Table of Contents Hide
- What are Government grants?
- How do Government Grants work?
- Who is Eligible for Government Grants?
- Getting a Grant from the Government
- Applying for a Government Grant
- Example of a Government Grant
- How Do I Get a Government Personal Grant?
- Do You Have to Pay Back Government Grants?
- Are Government Grants Legit?
- Does the US Government Give Free Grants?
- How Do I Ask for a Grant?
Government grants are one of the numerous funding opportunities provided by the government, others which include loans, benefits, and so on.
Although a lot of individuals tag this type of grant as “free money from the government,” in reality, it’s a misguided perception.
Yea, the phrase “free money,” in a lot of posts you’ve read in the past has been substituted for grants. These posts failed to mention one exception, Government Grants.
But, this post promises to fix this misconception. Plus, equip you with every detail you need to know concerning funding opportunities from the government.
So for starters, we will need to begin with the basic description of government grants.
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What are Government grants?
These grants are funding opportunities for ideas and innovations that provide services to the public and stimulate the economy. They also support innovative research and recovery initiatives.
How do Government Grants work?
The government grant process follows a lifecycle that starts with creating funding opportunities. It then moves to applications, making grant decisions, and implementing grants.
However, actions along this lifecycle are grouped into three phases, namely:
- Pre-Award Phase.
- Award Phase.
- Post Award Phase.
This phase represents the beginning of the government grant process. It includes announcing funding opportunities, submitting, and reviewing applications.
Funding opportunity announcements contain information concerning eligibility, competency, and interests.
How do you find these announcements?
That’s where www.grants.gov comes in. Awarding agencies publish these opportunities on this website.
Also, the Search Government Grants function makes your navigation around the site easier. However, having found the funding opportunity that suits you, there are two high-level steps you need to consider before submitting your application on Grants.gov. These include: Applicant Registration and Completing the Application.
Furthermore, after the deadline passes, the award agencies begin the application review process. This is process varies depending on the type of government grant, although there are some generic steps which include:
- Initial screening to ensure your application is complete and valid.
- Programmatic assessment and review of the substance of applications
- Financial assessments of proposed budgets
- Award decisions and announcements
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The award phase begins after the government agency completes the application review process. The award decisions rest on the hands of the agency staff with legal authority and responsibility to process binding agreements.
Furthermore, their award recommendations and reviews are based on financial and programmatic assessments. These recommendations undergo further scrutiny by different levels in the agency to ensure fair and unbiased decisions.
Finally, the awarding agency releases a Notice of Award (NOA) after award decisions are have been made. The NOA is an official, legal binding issuance of the award. So after accepting the grant, you or your organization become bound by a legal obligation to follow the policies of the grant.
Post Award Phase
This last phase of the government grant process comprises of grant implementation, progress report, and fulfilling closeout requirements.
The closeout is the endpoint of the grant process, and its requirements are as follows:
- You must submit all financial and performance reports within 90 days after the grant has been awarded. The submission of these reports is to ensure compliance with all grant policies. It further tries to checkmate misappropriation of funds.
- You are required to retain all grant records for three years from the date of the final expenditure report.
Read Also: LIST OF FEDERAL GOVERNMENT GRANTS 2020
Who is Eligible for Government Grants?
Eligibility for government grants are basically restricted to the following organizations:
- Educational organizations
- Government organizations
- Public Housing organizations
- Non-profit organizations
- For-profit organizations
- Small Businesses
Getting a Grant from the Government
Grants from the government contain no hidden costs or fees because they are gifts, not debts. Government grants, on the other hand, are supported by tax funds, therefore they come with strict compliance and reporting requirements to guarantee that the money is spent wisely.
Following receipt of a check, the recipient must submit thorough records detailing how the funds were spent. These reports must be kept up to date throughout the grant duration if monies are received in installments. Any successes or failures must also be documented and presented to the sponsoring agency by specific timeframes.
A government grant is a coveted honor, indicating that an individual or nonprofit organization has made a large, positive influence on a community, a field of study, or an industry sector. It frequently puts a project on the map with donors, receiving financing from both nonprofit and for-profit sources. It may also give the grantee some clout with the sponsoring agency or attract their notice.
Applying for a Government Grant
Grants.gov is a free online resource for learning about and applying for over 1,000 government grant programs, with over $500 billion in rewards available each year.
A grant proposal writer can register on behalf of an individual, a nonprofit organization, a research institution, or another entity by filling out a standard business profile.
In addition, the writer files an application for an authorized organization representative, provides an e-business point of contact, and completes a full application. The writer can then search for federal grant opportunities, apply for and track grants, and get grant email alerts, webinar schedules, and grantor recommendations.
Grants from the government come with no strings attached, including the application process, so if you’re asked to pay a fee to apply or learn more about a grant, it’s probably a fraud.
Example of a Government Grant
Many government entities that offer funds have a preference for the performing arts. For example, the Public Affairs Section of the US Embassy in Moscow solicited grant proposals in early 2019 to find and choose American artists and performers for short-term programs in the categories of music, dance, theater, film and television acting, and culinary arts to bring to Russia.
Nonprofits, small companies, and public or private universities may be eligible to apply; grantees may earn up to $650,000 to produce performances in Russia. The grant’s objectives included fostering “people-to-people ties” between the United States and Russia, as well as “exposing American values through showcasing the entire range of American ingenuity and innovation.”
Although regardless of the fact that individuals are not on the list of eligible applicants, some award agencies allow exceptions if you meet their requirements. But it’s a really big IF.
Your best chance of benefiting from government grants as individuals is to belong to organizations that are direct beneficiaries. This way you can benefit as a member.
How Do I Get a Government Personal Grant?
For the most part, housing, food, mortgage, and rent troubles are all covered by government grants. There are subsidies available for housing requirements from both the federal government and local charities. Some will assist with rent payments, while others will deal with other charges.
Do You Have to Pay Back Government Grants?
Because the monies supplied by the government do not have to be repaid, free government handouts are immensely popular with the general public. The money obtained as a grant must be used in accordance with the grant program’s guidelines and restrictions.
Are Government Grants Legit?
Contrary to what you may see online or in the media, the federal government does not distribute grants or “free money” to individuals who want to start a business or cover personal expenses. Scams are common on websites or other publications that claim to offer “free money from the government.”
Does the US Government Give Free Grants?
Contrary to what you might see online or in the media, the federal government does not give people grants or “free money” to start a business or pay for personal costs. Most of the time, websites or other publications that say they will give you “free money from the government” are scams.
How Do I Ask for a Grant?
- Find grant prospects that match your needs.
- Visit the websites of the people you want to get grants from every so often.
- Call the person in charge to make sure you meet the requirements.
- Create a grant proposal or letter of intent.
- Follow the grantor’s instructions to the letter.