There are lots of confusing grant-related sites and you can waste hours looking for good information. Don't waste your time! See 10 Grant Facts You Need to Know below for important facts and links to sources of useful information. If you don't qualify for grants and are looking for payday loan information, go to Payday Loans.
★ Grants are not Financial Aid. If you are seeking information about grants because you really need some kind of federal financial assistance, you should read our section on Federal Aid.
★ There are many different kinds of grants and lots of different organizations that provide them. You need to understand them in order to determine which grants you qualify for, as eligibility is the first and most important criteria for even being considered for a grant, much less winning one. For a list and description of different types of grants and information on how to find them, check out our page Find Grants You Can Apply For.
★ Billions of dollars in grants are awarded by the U.S. Government every year. You can check out the top ten grant-awarding agencies for 2009 as well as the amount they awarded – reaching a total of more than $640 billion! – on Government Grants.
★ Lots of web sites want to charge a fee for information. Or they make you “register” before they give you the info they promise. Be very careful when dealing with these websites. Never provide personal or sensitive information (like credit card numbers or your social security number) to someone you don't know and trust.
★ While grants do not have to be paid back, and technically it doesn't cost you anything to win one (aside from your own time and effort as well as anyone you may hire), they do come with obligations. You need to do the work to find, apply and win the grant. Then you must carry out the grant according to its rules. In most cases there are very specific reporting requirements as well. Learn more on Writing Grants.
★ You've found a grant that looks like it's just right for you – now what do you do? The first and most important thing to do before you expend any effort is to make sure that you are eligible for the grant. In fact one of the primary causes of people losing out on a grant is that they were not qualified to apply for it in the first place. Save yourself time and effort by checking eligibility requirements carefully. You can find an excellent review of eligibility issues on the Morrison Grants blog.
★ Winning grant proposals share certain things in common. You can discover their secrets by reading a dpwm-to-earth summary in an article titled Writing Grant Proposals Funders Want to Read by Waddy Thompson, author of “The Complete Idiot's Guide to Grant Writing”.
★ Always ensure that you write a well-organized proposal that is written well and is making a reasonable request according to the specs of the grant. You can access free advice and guidance from an organization called Non-Profit Guides. They provide clear information along with samples and concise tips. Better yet, they are not trying to sell you anything other than what they provide on their website.
★ Congratulations – you've won a grant award! Remember that this is just the beginning. Always follow through on the agreed grant contract: keep close track of your finances; provide all required reports; meet all deadlines.
★ Grants.gov is the absolute go-to source regarding grants offered by the U.S. Govenrment.
Using terms correctly is a key ingredient in winning grants! Check out an excellent review of terms and their definitions on Important Grant-Related Terms.
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