Business grants are sums of money given by a foundation, government body, or other entity to help businesses get started or grow their operations. Grants are typically desirable because they don’t have the same conditions as other funding types. Specifically, grants do not need to be paid back like loans do, and business owners do not need to give up equity in exchange for the grant.
Key takeaway: Grants are a highly-desirable source of funding for businesses, as they provide funds without needing to pay them back or give up equity in exchange for the funds.
Business grant proposals are typically comprised of:
Cover letter: This document is the first impression the grant reviewer will have of your application. It should contain a summary of your proposal and why you stand apart from other applicants.
Executive summary: This provides a top-level summary of the main aspects of your business and the core components of your grant proposal.
Basic company information: Include basic information about your business, including other sources of funding and your annual budget. You should also include information on your organization’s executive officers and governing structure.
Need statement: Grant reviewers need to know why you are seeking this funding, and that you’re addressing an important need with the grant money. Your need statement should summarize the facts, figures, and data your grant reviewer needs to make this decision.
Purpose: Whether you’re looking to purchase specialized equipment, hire more staff or travel expenses related to your business, specify how the funding will be used.
Evaluation: Let the grant reviewer know which data you plan to track to best determine the impact of their funding.
Budget: Detail how much it would cost to complete the project for which you are seeking funding. Remember, grants are often for specific purposes and need, so this information is key. If you’re expecting other sources of funding, those should be mentioned as well.
Documentation: Your grant reviewer may want to see financial statements, tax-exempt letters if you’re a not for profit organization and other important information that could bolster your chances of receiving the grant.
Key takeaway: While each program has its own requirements, you can expect to have to provide basic business information, an explanation of how the grant funds would be used and why you’re seeking the funding in the first place.