Protecting Yourself against Government Grant Scams: 4 Tips from the FTC

Ever got a call informing that you’re qualified to receive a free grant from the government? Don’t believe it right away. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) warns people about being deceived by scammers who use government grants as a conversation topic to lure unsuspecting victims.

Here are the ways to avoid falling prey to government grant scams:

Be skeptic of callers who say they’re from a government grant agency.

Chances are, they really aren’t. Don’t be fooled by a caller who claims he’s from the “Federal Grants Administration” because no such government body exists. When in doubt, do a quick search on Google to know if the person’s name is real and the agency he’s representing actually exists.

Never share your bank details with anyone.

When the caller starts asking any information about your bank account, never disclose it under any circumstance, unless you are sure that the person on the other line is an authorized representative of your bank. If you’re not careful, scammers will have the opportunity to steal your identity and use it to get money from your account.

Manage unwanted callers.

Irked with the persistent telemarketers who constantly call you for availing of a “free” government grant? You can filter out unwanted callers by signing up with FTC’s National Do Not Call Registry. Registration for this service is free of charge.

Never agree to pay any amount for a “free government grant.”

It’s because the government doesn’t charge any processing fee for grants. If someone asks you to pay a fee in exchange for a cost-free government grant, you’d better end the conversation right away.

These tips help ensure that you’re safe from people who are out to take advantage of you. However, if you discover that you’ve been scammed by someone pretending to be working for the government, you can file a complaint with the FTC on its website.

8 Steps to Writing a Successful Grant Proposal for Organizations and Small Companies

Especially if you’re applying for a grant on behalf of a non-profit organization or an academic institution, you have good chances of qualifying for the grant. The key to getting approved is to write a good grant proposal because the grant provider needs to be assured that the fund will be put to good use.

Below are the steps you need to do to create a winning proposal that will get the government’s nod:

1. Look for a government program that provides grants.

Search the different government funding bodies in your area and reach out to the one that is aligned with your business goals and your industry.

2. Check the grant program data.

Read the program’s description carefully to know your eligibility for it. Take note of important details such as the required documents to submit and contact details of the government grant provider.

3. Write a clear mission statement.

Include the key objectives of your company in your mission statement for the grant proposal. Specify your targets in the next few years, your target market, how you plan to run the business—all supported by solid data.

4. Create a strategy section.

How do you plan to grow your business? Provide your timeline for it and your plans of action for any challenges you foresee. If you have conducted market research on your competitors, it will be great to add that to your proposal also.

5. Explain your plan on using the money from the grant.

Give a detailed breakdown of how the fund will be spent, including employee salaries, advertising, marketing, administrative expenses, overhead costs, etc.

6. Prove you’re eligible for the grant.

Make your application stand out by discussing in the eligibility proof section why you’re the perfect candidate for the grant.

7. Write an abstract.

A clear, concise, and well-written introduction should tell the grant evaluator what your business essentially is.

8. Format and proofread your proposal.

This final step will help you ensure that there are no errors and that the proposal looks professional.

Follow these eight steps, and you’ll convey the message to the grant reviewer that your business is well-thought-out.

What is a Government Grant? Your Guide to Getting Funding for Your Organization

Small businesses, researchers, educational institutions, and other organizations may need financial support from time to find for their projects. Unknown to many, there are grants provided by different government agencies to those who qualify.

If you think you’ll need funding from the government for your small business, here are the answers to commonly asked questions about grants:

What is a government grant?

A grant from the government is a financial assistance extended to universities, non-profit organizations, researchers, law enforcement, state and local governments, and other organizations to boost the economy and to improve public services.

There are thousands of grant programs from the government. Grants come in various types, such as fish and wildlife service grants and emergency communications grants.

Is it free money?

No. Government agencies don’t provide grants for personal funding, paying off debt, or starting a business. Instead, loans are provided for these purposes. There are also alternative funding sources from the government for people who are looking to finance their business, such as the small business investment company program and business assistance offered in your state.

How to apply for a grant?

Know first if your organization is eligible for a grant. Check the requirements for eligibility on the official website of the government agency who will provide the grant. When you confirm that you’re eligible, you need to write a grant proposal and submit it to the government agency.

Are people in R&D eligible for a government grant?

Yes. Under the Small Business Innovation Research Program, small businesses that are involved in scientific research and development can receive a grant as long as they’re able to prove that they’re qualified for it.

Everything You Need to Know About SR&ED Tax Credits

From Visually.

Do you have other questions related to government grants? Want to know if you’re eligible for one? Feel free to comment or send a private email to

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