There are two forms of federal grants around that will enable you to get money from the government. The first is the direct grant which means applying for it directly. The second is the pass through grant which your state applies for you and once it is approved, the money is sent to you.
Which one should you use to get a federal grant? To answer that you have to know the pros and cons of each one.
If you apply for a direct grant, you do not have to deal with a middle person. You apply for it and then wait for the response from the government.
When you file for a direct grant, you talk directly with the officer in charge in a division of a federal agency. This will allow you to get in touch with them if you have problems and guide you through the application process.
The challenging part in getting the direct grant is that you have to compete with people applying from all across the country. If the budget for this year is only good to accommodate a handful of grants, the chances are one a in a million that you will be the one to get it.
What is even more challenging is that the direct grant is usually given to people living in urban areas and in US territories that are classified as high pockets of poverty and are designated as federal empowerment zones, federal enterprise zones, or colonial communities. So if you are not living in one of these areas, don’t keep your hopes up.
Let’s now talk about the pass through grants. When the state is applying for the grant in your behalf, you only compete with other individuals in your state. This means the number of applicants competing for it are fewer than at the direct grant level.
If you want to make an impact, you have to make a personal appearance before your state agency. While you are there, you can get a feel of the place, tips of how to win the grant and even a copy of a successful grant application from a previous competition.
Perhaps the only disadvantage with the pass through grant is the fact that the money that will be awarded is smaller than that of the direct grant. This is because the state gets some of the money to pay for administrative costs while some of it will be divided geographically and politically.
Under the pass through grant, you have the competitive and the formula grant.
To win the competitive grant, you need to send your application and if upon review you score the highest, only then will you get funding.
The formula grant is money that is disbursed by the state agency based on a preset standard or formula. To apply for it, you just need to fill up the application with a guide of how calculate the formula. Most proposals that are made are requested as long as there is budget available.
Now that you know the two forms of federal grants and the pros and cons, you now have an idea how to get money from the government. You can apply for one or both at the same time and if your efforts are not successful, you have to find the funding you need elsewhere.