How to Find & Apply for Grants

Learning how to apply for government grants is an important step you may need to take.

Whether you need funding to help you afford college or to help you start a new business, you may need financial support.

Unlike loans, you do not need to pay back any money you are awarded through a grant. This makes these funding sources especially appealing to individuals. 

Whether you are interested in obtaining a federal government grant or a local grant, there may be various options available to you.

For every type of business or project available, there is probably a grant that can help you be able to afford to accomplish the task at hand.

However, it is important that you understand the steps you need to take to apply for these funding opportunities.

The following sections explain how you can apply for government grants for a small business, studying opportunities and everything in between. 

Where can I find government grants to apply for? 

In order to find government grants, you need to first identify what you want funding for. Then, you should ask yourself the following questions: 

  • How much funding do I need this grant to cover? 
  • Do I want a grant that is funded by the state or federal government? 
  • Could I be eligible for a specialty grant based on my profession, veteran status or income level?

Once you answer these questions, you will have a better idea about where you should begin looking for grants.

If you want to apply for a federal government grant to help you open a business, for example, you would need to look for options available through the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

On the other hand, if you want to apply for a grant to help you study abroad, you would need to find information through the U.S. Department of State.

One of the easiest ways to find free government grants you can apply for is to search online. Most government agencies and organizations post these listings on their websites well before you need to apply for them.

However, keep in mind that many of these grants have deadlines you need to meet. To avoid missing an opportunity, make sure you are constantly checking government websites.

This way, you can easily view when new opportunities open and when deadlines approach.

Do I have to apply for every federal government grant individually? 

In most instances, you need to apply for government grants individually. This is because these funding opportunities usually have their own committees who review the applications.

Furthermore, the eligibility requirements you need to meet in order to be awarded a grant are usually specific to that program. For this reason, you generally need to apply for each grant individually.

However, this is not always the case for government grants for individuals who would like to study at a college or university.

Usually, you can be considered for federal education grants by completing your Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year. When you submit this form, you can be considered for: 

  • Iraq and Afghanistan Service Grants. 
  • Federal Pell Grants.
  • Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grants.
  • Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG).

How to Apply for Government Grants for a Small Business

The SBA is an excellent resource you can use if you are interested in learning about funding for your small business.

Usually, these free government grants are awarded directly to state and local governments, as well as nonprofit organizations and educational facilities.

However, you can also search online for federal grants you can use for the business you operate. Generally, the government does not provide grants directly to individuals.

If you want to apply for one of these government grants for your small business, you must follow the requirements outlined for the grant you are applying for.

Depending on the opportunity you are seeking, you may need to meet a specific deadline to be considered. 

Likewise, you will probably need to provide a statement that explains why you qualify to be awarded this funding. In any case, you can probably submit your application online.

This allows you the convenience of applying for your grant opportunity from anywhere. 

Are there any free government grants available locally? 

Whether you are searching for government grants for women or to help you fund a specific type of business, your local government might have options for you.

Usually, the federal government awards money to local government bodies and organizations. Then, these entities may be able to distribute funds to individuals or smaller businesses. 

If you want to find funding opportunities available in your community, you probably need to reach out to organizations directly.

Your local government can then provide you with a list of government grants for individuals. Nonprofits and other organizations that offer these opportunities can also direct you to their lists of available funding options. 

How can I tell if I encounter scam government grants for individuals offers?

There are many different scams that claim to offer free government grants for individuals. However, some of these are easy to catch because they begin with a phone call.

Usually, these scams begin when an individual calls someone and claims he or she is eligible for a sizable government grant. 

One example of this is the $7000 government grant scam. If you receive an unsolicited call that meets any of the following criteria, contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC): 

  • You receive a call stating you can receive a grant you did not apply for. If you did not apply for a grant, you cannot be eligible to receive it. 
  • You need to pay to receive your grant money. Grants provide financial support to you that you do not need to repay back. If you are told you need to pay to receive a grant, it is a scam.
  • You are asked to provide your bank account information. Scammers will say they need your bank account information before they can send you the grant. Do not give your sensitive information to individuals or organizations you do not know.