Applying for a grant requires a lot of research and preparation. You need to understand the different types of grants, what the money can be used for and what grantwriters expect from you before they give you the grant. There really is no set formula for successful grant writing, but the following steps outline the basic requirement of a grant application: 1. Various types of Grants: A grant is the giving of funds for a specific purpose. It is a monetary aid awarded after meeting a specific set of qualifications and this does not have to be repaid. Not all grants are the same. The following are the types of grants Federal Grants: Also called government grants, they areawarded by a government agency to carry out a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by a law of the United States. These grants are not loans and are not federal assistance. They cannot be used to acquire property, and they cannot be used to buy goods for personal use. Private Grants: They are given by a foundation, corporation or non-governmental agency. These can be easier to get than federal grants, as private institutions are not buried under as much bureaucracy and red tape as the federal government. Public Charity Grants: These grants give funds to charitable organizations, that is, those having 501(c)3 status with the IRS. Individual Grants: These grants are awarded to persons who meet specific criteria. Businesses and other institutions are ineligible. Non-Profit Grants: Non-profit grants assist 501(c)3 organizations with their specific missions. Sponsorship Grants: They are for non-profit organizations but are awarded to individuals who have a sponsor. Be sure you have a sponsor with 501(c)3 status to qualify. |
2. Lookout for various Grants: There’s a lot of information on grants available online. Public libraries, State Arts Commissioners also have information regarding grants. Grants.gov: This website provides valuable information and resources about Government grants, mostly for 501(c)3s, but with some individual grants.
3. Your goals should match the goals of the grant-writer: Grants are won based on what matters to the grantwriters, not what matters to you. If the way you plan to spend the grant money doesn’t match the grantwriter’s mission, you’re just wasting time. You need to thoroughly research each grant (and the organization that sponsors it) before you apply. Grantwriters are not impressed by people who know nothing about their grant or its mission.
4. Detailed, thorough, and timely article, and expect follow-up: Your grant proposal has to demonstrate a concrete plan for using the money. Your grant application must be free of any error and must arrive by the deadline. Grantwriters can ask questions about your application and plan, be prepared to answer these.
5. Reporting after you’ve won the grant: Grantwriters will want quarterly reports detailing how you are using the money. The money must be spent according to plan. Use the money exactly as you outlined in your grant application. If you don’t, you can be charged with fraud. Some grants are non-taxable. Ask the grantwriter about the tax status of their grant so you won’t be surprised by being bumped into a higher income bracket.
The author is an expert on Federal grantsand has authored several articles regarding the same. For more information on grant applications, please visit www.allamericangrantguide.com.
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