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How To Find Out About Government Grants

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If You Get Scammed Report It

College Scholarships | College Grants | How to Find Them

If you feel you have become the victim of a grant scam, says Schiller, file a complaint with the BBB or post your experience on our Scam Tracker or report it to the Federal Trade Commission or the FBI IC3.”

According to Schiller, The BBB Scam Tracker can also be a great resource to research government grant scams:

There have been 6,056 scams reported to Scam Tracker in the last three years regarding government grants. You can do a simple search on the home page and you can even find real examples that you can use.

“If you want to try to talk to some of the consumers that submitted this type of scam simply click on ‘view’ on the individual submission and then click at the bottom ‘Law enforcement or media? Inquire about this report.'”

You can also search for scams on Weismans Scamicide blog. Meanwhile, Lavelle has more information on how to contact the right government watchdogs:

If you suspect that youve been a victim of a government grant scam, you can file an online complaint with the Federal Trade Commission at this link. You may also file a complaint by calling toll-free at 1-877-FTC-HELP.

The Health and Human Services Fraud Hotline will also accept reports of grant scams. The number to call is 1-800-447-8477.

Dont let a scammer get their hands on your hard-earned cash. Know the warning signs and then make sure to report their behavior even if you keep yourself safe, you dont want them victimizing another innocent person either.

What Is A Government Grant Scam

Lisa Schiller is the Director of Investigations and Media Relations for the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin. According to Schiller, here are the four traits that the majority of government grant scams have in common:

  • Advertisements or callers claim that you qualify to receive a free grant.
  • Callers may claim they are from a government agency or other organization and promises your grant is guaranteed to be accepted and that you’ll never have to pay it back.
  • They may use official-sounding names .
  • They may congratulate you on your eligibility….then ask for your checking account number so that they can deposit your free grant directly into your account. Or they may ask you to cover a one-time fee.
  • Of course, within this basic framework, there are many different ways that the scammer can try to work you over. Here are three such examples.

    Who Offers Legitimate Grants

    There are a few federal grant programs for for-profit companies and many state/county economic development financial assistance programs. At the federal level, the SBA has disaster recovery grantsthink Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.

    Also, some agencies, like National Institutes of Health and the Defense Department, participate in the Small Business Innovation Research program which helps companies research tech innovations for possible commercialization in areas that are of interest to these agencies.

    At the state/county level, there are many financial assistance programs that foster company and job creation in their respective geographic areas. These take the forms of loans, equity investments and occasionally grants.

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    How To Find / Apply For Federal Funding

    Some of the most commonly-asked questions of Georgia State Clearinghouse staff are “How can I find federal money to start up my small business, enhance the community’s after-school program, get housing rehabilitation assistance…? etc.” Although the Clearinghouse functions as the state central review point for federal assistance applications requiring Executive Order 12372 Review, it is not directly involved with the federal application process and does not maintain current information on upcoming federal deadlines, specific grant requirements, etc. The following suggestions are offered to those who are in search of federal assistance but are unsure of where to begin. These sites are not maintained by the Clearinghouse and are subject to change without notice.

    The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance provides a full listing of all Federal programs available to State and local governments federally-recognized Indian tribal governments Territories of the United States domestic public, quasi- public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions specialized groups and individuals. Click on the “General Info” tab on the website to get an overview.

    The Federal Register , published daily, announces newly authorized and/or funded programs, and announces annual application deadlines and award amounts for continuing programs.

    Is Applying For A Government Funded Grant Right For Your Nonprofit

    Goverment Grants for Women Starting a Small Business

    Government grants are a time-consuming but potentially rewarding venture for your nonprofit. But how do you know if it’s time to pursue one?

    To determine your nonprofit’s grant readiness, ask yourself the following questions to assess its government grant writing preparedness and internal procedures.

    If you have the staff capacity, grant writing preparedness, and internal controls in place, then government grants may be right for you!

    Recommended Reading: How Can I Apply For A Free Government Phone

    Wrapping Things Up: How Do Government Grants Work

    Below are some key points that were made to break down how government grants work:

    • Government grants work by going through three main phases, the pre-award, award, and post-award phase which all have different requirements.
    • The substantial multi-year funding government grants can provide may be advantageous for your programs, but you should also consider the staff time that it will require to apply for and manage the grant.
    • Determine whether a government grant is right for you by evaluating your organizations internal procedures and grant writing preparedness.
    • Always review the RFP to check guidelines before starting to apply for a government grant. Use to submit the application electronically.
    • There are great sources to find government grant opportunities. One of them is Instrumentl, which will help offload time-consuming research and make sure you stay on top of opportunities as they become available.

