Grants for senior women are available through government, private and nonprofit foundations. Contrary to what many Internet ads say, the federal government does not award grants to senior women starting businesses; rather, it offers grants to certain types of organizations in certain fields. There are, however, many federal grant options that senior women can pursue. These are typically in areas of housing, health care and education.
There are three types of grants for senior women: government grants, private grants (from businesses and individuals) and nonprofit grants. Each type of grant has a special-interest group it serves.
Grants for senior women are awarded to improve the lives of seniors and their communities. The Retirement Research Foundation awards grants to improve senior women's housing situations, economic security and training to provide care to other seniors. The Senior Corps provides grants to charities and churches that promote senior volunteerism. The AARP Foundation Women's Scholarship Program awards college scholarships to women over the age of 40. The Jeannette Rankin Foundation awards scholarships to women 35 and over.
Seniors must take special care to avoid scams. Identify a legitimate grant opportunity by checking the database at the IRS.gov website, making sure the organization issuing the grant does not require any type of payment, and checking the eligibility and application requirements. In all cases, grants require lengthy applications.
Except for grants issued by the government for health care and housing, grants for senior women awarded by nonprofits and private foundations are highly competitive. Increase your chances of receiving a grant by taking a grant writing class and learning how to write a grant proposal.
There are hundreds of companies on the Internet that promise "free government grant money" or "claim your stimulus grant money now." These companies are almost always scams. Never contact these companies; they ask for money, and lists of government grants can always be seen for free at USA.gov and Grants.gov.