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Grants

Grants can be a great fit — if they align with your business goals. Be aware that there is a rigorous application process, and once issued, grants often come with inflexible conditions and require frequent reporting. Make sure it's a good fit before diving in.

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Questions

Basic Questions

In general, grants are issued to further the mission/goals of the granting organization and have been instrumental in furthering scientific research and commercial innovation. Don’t hesitate to contact the grant contact who will be listed in the call for proposals with any questions.

Read the request/call for proposals thoroughly to understand if you’re eligible to apply, whether the grant focus aligns with your business needs, when you need to apply, match, and other important information.

It all depends on the grant. The “eligible parties” will be specified in the grant request/call for proposals. In some cases, the eligible parties are broad and almost any person, business, or entity can submit a proposal. Some grants are more restrictive and require applications to be submitted through a local organization (e.g., Sea Grant) or require organizations to have a special designation (e.g., USDA Center of Excellence) to apply.

Match is a requirement to contribute funds towards the project. For example 1:1 match means for every dollar that receive from the grant, you must contribute one dollar. If requesting $100,000 for a 1:1 match grant, you need to contribute an additional $100,000. Some grants allow for use of “in-kind” match which means you can count salary or other business-related costs as match.

Probably not. You won’t have to pay the money back if you fulfill all requirements of the grant by carrying out the proposed work and submitting update reports. You will have to pay back some (or all) the grant if you fail to do what you agreed to.

Review the request/call for proposals closely, follow the specified outline, and make sure to include all required information and documents. Pay attention to the smallest details such as the size and type of font to use and proposal length. Failure to comply with the guidelines will result in your application being disqualified. Don’t hesitate to contact the grant contact who will be listed in the call for proposals with any questions.

Some people mistakenly think of grants as free money, but that’s not necessarily the case. In some cases, grants can enable innovation and allow research that improves business operations. However, applications are usually time consuming (costly) to prepare, reporting requirements consume precious staff time, and projects that are misaligned with your core business operations may distract and overwhelm your capacity. So make sure it’s worth the effort and fits your business.