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Find Grant Funding Now!: The Five-Step Prosperity Process for Entrepreneurs and Business



Find Grant Funding Now!: The Five-Step Prosperity Process for Entrepreneurs and Business

Sarah Beth Aubrey

ISBN: 978-1-118-71040-1 December 2013 256 Pages


A practical, proven system for finding, applying for, and winning grants for your small business

This year alone, there is at least $350 million worth of grant money available for small businesses. But plenty of small businesses will miss out on that money because they either don't know it's there or don't know how to get it. Written by a consultant who helps individuals, local governments, and nonprofits find and receive grant money, Find Grant Funding Now! provides proven, step-by-step guidance on applying for and win the grant money they need to succeed.

Utilizing the simple five-step process that the author successfully uses for her own clients, this is virtually the only book on the market dedicated to helping small businesses get grants. It features a wealth of valuable resources and even a customized Grant Readiness Assessment Tool that helps entrepreneurs and small business owners make sure they're fully prepared before they file the paperwork.

  • Includes a proven and effective Five-Step Prosperity Process for finding and landing grants
  • Features sample forms, checklists, budgets, merit reviews, 30- and 60-day grant project management plans, and more
  • Written by the founder of a full-service funding firm that helps entrepreneurs, communities, universities, trade associations, and cooperatives obtain grant funds from governments and foundations

If you need cash to start or expand your small business, Find Grant Funding Now! offers a practical system that gets real results.

Preface xiii

Acknowledgments xxi

About the Author xxv


Navigating the Grant and Funding Landscape

1 Why Grants Now? 3

Why Grant Funding Is Hot 4

Regulations, Rules, and Red Tape 10

Perspectives on Prosperity 13

2 The Five Steps to Navigating the Grant Process 15

New Ventures, Entrepreneurial Needs 18

Overview of the Five-Step Process 20

Before You Begin: The Idea 21

Step 1: Project 22

Measurable 23

Targeted Outcome 24

Aligns with the GFO’s Goals 24

Has Designated, Realistic Milestones 25

Justifiable, Workable Budget 25

Demonstrates Ability to Sustain After Grant Funding 25

Shows Some Aspect of Greater Good 26

Step 2: Peruse 26

Step 3: Ponder 27

Step 4: Prepare 28

Step 5: Patience 29

Perspectives on Prosperity 30

3 What Is a Grant? 31

Bringing Structure to the Grant Process 33

The Elements of a Grant 35

Award of Cash 36

Terms and Timeframe 37

Are There Ever Any Exceptions? 39

Are There Ever Any Extensions? 39

Grants Are Usually a Reimbursement 40

Reporting Is Required 41

Grants Can Be Recalled 41

A Grant Is Always Competitive 42

What Grants Are Not 42

Grants versus Loans 43

Grants versus Scholarships 45

Grants versus Rebates 45

Grants versus Tax Credits 45

Grants versus Endowments 45

Grants versus Fundraising 46

Grants Are Not Free Money 46

Perspectives on Prosperity 47

4 Is There Really Money Out There? 49

Matching Your Project with the GFOs 50

Is There Enough Grant Money? 51

How Big Is the Federal Grant Marketplace? 51

Government Grants 52

The Difference between State and Federal Government Grant Makers 54

How Much Grant Funding Is at the State Level? 55

Foundation and Nonprofit Grants 56

Corporate Foundations 59

The Size of the Philanthropic Marketplace 59

Trade Associations 60

Perspectives on Prosperity 65


Strategies for Grant Success

5 Finding the Money 69

Effective Searching 70

Funds Follow Fit 71

Seven Key Questions for Effective Grant

Agency Searching 72

Time Efficiency 72

Should I Send in Unsolicited Material? 74

Other Searching Tips 75

Create a Grant Tracking System 77

Determining Eligibility and Feasibility (Step 3) 80

Eligibility Assessment 81

Feasibility Assessment 83

Decoding Federal Grant Announcements 85

Perspectives on Prosperity 96

6 Is There a Grant for That? 97

Types of Work You can Fund with Grants 99

What Does Technical Assistance Mean? 100

What’s Trending Now? 101

Unique Funding Example 103

The Real Impact: How Grant Dollars Meet a Need 104

Non-Money Reasons to Ask for Money 105

Should Grants be Used only When You Need the Money? 106

Other Values of Grants 107

To Leverage Funding 107

To Enhance Public Relations 108

To Establish Credibility and Viability 110

To Support Your Causes 110

To Gain Collaborator Buy-In 111

To Demonstrate Trustworthiness 112

Perspectives on Prosperity 113

7 The High Stakes of Winning or Losing Grants 115

Strategic Considerations Before Applying 118

Alignment of Mission and Vision 118

Financial Considerations 119

Public Relations/Marketplace Impact 120

Privacy and Intellectual Capital Exposure 121

Personal and Social Ramifications 122

Added Costs 122

Timing 124

When to Partner on an Application 125

Do Special Certifications Matter? 126

Perspectives on Prosperity 127

8 Creating a Project Team 129

The Project Team 130

Importance of a Solid Team 132

Selecting a Project Manager 133

Should I Hire a Grant Writer? 135

Assembling the Team: Roles to Fill 138

Allocating Your Time 141

Preparing the Application 142

Reviewing the Application 143

Perspectives on Prosperity 144


Application, Award, Afterward

9 Putting the Package Together 147

Grant Application Basics 148

Narratives 150

Top Narrative Components Explained 151

Tips for Narratives 154

Forms and Signatures 156

Budget and Justification 158

Supporting Documentation 163

Addendums 164

Financials 165

Matching Funds Documentation 166

Identification and Registration Numbers 167

Perspectives on Prosperity 167

10 Scoring Your Application 171

Evaluating a Grant Proposal 172

Objective and Subjective Grant Evaluation 174

Objective Scoring Items 175

Subjective Scoring Items 175

Scoring Points 175

Building Your Own (Probable) Score 176

Self-Evaluation Score 178

Grant Submission 182

Hard Copy 184

Online Submission 185

Perspectives on Prosperity 186

11 Surviving the Wait 187

Honing Your Patience 188

My Application Is Turned In—Now What? 189

What To Do While You Wait 190

The Responses 191

They Said Yes! 191

Oh, No, I Got Denied! 192

What’s a Resubmit? 193

Should I Appeal? 194

How Should I Answer That Question from the GFO? 195

Does No Mean No, Or Not Now? 197

The Grant Agreement 199

I Have This One Little Change . . . 199

Other Questions To Ask 201

Transitioning from Applicant to Awardee 202

When Do I Get Paid? 202

Finalizing the Grant Period and Closing Out 203

Reporting 204

Closing Out the Grant and Project Periods 205

Perspectives on Prosperity 206

Conclusion Grant Writing Secrets 207

Perspectives on Prosperity 208

Appendix A Project Evaluation Tool 211

Appendix B Grant Planning Tool 217

Index 221