Debunking Grant Myths
Many clients approach Morrison because they have a project idea and need funding; or the opposite, they hear grant funding is available and want to know if their organization would be a good fit as a recipient. It all begins with an idea. Our consultants are here to help clients flesh out those ideas and mold them into a reality. However, many people shy away from applying due to preconceived notions of who is eligible for funding and how funds can be spent.
Here are some top myths that often deter people from wanting to apply for grant funding. Each grant program has its own set of rules for applicants. Not every program is the same which allows for many different organizations to find the proper program with grant funding to fit their needs.
MYTH: Grants are only awarded to nonprofits and come from foundations.
The US has countless grant opportunities that are awarded to just about every type of business, organization, and even individuals. Morrison's niche in grant writing is for highly competitive federal and state programs for applicants representing private sector companies, universities, nonprofit trade, and research organizations. The government designates money each year to fund terrific projects that further develop the economy. The money is out there!
MYTH: Grant funds can only be used for temporary project needs.
Funds can be used for a variety of purposes and in many cases, items purchased with grant funding are permanent and long lasting assets for an organization. There are too many purposes to mention but as a simple list to start: business plans and feasibility studies, trainings, mentoring programs, administration, personnel, travel, stipends, marketing, consultants, contractors, website design, certifications, solar panels, irrigation systems, aquaponics, health and nutrition messaging, mobile applications, insurance, and indemnification, subscriptions, scholarships, supplies, packaging, food processing, market research, distribution, advertisements, social media…phew, is your head spinning with ideas yet!?
MYTH: Only the largest or most well-known organizations will receive funding.
We’ve seen grant funds go to just about everybody. Sometimes it can be beneficial to prove that funding is going to a larger organization with a strong reputation and financial history that proves they can properly administer grant funds. However, the point of funding assistance is that it goes to those most in need! The smaller organizations and those with compelling stories, thoughtful business plans, and properly executed proposals can sometimes be far more competitive.
MYTH: Organizations must match grant funds dollar for dollar.
Some programs do require a 1:1 match that applicants must prove they have in the bank at the time of applying. Other programs require a lower match or possibly none at all. Matching costs can help leverage projects, programs, or overall goals. For example, grant funds could help with the concept, research, marketing, and execution of a new product introduction where the matching funds could help pay for the facilities and equipment needed.
Like most things, grants are not part of a cookie-cutter world. One size does not fit all. Morrison can help navigate which program is best for you. Visit http://www.morrisonco.net/grants/#Programs for more information on Morrison's Grant service line.
About the Author
+Camille Hogan is a consultant at Morrison, providing business valuations, business planning (including budgeting, cash flow forecasting, strategic planning), feasibility studies, recruitment, interim executive CFO services, competitive grant writing and special projects that don't fit into any conventional category. You can contact Camille directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or via telephone at 530-893-4764 ext. 209.