Monday, August 28, 2006

Grant(s) To Help Sex Workers?

I got an email from someone who was seeking help with this.  They wanted to start a tax-exempt, non-profit organization to help those in the sex industry.

My first thought was that I didn't think that there would be a grant program for this kind of thing.  But I did a little further investigation and found out that there are grant programs in place to help those that want to help sex workers.  They all have different and varied requirements.  For instance one requires that you be a member of a university and this is a research grant.  It does provide up to $10,000 in grant money and you can use part of that money for travel relating to your research.

Another grant was received to publish a publication to help better understand those that work in the sex industry.  Although the recipient of this grant was in Thailand, those in the U.S. are also eligible to apply for this grant program.

An artist (in collaboration with a non-profit organization) in California received a grant for her project which involved her using her computer to provide documentation, materials and images and stories about those that work in the sex industry.

Organizations that are "by and for" those in the sex worker industries have received small operational grant funding as well.

There are even grant programs to help provide sex workers with more education and to help strengthen their rights.

So I was wrong.  There are such grants available - both in the US and globally.  And there are many of them out there!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

There Are Those That Have Received Grant Money When They Shouldn't Have

A news article has come from Africa about the investigation of individuals who have worked for the government there who have received grant monies when they weren't supposed to.  Here is a link to the article:

Over 400,000 individuals received grant money even though they were not eligible for it!  The investigation into this fraudenlent activity will take 2 years to investigate but already criminal action against some of the individuals has already taken place.  Some are expected to pay back the grant money that they received and others will face criminal prosecution.  Some of the grant programs themselves have been cancelled with more on their way to being cancelled.

The names of those individuals who have committed the fraud(s) are going to be released from the government - in their words - "the public has a right to know who has been stealing their money"

Its hard for me to calculate how the stolen amounts can be converted into American dollars but with over 400,000 people committing the fraud that still comes out to a LOT of money!

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Starting An Organization To Help Musicians?

There are organizations like this that already exist in the US - that offer help to struggling musicians.  They do have their requirements though - but since you're talking about starting one of your own - I'll address that.

First, since you are talking about starting up this kind of organization does that mean that you haven't started it yet?  In other words what I'm trying to find out is whether or not you have your non-profit status?

Organizations such as these will solicit donations and have fundraisers in order to raise the money that they in turn use in grant programs to help others.  There is also one very important piece of stragedy that these organizations do to help with the maintaining these funds which I will not mention here - but I will say that when you do start a non-profit organization and especially when you are working with funding(s) it would be best if you treat it like a business and do the "business-like" things to maintain it.

Now as for programs that offer grant awards to music-related organizations there are such programs available - every thing from children and music to seniors in music and mostly everything in-between.  However if you are going to apply for these fundings - unless they state otherwise - you will have to get your non-profit status in order. Some grant programs allow you to apply while you are seeking non-profit status but they have to have proof that you are doing so.

As for grant programs that award grants to those that are for-profit there are programs available that you will have to look into further because it will all depend on how you submit your application.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Business Idea #072006 - Single Mom? - How About Starting A Single Mom Newsletter

What is something that you have experience with?  Raising your children.  It may be something that is so close to you that you might not have even thought of it as something that you could turn into a business.

One of the pieces of advice that I strongly agree wtih is that if you can find a need you can turn that need into a business.  As a single mother I'm sure you're acquainted with other single mothers right?  What do you talk about?  What do you complain about?  Do you know that you can start a blog about being a single mother and your experiences with it?  Allow comments from other single mothers.  I suggest a blog because you can start one for free and with your blog being on the Internet people from all over the world will be able to read it 24 hours a day and 7 days a week.  Now you may ask how your blog could bring you an income and there are ways to do that.  However I'd like to say that you should go into your blog with a specific goal in mind and that is the most honest reason which is you're relaying your experiences about being a mother.  People read blogs all the time and of course that brings up the question of getting traffic to your blog which is something that you can do with the least amount of expense (at the beginning).

I'm only assuming here but I'm thinking that you want to be able to work at home to be with your children and if you can do that using your computer that would be something that you want.  You could start a single mothers' newsletter type of thing.  And since one of your main concerns will be earning an income from it that is where your main concern will lie.  How does one earn an income from a newsletter?  Advertising and subscriptions.  In order to get advertisers interested your newsletter should draw interest.  For instance single mothers are always concerned with needing a babysitter or childcare so who in your area offers that or who would like to advertise that they offer that.  To make your newsletter even more of interest to potential advertisers you could start a review section.  You have to shop right?  Where are the best places?  Where can you get more bargains?  Etc.,  You can also provide an offline version of your newsletter to those that don't have a computer.  And in order to gain a subscription base you can offer a free version of your newsletter - of course included with the information of how they can become subscribers.  You can include a "Question & Answer" section - like being a "Dear Abby" for single mothers!  People will read it and people may see a reason to want to advertise in it.  What about Ebay?  Do you have something that you could sell on Ebay?  What about others that may have something to sell and you can act as their seller?  You can add this information to your newsletter?  People oft-times have things they may want to sell and if they see how well others are doing on Ebay they may want to sell their stuff more!

