Applying for grants is a very complicated process and it is certainly much harder than getting a loan application approved from your bank. Since you do not have to pay back the money you receive in grants, the government is very strict in terms of making sure grants are given out to individuals and organizations who can make an impact in the economy with the aid from the government. Please pay attention to the following tips:
Do Not Fall For "Free Money" Scams
There are many websites on the Internet that claim they are able to give you "Free Money" in grants where all you have to do is pay a fee of around $39. These are scams and you will only receive out-dated information such as closed opportunities. Keep in mind that no one will go through all the process and help you to apply for grants for just $39. A grant application/approval process can take weeks or even months to process.
Have A Solid Business Plan
Most grant opportunities are designed to help organizations, businesses, educational and government agencies. In any case, you need to convince the "grantor" that by giving you the funding you require, your organization will be able to make a good use of the funding and make a positive impact to the economy. That is the whole purpose of "stimulus" grants - to stimulate the economy. You should always try to apply as a business or organization. Do not apply for grants without having a solid business plan in your application.
Identify Sources of Funding
Use our Grant Watcher to stay informed of new and updated opportunities on a daily basis. Alternatively, you can also subscribe to Grants.gov (http://www.grants.gov/search/subscribeAll.do) to receive updates directly to your email box.
Follow the Program Requirements
Each grant opportunity has specific requirements. Make sure you read and follow each requirement carefully. Do not skip any requirement or mandatory document.
Give More Than Required (But relevant)
Just like applying for loans or jobs, the more prepared you are, the more chances of grantors taking your application seriously. In addition, make sure your application:
- is focused on what you want to achieve
- is clear and concise on your aims
- uses clear language and avoids jargon
- presents only relevant supporting materials
- is structured so that it is easy to follow (include a table of contents, index, appendix, etc.)
- is error-free. Get someone to proofread the application
Follow Up Your Application
There is a point of contact for each grant opportunity. Call the organization to check your application was received OK and in good order. Try and drum up support for your project through other agencies, your Local Members, and your community. Keep a record of all discussions and contacts with the funding bodies and confirm and undertakings in writing.
Additional Help from Grants Learning Centre
Let Someone Do It For You - Hire a Grant Writer
Although applying for grants is free and all the information is accessible directly online at Grants.gov, the process is very complicated. Your time is valuable and sometimes you want to make sure you get the funding you need in time by avoiding mistakes and doing everything right from the start. Many people find it easier to hire a professional grant writer to analyze your need, prepare your application, submit your application, and follow up on your behalf.