Finding and identifying the various government agencies that give grants and the causes they are awarded to require time, effort and research. If you are looking for funding for an existing or new for-profit business, you may find that it is more difficult in finding and getting grant funding.
Government grants are generally, though not always, given to non-profit organizations for programs and services that benefit the community or the public as a group.
The first place that you should look for government grants is the U.S. Government’s website at grants.gov. This site will help you to be able to electronically find and apply for the various different grant opportunities from all Federal grant-making agencies. You can also look for information on the different types of grants and the government agencies that make grants. You can also sign up to receive instant notification of future grant opportunities. Be sure to check out the Government's Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA), which hosts a complete listing of various Government grants and other types of help that is available.
On grants.gov, you can get information on grants by category and topic area or you can search the catalog by key words. If you find a particular grant that interests you, make sure that you carefully read the section on eligibility requirements to find out if you would be qualified to apply for that particular grant. You should also know that most government grants are not available all year-round. That means that you can't apply for most of them at any time you feel like it; you can apply for them only when they are announced by a government agency. When an agency makes their money available for a grant, it usually puts an announcement in the Federal Register which is published every weekday. Here you can find the government's most recent grant announcements.
Grants that are offered to individuals are generally given to them for educational support (financial aid), the arts, and various other types of research. Some agencies will give away grants to individuals for other purposes.
"Getting a grant is hard work. You should never be fooled by advertisements and promotions that state that you can get free cash just by writing a letter."
There is a lot of competition out there for grant funds. If you want to be successful in getting a grant, you must provide the funding agency with a very good proposal that explains your objectives and also offers a plan and a detailed budget plan for your activities.
There are a lot of small business grants (SBG’s) out on the market today. Knowing which one to apply for will help you to choose the grant that you are most likely to get approved for. Visit the U.S. Governments Grant & Funding Source link at grants.nih.gov/grants/funding/funding_program.htm. If you visit this site you can get special information about each grant and their specific requirements.
Grants are only free in that you do not have to pay back the money. However, if you are awarded a grant you may be required to provide progress reports, program evaluation, and/or financial reports to the government agency that gives you the grant. In my next blog, I will provide tips and suggestions on how to write a successful grant proposal and business plan.