Understanding Federal Grants (Part 2)
Government Level Grants
On a government level, this usually includes city or township governments, local governments, Native American tribal governments, special district governments and state governments. Various federal agencies are at work here and may include the Department of Justice, Department of Agriculture and Department of Commerce just to name a few.
For schools, these consist of public and state controlled institutions of higher education, independent school districts and private institutions of higher education that are under the Department of Education.
Non-profit organizations may also get a federal grants. Regardless of weather or not the organization does or does not
have 501(c)(3) status with the IRS.
Small Business Grants
Small businesses may also be eligible for a federal grant as long as it meets the size standards that are set by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
To give you a basic idea, this includes most manufacturing and mining industries that have 500 employees, wholesale trade industries that have 100 employees, retail and service industries that make $6 million, general & heavy construction industries that make $28.5 million, special trade contractors that make $12 million and agricultural industries that make $0.75 million. If your organization is not within the standards set the by the SBA, you can check their website to find out if there is another way to get a federal grant.
Personal and Individual Grants
Individuals may also apply for a federal grant as long as it is not used for their own personal gain. To do this, you simply submit your application together with your proposal as we discussed in the last issue in your own behalf and not on the behalf of a company, organization, institution, or government. You can also apply for a grant proposal that is catered to organizations and vice versa.
Now let’s talk about finding grants that you, your business or organization will qualify for. The first place to start looking for federal grants is to go online to http://www.grants.gov As you explore the site, you will be able to see what grants you qualify for and what are the requirements are. You can even complete the application form and submit it online. You will also have the option to download everything needed to apply, so that you can complete your application and proposal and send it in as we discussed before. After visiting the website, you will notice that just about anyone is eligible for the Federal Grant. Since there are not that many programs issues every year and this is divided into the different federal agencies, you should write a very good proposal detailing what you want to achieve.
Another nice thing about using the grants.gov website is that you will be able to monitor and update your application as needed. Once you begin the process you will be given a CFDA Number, Funding Opportunity Number, Competition ID or Grants.gov Tracking Number. Keep these numbers safe. They will be very useful to you throughout the entire process.
Remember if you apply for a grant and don’t get it this year, don’t be discouraged and try again the following year or whenever it is open again. Another important thing to remember is the make sure that you submit all the documents on or before the deadline, so whichever agency is handling your application will have ample time to review your proposal.
I know this may sound like a lot of work and the grant process can be very confusing at times, but it’s important to stick with it. Once you receive your federal grant you will be able to use it to make your dreams come true!