If you are looking for financial help or assistance in the form of grant money, it all begins with grant research. Whether you are a business person seeking to increase sales and expand business offerings, a not for profit center providing free or low cost counseling services or just a citizen who need some temporary financial grant help getting by – everyone starts their search in one common place: The Internet.
How to do Grant Research
One common element alone seems to hinder everyone looking for grants no matter what their position, and that one element is starting their search for grant funding. Navigating the colossal maze of the federal government grant application and awards system can be daunting and intimidating to even the most experienced researcher. Identifying granting private and corporate foundations can be time consuming and labor intensive. If you have a good grasp of the basics, the process doesn’t have to be frightening.
The first thing a grant seeker must do is organize. Organizational readiness is the absolute first priority when looking for grants of any kind. When researching government grants, there are specific commonalities to all grant applications which must be considered. Government grant applications require all basic federal grant registration data on all forms and even inside what is known as a White Paper. Outside of the federal or state registration data, all federal and state grants require a synopsis of the project or offering, statement of specific aims and of course a line-item budget, usually broken into quarters and over a three to five year period. Once you have your organizational readiness in place, it’s time to actually start looking for funding.
Government Grant Research by Didactic Steps
When looking for federal grant opportunities, your first Internet destination is Grants.Gov. Click on the Find Grant Opportunities tab on the main page, and a sub menu system will open which allows you to choose one of four search methods: Basic search, browse by category, browse by agency, or perform an advanced search.
Basic Search: Search here by keyword, by Funding Opportunity Number or Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number. While this search will return the most results, sometimes the number of returns can be overwhelming.
Browse by Category: Here you can easily search by a variety of categories of funding opportunities. Energy, the environment, health and housing are just four of the most popular.
Browse by Agency: Here you can search from a list of federal agencies offering grant opportunities.
Advanced Search: At this portal, you can do grant research and locate only specific grants and contracts by date, type and more. This is especially helpful when researching government grants.
Private Grant Research made Easy
Never discount private and corporate grant opportunities. These opportunities are widely available to everyone using public sponsored grant databases such as Funds.Net. A simple internet search using the keywords “grants database” returns hundreds of hits, including independent private and corporate foundation listings which can then be whittled down by keyword.
Remember, everyone starts their grant research in one common place: The Internet. Make good use of keywords and the available databases and your search for federal or private grant money will be a lot easier!