    Now that you understand how to get a government grant, you can decide whether it is right for your nonprofit and begin to pursue federal funding for your programs. Good luck!

    Free Money From The Government

    The federal government does not offer grants or free money to individuals to start a business or cover personal expenses, contrary to what you might see online or in the media. Websites or other publications claiming to offer “free money from the government” are often scams. Report them to the Federal Trade Commission.

    Recommended Reading: Government Programs To Help Small Businesses

    Government Grants: What Are They And How Do I Qualify

    Government grants are monetary allotments from the US Government awarded to certain individuals who formally apply and are deemed eligible. These grants are given at the local, state, and federal levels of government. Government grants can be sought after and used for a variety of purposes such as to pay off debt, start a business, pay college tuition, etc. If you could use some extra cash for a legitimate reason that would inevitably increase the quality of your life in some manner, you may want to consider applying for a government grant.

    One of the most appealing characteristics of government grants is that the recipient is not required to pay it back. No debt is incurred upon receiving a grant. It is not a loan, so it does not involve revenue sharing, direct appropriation, interest rate subsidy, loan guarantees, or any other form of technical assistance. If an applicant receives an award, that money then fully belongs to the recipient at which point they would then use the money for the intended purpose as stated in the application process. The reason the government awards grants is because they are interested in economic stimulation and are willing to allocate funds to certain individuals if they believe that the persons use of said money will advocate for economic growth in some way, either locally or nationally.

    A Short Summary Of Federal Grants

    How students can find scholarships and grants to help pay for college

    What is a grant? A grant is a way the government funds your ideas and projects to provide public services and stimulate the economy. Grants support critical recovery initiatives, innovative research, and many other programs listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance .

    A grant is one of many different forms of federal financial assistance. Federal financial assistance is a broad term to refer to the various ways the U.S. government redistributes resources to eligible recipients. On you will find grant and cooperative agreement opportunities from federal agencies that award grants.

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    How To Identify A Government Grant Scam

    Ask anyone who’s applied for a government grant, and they can tell you that theyre pretty tough to get. So what are the odds that you, a person who never applied for one, are not only eligible but very likely to be approved?

    Exactly. Lavelle explains the warning signs:

    If you didnt apply for a grant, chances are its a scam. Real grant programs do not find eligible recipients. If you are asked to pay a fee, such as an application fee, chances are its a scam.

    Grant applications are free. They are publicly funded and sourced at the federal or state/county level. Any government grant, claiming to be for school or living expenses is not a legitimate grant. U.S. grants for a business are awarded to benefit that company.

    If the agency contacting you says they are from the ‘Federal Grants Administration,’ its a scam. That office doesnt exist.

    If you are asked, by the caller, to provide your bank account information, its a scam. If this occurs, ask the caller to provide you with a written proposal.

    Whatever the format, says Weisman, the claim is that your grant application is guaranteed acceptance and you will never be asked to pay back the money. In addition, the scammer will congratulate you on your eligibility.

    Next, you will be asked to provide your checking account information so that your grant may be directly deposited into your checking account. You may also be asked to provide those account details or wire money to cover a processing fee, says Weisman.

    Here Are Five Ways To Spot A Grant Scam:

  • Did you apply for a grant? Legitimate grants do not show up at your door as a surpriseyou have to apply for them. So, if you are offered a grant you know nothing about, most likely it is a scam.
  • Is a fee involved? Grant applications are usually free as they are sourced at the federal or state/county level with public funds. If you are asked to submit a fee to apply for the grant or learn more about it, theres a good chance it is scam. Asking for an application fee is the number-one way scammers make their money.
  • Is the grant for business or personal use? U.S. grants to a business or nonprofit are for the sole benefit of the company. If the grant is for school, living or other personal expenses, thats an immediate red flag that it is not legit.
  • What agency does the issuer represent? Although it may sound impressive, if they are from the Federal Grants Administration, there is no such office, so the offer is a scam.
  • Were you asked for either your personal or your companys ID or your bank account information? When asked for this info, ask the caller for the proposal in writing. Chances are you will never hear from them again.
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    What Is A Grant From The Government

    A grant is one of the ways the government funds ideas and projects to provide public services and stimulate the economy. Grants support critical recovery initiatives, innovative research, and many other programs. You can find a list of projects supported by grants in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance . You can also learn about the federal grant process and search for government grants at

    Government Grants For Small Businesses

    Get Free Government Grants

    Government grants are a desirable source of funding for many small businesses. Well-known sources for government grants include agencies like,, the U.S. Small Business Administration , and the U.S. Economic Development Administration , but small businesses should look to every tier of the government to find the best grant for their business.

    If this is a funding option you are considering, check out these government grants for small businesses.

