Grant Funding Facts
Getting a grant is a piecemeal process. Oftentimes people think if they have an idea or a passion to cure diseases, prevent something, or eradicate problems, grants are readily accessible. Grants primarily come in the form of applications or proposals, this means that a prospective grantee must have a detailed layout in writing of their project in order to write a proposal or complete an application. Before attempting to apply for a grant, one must do the following: form partnerships to ensure that services in their area are not duplicated; articulate the need for the grant project, develop a project plan with measurable goals and objectives, and find out the grantor’s funding criteria.
There are many myths out there about grants and grant writing; I will do my best to dispel the ones I frequently hear. Below is an excerpt from my grant writing workshop.
There are grants out there for everyone!
This notion is not necessarily true. There are many grants available to individuals and agencies that qualify. More often than not, you must be an incorporated non-profit organization with a 501 (c)(3) tax exempt status to qualify for most grants.
There are grant funds available for individuals who want to start a business!
This is not necessarily true either. Start up funding for small businesses generally come in the form of loans, business plan competitions, or contracts. For-profit companies that have been funded have mainly gotten grants to create jobs in distressed or rural communities or to conduct research projects.
Individuals who have been awarded grants have gotten them based on merit, housing programs, or social entrepreneur projects.
Grant Writers will either take a percentage of the grant after it has been awarded or they will write themselves into the project!
This is not true. No professional Grant Writer will take a percentage of a grant, this is unethical. Grant writers will either charge by the hour or work for a flat rate. Other than being unethical, it is irrational for a Grant Writer to take a percentage of a grant on the back-end. If a grant is not funded and the Grant Writer agreed to take a percentage of a grant, there would be no way for the writer to be compensated. Grant writers are rarely able to “write themselves in” because most grants do not pay for grant writing or fundraising expenses. Grants are mostly issued to cover or assist with program expenses, some operational cost and a small percentage if any are to pay wages for staff.
Beware of empty promises and hyped up commercials. Consult with a professional Grant Writer to get the facts.