Everywhere you turn - T.V., Radio, magazines, or the Internet,
someone is talking about government grants. What's the real
story? Does the government give away real money, to ordinary
people, to use for whatever they want?
NO THEY DON'T! At least not to use for whatever you want.
However, if you want to use grant money for something that the
government is interested in funding, and you file a grant
application that gets approved, then things can get interesting.
Let's take a closer look:
The government has loads of grant programs that they offer. In
fact, at last count, there were 1569 of them. That's 1569
possibilities that someone in the U.S. government is going to be
willing to give you some free money. The only issue is: Which
government grant(s) do you qualify for, and how do you find out?
Broadly speaking, there are 15 major grant categories. They are:
(A) Formula Grants
Allocations of money to States or their subdivisions in
accordance with distribution formulas prescribed by law or
administrative regulation, for activities of a continuing nature
not confined to a specific project.
(B) Project Grants
The funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects.
Project grants can include fellowships, scholarships, research
grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and
demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants,
technical assistance grants, survey grants, and construction
(C) Direct Payments for Specified Use
Financial assistance from the Federal government provided
directly to individuals, private firms, and other private
institutions to encourage or subsidize a particular activity by
conditioning the receipt of the assistance on a particular
performance by the recipient. This does not include solicited
contracts for the procurement of goods and services for the
(D) Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use
Financial assistance from the Federal government provided
directly to beneficiaries who satisfy Federal eligibility
requirements with no restrictions being imposed on the recipient
as to how the money is spent. Included are payments under
retirement, pension, and compensatory programs.
(E) Direct Loans
Financial assistance provided through the lending of Federal
monies for a specific period of time, with a reasonable
expectation of repayment. Such loans may or may not require the
payment of interest.
(F) Guaranteed/Insured Loans
Programs in which the Federal government makes an arrangement to
identify a lender against part or all of any defaults by those
responsible for repayment of loans.
Financial assistance provided to assure reimbursement for losses
sustained under specified conditions. Coverage may be provided
directly by the Federal government or through private carriers
and may or may not involve the payment of premiums.
(H) Sale, Exchange, or Donation of Property and Goods
Programs which provide for the sale, exchange, or donation of
Federal real property, personal property, commodities, and other
goods including land, buildings, equipment, food and drugs. This
does not include the loan of, use of, or access to Federal
facilities or property.
(I) Use of Property, Facilities, and Equipment
Programs which provide for the loan of, use of, or access to
Federal facilities or property wherein the federally owned
facilities or property do not remain in the possession of the
recipient of the assistance.
(J) Provision of Specialized Services
Programs which provide Federal personnel directly to perform
certain tasks for the benefit of communities or individuals.
These services may be performed in conjunction with nonfederal
personnel, but they involve more than consultation, advice, or
(K) Advisory Services and Counseling
Programs which provide Federal specialists to consult, advise,
or counsel communities or individuals to include conferences,
workshops, or personal contacts. This may involve the use of
published information, but only in a secondary capacity.
(L) Dissemination of Technical Information
Programs which provide for the publication and distribution of
information or data of a specialized or technical nature
frequently through clearinghouses or libraries. This does not
include conventional public information services designed for
general public consumption.
Programs which provide instructional activities conducted
directly by a Federal agency for individuals not employed by
the Federal government.
(N) Investigation of Complaints
Federal administrative agency activities that are initiated in
response to requests, either formal or informal, to examine or
investigate claims of violations of Federal statutes, policies,
or procedure. The origination of such claims must come from
outside the Federal government.
(O) Federal Employment
Programs which reflect the Governmentwide responsibilities of
the Office of Personnel Management in the recruitment and hiring
of Federal civilian agency personnel.
With all of those categories, and 1569 grant possibilities to
wade through, you could spend days searching for just one grant
funding source only to find out that you don't qualify for some
reason. By the time you do find some obscure grant that you can
apply for, it might be too late because all of the money has
been spent. That's why many people hire professional grant
writers to do all of the work for them. Well, that's fine for
big companies, but what about us little guys who, if we could
afford to hire a grant writer, probably wouldn't be looking for
Fortunately, there are software programs that will share the
work of finding grant money. The better ones enable you to
electronically search an online database of all U.S. government
grant programs, by keywords, and returns a list of grants that
match your criteria. Then, once you read the grant's terms and
conditions, the software helps and guides you through the
application process. So, you get the best of both worlds:
Professional assistance, just like a paid grant writer would
offer, but you save a LOT of money in the process.
There is millions upon millions of government grant money
available. All you have to do is find one that matches your
interests and apply. If your application is approved, the
check's in the mail!
Steve Robichaud and Andrew Wroblewski have been involved in
online sales and marketing since 1996. For more information
on getting grants, visit: http://grant.help-for-me.com
email: mailto:[email protected]