Frequently Asked Questions
1. What about those websites and television ads promoting "free cash grants"
for individuals? I need some money to pay off my bills and start a
Unfortunately, most foundation and corporate funders do not award grants
to individuals or businesses, and neither does the government. (The
exception is for well-established, mature for-profit businesses that are
leaders in their industry AND are responding to a specific government grant
opportunity or Request for Proposal.)
The articles below contain good information debunking the "free cash
grants" myth and explain why there is generally NOT grant money available
for individuals and typical for-profit businesses (the links below will open in a
If you are trying to get a grant on behalf of yourself, your family, or a
small for-profit business, I cannot help you. There are almost no grants
available for those purposes, even if you are disabled, a member of a
minority group, or a woman. If someone tells you that he or she can
get you a grant, beware--it is probably a scam. Most grants are
awarded to nonprofit organizations, schools, and other government entities
that exist for public benefit. There is no free money!
2. Our nonprofit organization would like to hire you. Is it okay if
we wait until we get our first grant before we pay you?
No. I invoice monthly and request payment within two weeks.
3. Can we just pay you on commission? We'll just give you
a percentage of all the money you raise.
No, sorry. I'm a very good grantwriter with a proven history of
securing grants. Unfortunately, I cannot control the decisions that
funders make. Funders frown on paying grantwriters on commission.
For more information, please check out the website of the Puget Sound
Grantwriters Association for a great article Goodwin Deacon on grantwriting ethics,
including why grantwriters should never work on commission:
4. We are just starting up our organization. We don't have
our 501(c)(3) yet, but we have a great cause. Can you help us?
I learned the hard way that brand new organizations bring extra challenges.
I can't write a grant proposal until you have some things in place: a
budget, a strategic plan, a board of directors, and your 501(c)(3).
Also, most funders will not give you a grant (and some don't even want to
see your proposal) until you have your 501(c)(3) in hand. See Question
#6 below for more information.
5. We're a church. Will you write grants for us?
I can only write grant proposals for you if you have your 501(c)(3), and you
do secular work that is open to the entire community (not just the
members and prospective members of your church). For example, if you
run a food bank or a homeless shelter that serves people regardless of their
religious affiliation, I may be able to help.
6. What should we have in place in order to successfully attract
At minimum, your organization needs to have an active and involved board of
directors, your 501(c)(3) status, a financial system and procedures, program
goals, and support of your community (both financially and otherwise).
GrantsUSA has a wonderful grants readiness checklist available on their
website in PDF format:
For more information, please contact us.