Thursday, April 11, 2019

A Talk About Grants

A grant is defined as " a sum of money given by the government or other organization for a particular purpose." 

Grants can come from many different sources, they can be federal, state or even county generated.  Some grants are even granted through private individuals or businesses (think scholarships and research grants).  Grants are applied for and the requirements for applying vary from very simple to very complex.  Many grants require matching or a percentage of funding included in the requirements, other grants do not require any other funding at all, some grants even are diminished/satisfied by time.  Some grants you have to pay to apply for, others are free.  All grants come with specific instructions based on the kind of grant and what the grant will be used for.  There is no "one size fits all" description of what goes into a grant or the grant writing process.  

We hear a lot about what it takes to actually write a grant.  Depending on the amount of funding, where the grant is coming from, what the grant is for and the complexity of the grant usually will decide on who or how the grant gets written.  If the instructions are not adhered to perfectly, usually your application will be turned down.  Also most grants are time sensitive, meaning there is an open window of time when it must be filed as a qualification of the said grant.

Some people make it their life's work to write grants.  There are also companies whose primary service is finding and applying for grants.  There are college classes on how to write grants because they can be so complex, time consuming and difficult to write.  Not everyone is skilled enough to actually write a grant, it is definitely a specific skill that not a lot of people possess.  You do not just pick up this skill by way of a job, its not like typing.  Mostly people that are going into public service or community development will take classes to learn this skill.  

So in ending when you hear someone say that writing grants are easy and anyone can do it, they most likely have no idea what goes into the grant writing process.