What to Know Before Applying for a Grant

Grants are a great resource for receiving necessary funding. It’s basically receiving free money because it never has to be paid back. Grants can help in so many areas whether it’s paying for education, housing, utility bills, or even medical expenses. Because grants are so helpful, they are very competitive. There are many requirements and steps an applicant must be aware of before applying to ensure the best outcome.  Before applying or completing a proposal, make sure to look into the following:   

1.) Eligibility

Each grant has specific requirements the individual or organization must meet in order to be considered for the funds. These qualifications vary based on the foundation and grant type. For example, some requirements for a student grant include demonstrating financial need, enrolled in a degree program and must have a social security number. If a student applying for this grant does not meet one or all of these requirements their application will automatically be rejected. Before applying for a grant, find out if you are eligible. You can do so here: https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/applicants/applicant-eligibility.html.

2.) How Much Work Is Required:

Grants applications are extremely involved and include many moving parts. They require gathering and filing documents as well as writing a proposal. Needless to say, grant applications are extremely time consuming. Proposals vary in length, but need to include all the essentials. To understand the necessary written components of a proposal you can visit: https://www.yc.edu/v6/grants/docs/Elements%20of%20a%20Grant%20Proposal.pdf. It is important to understand how much work is involved to ensure you will have the time to complete the application.

3.) Due date

Meeting the deadline is crucial. As mentioned before, grant applications are extremely competitive. Foundations look into all the small details to ensure applications are eligible for review. Missing a simple requirement such as the deadline automatically sets yourself up for failure. If you submit your application late due to an emergency, it is important to contact the foundation and let them know your situation. They will most likely be understanding.  Before applying make sure the deadline is achievable so you have the best chances of winning. 

As great as grants can be, they are tedious. Make sure to check that you or your organization meets all the requirements and will have enough time to complete the application before the deadline. These factors are crucial because the grant may not be the right opportunity if one of these cannot be completed.

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