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Grants for Minorities - Part 2

Job Training
Most job training programs are at the state and local level. A good example is a program run by the state of Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), which trains women and minorities to fill jobs in highway construction. There very well could be similar initiatives in your state or area. Internet searches will reveal opportunities.

Be Careful
The internet is bursting with websites promising free money for everything from Alzheimer's to zoology. You will read conflicting information. For example, while one site touts that awards for minority-owned businesses are widely available, another source will deny the possibility that any individual could receive a grant for a profit-based business. Be vigilant in your research. Not everything offered is legitimate, and if it looks too good to be true, it's probably not true. Be wary of any site that charges a fee to process your application. Legitimate grants usually do not have application fees.

Match the Program and Criteria
Consider your goals and needs and determine what kind of grant is most appropriate. Outline your vision and purpose, and then pursue it with vigor. Is your need for housing aid? Financial aid for education? Do you want to benefit your community?

Once you have a clear idea of what you want to accomplish, begin looking for potential opportunities. You want to avoid looking for programs and then trying to make your life match a particular program. Your plan or need should meet the criteria or interest of the granter. Evaluate the extent to which your program or need addresses the funder's concerns and vision. Note deadlines and exclusions. Make sure you are eligible before you start applying.

Some researchers suggest that it is easier to get local awards than federal, so remember to look close to home. You can apply for any number of grants. Make your list of desired programs, start with the ones that you think fit best, and start your applications.

Write the Application
You'll need to decide whether you want to write up the application yourself or seek assistance. Some grants require just an application with supporting documentation such as a social security number or transcript of grades. Grants for projects like research or community action often require detailed proposals that explain your program and its impact on the community, and a convincing argument on why your program is the right one to receive the funds. The process is highly competitive and requires many hours of dedication. Resources such as Owl Purdue Online Writing Lab are available on the internet to guide you through the process, but the complete process is a daunting undertaking which demands a high level of expertise.

Securing grants can be a grueling process. Don't be discouraged if it takes a few tries to refine your vision and skills and to be able to communicate your program to funding agencies. As you work through the application process, continue fundraising and generating revenue in other ways. Minority grants can be the boost you've been looking for to give you that chance at better housing, higher education, or improving the lives of people in your community.