A federal grant is a monetary award given by a government agency. A government grant must be used for very specific purpose, which must be documented when applying for the grant. You cannot use the money arbitrarily, for any cost not approved in advance. Grants require no credit checks, collateral or co-signers. A grant is not a loan, which means it never has to be repaid.
Explore grant opportunities. The most difficult part of getting a grant can often be finding the opportunity to apply. Search grant opportunities through public charities and foundations. Find your niche. If you are a writer looking for a grant, try visiting grantsforwriters.com. Another good source for government grants is grants.gov. Rankinfoundation.org offers grants to low-income women.
Research grants thoroughly. You should also research the organization that sponsors the grant before you submit a lengthy application. If you know nothing about the grant and its mission, you will be wasting your time. Organizations receive many applications for a single grant. It is essential to make sure you qualify or your application won't even be considered.
Submit an application. The sooner you submit your application, prior to deadline date the better. Your application should be as detailed as possible. Spend some time writing a good proposal that will appeal to the organization or agency. Express a solid plan, explaining why you need the grant, how it will accomplish a stated purpose, and how you plan to use the grant money. Make sure you comply with application guidelines, and answer all questions.
Inquire about the tax status of a grant. Ask if the grant is tax-free. A grant that is taxable may bump you into a different income bracket, resulting in an increased expense when you file taxes. Avoid a grant that can be taxed unless you are prepared to pay later.