Governments often set aside money to support a variety of public purposes. The types of grants offered varies among countries, but typically, government grants are not for personal financial assistance. These grants are awarded, not loaned, to individuals or groups of individuals for the purpose of carrying out something that the government has determined to be in the public's interest.
While most government grants are geared towards groups, like educational institutions or small businesses, many kinds of government grants for individuals exist as well. The best way to find them is to contact the agency or agencies in your country that manage government grants. In the US, the different types of government grants available to individuals varies widely and may help an individual get an education or conduct advanced research in particular fields of study, or start an innovative small business in an troubled industry.
Perhaps the most common and well known types of government grants for individuals are education grants. These may be used toward tuition, books, and living expenses associated with higher education. Many of these grants are income-based, with the amount of money each student receives depending solely on financial need. Others may be handed out in specific regions or locations and may or may not involve the student’s income in the application process. Education-related grants may also be awarded for advanced levels of research, particularly in areas the government sees a particular need.
Applying for education grants typically requires each student to fill out a tuition assistance form. The form usually asks for information about income, savings, net worth, and property. Once completed, it is sent to the proper officials to be compared with documents to verify the information presented. If everything is in order, and depending on funds available, students are awarded a set amount per school year.
Other government grants for individuals are set aside to spur the creation of small businesses. In most cases, the businesses selected fall within an industry the government wants to see grow and progress. These can include businesses in industries such as renewable energy and environmental studies.
To apply for a government grant, it is generally required that the individual fill out or create a grant proposal. This is a petition to the government requesting the grant money and providing reasons why the person should be chosen. Although most non-educational grants are not income-based, the government may choose citizens who can’t afford or otherwise obtain loans for specific purposes.
The likelihood of being awarded a government grant for individuals can be increased by hiring a grant writer. Although these writers do charge a fee to write a grant proposal, an experienced grant writer will provide you with a more polished and professional application. He or she may also present ideas and information that lay people may not think of themselves.