Hidden Grants: Did you know that many local governments have grants that are not publicized? Some communities have funding set aside, but they don’t publicize it. Often, the only way to find out about available funding is to call or visit your government offices, find the resident grant expert, and inquire about available programs.

The best example of this is someone from my own office who wanted a grant to help her with a down payment on a new house. She went to city hall and started asking around. Finally, she ended up in the office of a city official who told her about a $15,000 grant, which she applied for and received. What was really amazing, though, was that the official told her that she was the very first person to have ever inquired about that particular grant! The money was just waiting there for someone to come ask for it.

You may also benefit from becoming acquainted with the officials even if there is not presently a grant that fits your need. Chances are if you have made yourself known in a pleasant way, you’ll be the first name in their minds when a grant that you qualify for becomes available.

A little persistence and a bit of your time can reap great rewards.