There are literally thousands of 4-H grants and scholarships available to 4-H members all across the country. Most are found on the local, or county level, but there are many statewide and nationwide opportunities as well. Whether you’re looking for help to fund a 4-H project, or help to further your own education, you should always try and find the grant or scholarship that most closely matches the specific project or your area of expertise.
The biggest problem that most 4-H’ers face is that they don’t know how to search for and find the opportunity that is right for them. This post will help you do just that.
Finding Grants for 4-H Projects
The first thing you should do is to sit down and analyze exactly what you need the funding for. Will it be for a community service project, a youth development project, improvements to your 4-H facility, a 4-H member drive?
Once you have decided the main purpose for the funding, you then need to decide how much funding will be enough to see your project through to completion. You don’t want to obtain a grant only to realize later that your are still short on funds and end up postponing or canceling the entire project.
Now you are ready to begin your search. A good place to start is by contacting your Group’s extension or visiting their website. Most Extensions have a web page dedicated to grants and scholarships. If you don’t see a link for Grants and Scholarships, look for “Awards” or “Programs.” Browse through the list of available opportunities and see if any of them match your project goals and funding level. If so, apply!
Like we said above, most opportunities are on the local, or county level. To find these, you can obviously contact your local 4-H Council and see if they are aware of something that would match your goals. This could take time and the person you speak with may be unaware of a new or obscure grant which could be right up your alley, but don’t skip this step because you could miss the perfect opportunity.
Then you should begin searching online. Most people will skip everything above and start here. But remember, you need to have your plans, goals and funding limits finalized before applying for your grant.
We have been searching for 4-H grants online for months here at ClassB, and we’ve found that detailed search phrases are much better to use than generic phrases. For example, let’s say that you live in Tampa, Florida, which is in Hillsborough County. Most people would simply search for “4-H Grants” or “4-H Grants in Tampa.” Although you will get back a lot of results, you are going to be weeding through dozens of pages that are most likely not what you’re looking for.
What we suggest is to be more detailed in your search query. For instance, instead of just searching for “4-H Grants”, do a search for “4-H grant youth development Hillsborough County” or “4-H grants Hillsborough County application” and you’ll find much more targeted results. Be as creative and detailed as you can get. Here are a few more examples:
- 4-H grant Hillsborough apply here community service
- Hillsborough County 4-H grant application apply
- 4-H Hillsborough Florida grants community service grant apply
As you can see from the list above, the search queries don’t need to make grammatical sense. Just plug in the words that you feel will get you the results you are searching for. Once you do a few searches in this manner, you will begin to narrow down your search results and increase your chances of finding the perfect grant for your project.
Once you find something that looks promising, follow through and apply as soon as possible. Most grants have application deadlines and limits to how many Groups can obtain them.
Hopefully these tips will guide you to the grant that is perfect for your unique situation. Just remember to have your goals set and make sure the grant matches your needs before applying.
As always, we’d like to hear what you have to say. Have you been awarded a grant? How did you find it? Have you been having trouble finding that perfect grant for your project? Let us know in the comments field below.
Be on the lookout for Part 2 of this blog post which will discuss finding scholarships for 4-H students.
Good luck everybody!