Contrary to what a lot people are being made to believe, the U.S. government is not giving away "free federal grants". A grant, as defined by Jay M. Shafritz in his book "American Government and Politics", is a gift that entails certain obligations on the part of the grantee and expectations on the part of the grantor. The operative word to remember in getting grants from the federal government is "obligations".
Along with every grant you receive come these obligations and the various responsibilities to fulfill the demands dictated by each program. Grants from the government are awarded to organizations that have major projects that are deemed to benefit the community. An example would be: a neighborhood street paving project; a state-wide program to re-train displaced workers; a regional water conservation program; a shelter facility for the homeless; researching a cure for a disease; etc.
In addition, organizations that receive free federal funds must adhere to strict oversight performance standards. Detailed accounting and auditing of these project expenditures is required. Auditing of grant project expenditures is done at least once a year.
Free federal grant funds must be spent to the last cent. Any money left must goes back to the Treasury. Program goals in the grant application must be carried out exactly as specified. Any project changes must go through the government and meet its approval.
Project phases must be completed by the deadlines and the project must be completed successfully. Failure to comply with the federal requirements on the part of the grantee will result in penalties. Penalties grant non-compliance could range from economic sanctions to prison if improper use or theft of public free funds is proven. Most federal grant beneficiaries are federal agencies, states, cities, colleges, universities and research organizations. Applying for these funds takes some expertise in preparing the applications which is why individuals do not usually qualify for them. As a matter of fact, those who actively seek grants employ staffs just to facilitate the application for and administer the grants.
The truth behind grants from the government is that with federal funding cutbacks and intense competition to obtain them, seeking these free funds can take a lot of time and money with no guarantee of successfully obtaining them. Since grants require a lot of legwork for the applicants and obligate the grantee(s) to fulfill some responsibilities, we can see that free federal grants come with a price tag too.
Millennium Services Group, run by R.T. Markovsky, hosts an informative web site with a wealth of free information about all aspects of Free Grants. Check out http://www.Free-Grants-Online.com to see more.