Now you may say that you don't know anything about Ebay and my answer to you would be to LEARN!  It isn't rocket science and it is a way to earn an income from your home - meaning you being home with your kids.  And if you sell for others you will increase your income more.  As a matter of fact you don't even have to use Ebay you could start "selling" from your newsletter.  Say someone has something they want to sell and they advertise in your newsletter.

Having a newsletter online may seem scary.  So how do you make it less scary?  You create it offline first.  Decide on a layout and make that layout a constant in every subsequent newsletter.  Then you can put it online.  What do you do next?  You build up your reputation - or I should say your newsletter's reputation.  Give a free printed version to your friends - build by word of mouth - which is the best kind of advertising.

This is something that you can do at home, something that you have experience with and something that you can have fun with.  And I won't even go into what you and/or your newsletter can evolve into - like publishing for others and on and on.....

By the way you mentioned catering, as a matter of fact you mentioned other hobbies like crafts - how about including receipes in your newsletter (yours as well as others) - you can even do a contest - people are always interested in that.  You could build your denim ideas into your newsletter - that's what Martha Stewart does - she "hawks" her wares on her TV show - so why not do the same in your newsletter? 

Starting a newsletter is a very good example of a business that you can start at home so that you can be with your children.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Work for someone else versus Starting Your Own Business?

There are stories and examples galore of those who started their own businesses at home.  But when I see people posting here about finding "work at home" jobs I get the feeling that they want the "security" of working for an employer who lets them work at home.  And I was quite surprised to find some examples of legitimate work at home jobs like the examples I noted before such as the disable woman that works from her home answering telephone calls from stranded motorists that belong to her employer which is an auto club.  So there are legitmate jobs out there that allows one to work from their home but the problem seems to be in them finding those companies that are legitmate.  They are out there however.

Like I posted in the subject line I agree with everything you said and I'd also like to point out that people have started "unusual" businesses as well!  I like the story of the two guys that like to mooch off of other people.  However they ran out of people to mooch off of.  So guess what they did?  They wrote a book about how to mooch off of people and they each now have their own beach house!

You cited examples of businesses that people can start and I listed on one of my pages how one could take one of their programs that they have on their computer and start a business of their own.  A woman actually started a answering machine message service using the programs that she already had installed on her computer.  Another woman took an astrology program and started a business doing astrology readings - but guess what - she added a twist - the astrology readings were for people's pets!  And we know how big the pet industry is - people love doing things for their pets.

So I don't know what it is.  Maybe people are afraid to start their own business or they don't think that they can do it.  Just look at all the people who have managed to start a successful business on ebay!  I know of a guy who does yard work in my area and he says that he has more business than he can handle!  Starting a day/childcare is always a good business to start because there is always a need for it.

I think the main concern for people is the money and how fast they will be able to make it - of course of which the answer is is that it will depend on them.

I think that the most encouraging piece of advice that I can give is that no matter what kind of business you want to start there is already someone out there who is actually doing it or something similar to it - and doing it successfully!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Grants & Starting A Daycare - Another question about starting......

         My name is A~, and I live in San Antonio Texas. I am a single mother with a 1 year old son. I have been picking my brain about what I want to do. I have 3 years of college completed with about 5 thousand in student loans...I am very interested in opening my own daycare facility. Where do I start? Do you know a web-site that I can go to to look for grants! Thanks A~

Thank you for your email.

One of the clients that I did have was a single mother who was just looking to earn some money while she went to school.  Did you know that there is at least one organization that helps single mothers financially in many ways?  And if there's one organization then there maybe another one and another one and on and on........

As I have mentioned many times before there are programs that help pay at least part of a person's student loan(s) but each program is different in their requirements and you have to find out if you are eligible to apply. 

The whole "grant" process involves a lot of work and research and once you have found the grant programs you still have to read them thoroughly to make sure that you are eligible to apply.  You also have to understand the fact that there is no one kind of "daycare" grant program.  Each and every grant program has different requirements and guideline - there is no "one stop" grant program for daycare.  Which brings up the point of you having to additionally know that the grant programs that you do qualify to apply for will depend on the TYPE of daycare that you want to open.  You have many questions to answer - including whether your daycare will be a for-profit, non-profit or both.  Which also brings up the fact that you may be eligible for other types of grant programs including those for entrepreneurs/for-profit businesses.  There is even a grant program that awards a $500,000.00 grant (over a period of time) to people to help pursue their dreams.  So don't just look for "daycare" grants - find the grant programs that you are eligible to apply for!

Regarding your question about daycare.  Basically speaking almost any one can start a daycare.  It's being a LEGITIMATE daycare that is going to require finding out more about.  Every state may have different requirements and there is no getting around the fact that you will have to find out what the requirements are for your area.  This is not a too hard thing to do as I have found out - you just have to do the work to find the information.

