6 federal grant myths busted

Do you think the federal budget cuts mean you can kiss the hope of a federal grant goodbye? You’re not alone, but you’re also wrong. Dr. M. Linda Wastyn, president of Davenport, Iowa’s Wastyn and Associates, and Robert Bradner, a partner at law firm Holland and Knight in Washington, D.C., busted that myth and others during the recent Grant Professionals Association National Conference in Baltimore, Md.

The federal government grants billions of dollars to nonprofits, and there’s no reason your organization can’t be one of them.

Myth 1: We don’t need federal grants. Fact: The federal government invested almost one-half trillion dollars in 2010 in key areas. Your nonprofit might be in one of them.

Myth 2: We are too small. Fact: Significant dollars exist for organizations of all sizes. Try looking for a partner to scale up.

Myth 3: It’s too expensive. Fact: If you build in reporting costs, offset with indirect costs at go after larger awards, a federal grant could be worth the price.

Myth 4: We cannot sustain the programs. You can use a federal grant to fund a pilot program, or develop projects with little ongoing costs self-sustaining programs that generate their own revenue.

Myth 5: We don’t have time. Plan well in advance and identify a project manager. You might be able to use the funds to hire additional staff.

Myth 6: The sequester means no more federal grants. Though there has been a decrease in funds and priorities have changed, there are still billions of dollars in federal grants available.