Grant FAQs

What Are Grants?

Grants are a form of financial or other similar assistance that is given freely without any requirement of repayment. Grants are usually in the form of money, but some types of grants may offer access to resources, services, goods or other aid.

Since the grant recipient is not required to repay the assistance, a grant is basically a free gift unlike a loan. Additionally, recipients are not required to pay taxes on their gifts.

Are all Grants available to all Schools and Districts?

No, Public School Districts can only go after State and Federal Grants. The only exception to this would be a organizations in a school district such as a PTO/PTAC non-profit organization.

501(c)(3) Organizations have access to all grants that may be unavailable to both Public School or even other non-profits.  

Where do Grants Come From?

Grants are often offered by government agencies, corporations, non-profit organizations, foundations, educational institutions and trusts. However, small businesses and individuals will also frequently offer grants.

Because grants are free and tax exempt, they are probably the most popular type of assistance among those looking for aid. However, grants tend to be more difficult to acquire as compared to loans and the cash amount of grants is usually less than what is available through lending assistance.

What Type Of Grants Exist?

The number of grants available is vast with both public and private agencies offering a very wide variety of options for practically every purpose.

Government (State & Federal) Grants are common for upgrades and expansion buildings. Foundational Grants focus mainly on non-profit entities.  According to the Foundation Center, there are more than 88,000 private organizations offering more than $40 billion worth of grants each year.

Grants are also widely available to support scientific and technical research. Most grants of this type are offered to educational institutions or to other large private or public research facilities.

The amount of assistance provided by grants can vary from a few hundred dollars or less to grants of seven figures or more. Generally, the larger grants are offered to organizations and communities working together (schools, libraries, etc.)  that have already established a reputation as leaders in their field.

Grants have become an important form of funding for several types of education based organizations. The money and other assistance provided by grants not only helps in the area of education but can complement the economy, encourage innovation, support communities and create jobs.

The idea behind grants is that many good endeavors are lacking in funding and that society in general benefits when these activities are supported with committed funds that are not returned. In comparison, loans often place great a burden on recipients especially if payments become impossibly. Interest-bearing loans are particularly difficult, as they require that the recipients generate substantial "profits."

Who Provides a Grant for Big Projects such as a Building?

There is no getting around the fact that construction projects are expensive, as a result a lot of them never get off the ground. The good news is that in some cases there are ways that you can get the money that you need for your project through grants. By no means are all projects approved for this but for the ones that are it can be a great source of funding. 

The first thing that you have to do if you are going to get a construction grant for a project is to determine just why your project would qualify for one. While there are grants for a lot of different things that are not just handed out because you need money. In almost all cases there has to be a public benefit for there to be a grant. Therefore getting grants for things like housing projects in areas that don't have adequate housing or to improve infrastructure are usually possible, getting a grant to build new high end condos is not very likely. 

The next step is to figure out who has grant money to give out. In almost all cases it is of course the government but you still have to figure out who at the government has the money. There are dozens of different agencies not to mention three different levels of government and CTI can sort through them all to figure out which one will have grant money available for the type of project that you are planning. This is going to take some research  and clarification on your part. 

The next step is to supply CTI with your Core Idea (“The Why”), Projected Budget and Supporting Documentation. This basically requires that we’ll talk about your project and how much it will cost and why you think that you are entitled to the money. If you have a construction company that you are planning to hire, get all of the information that you can for your grant proposal. You want to focus on how the community will benefit from the project as well as, include all of the financial details of the project.  One of our certified grant writers will help you meet these criteria.

Even if you have experience in writing grants yourself, this is one you may want to consider is hiring a CTI professional. Success in an adventure of this magnitude goes require experience to properly develop the correct proposal. Not only will this save you a lot of hassle but it will also give you the best chance of having your proposal accepted and getting the money that you need for your project.

Is There A Secret To Who You Ask To Fund Your Project?

One mistake commonly made is for a grantwriter to focus on one “ideal” funder. As CTI investigates your opportunities, we include a number of options. Since funders usually receive more request than the grant can fulfil, you need to be ready to receive a denial of a regular basis. However, it would also be a mistake to send our duplicate copies of the same funding request to several prospects.  Approaching a funder for support is a highly individualized process that should be conducted in a businesslike manner. CTI will help you find the correct funding for your project(s) and related funder(s) no matter your type of school and need.

Why Not Simply Do It Ourselves Rather Than A Professional Grant Consultant?

Using a certified grant writer has many benefits, one being, this is all our designated staff does.  If you have ever taken on this task, you are already aware of the countless hours that can be spent finding the right grant before the writing of the project even begins.  Educators have join the list of other professionals who have experienced greater success with less time and cost investment by using a professional consultant service.  Please click on General FAQ for additional information on these benefits.