Sunday, February 03, 2008

A Bit More For Individuals Looking for Grants

I've written one other post about individuals who are seeking grant money, "Are There Grants for Individuals?". It is without a doubt one of the most read posts on Seeking Grant Money Today.

I'm writing this post to offer even more suggestions to individuals seeking grants. Please keep in mind that you most likely do not need to be disabled, sick, low income, etc. to ask for assistance from any nonprofit. At one point or another, we all need help. Nonprofits exist to fulfill their mission.

Let me be clear that most grants are only available to legal nonprofit 501(c) 1, 2, 3...etc. entities, as recognized by the IRS. Be leery of grants offered to individuals unless they fall under the following scenarios. There are grants offered to individuals but most often these are offered to scientists, artists, or students attending school. Grants offered by governments or municipalities (e.g. United States federal government, State of Oregon, City of Bellevue, Dade County, or The Confederated Tribes of the Yakama Nation, etc.) may be offered to individuals (who are not scientists, artists, or students) - but they are most often dictated by that government's current year's budgetary goal (e.g. people returning to the workforce from rehabilitation, farmers using water-saving methods, getting veterans returning from combat settled back into their community, etc.). Notice that, while the above example grants are made up for the sake of this post, it does usually happen that grants legitimately offered to individuals by governments are based in recent societal (etc.) issues. The money has been directed to individuals because the government knows it is an issue in their community.

Perhaps due to our intimidating economy, my grant writing consulting business, when I wrote this blog post, received more inquiries, lately, from individuals (in contrast to nonprofits) who are contacting us because they are seeking grant money, as financial assistance.

I am going to share, here, some of the advice and suggestions that we've shared with them:

The Foundation Center does offer a resource that specifically lists grants currently available to individuals at Foundation Grants to Individuals. The Foundation Center is a standard in the American fundraising world, professional, and trustworthy.

Anyone considering attending a private school, technical school, college, or university who needs financial assistance (e.g. to pay for school, books, supplies, housing, etc.) should contact the Financial Aid office, of the school that you are considering, and ask what options you have.

It is not easy to admit you may need help, or to ask for it. You are not alone, though. If you are in need of financial assistance, seek it out from reputable, safe, effective sources so that your life, safety, or welfare are not placed into jeopardy. Coming from this point of view, contact each and all of the following organizations that you may be assisted by. Contact your local United Way if you are in need of basic needs (e.g. food, money, housing, warmth, clothing, etc.). If you are affiliated with a religion, contact that affiliation and ask a trustworthy confidant, there, for assistance. Also, there's a great list of money saving ideas for any household. Check out Elaine Appleman Grant's Extreme Savers Share Their Secrets for Bankrate.com, but is here located on Yahoo Finance. If your situation of need is based on a disaster, dislocation, asylum, etc. you could contact the American Red Cross. Research (Internet, phone book, word of mouth, etc.) nonprofit organizations in your local region that focus on the issues that you are facing (the issue(s) that has led to your financial difficulties for example, veterans organizations (besides the V.A.), mental health organizations, health insurance rights organizations, displaced Katrina refugee organizations, various diseases, etc.). Veterans can also go to Warrior Gateway which is an online website with resources for veterans for all kinds of different issues and care.  There are nonprofits to offer assistance for probably most any issue, illness, trauma, difficulty, etc. If you search in your local region and don't find the kind of assistance that you need search the nearest large city, search within your state, and always also be sure to search for national nonprofits who focus on the issue effecting you. Your regional United Way will be a 'nonprofit directory' for your region, besides offering assistance. Contact them if you aren't sure who may be available to assist you.

As nonprofits are usually the recipient of grants, receiving assistance from the appropriate nonprofit is the way that YOU can grab grant dollars and benefit, without having to apply for the grants, yourself!

If you are facing unemployment (or losing your income) because of a disability or a health circumstance, you may qualify for state or federal income/assistance (e.g.SSDI, or SSI; Medicare, Medicaid etc.). If you do need this kind of help, look for a nonprofit that deals with your specific circumstance, who also assists people in getting federal benefits. Successfully applying for and receiving financial assistance from any government requires expertise. Nonprofits dealing with the issue you're facing, who assist clients in receiving government aid, will have this expertise.

If you're having a tough time with utilities (phone, heating, water/sewer, etc.), you can call each utility and ask them about their low income program. You may qualify.

If you are having a tough time with groceries, you can look into signing up for state or federal food stamps.

Whatever your situation is, look into it through nonprofit organizations and each of your governments (city, county, state, federal, Tribe, etc.). There is good, safe, professional assistance available to you.

Good luck!

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I am looking for Federal, State or City grant money to place 12 mobile homes in an existing run down park. This will be in the city for 55 + ,gated ,ten feet from a city buss line. Ten minutes from the city's core. Where do I start? I also need to tied up the property which is curently for sale.

Arlene M. Spencer said...

Dear Anonymous,
Hello, thank you for reading, and for posting. It sounds like you're doing some very important (and current) work, especially given our economy.

I can't recommend, enough, that your read through my post, "Some Free Resources" at: http://thegrantplant.blogspot.com/2008/07/some-free-resources.html
and even click throught he links. If yours' is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization,, just read those entries in the post that relate to this type of entity (e.g. don't worry about the entries for individuals).

Also, look through this blog's tags index (click on any month/year in the Archives to the left of the blog post to see the index of tags) and read any topic that may be of help to you like "how to" or "start up", etc.

Good luck in your important work!

Best,
Arlene