Personal grants exist as those awarded to individual people, as opposed to groups, teams, organizations or institutions. These grants provide funding for a number of projects and purposes, including research, arts projects and personal education. Several agencies award personal grants, including the federal government, state government agencies, grant-making foundations and other nonprofits. Contrary to popular belief, personal grants to fund the purchase of nonessential personal items with no purpose, or grants as free money, do not exist.
Personal Education Grants
Education grants represent one of the largest fields of personal grants available. The federal government awards five education grants: the Pell Grant, Teacher Education Assistance for College and Higher Education (TEACH) Grant, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant, Academic Competitiveness Grant, The National Science & Mathematics Access to Retain Talent (SMART) Grant and the Irag and Afghanistan Service Grant. State education agencies award various education grants. The California Student Aid Commission, for instance, awards funding to financially needy, academically gifted individuals. Various grant-making foundations also provide grants for personal education. The Freeman Foundation awards myriad grants, including those designed to help American students study in Asia. The Fulbright commission funds educational exchange programs between the Untied States and countries worldwide.
Personal Arts Grants
A number of government grants exist to fund projects undertaken by individual artists. These individual arts grants constitute a form of personal grant as they fund the efforts of one person. The National Endowment for the Arts provides personal grants to writers, dancers, designers and other artists. Arts councils throughout the United States, such as the New Jersey State Council on Arts and Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, also fund individual arts projects. These grants only provide funding for professional artists with demonstrable experience like published books or a substantial history of gallery shows or public performances. These grants also usually only fund projects that benefit the general public in some way.
Individual Research Grants
Individual research grants provide funding for graduate or professional research undertaken by individual scientists or researchers. The Wenner Gren Foundation, for instance, awards grants to doctoral students and scholars undertaking anthropological research deemed important by the foundation. Various agencies of the federal government provide individual research grants for myriad purposes. Federal grants become available on a rolling basis each year as funding arises. In 2011, for instance, the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, awarded personal research grants to “determine the effectiveness of sediment remediation in reducing risks to humans.” A near endless ream of private and public personal grants designed for individual research exist in the United States and beyond.
Other Personal Grants
Myriad other personal grant opportunities exist, though only for individuals seeking grants for a purpose other than nonessential personal spending. Grants constitute a form of deliberate funding, designed with a clear goal in mind, not a form of public assistance. Online resource Foundation Seeker exists exclusively to help grant seekers find the right opportunity to suit their needs. The Awesome Foundation awards a number of $1,000 grants each month to programs it considers deserving of funding. Various chapters of this organization exist, each awarding a grant to an individual undertaking a project of some value to society. Recipients may use Awesome Foundation funding for any purpose upon receiving the grant.