The world of personal grants and sponsorship requires demystification, so that Americans can increase their financial capability and stability. To that end, let’s start with what personal grants actually are and how they work.
A personal grant is a financial contribution from a government agency or private organization. Any individual or entity can apply for a grant and use it for a set purpose, as indicated on the grant application. The monetary sum does not need to be refinanced or returned.
Grants might sound like simple solutions, but they can have tricky applications with strict process requirements and narrow qualifying criteria.
Here is a comprehensive checklist of the steps you need to take to secure a personal grant.
Learn About Personal Grants
An application is likely to be more successful if you commit to learning more about the processes, types, and requirements for personal grants.
The entire research process is easily divisible into three steps. As a grant seeker, you should first take stock of your situation and understand which type of grant you need.
You should then look up personal grant websites and government programs applicable to your area and your situation. The last step should be to look into the grant requirements, grant alternatives, success rates, and former applicant experiences.
Choose the Right Grant
Choosing the right grant can be difficult and is based on a central question: what kind of grant do you need? Benefits.gov has 21 categories of personal grants, but the major types of grant are listed below:
Personal grants cover financing for medical, developmental, and mental healthcare issues. Counseling, disability assistance, HIV/ AIDS, Medicaid/ Medicare,
Students can apply for fellowships, scholarships, and research grants. Employment/ Career Development Assistance is available as continuing education financing.
Applicants can ask for personal grants for food assistance, childcare, and child support to fulfill childcare and family expenses.
Housing and Living
Personal grants are available for housing and energy assistance to help individuals unable to finance rent, mortgages, or utility.
Personal grants can provide financial support to those seeking assistance for loan financing, insurance, and tax assistance.
Sponsorship options are available for veterans, volunteers, and retirees. The programs also offer support for social welfare issues like ecological conservation, volunteer programs, and social security.
Know Where to Look
To get a personal grant, you need to know where and how to look for one. A majority of sponsorships and grants are available on Benefits.gov and grants.gov. These sites are the first place to look for personal financing options for problems like housing assistance. If you want to apply for free personal grants for volunteer charities, look for agency and Non-Profit Organization grants. However, specific circumstances may require you to look elsewhere. If you are a student, your best bet is to look for the Department of Labor’s funding options.
Check Qualifying Criteria
The biggest question when it comes to personal grants is: do you check all the boxes of the eligibility criteria?
It takes a lot to qualify for personal grants and the first thing you should do is filter out grants you do not qualify for and take note of those where you do qualify, then take it step-by-step and answer the questions on this checklist:
- Does the grant fulfill your requirements? If not, look for options elsewhere at other government agencies, private agencies, or NPOs. If yes, proceed with the application.
- Do you fit the requirements? List down the qualifying criteria and conduct a thorough analysis by asking yourself questions. Do you fit the required age group for a scholarship? Does your income level make you ineligible for food assistance?
- Am I a better fit for another personal grant or financing? You should repeat step two for other financing options and research them thoroughly. The probability of success increases once you filter out more options.
- Am I likely to have a successful application? At times, you need to assess your skills and see if any financing option is likely to accept your application based on merit.
Fill the Application
The personal grant websites will ask you to sign up for an account and provide you with a Funding Opportunity Number. Plug this number into your registration page and enter a username and password before waiting around three weeks for a registered account.
Download the applications for your chosen personal grants from the designated websites. You will either need to choose single or multi-project documents. Fill the SF-424 form before starting your grant applications since this is a Federally-required form.
You can either complete the documents in the Adobe PDF viewer or print out the documents in an application package. Fill all the mandatory fields, indicated by an asterisk.
Write and Submit Your Application
A successful application for a personal grant always delineates clearly and concisely your intended uses for the grant and the projected social, communal, and personal benefits for the grant.
Start the application with a mission or thesis statement clarifying these points as well as your goals. Use clear writing to elucidate your points and build a cohesive argument for your application acceptance, punctuating the text with evidence and visual guides like charts.
When you are done, make sure to review and before saving and submitting. When you hit submit, a confirmation page will list your tracking number. Use the number to track your application status on the website.
Two days after the submission, the government website will notify you of your successful submission via email. When you receive a third email, it will be one declaring your application acceptance.
Personal grants can be life-savers for more Americans in need of financial assistance. Even so, you should take stock of your available time, resources, and energy before beginning an application.
The key to a successful application is the applicant’s dedication and perseverance. Housing, financial support, and even student fellowships can be possible with a well-drafted grant application submitted on time and with care.