There are several ways to receive free money from the government, if you know how to identify the grant opportunities available for your project, program, or need. Many not-for-profits, business, and local government agencies do not receive free government money simply because of the difficulties that can be associated with grants. However, if you utilize the tools available to assist you in your search and in the preparation of a grant application, it can be a rewarding endeavor.
The three sources of free government grants are federal, state, and local. Each level of government has its own method and requirements to be followed before obtaining free money from the government. If you are a business or individual looking to start a business, the first agency to contact is the Small Business Development Center (SBA). The SBA is focused on providing information on financing, planning, and a variety of other services just for small or emerging businesses. The SBA does not provide free government grants directly to individuals or companies, but they can help you find free government grant opportunities and prepare items that you will need before submitting a successful request for free government money.
The SBA and other agencies will probably refer you to www.grants.gov for information on free federal government grants. All federal organizations streamline their grant applications through this system. The system requires that all organizations register before submitting a free government grant request. It is critically important to register with the system several weeks in advance of the grant’s deadline! Some of the information you must enter into www.grants.gov is identification information from other agencies. Your organization must be pre-registered with Dunn and Brad Street and with CCR (Central Contractor Registration). After you have received your identification number from Dunn and Brad Street and completed the CCR, you can complete the www.grants.gov registration and be on your way to applying for free money from the government. Be careful to allow for enough time to complete everything required and have the system verify the information. Make sure to download the instructions and application packet to your computer for review several weeks or months in advance of the grant application deadline. Many organizations submitting a free government grant request do not even make it through the threshold requirements because of not following the instructions carefully.
Businesses, not-for-profits, individuals and various other agencies can receive free government grants from their states or local governments. Each entity oversees granting programs that can financially assist you with specific projects. Most of these types of free government grants must make a positive impact in a specified geographical area.
Receiving a free government grant is only one form of free government money offered to individuals, businesses, and not-for-profits. Financial assistance is available in the form of loans, technical assistance, scholarships, etc. The best source of information to determine what free government money you may qualify for is your local governmental entity or state’s website.