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Grant Tips and Resources


It's been a long road, finding suitable grant opportunities, researching and preparing the grant proposal, and finally sending it off. Now comes the hard part--waiting to hear from the granting organization if your proposal has been approved and will receive funding. Is there anything else you can do to help move your grant proposal in the right direction?


What to Do While You Are Waiting to Hear Back


You will want to check on the grant announcement as to how long it usually takes before you will hear back from the granting organization. It can range from a few weeks to a few months, depending on how many applications they receive and how many reviewers they have on staff. At the Internet site www.Grants.gov, you can track the progress of your Federal grant application online, which makes it easier and quicker to find out what is happening with your submitted proposal. After you have sent your application to the grant maker, it is a good idea to contact them and confirm that they received it, and to make sure that the application is not missing anything. Applications with missing elements are usually not considered for the grant, so you will definitely want to go through each required item as outlined in the application procedures before you send it, so that you are sure your application is complete and that your grant request will be considered.


Once the organization has your application, they might contact you for further information concerning the information on your application. It is a good idea to have records ready that you can refer to and send to them which will show such things as how you came to the figures you used in your budget, and other worksheets you used to help you provide the hard data that you relied upon for the proposal.


Several Applications Make for Better Odds of Obtaining Grants


After you have spent all the time and energy that goes into preparing a quality grant proposal, it makes sense to find every granting agency that might provide you with the grant money you are seeking, and send it in. A simplified way of doing this is available on Grants.gov, where you prepare one standardized grant application. At the CFDA website they list grant opportunities with a listing of additional related grant opportunities, so that you can apply for others which may be appropriate for your needs with a single application.


If you are applying for grants at places other than the large Federal agencies, then you will have to do some research on your own. But this is when considering a long list of as many subcategories that the subject of your grant proposal comes under will be useful to help you locate other funding opportunities. Each one of those subcategories you will want to use as keywords to look under in granting organization's search engines, to see if there are grants available in those categories.


With governmental budgets for domestic spending shrinking, it has made receiving grant money a more competitive enterprise than in years past. Nevertheless, individuals and organizations receive grants all the time. If it is your time, and you have been named the recipient of a grant, be sure to thank the granting organization. Also contact them to find out what else they may require of you as you proceed with your project. What sort of reporting will they require on how the project is going and how you are spending the grant money on a regular basis, and how are you supposed to accomplish that? Finding out at the onset of a grant bestowment is much better than finding out later and being unprepared.


If your application did not result in a grant, it doesn't hurt to nicely ask the granting organization why. This information can help make your next application even stronger. You might also find out if you can be given a copy of the reviewer's evaluation of your proposal. This will provide you with very valuable information that you can also use to improve your application. Some granting organizations allow you to make changes to your original grant proposal and then resubmit it at the next grant deadline, so ask if this is possible. With this type of feedback, you might be able to revise your original proposal, resubmit it, and be able to receive the grant at a later date.


Conclusion


In this short book we've covered a lot of territory on what it takes to come up with a viable business idea and get it off the ground, and then help it grow along the way. We've also covered the area of grants, what they are, where to find them and how to apply for them. By considering this advice and following the steps outlined, you can be successful in receiving free money that you will not have to pay back ever in order to bring your business to life and help it grow. Grant writing can be easily understood, when broken down into separate components, and then each component, taken one at a time, can be crafted into a winning grant application. Any project, including grant writing, is much more easily accomplished if it is broken down into small parts, that when put together become the basis for a successful endeavor.


You have received a lot of information here, and it can be used to start and improve your business acumen and grant writing skills. Now the next step is to put all this new information to use. Put into action what you have learned here. Get your business ideas focused and organized, and then go through step by step and locate grant opportunities, write your proposals and send them in. You're on your way to making your business dreams a reality with your new-found knowledge!


Bibliography


Benefits.gov: http://www.govbenefits.gov/govbenefits_en.portal


The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance: http://12.46.245.173/cfda/cfda.html


The Company Corporation: http://www.corporate.com/c-corporation.jsp


The Foundation Center: http://foundationcenter.org


Grants.gov: www.grants.gov


Internal Revenue Service: www.irs.gov


Lesko, Matthew and Mary Ann Martello. Bottom Line's Big Fat Book of Free Money For Everyone. Stamford, CT: Boardroom Inc., 2003.


New York Governor's office: http://www.ny.gov/governor/


SCORE: http://www.scn.org/civic/score-online/


Small Business Administration, Small Business Development Centers: http://www.sba.gov/sbdc/sbdcnear.html


State of Connecticut Grants / Services: http://www.opm.state.ct.us/programs.htm


State of New Jersey: http://www.state.nj.us/


Texas Governor's office: http://www.governor.state.tx.us/


USA.gov: http://www.usa.gov/


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