How to get a federal grant for your business



There are hundreds of grant projects within the government organized through the grant-making organizations. These projects are broken down into over two-dozen categories ranging from agriculture to housing and community development .

However, as you can probably realize, the system of getting grants authorized by the government is a long and involved one. Due to that, there are only a few of grant types approved by the government.

1. Conditional (or categorical) grants

 
The vast majority of grants given by the government fall under this category. These grants are conditional because they have specifically defined goals. A grant that must be used by the Department of Transportation for highway development after a natural disaster would be one illustration.

2. Block grants
These grants normally cover large chunks — or blocks — of allocation sent from the federal government to local and state governments. Usually, block grants have a much broader general purpose and are aimed at  helping the local neighborhood.

3. Earmark grants
These grants are appropriated into the budget each year by Congress and designated for specific reasons.

How to get a federal grant for your business

 
Receiving a grant for your business takes organization and patience. You’ll often be driving against similar businesses, so you want to do what you can to expand your opportunities.

Here are the basics of the application process:

1. Do your pre-application study

Before you apply for any federal grant, make sure you are grant-ready. That means having a proposal in mind, knowing how much funding you desire, creating a list of grants that match your needs, and ensuring you qualify.

While it may be tempting to apply for anything and everything out there, the fact is you want to look for a narrow list of grants that drop into your wheelhouse. For instance, if you’re an individual business owner, it might make sense to concentrate on government grants for people versus those that will attract much bigger companies.


Applying for grants is a time-consuming system that can always take weeks, if not months. Any preparation you do to get yourself ready is going to help you stay earlier of the curve.

2. Go to grants.gov
Once you’re ready to begin digging into the grants available, your best first stop is grants.gov. It is a searchable database that lists all of the chances from the 26 federal grant-making agencies.

The main inquiry page of the grants.gov database.
Grants.gov is one-stop shopping for finding all the presently available grants offered by the federal government. Source: grants.gov.

 
At any given time, it will have hundreds or thousands of chances listed. You can check and sort by eligibility, type, and agency.

3. Create your application and examine everything twice
As you create your application, it’s crucial to pursue directions. Grants from the government usually come with many hoops to jump through and a long list of qualifications and laws. Miss any of those in your application and you will not get the help of the doubt; you’ll have to re-submit or start over.

This part of the process is also where you want to establish a grant proposal that shines. It will be the meat of your application where you will want to highligh  your business objectives, how you plan to use the funds, and how you will pursue everything.

Once you complete your application, submit it before the deadline.

5 best methods when applying for a federal grant
Grants commonly involve a lot of paperwork and are time-consuming, so getting focused and having a plan can come in handy. Otherwise, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and not apply to anything at all.

Here are some tips to enable you start.

1. Get organized
The more organized and detail-oriented you can be at the beginning of the process, the better. It will help you assure you have all the documents you need and you meet your deadlines.

2. Ask around
Never discount your network as a potential resource for data on grants and funding. You might find somebody in a professional organization you belong to has had achievement with federal grants. Reach out to pick their brain for guidance.

3. Look for specialty grants
These grants are often little in number, but you might find grants that you qualify for over others if you have an unusual skillset or are from a historically underrepresented organization. Keep an eye out for them.

4. Remember the grantor’s preferences
One of the nicest ways to stand out with your application is to align the granting organization’s preferences with your objectives for using the funds.

5. Take advantages of government reserves
The SBA has a ton of free resources for small business owners, including strategies, degrees, and guides to help you find and apply for grants.

Now you’re willing — go forth and find your federal grants
Hopefully, you feel a bit more knowledgeable with the process of applying for federal grants. While it can feel like a frustrating process at the time, being given a grant and helping your community is often worth it in the end.

There are millions of dollars accessible in funds for small enterprises just like yours; all you have to do is go out and receive it

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