more quickly, more often and to more people. It’s a simple way to diversify your giving.
If you drill down into the daily practice of foundation grantmaking, especially at the local level, you’ll find that mini- grants are thriving. What are mini-grants, exactly? There’s no official definition and it often depends partly on who’s giving them. Some mini-grants are more, well, mini than others. But generally, we’re talking about grants under $2,500, and often in the range of $250 to $1,000.
Quite a few funders embrace mini-grant giving, and it’s not necessarily because they don’t have other options. It’s common to find funders, especially at the local level, who make plenty of mini-grants while also moving larger amounts of money out the door. And both grantmakers and grantseekers can find something to love in mini-grants, starting with their simplicity and accessibility.
Community foundations are among the biggest funders of mini-grants. Discretionary funds often only make up a small percentage of a community funder’s assets under management, so mini-grants are a good way to connect with as many local nonprofits as possible.