What Do You Do If Someone Offers You a Government Grant that You Didn’t Ask For?

Jackpot! You received notice that you have already qualified for a grant, one that you didn’t even apply for. A company that you’re not familiar with is selflessly notifying people that the government wants to give them grants they didn’t even ask for. The reasons given that you qualify for this grant may vary from “because you’re a taxpayer” to “as a citizen, you’re entitled to….”

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Why Are Some Government Grant Applications So Long?

You’ll sometimes encounter government grant applications or proposals that need to be very detailed, with a long list of requirements from the funders that you, as an applicant must fulfill. This can be especially true for government grants because of the government’s penchant for bureaucracy. Before I go on, though, I just want to point out that the long, involved grant

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Free Money for Higher Education

Post-secondary education can be one of the largest expenses we will face in our lives, second only to buying a house. Fortunately, we do not necessarily need to pay the entire amount out of pocket. You may be able to get free money for tuition, and sometimes also books, supplies, and living expenses. Governments, both federal and state/provincial, are potential sources of funding.

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Using Grants Cumulatively

Everyone wants to get the really big grants. However, if you focus exclusively on these, you may miss out on funding your project. A different approach is to seek several smaller grants, which are more commonly found and may have less competition. An effective way to do this is to divide your project into parts that function independently.

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Tips for the Budget Section of Your Grant Proposal

One of the key parts of a grant proposal is its budget. Some of my students have a little trouble knowing where to begin with it and knowing whether they have done it correctly. I have some ideas for you to make the process a little less intimidating.

First, here are some general rules. Be sure that your budget is:

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Develop Your Funding Ideas First

I sometimes have students who are gung-ho to get a grant, any grant. They will inquire where to go to get the most money, the most quickly. I ask them what it is they are seeking to fund exactly, and they have no idea. This approach is not likely to succeed, for several reasons. First, grants exist for a purpose. The idea behind them is that the government wants to encourage positive social changes, such as job creation or home ownership,

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Seeing through the Grant Reviewers’ Eyes

How do you think a grant reviewer will see your proposal? Try putting yourself mentally in the place of the reviewer, keeping in mind that he or she has no emotional attachment to your idea, nor any prior background knowledge of why your project would be a good one.Here, we get some hints and insights from professional grant reviewers about what their preferences and pet peeves are (adapted from research by Purdue University).

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Tip: What If Your Proposal Is Rejected?

It’s unquestionably a huge disappointment to work hard on your grant proposal, only to have it not be chosen. At this point you can either become discouraged and give up, or you can use the rejection as a learning experience. Most proposals are rejected. Given the large numbers of proposals that are submitted, that is a reality of the process. However, you can try to pinpoint the reason in several ways:

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Should You Hire A Grant Writer?

If you are having difficulty deciding whether or not to hire a grant writer, below are some pros and cons that can help you decide what is right for you. One advantage of hiring a writer to assist you with putting together your proposal is that it can mean faster results. The basic job of a grant writer is to complete your work based on your financial strategy in a timely manner.

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Hidden Grants

Did you know that many local governments have grants that are not publicized? Some communities have funding set aside, but they don’t publicize it. Often, the only way to find out about available funding is to call or visit your government offices, find the resident grant expert, and inquire about available programs. The best example of this is someone from my own office who wanted a grant to help her with a down payment on a new house.

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