Grants are free money, goods, or services given to support individuals, organizations, or local government units. Billions of dollars are given annually for the purpose of stimulating the economy, creating projects that will improve communities, creating jobs, supporting businesses, and helping people improve their lives or realize their dreams. Grants are given by the government, foundations, organizations, or individuals who want to make a difference in the lives of the people.
Grants may be classified as:
General purpose or operating support grants – These are grants that can be used to support the general expenses of an organization or to support an organization’s overall mission and trusts.
Program or project support grants – These are grants that are given to support a specific activities with a defined objective and predetermined cost. Examples of this kind of grants are planning grants, start-up grants, technical assistance grants, equipment grants, and endowment grants.
Organizations and individuals may avail of the different grants given each year and it is only a matter of searching the grant to which the organization or the individual may qualify for. The internet is the most common place to search for grants but the searcher has to be very careful as there are a lot of grant offers that are scams in reality. One has to check the legitimacy of the website that offers grants.
The best way to search for grants is through your local government – city, town, or state. Most local governments have offices that facilitate the giving of grants, or make referrals to the grant-giving bodies. Your local government can definitely help you locate packages which can help you based on your current difficulties.
The following guide can help a grant-seeker find the perfect grant:
- Find the grant that suits your needs and to which you will qualify for. Check with your local government for available grants, search online through great resources such as www.Grants.gov. When you search online for grants, make use of the keyword search tool that will let you find resources that will be appropriate for your eligibility and needs, such as housing, college education, or start-up capital for business.
- Check the details of the grants in order to find out if you belong to the intended beneficiaries of the grant. Find out the type of information that you have to provide in order to qualify for the grant. Take note also of the documentary requirements of the grant so you can make those available by the time you need to submit them.
- Some grants provide for a grant kit that is provided by the organization or individual providing the grant. Make sure to follow the instructions in the grant kit and to include all the information and documents required. See to it that you double check everything that you have written and submitted to avoid an outright denial or return of the kit for correction or amendment.
- Send the grant to the specified address and wait for the reply. Notification of whether you qualify for the grant could take several weeks to months, depending on the number of applicants. Don’t panic or lose hope when the waiting takes longer than what you expect. Sometimes, patience is rewarded with a grant.