The Truth About Grants: Most Fund Projects and Not Your Business

All too often, I receive phone calls from those who are looking for grants for their business. They are on the right track and usually tell me about the history of their organization and its future plans. However, when I ask them what project or program they are looking to fund, they are often at a loss.

Funding sources, whether they are foundations or governments, generally award grants that benefit the community. This means that on most occasions, they fund specific projects and programs and not just the business itself. So what you really want to do is consider your funding needs in relation to a specific project. 

Does your business have (or plan to run) any projects or programs?

If you answered yes to the question above, then your chances of winning a grant have already significantly improved! If you are grant ready, you can start searching for grants that can help fund your program. Once you’ve located potential grants, you’ll need to be able to:

  • define your project
  • know the cost of the project
  • and show how it relates to the grant objectives
Funders prefer proof over good intentions

When it comes to completing your proposal, your passion should jump off the page. However, you also need to be able to back up your words with proof. While good intentions are nice, you must be able to show that your application meets the selection criteria. The grant guidelines will detail what evidence is required to show your project’s objectives. These may include:

  • customer surveys
  • letters of support
  • market research
  • growth forecasts
  • feasibility studies
  • forward projections
  • competitor analysis
  • resumes of key staff showing their abilities
  • examples of other projects you’ve completed
  • risk analysis for larger projects
  • links to policies and agendas
Find grants that align with your project

Everyone is searching for the perfect grant that covers the right amount for everything they need! In reality, you are most likely going to need a few grants, generally, each one matching up with a part of your program. In earlier articles, we have discussed how thinking outside the box can help you to locate potential funding opportunities. We have also previously published some of the best places to find grants when you feel a little lost.

Overall, if you have a program along with the passion and the proof, you will do just fine with your grant application and should not overthink the process. Remember, grants are never intended to keep your business afloat and are rather for activities and initiatives run by your business that help the greater good!

Looking for grants? With more than 8,000 grants are currently available, is the leading grant listing directory. MemberPlus+ subscription is required to view the full grant details, including the eligibility criteria and application information. For more information, you can also visit the GrantWatch FAQ page. 

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