by The Critic
Websites are making grant writing to seem like a den of liars and theives...
Grant Proposal Writing is an Ethical Profession
But it’s nearly impossible to find an Ethical Professional Grant website with Google…
It’s not Google’s fault that everyday there are many individuals who attempt to scam people who are looking to find grant funding for various projects, although grant proposal writing is still very much a true ethical profession.
My own experience has proven it is nearly impossible to Google the words “grants” or “government grants” without being forced into viewing an array of legitimate-looking websites that make remarkable claims about how there are millions and millions of dollars available just for the asking. How I wish I could honestly say the majority of claims about millions and millions of dollars of free money were true, but without honest hard work, a unique approach, and a well-written grant proposal that addresses the root cause and can have measurable outcomes it is not very likely the American government or any charitable organization or foundation will just hand over money just for the asking. As if…
Grant Information is the huge elephant in the living room. It seems that at every turn there is a website offering to provide grant information – FOR A PRICE. How many of these websites determine the value of the information they are selling escapes me.
Many of these websites manage to provide just enough truth to make what is being said believable. For example, let’s look at the website http://www.freegovmoney.net, and the extraordinary claims made about free government money (Well, isn’t that what the web address appears to claim?). The aforementioned website appears to promise an abundance of wealth from free grant money for small business grants, housing grants, minority grants, education grants, and foundation grants, as long as you the grantseeker are willing to pay from $39.99, $49.99, or $59.00. And the more you pay the more information freegovmoney.net will sell you.
For example, for $59.99 (claimed to be a $99.99 value) freegovmoney.net will sell you:
• A Grant Guide Book
• Grant Information System on CD Rom!
• Free Application Forms!
• Hot Money Links!
• Free Grant Writing Software!
• Business Plan Software!
• Consultation with a grant start-up specialist!
Of course, freegovmoney.net will also send you 5 fabulous free bonuses the website claims to be valued at $200.00. And if you are bound and determined to spend more of your money the website will allow you to provide a credit card number and you will be billed $39.95 a month for access to their database. Well, isn’t that wonderful for them! My best advice is to sit back and take a deep breath, and realize that free money really isn’t free. Isn’t it said, “If it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.”
http://www.federalfundingprograms.org clearly states in their terms and conditions that FederalFundingPrograms.org is not a government agency. It is necessary to remember agencies listed with a .org web address is not necessarily an agency, a government website, or a non-profit – it’s just a web address, and the first person to pay for it gets it. For example, the name and location of the owner of the web address for federalfundingprograms.org is protected by a service provided at the time the web address was purchased.
Another emerging trend when attempting to gather information about grant funding through Google is for websites to claim to be providing reviews of other websites offering to sell government grant information. See http://www.grants-reviewed.org, and here they recommend three other websites based on the review they claim to have performed. Be sure to read and understand the section titled “Disclaimer”. I do so see the humor and hypocrisy in the use of the term, “forward-looking statements”.
Smack dab in the middle of all these official and legitimate websites offering to provide grant information for a fee is http://www.grants.gov, and the website grants.gov is a legitimate, honest to goodness, official government website.
Do you immediately notice how different the physical appearance of this official government website is compared to the others? There is not any bright red, white, and blue banners, no banners that appear to duplicate the look of government issued checks. While our American government may have millions and millions to provide grants, our American government seems to shun making a bright, shinny, and flashy web appearance – in my humble opinion that’s a good thing folks.
Now, do not mistake http://www.get-grants.org with the official government grant site http://www.grants.gov. The purpose of this is to demonstrate how easy it is for a website to appear to be something it is not.
When I’m looking for solid, dependable, take-it-to-the-bank type information, I don’t need red, white, and blue banners, nor do I need banners made out to look like a government check. Talk about cheesy!
Yes, http://www.grants.gov is a legitimate government operated website which provides honest to goodness information about available grants.
Some websites truly provide valuable information about grants, government grants, and grant funding in general.
One such website is http://www.proposalwriter.com/govtgrants.html. It looks to me like the owner of the aforementioned site must have a Google adwords account, well doesn’t everyone?
Making money off of advertising by Google is a hugely popular, legitimate way of earning money, especially while providing bankable information and not blatantly scamming. And shameful as it should be all of the sites I mentioned earlier are paying for Google ads and are found on this site http://www.proposalwriter.com.
And each of these websites that only sell information about grants surely must be making money...
The website http://www.mygovernmentresources.com minces no words, right off the bat the website offers to qualify you by offering to “Check your eligibility in 2min. It's easy and free.”
Now, let me ask you, what do you think is going to happen to all that personal information once you provide answers to the questions being asked? And remember, when someone offers you something for free, you really ought to be asking yourself one simple question, “Why?”
I don’t expect anyone just to take my word on anything, an online magazine, BusinessWeek, has an informative article written by Karen E. Klein, titled
“The Myth of Free Government Money: A Perennial and Pernicious Scam”;
Subtitled: Why do so many entrepreneurs believe in the Tooth Fairy?
Now, here is my Disclaimer: I’m providing all of this information because I now have my own grant development, grant proposal writing, and grant research business called, Bayou Consultants. I am not seeking any grant-seeking clients outside of my immediate Tri-Parish area here in Louisiana. Honest!!! Why? I am a small business owner… I don’t yet have in place the resources or the talent to go much beyond Terrebonne, Lafourche or St. Mary Parishes. I don't sell any kind of a product - my Grant Proposal Writing Business sells a SERVICE... pure and simple!!! (And two interesting basic facts about Louisiana: (1) Louisiana does not have counties as other states do, basically a county there is a parish here. And (2) something else here that is very different from everywhere else on God’s green earth is Louisiana law is based on the Napoleonic Code. Go figure!!!)
My website is http://www.bayouconsultants dot com
If you have any questions concerning Grants or grant-seeking, please do not hesitate to ask me by email. I would prefer that you contact me through my website or here on Writing dot com.
I offer the first 30 minute consultation free of charge. We can decide if we'll make a good team. I'll decide if the possibilities of your finding a grant is possible and reasonable. We'll decide how much or little of my help you would like and then we'll discuss rates and terms.
In the meantime, I’m going to hope the spammers overlook my little web venture, but we’ll see.
I plan more articles in the future concerning various aspects of Grant Proposal Writing, Grant Research, and Grant Evaluation.