How To Avoid Grant Scams

Posted on by Prapti

Whether your search leads you to government, corporate, foundation or other grant funding, always

keep in mind that any legitimate grant information is given free of charge. You should never agree to

pay an agency that promises to find you free grants for your business. Your research will most likely take

you to some of these sites that offer guarantees of finding the right grant for your new or existing

business. Remember that no one can guarantee grant money and all legitimate organizations that offer

small business grants will precisely outline their criteria for eligibility. Keep in mind that federal grants  25

are typically not awarded to individuals and are usually only offered to non‐profit organizations. All

agencies that offer grants will also provide help with the application process free of charge.

However, there is the option of paying to have your application completed and forwarded to any

government department that offers grants. Although the application for government grants is a

standard form, you are required to include an ID number signifying which grant you are applying for.

Since each grant contains a problem statement and program plan specific to a particular grant offer,

each application will need to contain information that relates only to the grant opportunity you are

applying for. There are also other factors which apply to federal grant applications that must be adhered

to in order for it to be considered. These points will be explained in more detail in the Grant Application

Process chapter.

Once you are registered with Grants.Gov you will be able to download a grant application package free

of charge which you can fill out off‐line at your leisure.  In the end, there are no shortcuts to applying for

grants from any government or other organization.

The following tips will help you recognize and avoid offers that could turn out to be scams and

remember that if a deal sounds too good to be true – it probably is!

• All government grants require an application with very specific guidelines. If someone calls you

on the phone claiming that you have been awarded a free government grant, don’t believe it.

• The government will never contact you with an offer of free money for your business.

• Although you will need to provide financial information on an official grant application, you will

never be asked for money to fill one out.

• Do not divulge any personal information (especially financial) to those who are offering access

to government grants. All grant information can be obtained free of charge at Grants.gov or

Govbenefits.gov.

• Sites such as Grants.gov will never ask you to reveal personal information including bank, credit

card or social security number.

• Remember that federal grants are generally only awarded to cities, states, educational, health

or community organizations and other non‐profit entities and are typically made available to fund

research or other specific projects.

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