Can the "National Grants Conferences" service really help me find a government grant?
March 4, 2006 2:50 PM   Subscribe

Has anyone attended a "National Grants Conferences" ( event? Are they for real? Will they really help you find government grant money, or is it just a hugemondo scam?

Ok, so I'm a long time believer in "TANSTAAFL" (there ain't no such thing as a free lunch) and what looks too good to be true usually is. With that said, someone in my family is very interested in trying to obtain government grant money to rebuild her life after a couple of bad hurricane seasons. Trying to google and find "real" testimonials of the "National Grants Conferences" service only leads me to cyclic ads and come-ons for competitive services. Even the articles that are supposed to be reviews are in fact just come-on ads for other services.

In the past, when I've tried to Google something and found that 95% or greater of my results are spam or ads, that pretty much settles it -- it's not something I want to be a part of.

So, has anyone had experience with this company? Been to an event? paid them for their services? Received a grant from them? Point to real world experiences?

Thanks for any advice!
posted by jwhowa to Work & Money (7 answers total)
I think the fact that your Google search came up empty was a big sign. Here are some other links that are none-too-positive.
posted by apple scruff at 3:47 PM on March 4, 2006

I have very little real info to provide, but: I used to work for a branch of The Foundation Center and people would call or come in every day asking about these grants. Our stock answer was that they were total bullshit, though we said it more politely. At the time I was a clerk (filed papers & typed reports), but I'm sure calling the branch/sattelite location nearest you would net more substantial information.
posted by soviet sleepover at 5:32 PM on March 4, 2006

Check out this previous MeTa thread.
posted by ericb at 6:55 PM on March 4, 2006

Sorry -- proper link here regarding a similar discussion about 'American Grant Program Foundation.'
posted by ericb at 6:57 PM on March 4, 2006

Actually not similar. Time for another drink.

My gut tells me that you don't need an intermediary to help you locate grant money. Savvy cybersurfing and library research should help one find the appropriate grants and agencies.
posted by ericb at 7:05 PM on March 4, 2006

If the relative knows what he/she wants to apply for, the best bet is to call that agency and get copies of other people's successful applications. I am pretty sure that government agencies have to let you look at them if you ask. Private foundations might do the same, but might not be as willing. Next he/she should talk to the people who are doing the funding and make certain that what you want to do is what they want to fund. Some government agencies offer trainings for prospective applicants, so they can ask for that too.

If your relative doesn't yet know who they want to apply to, try googling the topic with the word "grant". You can get a suprising number of valid hits this way. There are also some websites that have huge databases that you can access for free for a trial membership. ( comes to mind.) This will give info on government and private foundations. Also check out The Foundation Center as listed above - they have lots of great information on where to find grants, how to apply and answers to most questions.

wife of 445supermag
posted by 445supermag at 7:06 PM on March 4, 2006

My gut tells me that you don't need an intermediary to help you locate grant money. Savvy cybersurfing and library research should help one find the appropriate grants and agencies.

My gut tells me similar things, except for the fact that I used to make a living primarily by teaching local governments how to get the federal grant money to pay for my product. And it was a very, very good living.

I'm really fucking skeptical, but my experience is that a lot of people really don't know how to get their free money, and that googling it up is far from 100%.
posted by I Love Tacos at 11:31 PM on March 4, 2006

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