Find the Government Grant that You Need
Grants are not Benefits or Entitlements. A Federal Grant is an award of financial assistance from a Federal agency to a recipient to carry out a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by a law of the United States. Grants are not Federal assistance or loans to individuals.
Since 2002, the federal government has been developing and implementing Grants.gov as a collaborative cross-government program focused on streamlining grants management for the Federal grant community.
When you are looking for something, you at least have an idea what you are looking for. It will be easier if you know exactly what you want. This is how you shop for shoes and clothes. Apparently, it is the same technique used when finding a grant.
First of all, you have to identify which government agency provides the grant that you specifically need. Now do not be too impatient because searching for this government agency entails a lot of your time, exertion of a lot of effort and conducting your own research.
But before doing any of these, you must learn how to research on these topics, knowing the scam from the credible ones.
If you are in search of a funding supporting an already existing or a new for-profit business, there will be some difficulty in finding the grant that you need, as well as getting that grant. Most of the time, government grants are bestowed to non-profit organizations. They prioritize services and programs that contribute to the community at an upscale level.
The site we strongly recommend you to check is the US Government’s Grants.gov website. With its search engine, this site will assist you in finding for the grant opportunity that is suitable for you. Add to the fact that you can also get the 411 on the types of grants. Upon knowing the other grants out there, you may consider your options. Also, it is specified on that site which government agency bestows the grant. You can also sign up on that site in order for you to receive notifications of possible future grants.
Another site you can also have a look at is the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance or the CFDA. This has a list of Government grants and assistance. The Catalog also allows you to punch in key words for you to browse through the available grants out there by Category or by Topic Area.
Did you know?
Applying at Grants.gov can reduce your costs and the time required to find government grant opportunities and process your application. The site provides access to multiple grantors and reduces paperwork.
By downloading a grant application package, you can view it offline, giving you the flexibility to complete the application when and where you want.
Now that you found the grant perfect for you, you have to really understand what is written on the Eligibility Requirements. Understand these and make sure that you are qualified before you apply for the grant – so as to not waste time.
Another important note on government grants that you must consider is that they are not available all year-round. Just like fruits in the market, you cannot go there and buy it if it is not in season. You cannot apply for a grant just because you feel like it. You can only apply when it has the go signal from the Government agency.
The Government agency comes up with the funding for the grant. Once this is met, it announces to the Federal Register that the grant is available.
One must remember that researching for the right grant, looking for the one that is right for you and applying for it may take a lot of time and effort on your end. The forms are not simply filled up and sent in like how you do with credit card issuers. It does not work that way.
For one, grants are very competitive. Since this is some sort of “free lunch,” a lot of people line up for it to be able to have a grant. However, government agencies sift through all these proposals and only approve those they have a gut feeling on who would make the most out of the money they lent them.
There are some government agencies that would only provide funds to a specific kind of cost or expenses. Therefore, these government agencies will not be able to fully back the grantee up with the entire expenses.
Another thing is that not all grants are available all year-around. You have to check whether the grant that is right for the business venture, charity event or personal reasons you are interested in is available at that time.
Proposals are necessary because they could be the dealmaker or the deal-breaker. If the program that you are proposing is not compatible with the requirements and interests of the government agency that will provide the funding, there is a possibility that it can be rejected.
And remember, a proposal takes months before it is reviewed and evaluated. After that, it also takes months before you actually receive the funding. Patience is a virtue. You sure need that virtue when you’re looking for a grant.
About the Author: Michael Saunders has an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. He edits a site on Government Grants for Women Owned Businesses and also edits HandsNet - A Human Services News Website.