What is a Grant and How Do You Get One

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What Is A Grant? How Do You Get One? A grant is a sum of money that is used for a specific purpose. Grant makers are people and organizations that give grants. Grants are given away by the government and charitable organizations called foundations. The sole purpose of a grant foundation is to give away money. These organizations vary in size and type from large national and regional corporate funders, to community and public foundations serving one cause or community, to small local family found
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  What Is A Grant? How Do You Get One? A grant is a sum of money that is used for a specific purpose. Grant makers are people andorganizations that give grants. Grants are given away by the government and charitable organizationscalled foundations. The sole purpose of a grant foundation is to give away money. Theseorganizations vary in size and type from large national and regional corporate funders, to communityand public foundations serving one cause or community, to small local family foundations.In addition, the U.S. Federal government also gives away billions of dollars of grant money every year for many reasons, including supporting and encouraging economic development and small businessgrowth.Each has a specific organizational structure and operates in a different manner with respect to grantseekers. Most corporations, foundations and government agencies only give grant money to nonprofitorganizations that have a 501(c)(3) designation from the IRS. The most common grants given toindividuals are in the form of scholarships. Private Foundations are the most common type of foundations. They are generally endowed, usuallyfrom a single individual or family. Private foundations frequently are also considered familyfoundations if relatives of the srcinal donor are still active on the board of trustees or in the operationof the foundation. Grant decisions may be made by the srcinal donor, by members of the donor'sfamily, by an appointed board of directors or by a bank trust officer acting on the donor's behalf. Thegeographic and interest areas of these foundations are often limited by trustee decision or the will of the donor.Private foundations with no connection to the donor family are informally known as independentfoundations. Corporate Foundations are also private foundations. They are independent grant makingorganizations whose srcinating donor is a corporation rather than a family or individual. They mayhave an actual endowment, or they may receive annual funding from the corporation. Grant makingdecisions are usually made by a board of directors consisting of top corporate management, localcorporate officers, employee committees and sometimes outside community members. Geographicalrange is often limited to areas where there is a corporate presence. Corporate Giving Programs are similar to corporate foundations, except that they are not legallyfoundations and therefore are not required by law to grant a certain percentage of assets or to publiclydisclose their grant making activities. Many corporations run both a foundation and a giving program,coordinating the grant making activities of the two. A corporate grant making budget is usuallydetermined by the company's economic health and is sometimes set by a formula related to profits.Often the giving program works closely with their company's marketing and public relationsdepartments. Public Foundations are publicly supported charitable organizations that receive much of their financial support in the form of contributions from the general public. There are many types of publicfoundations including community foundations. Public foundations support a variety of interest areaswith or without geographic limitations as defined in their organizing charter and/or by their governing boards. The public foundations included in this directory primarily make grants to multiple beneficiaries and derive the majority of their funding revenues from a single source, usually anendowment built from charitable gifts.  Community Foundations are public foundations made up of a considerable number of individualendowments managed by a single administrative body with all the funds pooled for greater investmentreturn. As their name implies, community foundations usually have a very distinct and limitedgeographical area. Some of the individual funds are general purpose and discretionary; others are quitenarrowly focused and may offer funds only for a scholarships or a certain group of organizations. Thetrustees are chosen from the public for a specific term. The board typically has full discretionaryresponsibility over some funds while some funds may be donor-advised and others directed to a particular agency or organization. Other Giving Vehicles There are many other types of philanthropic entities, such as federated funds (United Way), givingcircles (these can be formal or informal), and organizations that don't fit into any of these other categories, but make grants (Junior League, Comprehensive Health Education Foundation). Personal Debt There are no federal assistance programs for paying off personal debt. Instead, you need to seek theassistance of a debt counselor at a local bank or savings and loan. About Credit and Debt Management  site can also help you out.Student financial aid refers to funding intended to help students pay tuition or other costs, such asroom and board, for education at a college, university, or private school. Tip: Always look at Home First  No matter what kind of assistance you need, always look locally first. The fastest and easiest-to-getsources of help are often found at your city hall, county offices, local colleges, hospitals, churches,large corporations and private foundations. Many of these local organizations receive federal and stategrants to assist citizens in need.
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