by: Rebecca Game
Applying for a grant used to be a difficult and tedious process. The applications were long and often difficult to obtain. Even worse, loans used to be difficult to locate. Unless you were extremely familiar with government loan programs, in all likelihood, finding a grand and applying for a grant meeting your specific needs may have been nearly impossible to find.
Fortunately, that has changed in recent years. Grants.gov, a web site listing all available government grants, was created as part of the President's Management Agenda (PMA) and related e-Government Strategy. Grants.gov is one of 24 PMA initiatives devoted to improving services offered by the government over the Internet. According to Grants.gov, the site was created as a partnership with the 26 Federal agencies that offer grant programs. It is organized by the United States Department of Health and Human Services, which is also the largest grant-making agency.
By visiting Grants.gov, it's easy to see how simple it is to apply for a grant. Gone are the days of preparing extensive paperwork and printed documentation, as well as mailing the paperwork to the agency awarding the grant. Instead, applying for a grant is now done electronically through the site, offering individuals and businesses the opportunity to flawlessly submit a grant application online.
There are five steps involved at Grants.gov in applying for a grant.
1. Find an appropriate grant opportunity in which you'd like to apply.
Visit Grants.gov/search/searchHome.do for specific information on grants available to you. Be sure you meet all criteria, or your time spent will be wasted because your application will be voided in that instance. Jot down the grant's CFDA Number or Funding Opportunity Number, which will be needed for Step 2, below.
2. Download the application package.
Once you've determined which grant or grants you'll apply for, you're ready to download your grant application package. Visit http://apply.grants.gov/forms_apps_idx.html for information. Your first step is to download PureEdge Viewer, which is a free software package required for filling out the application. The software is available to both Macintosh and PC users. Instructions are included as to how to install and use the software. After installing PureEdge Viewer, you're ready to download your specific application package. Have the grant's CFDA Number or Funding Opportunity Number for this step, which should have been obtained in Step 1, above.
3. Register with Central Contractor Registry (CCR).
Applying for a Grant - Where and How
About The Author
Rebecca Game is the founder of Digital Women Â®, an online community for women in business. A 30 year entrepreneur and dedicated to helping other women find business loans and business grants. Visit her site: Business Grants for Women or at her main site: http://www.digital-women.com.
Philanthropy imparts a multitude of ways for small business owners to do social good – both for the community and for themselves.