Applying for a Grant

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Grants can be a great way to fund new or existing projects and research that you wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. For organizations, grants can help them afford to carry out a new project or pay for the staff to complete it. New equipment could be bought with grant money, initiatives carried out. Not all projects require capital, but many do—and grants can be a great resource, especially since it’s money that won’t need to be paid back.

But the application process is often time-consuming and strenuous, and takes some practice. Those considering applying for a grant should allow ample time to 1) Decide if a grant is the right course of action; 2) Find the right grant for the project; and 3) Prepare and write a grant proposal.

There are three main sources when it comes to who offers grant. These sources include the following:

1)   The government—local, state, and federal

2)   Businesses and corporations

3)   Foundations

Federal grants are often available, and depending on the grant can be quite large as well. For example, each year thousands of students receive Pell Grants, which pay for part or all of a student’s college tuition. Many students wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford move on to higher education if it wasn’t for this federal assistance.

Businesses and corporations are also a great resource when searching for grants. Large corporations like Moody’s Corporation have a multitude of grants available in several different categories. Moody’s CEO Raymond McDaniel has actively cultivated a spirit of giving within the corporation.

Perhaps the largest source of grants are foundations such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Each year, foundations provide millions of dollars to community groups and organizations. For example, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded over $25 billion since its inception, and continues to grant more each year.

Once an appropriate grant has been located, the application process can begin. This generally consists of paperwork, usually including a short proposal and possibly credentials. Every organization has different guidelines to follow, which should be clearly outlined on their website or grant documents. Those applying for a grant should follow instructions as closely as possible or risk their proposal being thrown out.