August 8, 2023


Many people come to the WCWB asking about grants so I thought it would be helpful to explain what grants are and the process of obtaining one.

Many people come to the WCWB asking about grants so I thought it would be helpful to explain what grants are and the process of obtaining one. A grant is a sum of money provided by a government, organization, foundation, or individual to support a specific project, activity, or initiative. Grants are typically awarded to individuals, groups, nonprofits, institutions, or businesses with the intention of advancing a particular goal or cause. They are often given to fund research, educational programs, community projects, artistic endeavors, scientific studies, and more. It is important to note that grants are particular and have specific requirements that recipients must adhere to.

Grants can take various forms, including:

  •  Project Grants: These are awarded to support a specific project or initiative, such as a research study, community development program, or art exhibition.
  • Operating Grants: These provide funding to cover the ongoing operational expenses of an organization such as salaries, rent, and utilities.
  • Research Grants: These support scientific or academic research projects, helping researchers cover costs related to materials, equipment, and personnel.
  • Scholarships and Education Grants: These are given to individuals to fund their education or training, covering tuition, books, and living expenses.
  • Nonprofit Grants: Philanthropic foundations and government agencies provide grants to nonprofit organizations to help carry out their missions and activities.
  • Government Grants: Governments at various levels (local, state, national) provide grants to promote economic development, research, & community welfare.
  • Arts and Culture Grants: Supports artists, cultural organizations, and creative projects that contribute to the enrichment of a community's cultural landscape.

The guidelines around a grant may include reporting on how the grant funds are being used, achieving specific milestones, and demonstrating the impact of the funded project. In addition, applying for and receiving grants can be competitive, as there are often limited funds available and many applicants vying for the support. Successful grant proposals typically demonstrate a clear understanding of the project's goals, a well-thought-out plan, a reasonable budget, and a convincing argument for why the funding is necessary and how it will contribute to the intended outcomes.

Grants can be hard to achieve for several reasons: limited funding, high standards, stringent evaluation, matching priorities, competition, demonstrated need, project viability, grant writing skill, reporting and accountability, and proposed budget. If you are interested in looking for available grants, you can find possible grant opportunities from government agencies, philanthropic foundations, nonprofit organizations, corporate giving programs, professional associations, research institutions and universities, online grant databases, community and local resources, arts and cultural organizations, and social media and networking. Remember, that the grant application process is competitive, so it's a good idea to start early, thoroughly research each opportunity, and submit well-prepared applications. For more information on grants, you can request a coaching appointment through the WCWB website.