10 Grant Terms – 8 August 2017

Grant Term

How many of these grant terms do you know?

Basic Grant Terms

501(c)(3) – The US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax code defines tax-exempt organizations, and IRS code 501(c)(3) defines the rules that charitable tax-exempt organizations must follow. See this IRS web page for lots of gory details! Many grants specify that they can only be given to 501(c)(3) organizations rather than for-profit organizations.

applied research – Some grants are given to conduct applied research in order to solve real world problems with new technology: treat diseases, reduce energy consumption, increase industrial efficiency, and so on. Applied research is designed to lead to commercialization, in contrast with basic research.

grant writer – A professional grant writer is sometimes hired by companies or non-profits trying to apply successfully for grants that have complex or detailed applications. These professionals understand not only the best practices of grant writing in general, but often the specific criteria used to screen and judge grants for specific high volume grantors. More…

grantor – The grantor is the government agency, foundation, or individual that makes a grant through a well defined process. In the world of US federal grants, the grantor would be a particular type of grants.gov user that has the ability both to post funding opportunities and to manage the grant submission process. Note that sometimes the grantor is not the source of funding – the funder – but rather acts on behalf of funders to manage the grant process.

project – Most grants fund a project, not an organization or a company. A project has a beginning, middle and end. A project has goals, objectives, outcomes. A grant project has a plan that outlines over a timeline exactly how the funding will be used to achieve the specific project goals. Project management is an entire discipline with tools and processes. Project orientation makes grants different from debt or equity funding. More…

SBIR – SBIR grants and contract are the largest pool of funding for small US businesses that does not require any type of repayment. More than 5,000 SBIR grants and contracts are given annually for a total of about $2.5 billion. The acronym stands for Small Business Innovation Research. More…

Intermediate Grant Terms

funding cycle – Most types of financing organizations have some type of calendar you must fit your requests into, but grant making organizations often have a long funding cycle that you should learn about early on. Grant funding cycles can be monthly, quarterly, annually, or even longer. More…

in-kind contributions – Grant funded projects often use a mix of cash and in-kind contributions to achieve the project goals. These contributions could be goods and services such as labor, equipment, needed supplies, or the use of facilities such as a laboratory for research. More…

matching funds – Grantors sometimes ask grantees to provide matching funds in order to make a project successful without full project funding by the grantor. And sometimes grantors will allow matching funds to be a mix of cash and in-kind contributions. There are several possible reasons why matching funds may be required. More…

principal investigator (PI) – A scientific research grant is managed by the Principal Investigator, or PI. In SBIR and STTR applications the PI often must be specified, and the choice of PI will influence the application’s likelihood of success. More…

Don Gooding

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