Government Grant Writing for Beginners

‘Grant writing’ as the name suggests is the writing of a grant in order to raise grant or funds for one’s organization or project. Many a non-profit or individual organizations rely on these grants to run their work. There are several types of grants and the reasons for taking them. Such reasons depend on the need of the organization seeking the grant.

Reasons and Types of funds:

Some organizations seek funds to operate their organization successfully. This sort of fund is known as operating money. The operating fund can be granted by a foundation

grant, a corporate grant, a direct mail campaign, or interest from an endowment.

Then there are funds for special projects, which include undertaking a new project, expansion of existing project/s, etc. The government, corporations, foundations etc. are ready to grant money for this cause. Besides this there are capacity seeking funds meant to enhance staff, financial ability of a company; capacity funds which should be sought for in cases of renovations of buildings, making a new building etc. Here again money can be taken from corporations, government agencies, foundations and can also be raised through a significant gift campaign. Endowments are slightly different kinds of funds.

They are those grants which are often given as long term gifts to certain organizations.

Government a reliable and evergreen source:

Government is the best source to look for grants for any purpose. Statistics reveal that government provides more than $ 350 billion grants annually. Government provides funds in various forms. For instance there are direct grants meant for nonprofit or individual organizations. There is immense competition to take the ‘direct grants’. Many organizations apply every year through their proposals and letters. Similar to this there are ‘competitive grants’. Organizations compete for a single share of this grant. The ‘pass through’ grants are relatively less competitive since they are confined to any state. The money for pass through grants is given by the federal government to the individual states for distribution. The organizations seeking grants can apply for it in the state agency. The government also provides ‘project funds’ for a specified period of time.

The entire information can be collected via CDFA i.e. the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance which splits government grants into 20 primary categories. It includes almost all the significant details from the name of the grant distributing agency to the eligibility plus evaluation criterion and the documentation required. CDFA also provides with a list of its past funded organizations and their respective objectives.

The Writing Matters:

At the end of the day what matters is the kind of proposal a loan seeking organization sends to the government or any funding agency. The proposal should be such that it clearly brings out the needs and objectives of the organization. An effective proposal acts as a mirror of the organization’s desires and the goals that it seeks to achieve. The more impressive a proposal is the greater are the chances of getting a good amount of grant. So while writing a grant proposal some vital points should be kept in mind.

There are two types of letters in this case- the letter of intent, which is a brief summary of the project and the aims desired to be achieved through it. The needs of the grant seeker must be specifically highlighted along with the manner in which these funds will fulfill these needs. Second is the letter of proposal, which delineates the entire project and the requirements, which are to be met by the funds. This letter how so ever long should not be devoid of a cover letter, a proposal summary, nearly ten pages of proposal text, the objectives and goals decided and appendices providing more details of the project.

Any agency or government granting the loan has particular criteria to select the organization and the amount of grant to be given like interviews, observation, past record and the like. However a proposal can be too helpful in providing an impetus to these later activities.

If you are looking forward to a grant then don’t hesitate in doing to slog for a little hard work done now will bear incredible benefits in the future…

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