FUNDING THROUGH GOVERNMENT GRANTS
The government distributes millions of free grant funding to state, local municipalities, colleges, universities, non-profit organizations, educational grants to individuals, minorities, women and other persons. However, unless you are a professional fundraiser, you probably do not know how to access government grant funding or how to complete an application. You must actively seek grant opportunities, as they will not find you. One of the most popular resources to find government funding is to look at the grants.gov website. Another good place is to search your state funding opportunities by searching under free grant money or community grants. Online grant donor directories and local community grant libraries are other good places to find grant opportunities.
How Grants Work
Funders post their funding opportunities online at their websites. They include the guidelines and criteria for eligible applicants and generally a link to their application or proposal and their contact information as well the submission deadline. You should pay close attention to the eligibility requirements, exclusions and the deadline to submit your application to the funder. If you meet the requirements, then you know this is the right type of grant for you or your organization. Be sure to address the funder’s concerns and talk about how your program or qualifications address the issues. For educational grants, the government gives grants to students based upon financial needs, area of study, for research, to minorities, women and disabled persons and displaced worker in order to give them the opportunity to obtain an education or retraining.
Keep in that even though there are millions of dollars available for free grant funding, there are a lot of grantees searching for the funds so you can expect to have competition on most grants. Sometimes funders award grants to many grantees and other times just to a few. Each funder has a different way of handing out their grant funds.
Federal grants are the most popular with 26 federal different government agencies providing grant monies. There is a lot of opportunity available for federal grants in all areas such as education, research, averment, healthcare, medical, law, criminal justice programs, small business grants for start-ups, social programs, senior programs, arts and humanities, science, math, technology, job creation, training and development, housing and many more areas.
State and Community Grants
State and local municipal government grants are distributed to government agencies and non-profit organizations that carry out regional or local programs that serve a community’s needs as well as to individuals for development, research and also to individuals for different needs and purposes. You may find a grant to help you purchase a home or remodel your home using energy efficient systems. Or you may find finding for your organization’s local food bank or shelter. If you are a builder and you want to partner with the community to build senior housing, there may be local grants available. Since funds are limits for state and local grants, they are generally more specific to a region or particular community and you will be more successful in getting funding if your programs address basic needs in the community for food, shelter, clothing, transportation, healthcare or senior or social programs. For instance, if you have a church and you are looking for start-up money it may be more difficult to find than if your church sponsors programs to feed and house the poor in the community.
In order to obtain free grant money, you should apply to multiple funders at the same time because there is never any guarantee that you will receive any funds or how much you will receive. When you receive government grant funds you must report how you use the money and be subject to a government audit. While funds from the government are an excellent way to make sure your program gets carried out or you find funding your college education, it is also a good idea to pursue other financial resources so you are not putting all your eggs in one basket.