If you are old enough, you may remember an older gentleman in a suit (usually a fluorescent color) covered in dollar signs bouncing around on late-night TV and in commercials throughout the day promising to help you find free money from the government for pretty much anything and everything you could imagine.
The odds are pretty good that you dismissed that crazy fellow in the crazier suit out of hand, but what you might not have realized (especially if you didn’t dig a little bit deeper into what he was promising) is that he wasn’t selling a bill of goods. It actually IS possible to get free money from the government for pretty much anything and everything you could imagine, though there is a systemized (and sometimes difficult to maneuver) process that you have to go through an effort to land the money that you want.
This money comes in the form of grants from the government, and the money usually happens a variety of different rules, regulations, and stipulations attached to it determining how it can and should be used. But if you fill out your grant paperwork the right way, and if you are approved for the grant that you apply for, you can very often get your hands on an almost unbelievable amount of money to handle new research projects, build a new business, go to school and study almost anything, and so much more – without having to pay a penny back!
Research grant opportunities
The very first thing you’re going to need to do is research if with the funds there are specific grants that you can apply for with criteria that fit the kind of project that you are looking to use these funds for.
For example, if you are looking to start a little bakery and build your own local business, you’ll want to look for grants that offer funding to small businesses, especially those in the food service industry. They will have some kinds of “stipulations” attached to how the funding should be used, but for the most part you we use that money to help you build your business without having to pay it back.
Writing your grant proposal
From there, you’ll have to start writing grant proposals and hope that you are accepted for the grants that are available. Government grant proposals pretty much formulaic, simple and straightforward enough to fill by nearly anyone, and you can download the forms available from a variety of different governmental websites. Templates and sample grant proposals are available for free as, and you want to copy them as much as you can to boost your odds of becoming accepted.
Look for private grants as well
While the government grants are usually the most commonplace that are available to take advantage of, private individuals, organizations, and corporations also provide grant money for a variety of different reasons and research projects. You’ll want to look into these grants is, and you’ll need to tweak your grant proposal to fit the qualities that these individuals or organizations are most interested in.