What The Heck Is A Grant?!

So- I have this amazing, time consuming (and sometimes boring) small business as a grant writer (amongst other things). I have so many people who are confused about what a grant writer does, and what exactly a grant is. Hopefully this will help clear up the confusion.

“What exactly is a grant?” is a question that I am asked constantly! A grant is money given to a company, non-profit, or educational institute, or an individual for a specific purpose. The money normally comes from a larger government organization, foundation, or company. It’s kind of like when your church raises money to give to a needy family. Or when a company pools money together to give to the family of an employee that just passed. It has a specific purpose, and normally there is a limit to the amount of money that you can receive.

I know that the though of FREE MONEY sounds absolutely enticing, but it’s not 100% free. And it is definitely not for just anyone. Most of the monies that are given away are to non-profit organizations and small start-up companies. What is a non-profit organization, and how can you become one? A non-profit organization is an organization with the purpose of which is something other than making a profit. A nonprofit organization is often dedicated to furthering a particular social cause or advocating for a particular point of view. In English, this means a company that is not seeking to make a profit, is a charitable organization, and has a goal or a purpose for being in business. I particularly love working with non profits who’s focus is youth development and education. There is an abundance of grant money out for people who want to work with our youth. Examples of non-profits are The American Red Cross, The Ronald McDonald Charities, Doctors Without Borders, The ASPCA, and the Make A Wish Foundation. All of these organizations have a specific cause, and all of the money that is given to them is to help with whatever their focus is. Now, how do you become a nonprofit? Well, it’s not an easy process. First you have to get your EIN (employer identification number). You get this from the IRS website at http://www.irs.gov; it helps them and other organizations know who you are. It’s kind of like your business social security number. Make sure that you register the EIN under a nonprofit status! Next, on the IRS website, you’ll have to apply for the recognition of exemption. It is called a form 1023-series. It is a really long application with a whole bunch of questions, so please be prepared! And you will have to pay the appropriate fee in order to complete the registration; I believe the price is $500 now. The process can take anywhere up to 6 months, but once it is completed it will most definitely be worth it!

Now, on to the biggest question that I always get- what the heck does a grant writer do? A whole HECK of a lot of research! Lol! So when I get a new client, I find out a ton of information about what it is that they are looking for funding for, how much they need, and how many people the funding will be providing for (granters want to know all of this). Then, I go into the grant databases (there are multiple ones, but I like to use grants.gov, grantwatch.com, and grantgopher.com, as well as google for small businesses). Then I research. I sort through thousands of grants, and see if I can find something that aligns with what the client is looking for. I compile a list, and send it over to my client so that they can review it and pick the ones that they like the most. I gather as much paperwork from my client that is needed for the application, then I start the process. Depending on the application and the foundation that it is coming from, a grant can take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks to apply for. It can go from a simple page application, to a 20 page proposal, not including attachments. I just got a headache thinking about it…. Lol! After I have completed the application process, I submit the proposal. There are normally 2 ways to submit an application- either electronically through the grant funders database, or manually in the mail. Once the application is submitted, the grant writer has nothing more to do with the application. All correspondence will be made to the applying agency, and the main point person that was designated in the application.

One question that I come across with many of my clients is if I can guarantee that an application that I submit will be approved. There are NO guarantee’s in grant writing. There are many different factors that grantors (or funders) look for when they are selecting an application to approved. And, there are hundreds (maybe even thousands) of other people who are applying for the exact same grant. But, I can guarantee that I will work extremely hard on the application that I am submitting, and ensure that your organization stands out from the others. I  may not get you EVERY grant that we go after, but I will get you funded!

If you’re reading this blog because you found it on my Instagram and you want a free grant, happy hunting!

-xoxoxo

 

Randomness……

Hey guys! This is just a random post. I have a few thoughts in my head that I wanted to get down, so I figured that I would share them with you.

