The task of looking for grant money can be daunting, especially with the enormous amount of information to sift through when searching on the internet. Basically when it comes to researching and applying for grants the job can be simplified by figuring out the who, what, where, when, and how for grant opportunities. The individual, business or organization needs to take the time before researching to go through and answer these questions in accordance with themselves, business or organization. Then with this information the research can match what grant opportunities match with those parameters. The following is a list that can be used to figure out the answers to the who, what, where, when, and how.
Entity seeking funding
The umbrella categories that all grants fall under are individual, business and non-profit organization. For individuals there are educational grant programs, housing grants and personal grants. Business grants are for starting, expanding, research, technology, environmental, revitalization, and job retraining programs. Non-profit grants are available for improving communities, humanitarian efforts and environmental projects and require a 501c3 tax exempt status from the federal government.
Specific categories for qualification
Often grants are for a particular group such as woman, minority, veteran or senior citizen so to qualify you must prove that as an individual you are part of that group or if a business what is the division of ownership for each person that belong to the specific group.
Main benefiter of grant
Many grantors want to give according to who will benefit the most from the funding. A business or non-profit will want to research for funding that directly states what projects or groups that fit in line with the main purpose of the grant. For example a business that would be willing to set up in a depressed area could research state and local revitalization grants given out to attract new jobs and boost the local economy.
Allowable usage of awarded funds
Grants have rules and specifications on how the award money can be used. Even if the eligibility criteria are met it does not mean the entity receiving the award has free range on how to spend the money. If the award is not properly used the entity receiving the award runs the risk of having to repay all awarded money. When researching it is beneficial to check the award rules to see if it is even worth the time to fill out the application.
Current phase of the business
Business grants also specify money for specific stages that a company is in idea, startup, established, or expansion phases. Have your incorporation date and any other specific dates that proves when the business began.
Have financial information on hand for application. Grant applications may ask for income information in the application process so it is a good idea for individuals to have the last few years of tax return paperwork handy and businesses should have recent financial statements for accurate information.
These parameters will allow for more accurate research in finding eligible opportunities. Then when applying make sure to be extremely precise on all information that is needed to complete application process. Lastly, do not apply for grant funding if you cannot use the money according to the grant rules for expenditures, this can be a waste of valuable time and money.