Grants are funding made available by an individual or organization for use by another party to finance a particular activity, venture, charity or facility. Most grants are created to aid or encourage a specific activity and many grants have limitations or requirements which determine who is eligible for the funding. Not all countries offer grant funding, but many do - including the United States, Canada, and the UK.
Most grants do not have to be repaid, as long as the money is used for the purposes for which the grant was created. The federal government generally does not issue grants to individuals, except in the form of student financial aid. For the most part, federal money is made available to organizations, which then use the funding to perform services that are valuable to society, or fit with the government’s vision of society.
The History of Grants
Grants were originally designed as financial assistance programs for organizations. They weren't always available to individuals. However, over the years, things have changed. Grants are now available to both organizations and individuals.
In the beginning, most grants were federally funded. Now, grants are funded by states, counties, and cities as well. In addition, grants can now be funded by corporations and non-profits. To date, hundreds of companies such as Kelloggs, Nestle, and General Electric, are regular sponsors of grant-making programs. This is usually done through their corporate foundations.
Years ago, there were just a handful of grant programs. Now, its estimated that there are well over 10,000 different grant programs available. Many of these are now targeting ethnic groups and women.
Grants For Women
Obviously, grants for women are opportunities specifically designed to be allocated to females only. There are said to be more grants available for women than to any other minority group. This is because women are the largest group of minorities in the United States, numbering well over 100 million. Even in other countries, women make up a large number.
Many of these grants are for women who have been abused, who may be homeless, or single parent mothers. Others are for women who need help paying for college tuition, books, etc. However, the fastest growing number of grant opportunities is for women in business. This is especially because of the amount of research that suggests that more and more small businesses are woman-owned. Therefore, business grants for women are at an all-time high.