The beauty of grants is that you do not have to repay them. Organizations and governments give them to assist individuals, other governments and other organizations. Grants come from many different sources, and they are available for almost any purpose. Grants for education, business and nonprofits are among the major types of grants.
What Grants Are Not
Benefits and entitlements are not grants. For example, if you receive a grant from the federal government, it is not a form of welfare. The federal government uses grants to fulfill a legal purpose that helps the public in some way, according to the Grants.gov website. Grants are also not loans that have to be paid back with interest.
Types of Grants
Grants come from all sectors of society, public and private. The government and private organizations provide educational grants to help people attend college. For example, the well-known Pell Grant from the federal government provides funds for low-income individuals to attend college. Grants are also given to businesses to support a certain industry, help small businesses get started or create jobs. Local governments receive grants from the federal government to build roads. Nonprofit organizations receive grants from all levels of government and private foundations to provide charitable services. Research grants provide scientists and other professionals with money they need to carefully study a particular subject.
Different From Scholarships
Educational grants are different from scholarships in that they do not always require recipients to meet specific requirements after the grant is given in order to keep receiving it. For example, a college grant that is awarded to a recipient every semester may not require the recipient to keep a certain grade point average. This is not always the case, however. The Massachusetts Paraprofessional Grant program requires students to maintain satisfactory academic progress to receive the grant in subsequent semesters -- as defined by the students’ colleges or universities. A scholarship, on the other hand, may require students to keep a higher GPA than a grant.
Where to Find Grants
Check out Grants.gov for information on federal grants. Local governments, state governments and community foundations also provide grants on a local and state level. If you want to look for government grants, contact the office in charge of the area you are seeking funding for to see what kinds of grants it offers. Private organizations may also offer grants. Read organizations’ eligibility criteria for their grants closely, as well as their specifications for grant proposals, to see if your project or purpose matches up with their requirements. You will then have to submit an application or grant proposal to convince the organization that your project or purpose is worthy of their money.
Leyla Norman has been a writer since 2008 and is a certified English as a second language teacher. She also has a master's degree in development studies and a Bachelor of Arts in anthropology.