BEST PLACES TO LOOK FOR GRANTS
Here 7 places you can start looking for grants:
1. Federal Government – You should not let your organization or program miss out on this federal money. Sites like Grants.gov are a great free resource to find government funding opportunities.
2. Small Business Administration – This is normally the first place majority of small business owners look for grant opportunities and while it commonly known for its, loan programs, a number of grants are always listed.
3. State governments – There are other places than the federal government where you can look for grants. Programs for small business owners are available in every state.
- State websites: You can search directly for grant opportunities on your state’s small business website. You’ll usually find grant and loan listings there.
- State Business Incentives Database: This site lists over 2,000 programs you can search by state.
4. Local governments – Check your local city, county, or municipality for potential grant opportunities.
5. It’$ My Money Newsletter – Yes, I gather and send them to all on our newsletter list. Some big companies run competitions and other programs to donate money to small business owners. Offerings from Visa, Hello Alice and many more. Do yourself and your business a favor and begin receiving our free newsletters.
Ensure that you are read and follow eligibility and guidelines for these grants. Some competitions have very specific eligibility conditions.
6. Demographic-based grants – Additionally, there are other possible funding options available to small business entrepreneurs, who are frequently underrepresented. Consider small business grants for veterans and women-owned businesses, as well as minority business grants. If you qualify for one of these grants, there are a few places to look, including:
- SBA Local Development Centers: The SBA manages small business development and training initiatives through regional offices across the nation. These frequently offer guidance on locating funds to assist women, veterans, and minority company owners.
- Veterans organizations: You may be eligible for special grants or other programs if you are a veteran or own a business that is owned by veterans. Warrior Rising is one of the examples of organizations that provides small funding to vet-owned businesses.
- Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA): The MBDA is a division of the Department of Commerce that provides funding for minority-owned firms through a number of initiatives.
You can also search within some of the bigger sites like Grants.gov for specialty grants for women, people of color, and veterans.
7. Networking with other nonprofit and civic leaders – Does your neighborhood host networking events or gatherings for charitable organizations? If so, talk to other NGOs to learn more about the potential in your area. You might learn about funding opportunities by word of mouth alone.
Now that you know where to find the grants, the next step is to ensure that your business is beefed up to qualify for the grants.
- Define the funding -Get clear on the kind of grant you want and identify the precise objectives needed to achieve the grant.
- Draw out a detailed business plan – Your plan should include important details about your business like a company description, business structure, service offered, financial projections and other useful information.
- Get your administrative details in order – These include the business owner’s contact information, planned use of the grant money, business license number, the business’s tax ID (EIN) number, and revenue vs. profit history/projections.
- Gather business records – Look over your business records from at least the last three years as this will help give a comprehensive input into how your business has been running.
To ensure you are top of your game, you can make additional steps and get expert opinion from individuals in the grant field as well as hiring a grant writer to showcase your grant proposal in a well put manner.
HOW GRANTS CAN HELP YOU OVERCOME A FINANCIAL DITCH
Due to the non-reapayable nature of grants, they can be of great value to your business by offering it a boost to operate. This was the case Charmane. H. Sellers who has been awarded a number of grants and shared how they have been such an important resource to her business. During the pandemic when majority of business were shut down, so was her construction company ALEON properties and this took a toll on how she managed the affairs of her business. Left with a handful of jobs, ALEON properties started working on small-sized jobs to ensure they stay afloat however as they kept going it became harder to stay open. With the help of a grant, ALEON properties was awarded, it was able to get right back on it’s feet and pull through.
Grants are also know to boost your business’s credibility as it is so competitive to secure a grant, is often seen as a great achievement for your business and increases your credibility. This is not only in the eyes of your target market but in potential funders and stakeholders enabling you to be well positioned in case you apply for grants in the future. It is clear how advantageous strategic use of grants to boost your business are to business due to the opportunities they provide therefore if you are willing to invest time into applying for one, go for it and be inspired by Charmane. H. Seller’s story by listening to her share it on The Money Exchange Podcast here