First things first- this election. I understand that Trump is a douche bag (to put it nicely) but what makes Hillary any better? They both have HUGE flaws that cannot be overlooked, and they are both selfish people who only want power. So how would having Hillary as president be any better than having Trump? Because she isn’t blatantly racist? But isn’t this the same person who helped pass the bill for the “war on drugs” that has gotten young boys locked up for 5+ years for having a small amount of marijuana on them? Or a female who unknowingly transported something for her idiot boyfriend and now has to serve 6 years away from her child(ren)? People aren’t perfect but this law put too many people in prison for MINIMAL offenses! OR, isn’t she the same person who covertly rerouted all of the relief money that was supposed to go to my home country of Haiti? And instead the people there are suffering and still in need of essentials like water, and bread, and a cot to sleep on? I personally don’t like either candidate, but Hillary was NOT my lesser of the two evils. Just my opinion.

Second topic. I am happy! (emoji insert, guy with the tongue out). Like, I’m smiling ear to ear as I write this post. My life is SLOWLY falling into place, but it is definitely getting there. I just need to finish with this stupid time machine…. This thing is taking way longer than I thought….

Okay, if I am being honest I only wanted to talk about me being happy. LOL!! I haven’t been this happy in a really long time and it’s all just bottled up inside me and I needed to let some of it out somehow. It feels good to be in this space. Life is so simple, yet we as people make it complicated. Money does not bring happiness. We need it to pay bills, buy clothes and food, and to keep certain things in order. Outside of that, money is actually the CAUSE of many issues! Our ancestors lived on the bare minimums and had amazingly LONG lives! We have all of these things that we think we need and we still aren’t happy. As long as I have my children, some food, a place to lay our heads, and a great support system, I am a okay.   When I cut all of the unnecessary stuff out of my life, I started to gain a sense of peace. The less stuff I worried about, the happier I became. And now I am blissfully happy. Everything is NOT in order, my money still doesn’t look how I would like it to, I still do not know how to manage my schedule, and this darn time machine still will not work! But, I am happy! (you guessed, EMOJI!!!!!!!!) Lol!!

Until next time my friends!

-xoxoxoxo

Kids Say The Darnedest Things…..

Heeeeeeeeeeey y’all! I haven’t been able to write a blog in such a long time- I got busy, busy, busy! I am now working on rescheduling my days so that I can come back to you beautiful people.

In the meantime, I have been a mommy (like that’s ever gonna change). My oldest is 3, in day school, and learning more than I can keep up with. I love having conversations with her because she is just HILARIOUS! At least, to me she is. I think everything is funny so I am pretty sure that that helps. Lol. The other morning I was dropping her off. The teachers ask that we take the kids to the bathroom to use it and wash their hands before bringing them to class. Ms. Spunky (who likes to be referred to as Princess Elsa) runs to the bathroom. She sits on the toilet, and here is our conversation:

Mommy: are you pooping or peeing? Princess Elsa: I’m doing both mommy! Do I stink? Mommy: no baby, you don’t stink. Princess Elsa: I smell good mommy? *inhales deeply* mmmmmmmmm, refreshing!! Mommy: *chuckling* you are so silly! Princess Elsa: mommy, does my breathe stink? Mommy: *laughing* why do you think your breath stinks? Princess Elsa: I don’t know mommy, come smell it pleeeeeeease!!! Mommy: *smells her breathe* it smells like candy momma Princess Elsa: yeah. I don’t stink huh? Where does she get this stuff from?! I promise you, I was chuckling all day long from that one conversation with her!

Here is another one of our conversations. This day, she was herself.

Bella: mommy, this is MY house. Mommy: are you sure? I thought it was OUR house! Bella: no mommy, this house is mines. You and fatfat just live here. Mommy: so do you pay all the bills also? Bella: yes mommy. Mommy: well, where do you get the money from, do you have a job? Bella: yeah mom *huffs* I work for YouTube! Mommy: YouTube? What do you do there? Bella: I make videos. I could not contain the laughter- I laughed so hard that I had tears coming from my eyes. I think I need to switch jobs and start working with her because obviously they hire anyone.

I love my toddler. I love being able to have a conversation with her because she ensures that I laugh daily. She says the silliest things with a serious face! I cannot wait until my son can have conversations with me also. These nest 2 years are going to the be funniest years of our lives.

Talk to your toddlers! And read my blog! Lol

-xoxoxo