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    Submitting An Application Package As An Individual

  • Find a funding opportunity that is available for individuals and obtain the funding opportunity number.
  • Complete the registration form as an individual on and obtain a username and password.
  • Submit the application package containing all of the materials required by the funding opportunity. Obtain a tracking number.
  • Track the status of the application with the tracking number.
  • Our Grants Connect Protect Train Support And Empower Workers And Job Seekers At Home And Abroad

    We stand ready to serve workers in all communities, with targeted programs for:

    • Teens and young adults
    • Veterans and returning service members
    • Previously incarcerated youth or adults
    • Tribal communities

    This map depicts the headquarter locations of DOL grantees. To note, grantees often operate nationally in multiple states, so the total number of grantees listed by state may be smaller than the overall number of grantees currently in that state or providing services. This map is routinely updated to reflect currently active grantees. For questions or corrections, please reach out to . Any links to non-federal websites on this page provide additional information that is consistent with the intended purpose of this federal site, but linking to such sites does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Labor of the information or organization providing such information. For more information, please visit .

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    Federal Grants Funding & Benefit Programs

    To sort through the federal grant programs, the authoritative source is the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance . This catalog lists all of the available funding programs to all levels of government, nonprofit organizations, for-profit businesses, and other eligible entities. Search Grants within allows you to search, filter, and apply for specific opportunities to receive funding from one of these programs.

    Business Grants Vs Business Loans

    How students can find scholarships and grants to help pay for college

    As discussed above, with a grant you do not have to repay the funds. However, if you have just launched your business or youre in the early startup phase, you may not be eligible for many grants. Another potential limitation with grants is that many grants have strict requirements concerning the grant application process and the grant proposal. If your application or proposal doesnt meet the specific requirements mandated by the agency, your request will be rejected.

    If youre just starting out in business and its unlikely that you will be awarded a grant, you may want to consider finding a loan provider.

    One advantage of a business loan is that you can secure the capital you need to meet your needs, whereas with a grant, the amounts are fixed and may not sufficiently meet your companys needs. Another advantage is that some lenders may have more relaxed requirements, such as a lower minimum monthly income or lower minimum time in business.

    Also Check: United States Government Watch List

    Questions To Ask About A Legitimate Grant You Won A Legit Grantnow What

    When you are the fortunate recipient of a legit U.S. grant, make sure you understand its purpose and requirements upfront.

    • What can the money be used for? Most grants are not general-purpose funds, to be used for whatever the company determines. They are for specific purposes that meet the mission of the grantor. Make sure the grantors mission and your mission are in sync.
    • What portion of the grant can be used for overhead? Grants are provided to undertake projects and activities. It takes administrative support to accomplish this, so make sure you understand what amount of the grant can be used for that.
    • What is the timing of the payments? Many grants are provided upfront, so the company has the funds in hand to pay for the work. However, some grants are paid when agreed-upon milestones are accomplished or when specific expenditures need to be reimbursed.

    Inside Usgrantsorg Applicants Portal

    • Grants Repository – Access current and historic funding opportunities with ease. Thousands of funding opportunities are published every week. We can help you sort through the database and find the eligible ones to apply for.
    • Applicant Video Guides – The grant application process can be challenging to follow. We can help you with intuitive video guides to speed up the process and eliminate errors in submissions.
    • Grant Proposal Wizard – We have developed a network of private funding organizations and investors across the United States. We can reach out and submit your proposal to these contacts to maximize your chances of getting the funding you need.

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    Grants And Federal Domestic Assistance

    Guidance and key resources to help eligible grantseekers find information on federal grants, loans, and nonfinancial assistance, as well as on private funding.

    Prepared by the Congressional Research Service for the U.S. Senate, updated July 2019.

  • Find out Who is eligible for a Grant? Other government websites may be more suitable for personal needs, student loans, small business assistance, or other business opportunities such as government contracting. The website Government Benefits, Grants, and Financial Aid may also be of help.
  • If eligible, search for programs at Assistance Listings. Includes grants, loans, business and nonfinancial help.
  • Contact federal office given in each Assistance Listing program description.
  • Go to federal websites given in each Assistance Listing program description for more information and for state administering agencies responsible for managing these programs.
  • Check current federal grants opportunities at, obtain a Dun and Bradstreet number, register with System for Award Management , and apply online . Additional notices appear at FedConnect.
  • Search foundations for project funding: use the Foundation Center website or Foundation Information Network resources in libraries to identify national, state, and community foundations.
  • Learn how to write grant proposals: Take the free online Foundation Center Proposal Writing Short Course, or see other tips and sample proposals at Grantspaces How Do I Write a Grant Proposal?
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