Updated: Jul 21
Have you ever applied for a Grant as an entrepreneur or business owner? Or maybe you are a Manager, looking to round out a budget or provide extra funding to a new initiative. Grants may be a go-to idea that can be a great source of funding for businesses, but there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding them.
It’s important to know what to look out for when applying for a grant. It’s also important to know what is true and what isn’t when it comes to expectations about what a grant can do for your business.
A grant is financial sponsorship for planned work. While a great resource for businesses, it is something that takes time and effort. In this blog post, we will debunk the three most common myths we've heard about grants in business.
Myth #1: Grants Come Without Strings One of the biggest myths about grants is that they come without any strings attached.
While it is true that grants do not need to be repaid like loans, they often come with strict guidelines and reporting requirements. Many grants are provided to businesses who are tackling specific initiatives or projects that advance the agenda of the grant-giver.
You need to first be eligible to apply for the grant, and provide a plan of action toward the project or initiative that you are receiving the grant for. You may even need to keep detailed reports as evidence on how the money was spent. If you are not able to follow requirements for the grant and fail to provide the needed documents, it may result in penalties or even having to repay the grant for you or your business! Myth #2: My Organization Can Quickly Pull This Application Together Another common myth about grants is that organizations can quickly put together an application and receive funding.
You might be super efficient and organized. Your company might have excellent teams for writing grants and applying for them, one after the other. However, the grant application process does take some time for most businesses and entrepreneurs.
In general, it is good to plan at least six to eight weeks to write a grant, so as to not rush the grant writing process. A quality proposal has a high chance of being funded. Keep in mind - Foundation grants average 15 - 25 hours, but some Government grants can take over 100 hours. Grant applications are often complex. Like sales, a grant proposal requires marketing, tailoring, and a value proposition. Businesses must provide detailed information about their operations, financials, and plans for using the funds. This requires careful planning and preparation to ensure that all of the necessary information is included in the application. Make sure to give yourself and your team enough time to submit your applications and reports in time!
Myth #3: This Grant Alone Will Help Keep Our Business Afloat Finally, many businesses believe that receiving a grant will be enough to keep them afloat during tough times.
Yes, grants can certainly provide much-needed funding, however, they should not be relied upon as sole source of income for your business. We saw this a lot during the 2020 pandemic - Government assistance enabled businesses to acquire capital property or subsidize specific expenses while restrictions lasted. However, businesses had to focus on adapting their services to fulfill demands and generate income. This allowed them to manage expenses in order to maintain a sustainable business model long term.
In conclusion, Grants can be a valuable source of funding for businesses. It's important to understand that they come with strings attached, require significant effort to apply for, and should not be viewed as a cure-all solution for financial challenges. By avoiding these common myths about grants in business, you'll have a better chance of securing funding that truly benefits your organization's goals and objectives.