OVERLAND PARK, Kan. — A former special education teacher who first applied for a grant to get computers in her classroom is now helping people, small businesses and nonprofits nationwide find their own grants.
Libby Hikind founded GrantWatch in 2010. The Florida-based company saw an increase in activity over the past year as COVID-19 and social justice movements changed lives across the country.
“We opened the category for COVID/coronavirus grants,” Hikind said. “There was a social change movement throughout the country, we opened that [category]. Then there was BIPOC, so we started to do that. We are flowing with what's out there and trending, and we want to categorize grants as much as possible so it's easier for the user to search and find the grants they want.”
In the Kansas City area, Hikind said there are grants currently accepting applications in a several categories, such as youth sports, faith, HIV/AIDS, social services and economic development.
For a fee of $18 per week, $45 per month, $90 per quarter, or $199 annually, subscribers have access to the website’s online database listing thousands of grants available in a variety of categories. GrantWatch employs people to search for and carefully review each grant prior to posting it in the database to ensure the grant’s legitimacy.
Hikind shared advice for people searching for grants as part of 41 Action News’ Rebound Rundown:
- Start small. Don’t apply for a 100-page grant first. Find a more manageable application to begin.
- Include others in your application. If you can only fulfill part of a grant’s requirements, consider bringing on a second organization to apply with you so you both receive money to meet the grant’s requirements.
- Get creative. If you need new computers for your daycare center, look for grants in multiple categories like education, children and technology.
- Avoid scams. Listed on GrantWatch’s website are several red flags of a scam, like an agency asking you to pay it in order to receive the grant money, or an agency saying it wants to award you a grant for which you didn’t apply.
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