Free Money Through Grants: Fact or Fiction?

 by: Rebecca Game

It's posted all over the Internet. You hear it on the radio, and see it on television. The United States government is giving away free money in the form of federal grants. While it's true that the government does indeed award $400 billion annually through its 26 federal entities, the statement of free money through the government doesn't exactly pinpoint the definition of a federal grant.

A grant isn't a gift or a free-for-all giveaway. It also doesn't mean that if you've been awarded a grant, you've won the lottery. According to American Government and Politics by Jay M. Shafritz, a grant is "a form of gift that entails certain obligations on the part of the grantee and expectations on the part of the grantor." The key word in this definition of the word is obligations. Getting a government grant will get you an unbelievable amount of obligations, and not fulfilling your obligations will, in turn, grant you legal problems.

The majority of federal grants that are awarded are the farthest thing from being considered free money. Grants are most often awarded to organizations planning major projects to benefit a community. It could include money to be used for repaving streets in a city. A grant could also be awarded for a nonprofit organization featuring an art exhibit or musical performance. Grants are also awarded for technological research, conservation, and flood control projects. While there are other sources that are awarded grant funding, in general, the free money aspect is lost, and individuals, in general, are not qualified for most grants other than those used for educational purposes such as to pay tuition bills for higher education. Businesses can also tap into the federal grant program, but only by meeting strict criteria through the government agency offering the grant, such as if grant funding is available for research in a particular area that is of specialty to that business.

Once the free money is provided through the grant, the organization that has been awarded the free money must keep careful track of all project expenditures. Organizations that are awarded free money must be prepared for detailed audits, which will be conducted by the Federal government annually or more often. Any money not spent and accounted for goes back to the United States Treasury, and is not extra free money for the organization. Detailed program goals must be developed, approved, and completed by the organization exactly as specified in the grant application without exception. Any unforeseen project changes that occur along the way must receive prior approval by the government agency that awarded the grant. All project phases must be completed as planned, and even more importantly, completed successfully and on time.   (continued...)

Free Money Through Grants: Fact or Fiction?
  Page 2

About The Author

Rebecca Game is the founder of Digital Women ®, an online community for women in business. A 30 year entrepreneur and dedicated to helping other women find business loans. Visit her site: Loans for Women.

http://www.digital-women.com




Additional Government Grants Resources


Zambia Economic Resilience Program for Improved Food Security
The Zambia Economic Resilience Program for Improved Food Security is designed to implement innovative techniques and approaches that would hopefully enable the community's most vulnerable and poor rural families to improve food security by strengthening their economic resilience.


Modeling Social Behavior Grant Program
The National Institutes of Health has collaborated with the National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in order to establish the Modeling Social Behavior Grant Program wherein they intend to seek applications for the development and evaluation of innovative theories, as well as computational, mathematical, and engineering approaches that could better our understanding of a human being's social behavior.


Government Grants that Help You Pay for College
There are many Title IX programs are used to help put undergraduates that cannot pay for college themselves through school. Many people do not know they can apply for grants such as the Pell Grant, because they assume they do not qualify or are simply unaware of their existence.


Keystone Home Loan PLUS Program
The Pennsylvania Housing Finance Agency, otherwise termed as PHFA, is an independent agency established in year 1972 in an attempt to assist the provision of reasonable and affordable housing opportunities the elderly, persons and families of modest means, and people suffering from disabilities.


Community Development Block Grant Program for Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages
The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing within the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has recently established a funding opportunity entitled Community Development Block Grant Program for Indian Tribes and Alaska Native Villages (ICDBG).


Grants and Loans From The Department of Energy
In 1977, the President of the United States of America signed the The Department of Energy Organization Act which mandated the creation of the United States Department of Energy, which more commonly known as DOE.


Agriculture and Food Research Initiative: National Institute of Food and Agriculture Fellowships Grant Program
The Agriculture and Food Research Initiative grant program revolves around the premise of providing funds to both fundamental and applied research studies, education, and extension that would hopefully address concerns related to food and agricultural sciences.






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