The elusive pie in the sky, the unicorn that poops rainbows, those little golden pots at the end of rainbows. Wait, you wanted free money for your for-profit business? Well, you’re more likely to find pies, unicorns and leprechauns. Of course, if you are serious in your search you should start with grant writers for hire, as these professionals have the tricks that will locate and secure grant funds. This is what they will tell you.
Categorizing a For-Profit for Grants
If your for-profit business hopes to get a grant from, say, the U.S. Small Business Administration, you need to meet set standards. Your business must be small, for starters. Your average annual revenue must be from $0.75 million to $28.5 million according to Grants.gov. As for size, your business must have between 100 and 1500 employees.
Where’s the Money?
Nonprofit organizations are most associated with grant money. Yet that shouldn’t stop you as a for-profit business. Start your search with private foundations, such as:
These foundations offer grants for small businesses and start-ups with some exceptions. If you fit a demographic, then you’ll stand a greater chance at securing a grant from these foundations. For example, your business is:
- In a rural area
- Is owned by a minority
- Is owned by a woman
- Is advancing technology
- Is focused on green methods
- Is owned by someone who is handicapped
Philanthropists or research organizations who are focused on enrichment in particular areas should be targeted according to what your business offers or produces. For example, if you are working on computer software programming or creation of apps, the Bill Gates and Melinda Gates Foundation would be your best bet because of their interest in computer technology advancement. This foundation is also huge in the eradication of poverty on a global scale, so if your app is helping rural communities to find job opportunities, you’ll have even better chances of getting research grant money from Bill and Melinda. The Kaufman Foundation, on the other hand, would be the ideal place to start to find money to help fund your pipe dreams as they prefer to help entrepreneurial spirits.
Go Grant Go!
Other than independent foundations, search among the sites typically deemed for non-profits. Grants.gov is the ideal place to start your search. For example, a quick search of grant opportunities for for-profits and small businesses grants hundreds of results. The grants offered on this site come from government agencies, such as the National Institutes of Health, Department of the Army, Engineer Research and Development Center, and the Agency for International Development. Be prepared for specifics here. For example, you can apply for funding if you are establishing a female contraceptive development program, development of assays for high-throughput screening for use in probe and pre-therapeutic discovery, or enhancing the capacity for biomedical research on tuberculosis for HIV-infected mothers and children in India. Hey, no one said it would be easy money.
Writing Your Way to Funding
Try Googling grants and you’ll likely find zero opportunities for your for-profit. In order to locate these lollipops you need to get specific. Consider the projects or research goals in which you need to find funding. Then, search for foundations via philanthropists or largescale corporations, such as Apple or Coca Cola, that offer funds to projects associated with your business. The more focused your search, the more likely you are to find a viable match. As for writing your grant proposal and filling out the grant application, unless you are experienced in this area, save your time and opt for grant writers for hire.
Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.