The internet, late night television shows, and print advertisements in magazines depict “free grant” money from the federal government to meet an individual’s every whim and desire. These ads are just that; advertising products or services to assist an individual, business or organization in attaining a “free grant”. From the pessimistic view, there are no “free grants” and there is nothing “free” about acquiring a grant. From the optimistic view, there are grant opportunities that are available to individuals, businesses and organizations to assist them in providing a specific service, product or research. This leads one to question the existence of “free grants”.

1. Do “Free Grants” Exist?

The short answer to this question is: yes and no. If one is suggesting that there are grants available that require no match from the party requesting funds and that the funds do not have to be repaid, then the answer is that “free grants” do exist. However, if one is suggesting that there are grants that you simply make an application for, receive and do not have to comply with specific requirements than the answer is that “free grants” do not exist.

2. Where Do “Free Grants” Come From?

Based on the premise of “free grants” existing as noted above, they can originate from the federal government, state governments, foundations, and organizations to assist others in performing projects, activities and services that are in line with their mission. However, it should be noted that each of these institutions will likely require that an entity awarded a grant complies with the requirements of the grant in order to maintain their funding and does not have to repay any funds that have been allocated, prior to the recipient not complying with the institutions’ requirements.

3. Applying for a “Free Grant”

To apply for any grant, the grant writer must read and understand all of the requirements for a proposal or letter of intent as stated by the potential funder. The writer must then seek to adhere to all of the specified directions and requirements, to include all published deadlines, as they complete and submit the letter or application.

While it could be a topic of debate as to whether “free grants” really exist, it is important to remember that people viewing grants as a “free grant” may not be very successful in acquiring a grant. Potential funders, such as a foundation or the federal government, have specifically earmarked funds as assistance to those in need and they do not care for people who view the funds that they have to allocate as being “free grants”. As an example, a foundation’s funds have usually been donated by individuals from their personal funds for the benefit of society.