Introduction to Applying for a Government Grant:

Government grants, also known as federal grants, are financial aids offered by the government to fulfill the business, educational, housing, medical and personal needs of eligible applicants. 

Every year, more than $80 million is given out to individuals, colleges, and businesses in the form of free government grants. This is one of the government’s tools for funding ideas and projects to provide public services, stimulate the economy, and benefit the general public.

Applying for a government grant can be highly competitive, with grant seekers from across the nation vying with each other to apply for a government grant and obtain it successfully.

Candidates need to be fully prepared and research and gather information before applying for a grant. This process covers the areas that need to be researched, questions that are likely to be asked and information that should be gathered for the application.

"Use a checklist to make sure your application is complete - make sure that you have included everything that is required" - ARC

This applying for a government grant checklist should be used in conjunction with your grant application. It's a task list that you should run through during your application to make sure you a) think, deeply, about each section you are completing, and b) you have checked each section before you submit. 

"Missing or incomplete items often result in outright rejection or at least a lower score, limiting your chance for funding" - ARC

You may want to consider adding your own tasks to this checklist. You can add your own tasks, that are in-line with what the application is asking for, by reading these instructions

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Complete checklist details

Enter the checklist details in the form fields below.  

Select the type of government grant application

From the drop-down field below, select the type of government grant you are applying for.

Housing grants can provide funding for: 1st-time buyers, mobile homes, rental housing projects, commercial property, land development, RV parks, new construction 

Education grants can provide funding for: Federal Pell grant applications, scholarships, student financial aid, training, tuition assistance, research projects, Stafford loans, University grants

Personal assistance grants can provide funding for: Home repair, rent assistance, child care, food and nutrition, medical bills assistance, utility bills assistance, education assistance

Business grants can provide funding for: Small business funding/management, start-up/expansion business capital, home business assistance, women-owned business funding, small business loans, minority-owned business funding, private money/venture capital

Environmental grants can provide funding for: energy-efficient equipment, textile recycling, greening & growing projects, increasing the use of recycled materials,  climate action projects, ecological projects, pollution programs, wildlife protection.  

Record details about the grant opportunity

Record details about the grant opportunity you plan to apply for in the fields below. 

Research the grant opportunity

Make sure you research the grant opportunity in full.

Answer the following questions to make sure this is the right funding opportunity for you and your situation.

Collate items needed for the application

Review the application guidelines carefully and list all the items they are requesting for the application in the field below eg. insurance certificates, utility bills, proof of address etc.. 

Get a federal EIN number

You will need a Federal Employee Identification Number for your application.

To apply for an employer identification number, you should obtain Form SS-4 and its Instructions.

You can apply for an EIN on-line, by mail, or by fax. You may also apply by telephone if your organization was formed outside the U.S. or U.S. territories

Find out how to apply for one here.

Contact the grant representative

Contact the grant representative to discuss the funding opportunity with them:

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This is a great opportunity to develop your relationship with the funder, to gather insight from the staff about what projects they are looking for and also to get recommendations.

Record any recommendations made

Make a note of any helpful recommendations or pieces of advice that the funder gave you, following a discussion about your application. 

Establish what you need the funding for

Background information and context must be included to increase the probability of receiving a grant.

Make sure you can fully describe, in detail, the reason why you need the funding.  

The below details are examples of characteristics that could increase your chances of being a government grant recipient:

  • you earn an income that is below the national average
  • you are divorced
  • you are a single parent with multiple dependents
  • you're a cancer survivor
  • you're a victim of abuse
  • you're in lots of debt 
  • you're aspiring to be the first member of your family to graduate from college
  • you're trying to get your business idea off the ground

Identify what makes your application different

The Government will get thousands of applications. You need to make sure yous stands out. 

Identify in the field below what separates you from other applicants applying.

Complete a SWOT analysis

Make sure you include the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats within your application. 

Demonstrate the strengths of your business. Explain how it will benefit, who it will benefit and why it will benefit.

Be honest about the weaknesses and potential threats your business may face. But be sure to include solutions to show you are willing to work hard to overcome problems. 

Prove there are lots of opportunities from external environments/forces.

Complete a business plan

Write a short business plan so the funder can see clearly what you need, why you need it, and when you need it by. 

Address the following questions when writing up your business plan:

  • 1
    What is need to be addressed by the project?
  • 2
    What past other work have you undertaken and what are the future solutions?
  • 3
    What resources are required?
  • 4
    What is your proposed timeline?
  • 5
    What is your broad budget?
  • 6
    What are the anticipated outcome and beneficiaries?
  • 7
    What is the return on investment for the funder?
  • 8
    What positive impact will your business have on the community?

Register with government body

Follow instructions to register with the Government to apply for a grant. 


For example, in the US, before applying for a funding opportunity, you need to register an account with Grants.gov.

Whether you are an applicant for an organization or an individual applying for grants on your own, you only need to register one account on Grants.gov.

To send an application, applicants must also create a Workspace within their grants.gov account.

Find out more here.

Begin the application

Using the information gathered, you should be able to complete the application form.

Make sure you follow the application guidelines and use this checklist as a secondary guideline. 

Proof check the application

Once you have completed the application, check it against the application guidelines to make sure you have included all requested information

Application guidelines: 

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Submit the application

Follow instructions given to submit your application. 

Sources:

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