Grants awarded by government entities are considered by many to be free government money. In reality, the grants are free money from the government in terms of type of award. Generally, grants do not have to be repaid. Government loans, on the other hand, do have repayment terms. In this sense, grants are like free government money.
However, government grants are not a hand out. There are ties attached to each grant awarded by the government. Whether an education or a research grant, each is awarded based on the understanding that the grantee will carry out the activities proposed in their grant application.
Each application is, in effect, a contractual agreement between the applicant and the government. If the applicant does not meet his obligations stated in the grant, the government can revoke the grant or convert it to a loan. In these situations, the applicant no longer has free money from the government.
If you receive a government grant, you also have reporting requirements. These include monthly or quarterly reports documenting your progress toward meeting goals stated in the application. Financial reports must also be provided detailing how you used the grant money. All government grant programs specify allowable and unallowable costs. You are required to follow the stated cost guidelines.
In addition to actual grants from the government, there are other forms of free money from the government. These include utility assistance and energy efficiency rebates from the government. Programs like these may have eligibility requirements such as income limits or employment status. They may be funded by the federal government but administered by your local government.
You can find out about free money from the government by contacting your mayor or designee. When programs become available, it is not unusual for the local newspaper to print an article about the program as a way to inform the community of available funds. This is an easy way to get the word out while providing specific contact information.
There are many ways to get free money from the government. You should first thoroughly research all grant funding opportunities available from federal, state, and local governments. Be sure to make note of eligibility criteria and determine if you meet them. If you do, get copies of grant applications and instructions. Carefully read all instructions before preparing your proposal. Finally, submit applications by the deadline to be considered for funding. Following these steps will help you get free government grants.