Grants 101: U.S. Edition
As a Canadian-founded and funded business, a lot of our content is centred around the Canadian grant ecosystem. But don’t worry US users, we haven’t forgotten about you!
We’re here to help you understand the grant space and what you need to navigate it. And now, you don’t have to follow our Canadian-based resources because this one is just for you US users!
Want to become a grant securing expert? Let us show you how it’s done!
What You Need Before Applying
This is a list of what you’ll want to have ready before applying for grants, but keep in mind that not all grants will require these. Some grants, like non-governmental ones, don’t require as much information and are open to a far greater applicant audience, while other grants require much more official information in order to process your application.
It’s good to create one document that has all of this information ready to go! That way, it’s easier to access when you want to apply for a grant. If this information is available to you it doesn’t hurt to have it on hand, even if you might not need it for a particular grant.
- Business Number
- Company Description: This is a brief description of what industry your company operates in, as well as a broad overview of what your company does. An example is: Cindy’s Cloud Storage is a SaaS provider that offers innovative data storage solutions for coffee companies and their supply chain. (remember to keep it brief — 1–2 sentences)
- Company Address and Contact Information
- Incorporation Date (not incorporated? No worries, we can help!)
For the specifics of what you need for hiring, research & development, training, and market expansion grants — check out our original Grants 101 blog post.
What Type of Grant Funding?
A grant type could be a hiring grant, research & development grant, etc. but today, we’ll discuss some of the main types of grant funding structures.
This type of funding is quite common in the grant world! It’s a process of proposal selection based on the evaluation of (a) reviewer(s).
Formula grants are given to pre-determined recipients. These aren’t competitive because they are usually given to eligible groups/businesses/individuals based on regional population or other census criteria.
This type of funding is renewable. The grant program will offer the current grant-holder the option of renewing the grant.
These funds are given by the federal government to state departments who then may disburse the funds to eligible local entities through formula allocations or open competitions.
But no matter what type of grant structure you’re after, it’s important to keep in mind that all grants are non-dilutive. This means that you don’t have to give away a part of your company to get the money.
Grants are also usually reimbursed funding, so you will not be given the cash upfront and instead you’ll need to be able to pay for the project to get reimbursed later. (But Pocketed offers grant-based financing in case you need help financing your grant!)
Step-By-Step Grant Process
Here is the lifecycle of grants, how they work, and what you’ll go through during each phase.
You begin in the pre-grant phase where you’ll first source an opportunity. Do you need to hire, train, redevelop, expand? Identify the opportunity and update your Pocketed account to reflect what you’re seeking.
Some applications take longer than others to complete, so plan ahead and start preparing your grant application far before the deadline so you have ample time. For competitive funding, you want to make sure your application stands out.
Grant Announcement Phase
Your grant application then goes through the review process where a team or single reviewer goes over the proposals and decides who will get the grant. This differs for different grants, for example, first-come-first-serve grants won’t have to go through this same type of competitive process. Those types of grants will usually just go through a process to ensure all of your information meets the expectations of the grant recipient.
After the application goes through the reviewers so an unbiased decision can be reached, you’ll be notified if you are one of the award recipients. You’ll sign an agreement once you or your business accepts the offer. Then you’ll be bound to carry out the obligations of the grant. Some grants are a little different, like hiring grants which usually differ in the way that if you don’t find the right person to hire, you can often just let the grant expire.
Reporting is an important part of the grant lifecycle. Keep everything. Any documentation, receipts, ANYTHING. You will submit reports (usually to the grant manager) regarding the expenditures and work you’re completing with the grant. The documentation for this stage differs depending on the grant.
Since most grants don’t pay you upfront, this is the stage at which you finally get your money! Since you submitted all of your receipts/pay stubs in the previous stage, all that’s left to do is receive the non-dilutive funding.
Uncertain about any of the terms you read above? Check out our Grants Glossary to clear things up!
Got All That?
We know it’s a lot, but grants are simple when you know the basics! Now you’re ready to get that money! 💰
Your Pocketed account awaits with many eligible grant opportunities. Don’t have an account already? Create one today!