As a grant writer there is a question I get asked a lot. And that is …. ‘Can I get a grant?’ Or a variant on that question ‘Should I be applying for grants?’. The answer to this question is obviously dependent on the person asking but my approach is always the same; I talk them through two questions that will help them to understand whether grants are right for them.
What kind of organisation are you involved with?
Grants aren’t usually for individual people, they are for legal entities. This means businesses, not-for-profit organisations, charities or government bodies. So in order to get a grant – you have to be an organisation and the grants you can apply for will be dependent on what kind of organisation you are.
What will you be spending the grant money on?
The second question I ask is what is it exactly you’re going to spend the grant funding on? What is your project? Grant funding is for projects. It’s for something that has a beginning, an end and an outcome. It has benefits. You won’t get grant funding if you have, for example, a not-for-profit organisation and you just want funding to help you cover the daily costs of running the organisation. You’re not doing anything in particular other than running your organisation. You’re not doing a time-limited program or project with measurable benefits so you’re not looking for a grant.
So, what is your project? What are the outcomes of the project going to be? Consider the outcomes and benefits of your project and then ask yourself – who is going to pay for that? Who would pay for those kinds of benefits? And that’s the crux of it. You’ve got to consider the funding body. Is there a funding body that is going to pay for these benefits? If so, you may be able to find a grant. If not, then no, you cannot get a grant.
If the benefits are purely to you, if it’s just increased revenue coming into you alone, no funding body is going to pay for that. That is something that you’re going to have to get a loan and take a risk to do the project on your own. If, however, the benefits are that your business is going to grow and because of that you’re going to need to create numerous jobs and hire people, use a lot of other suppliers within your area and therefore bring in a lot of money to the local economy, then you can see that government might be willing to pay for that.
That’s where you decide whether or not you can get a grant. If you can find somebody that is going to be willing to pay for the outcomes, the benefits of your project, then yes, you most definitely can get a grant.
Hopefully by asking yourself these two questions you will be able to determine whether or not you can get a grant. And if the answer is YES then Whitney Consulting can help you find a grant that might be suitable for your project. This is a FREE service we offer. We are able to perform an in-depth search of our grants database and provide you with a report listing grants that might be suitable for your organisation and your project.