As an individual looking for personal grants the number of grant programs that you are eligible for are comparably smaller than for not-for-profits, but there are a few grants for personal assistance available to you. Personal grants will not pay for comfort items such as cable, internet, clothing, etc., but there are personal grants for education, business startup, training, low-income housing, home improvement repairs, ADA improvements, etc.
The most common types of personal grants are Pell Grants and scholarships available for postsecondary education or hands on certified training courses. A Pell Grant is money the federal government provides for students who need it to pay for college. Pell Grants are limited to students who fall within a low-to-moderate income level. Scholarships on the other hand are awarded on various criteria set by the donor of the scholarship funds.
As an individual looking for personal grants, make sure you visit www.grants.gov. Most of the federal grant opportunities available will require the partnership of a not-for-profit or local governmental entity before you will qualify. The grants would be awarded to one of these organizations and they in turn would utilize the funds to assist you directly. This may be in a personal grant or as a service.
Your State website is another wealth of information on grants for personal assistance. Some websites are hard to navigate and it may take a phone call to the correct governmental agency before you can find the correct personal grant opportunity. Your State agencies will usually be the overseer of federally allotted funds for home improvement repairs, low-income housing, Pell Grants, etc.
Rarely does a local government office offer personal grants, but they usually can help you determine local not-for-profits that offer grants for personal assistance. Examples of local agencies offering personal grants are Habitat for Humanity, Red Cross, and various community outreach organizations.
Foundations also provide personal grants for education, housing, and specific projects. The important thing to remember as you search for grants is to check the eligibility requirements and funding guidelines of the foundation. Most of the time foundation will clearly outline what they will and will not fund on their website. Thus, it saves you and the staff time. If you cannot find a foundation that offers personal assistance, you might try locating a state-wide publication of granting agencies in your area. This publication should also list the types of grants (personal grants) the foundations consider funding.