Most grants awarded by foundations and corporate giving programs can be categorized as one of two types: (1) General purpose or operating support grants and (2) Program development or project support grants.
General purpose or operating support grants: When a grantmaker gives your organization an operating grant, you can use it to support the general expenses of operating your organization, from a specific program to the heating bill. An operating grant means the funder supports your organization’s overall mission and trusts you to make good use of the money.
Program or project support grants: Aside from general purpose or operating support grants, most other grants are some form of program or project support. In general, a project grant is given to support a specific, connected set of activities, with a beginning and an end, explicit objectives and a predetermined cost. When a funder gives a grant for a specific project, it is generally a restricted grant and must be used for that project. In general, project grants are given to support projects related to the mission of the charity receiving the money. There are dozens of kinds of project grants.