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Grants Frequently Asked Questions

Who can apply for a grant?

Each grant is different.  When an organization or agency announces or advertises a particular grant, it will specify what kinds of organizations or individuals are allowed to apply (otherwise known as eligible applicants).  Many grants try to direct their funding to not-for-profit organizations that have a 501(c)(3) non-profit status with the IRS.  There are also a lot of grants for educational institutions; state and local governments; health care organizations; small businesses entrepreneurs; minorities including women; community-based organizations including faith-based organizations; and tribal governments. 

Are individuals eligible for grants?

Unfortunately, in most cases, the answer is no. Most foundations and many government agencies usually award grant funding to not-for-profit organizations, universities and similar academic institutions, and units of government. Grant money for "personal use" or to pay your debt is scarcely available.

In some cases grant opportunities for individuals do exist, usually for students or researchers in the form of scholarships, fellowships or research grants.

The U.S. government has a website entitled GovBenefits.gov  specifically to assist individuals seeking financial assistance or benefits from the federal government. This website is simply a screening tool to help people find government eligible benefits. This website does not provide an application process or eligibility determinations for these services.

The Foundation Center  has a database which houses grants information specifically for individuals. Subscription access to the database costs $19.95/mo; however, the Miami-Dade County Main Library, downtown, offers this subscription service on library computers to library visitors for free.

The Mayer Foundation  provides economic relief grants up to $5,000 to needy individuals who are distressed or suffering as a result of poverty, low income or lack of financial resources.

Ways to Work  loans up to $4,000 at an interest rate of 8% over two years are available to qualified low-income applicants in accordance with the national office's minimum loan eligibility criteria.

What do grants pay for?

Again, it varies, depending on the interest or mission of the organization or agency that is providing the funding (otherwise known as the granting entity or grantor). Most funding is directed toward projects that assist populations with special needs or circumstances such as migrant workers, low-income elderly residents, or disabled students.  Most grants do not typically fund capital/constructions projects.

Many grants require the applicant to provide some kind of monetary contribution toward the project to be funded; this is known as the "match."  The matching contribution can usually be cash or the donation of services and labor, also called an "in-kind" match.

How can I find a grant opportunity?

Most organizations or agencies advertise or announce grant opportunities through a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) or Request For Proposals (RFP).  All federal FOA’s are published on a federal grants website called Grants.gov and also on the Federal Register website.  All federal grant programs are listed in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance by their CFDA number. Other granting organizations or entities, such as state agencies, foundations, and corporations, will usually announce their grant opportunities directly on their own website. 

Miami-Dade County Office of Management and Budget's Grants Coordination Division looks for grant announcements from a variety of funding entities and posts these announcements on our Current Grant Opportunities Portal on a weekly basis.  The Division also compiles new grant announcements together in a weekly email, known as the Grant Mail, which is sent to individuals who subscribe to a special distribution list.

How can I receive a grant?

To receive a grant, one must apply for it. When an organization or agency announces or advertises a particular grant, the announcement will contain information about the application procedures and rules to follow. Applicants are required to prepare a written grant proposal or to fill in an application form that describes the project for which they wish to receive funding. 

All grant proposals require the submission of a budget. Often the application process will also require the applicant to submit additional application forms or documents. Some applications are most complex than others. 

Usually there is a deadline for submitting the application. The guidelines or rules for the grant application should be reviewed carefully because applications can be rejected if the rules are not followed or if the proposal is submitted by an organization that is not considered to be an eligible applicant. Once the deadline for submittal has passed, the granting organization will review the grant applications and decide which ones to fund.  Miami-Dade County's Office of Grants Coordination has a Grant Resources page on our website that provides grant writing information. Click here to subscribe to Grant Mail.

What does the County's Grants Coordination Revenue Maximization Unit do?

The Revenue Maximization Unit is one of several sections within Miami-Dade County's Office of Management and Budget Grants Coordination Division. The unit's main purpose is to bring more money to County departments and their community partners via grants. The unit researches grant funding opportunities and helps Departments with grant writing and other types of grant application assistance.

The unit also tries to promote collaboration between departments to make the most of limited resources. Revenue maximization involves the development of strategies to identify and claim reimbursement from the Federal Government and other sources for eligible services and clients. 

The unit does not provide any grant funding to individuals, groups, government agencies, or organizations and it does not assist with grant applications for non-County organizations that are unaffiliated with a County Department or project.

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