Can you imagine someone coming up to you and asking you if you want free grant money? It isn’t quite that easy to obtain free grant money, but it is possible to receive a free grant to utilize for an intended purpose or project. There are funders out there that will give you free grant money, but if you do not spend the funds as specified in the grant agreement, you will lose the grant.
It is important to realize everything labeled free isn’t always without restrictions. You don’t have to pay for the “free grant money”, but you do have to abide by the grant guidelines and restrictions. Most importantly, you must use the grant as you specified in the grant request. No funder will give you funds for a transportation project and then allow you to buy a house with the funds.
The most common type of free grant money is scholarships. Scholarships are given to individuals to further their education or training. Scholarships are offered by foundations, not-for-profit organizations, and schools/universities. Most scholarships are given to students who excel academically or athletically. The free grant money can be used to pay tuition, book cost, etc. Another type of grant used for education is the Pell grant. A Pell grant is given to students by the government if they qualify due to low income.
Other types of free grant money include funding for housing, infrastructure, redevelopment, economic development, community development, research, and a variety of other projects with a positive community impact. Some of these free grants do not have as many restrictions as others, but all have specific program or project areas. If your project falls within the grant guidelines and you are an eligible entity, you can receive a free grant.
The free grant is sometimes only a portion of the overall funding package needed to cover the expenditures of your project. Some free grant money requires a ten percent or twenty percent match. Other funders fully pay for the cost of the project. Requiring a match does not mean it is not a free grant, because the grant funds given are not required to be paid back. Just make sure to read over the guidelines carefully before submitting a grant request. A funding agency will not hold the grant indefinitely for you while you secure funding for your required match. In many cases, proof of the matching funds being secured is part of the documentation you must submit with the grant application.
Regardless of the requirements and restrictions, free grant money is the best way to fund a community project or program.