As there is no "one" grant program for daycare there is no "one" grant website.  (And you're not including the grant programs that don't yet have a website but they do have a phone number and a mailing address).  Grant programs are offered by the government, foundations, organizations, businesses and even individuals - which means that there is no "one" site that could possible have all grant programs listed.  (This doesn't even include the fact that you're counting out new grant programs and whether or not the current grant programs are still - well - current).

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Grant Program(s) To Open a Hair Salon?

First you have to realize that for-profit startups have received grant monies and I note some of them on my page (I will put a link to my page at the bottom).

Number 2 realize that you are going to have to go in this with some information - meaning you have to have more than just the idea/dream!  There have been for-profit startups that have received grant funding because the program itself was for entrepreneurs and they submitted a businessplan - outlining costs, profit projections and just general overall information about the business they wanted to start and most importantly WHY they wanted to start their business.

I know of one grant program that awards a $500,000.00 grant (payable over a period of time) to help people pursue their dreams and as you can imagine there are a lot of people applying for it but you have to know the RIGHT way to apply for it.  I'm not talking about cheating or lying but just telling the truth.  If it has been a dream of yours to open your salon - say so.  Include the fact that you will be hiring people - and by the way there are grant programs for THAT as well!  All grant programs have requirements and guidelines that you have to follow in order to apply for them and the most cited reason that people don't get these grants (or aren't even considered for them) is the fact that they didn't fill out the application and/or didn't submit the right materials.  So you HAVE to know what you are doing.

Grantwriting is sometimes a misunderstood term because before you can write a grant you have to FIND the grant program offering the grant.  These grant programs are not alike and each have their different guidelines and requirements which means that you have to go over them with a fine tooth comb which means that there is going to be some effort and work involved.  People have applied for these grants on their own without having to use a grantwriter so that means that you would be able to do it on your own - its not impossible but it WILL require time and effort.  As the research I FIND the grant programs that you are eligible to apply for - there is the standard questionaire that has questions that are asked and have to be answered before I begin finding the programs because finding them can't be done blindly I have to have specific information so that I will know what kind of grant programs I will be looking for.  It is a (my) business and as such when you become a client a file is opened in your name.  You get ALL the information about the grant programs that you are eligible to apply for and that includes what requirements and guidelines have to be met before you can apply for them.  You get their contact information, their website and if I do not have or can not get a copy of their application then I give you the information as to where you can get it yourself.  It takes 30 days (for the basic one-time research)and I have given clients their own online site (if they request it) to chart the progress of the work.  After the 30 days you receive all the information in a .zip file that is emailed to you.  Once you receive the information you can then decide if you want to apply yourself, hire me as the grantwriter or hire another grantwriter.

Finding the programs comes first - then comes applying for them.

Also I want you to take a good look at the kind of business you want to start.  Did it occur to you that if you TRAIN people as well as provide the service you are eligible for more grant programs.  If you provide a community or educational aspect to your program you are eligible for yet more programs.  If you are a woman and/or minority you are eligible for yet still more grant programs.  Do not limit yourself.  Remember this is a business that YOU want to start and the more passionate that you are about it the more opportunities and resources you will have to make your business more.

I hope this has answered some of your questions.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Fan Mail - Help Becoming A GrantWriter

Hi Rose,

I have been reading your posts on and I went to your webpage for a browse. From what I see you are really good. Can you be my mentor???

I have always wanted to learn to be a grant writer. I have a BA in English and I am working on my MA in English right now. I am working as a technical writer but it is not very fulfilling. My unofficial job with family and friends is the researcher. I can find anything and I love it. I have been to several grant writing classes and seminars but I haven't actually written a grant. I am really chomping at the bit to do it. I have called and e-mailed a couple of local people through the volunteer center that need a grant writer so I will see what becomes of it.

I hope that we can at least talk back and forth about the basics, especially about the research part of it.

I look forward to your reply.


Thank you for your email.

Actually you have "hit the nail on the head" when you mention the word "research".  I believe that half of the work itself is the actually finding of the applicable grant programs.  This seems to be the problem that most people seem to be having.  They often get frustrated and angered to the point that they convince themselves that there aren't any programs that do exist.  Of course they are wrong and there is a lot of research that goes into finding these funding programs.

It is often suggested that grantwriters - when they first want to start out - do some volunteer work for some of their local non-profit organizations (although you could include individuals and for-profits as well).  You could find the funding programs that your local organizations are eligible for and notify them of your findings.  I don't know what results you have gotten so far with those you have written to but it is a very good place to start.  Another very good place to start would be with your family and friends.  Don't forget that grant programs (and funding) is not just limited to non-profit organizations.  There are programs to help individuals and families as well as for those that want to start their own (for-profit) business.  Your family, etc., are probably eligible for grant programs themselves and all it would take is for you to put your research skills in action and let them know of these funding programs.  So this would also be a very good place for you to start.

In fact you could turn this into a business of your own.  Have business cards and networking skills to help your business along.  Even having a website will be beneficial. 

It looks as though you are off to a very good start.