Personal Grants

Contrary to all the hype, grants for personal assistance are very few and far between.  There are some small non-profits ( example: Wish Upon a Hero)  that have programs that award  small personal grants for immediate needs, such as gas money to get to a job interview, or shoes and clothing items, but in general, the much-advertised personal grant is elusive.

It is very rare for an individual to receive cash-in-hand from a so-called personal grant.  The legal requirements for  grantors to provide accountability to donors (or the taxpayers) who  initially provide the money,  simply preclude giving out money directly to individuals.  There just is no way to assure that the money will be used for its intended purpose unless receipts are provided.

That is not say that grant proceeds collected or disbursed by recognized non-profits can’t be used by individuals.  Some types of grant funding are meant to be used by the end-user as an individual, and these are the programs that some advertisers call personal grants.

Programs such as Pell grants are certainly used to benefit individual students.  The money from the government however, is sent to and administered by schools.  Likewise, money for weatherization programs, whether from corporate or governmental sources, is first awarded to states or larger entities such as a power company, and the personal grant effect is to provide reimbursement for homeowner costs.  In other words, the funds originate as grants, but become personal grants through interaction of agencies or businesses.

Individuals receiving funds that are ultimately used personally should understand that while the money is “free”,  there are always rules in place to assure that the money is used as intended.  Students may have to give back or relinquish remaining funds if they do not complete school.

Homeowners may not be reimbursed if the weatherization contractor does not complete the job or provides sub-standard materials.  With the personal grant comes personal responsibility.  The process of applying for this type of grants for personal assistance is often quite time-consuming and even complicated, owing to the need for accountability.