Getting government grant money can be a very difficult or very easy process, often depending on the government and grant involved. Some grants are non-competitive, meaning they are given to anyone who qualifies. Other grants are competitive, meaning the application will be reviewed, and the grant awarded based on who has the strongest application. Therefore, you must understand the type of grant you are applying for, and the process you must go through.
Before you can get any government grant money, you must first find a grant applicable to you. If you are seeking USA government grants or Canadian government grants, for example, you have a number of different options. Some Web sites are devoted specifically to listing grants and directing you to the application. If you are looking for an educational grant, you should be able to find information on your country's Department of Education Web site.
Nearly any grant award starts with an application. At this point, you will need to fill out some basic information, which includes, at the very least, your contact information and the grant you are applying for. You may need additional information such as your financial situation, business plan, research plan or even your grade point average. Many grant applications are available online, and can be submitted over the Internet, which helps to streamline the process and makes it more convenient for the applicant.
Once you have applied for government grant money, you may often receive some type of confirmation, simply acknowledging that your application has been received. In such cases, the notification will often set out a timeline for any decisions or awards, and explain the rest of the process. If it is a competitive process, you may have to go through several rounds, and be required to submit information several times. You may even be called for a personal interview. It is important to follow all deadlines, and submit supporting documentation as required, or you could be disqualified.
Some government grants may come with conditions that must be met in order to the full amount of the grant to be awarded. For example, many federal governments require local matching funds, at least to a certain ratio. In order to receive this government grant money, the local matching funds must be secured or at least pledged. Proof of this will often be required.
In most cases, the process of applying for government grant money is a free one. If there is a charge, it may just be for processing the application. Some may also hire services to help them search for grants and guide them through the application process, which obviously would be a paid service, but can be very helpful for more the more highly competitive grants. Indeed, many larger companies and non-profit organizations maintain professional grant writers on their payroll.