Episode 107: Introducing Grants For Creators: How To Find Grants and Fund Your Business

How to find grants as a small business owners

Have you ever considered grants to support your dreams and ideas? Think grants are only for researchers and nonprofits? Think again, my friends. In early 2022, I launched a newsletter curating grants and other hard-to-find funding opportunities for U.S. creatives like writers, authors, journalists, podcasters, photographers, filmmakers, and artists. What happened next was shocking. Grants For Creators was an instant hit, gaining hundreds of subscribers. Grants For Creators encourages creatives to see themselves as worthy of funding through grants and other funding mechanisms. In this episode, I share why grants are worth applying to as a creative and small business owner, how to find grants, and how to get funding for a project.

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I hope this episode inspires you to apply for grants and other funding opportunities like creator funds, fellowships, and more. Join over 1,200 creators who have joined the Grants For Creators newsletter and access the latest funding opportunities sent straight to your inbox every other week.   

About Our Sponsor: This episode is made possible with the support of She Podcasts LIVE, a four-day event that will teach you how to refine your podcasting skills to grow an audience, create quality content, and build an engaged community and make money. You’ll learn from some of the top female podcasters in the world, and at She Podcasts LIVE, I’ll be sharing my framework for finding grants to support this podcast and my overall business. Register now and join me in D.C. this October. Listeners of the show can use the coupon code ‘TTC’ to get $50 off their ticket. Purchase your ticket today at shepodcastslive.com.

Welcome to the Thought Card, a podcast about travel and money where planning, saving and creativity leads to affording travel, building wealth and paying off debt. We are financially savvy travelers.

Hey, financially savvy travelers, and welcome back to another episode of the Thought Card Podcast. Have you ever considered grants as a way to support your dreams and ideas? You know, I used to think that grants was only applicable to researchers but think again, my friends. In late January of 2022, I launched a Substack newsletter curating grants and other funding opportunities U.S. creatives like bloggers, writers, authors, journalists, podcasters and audio creators, photographers, filmmakers and artists could apply to. What happened next was shocking. Grants For Creators was an instant hit, gaining hundreds of subscribers in a short amount of time. Six ish months later, Grants For Creators is changing the conversation, encouraging creatives to see themselves as worthy of funding through grants and other interesting funding mechanisms. One of my missions here over at The Thought Card Podcast is to not only help you travel more and build wealth but also inspire you to creatively earn more money and ultimately live life on your terms. So I want you to know that there are organizations out there giving away money, you just have to know where to look. So in this episode I'm sharing, why grants are worth applying to as a creative and small business owner, how to search for grants and how to get funding for your projects. Sounds good.

This episode is made possible with the support of she podcast live a four day event that will teach you how to refine your podcasting skills to grow your audience, create quality content and build an engaged community and of course make money. You'll learn from some of the top female podcasters in the world and that she podcast live. I'll be sharing my framework for finding grants support this podcast and my overall business. So register now and join me in D. C. This October listeners of the show can use a coupon T T C. To get $50 off their ticket, purchase your ticket today at she podcast live dot com or head over to link in the show notes.

So first, why even consider grants as a creative or as a small business owner? So grants are funds that you do not have to pay back. They are not considered alone. There's no interest that accrues with a grant. Grants also do not require any equity, meaning that you don't have to give up ownership of your project or your company in order to receive funding. So no equities involved when it comes to grants. So overall grants is money that you could use support the launch or the growth of your project. So you'll be really surprised people are really surprised when they hear that. Yeah, some grants, all you need is an idea. You don't even have to have proof of concept to potentially win a grant. So grants can really have a wide spectrum of like from idea all the way to you have a launch product or you have a launch community or you have a launch project. So a lot of people consider granted like free money, you can't see it now, but I'm doing air quotes as free money. So let's talk about that free money. So is it grant? Free money. Yes, but I want to know that there are strings attached like eligibility requirements and there may be some type of post reporting involved. So yes, it's free money where you don't have to pay back anything or you don't have to give up ownership of your project. However, let's be clear, many grants have eligibility requirements that are very stringent. They're looking for a specific type of project or business or person to give these funds to and at the end of the project or at the end of after giving this award for a period of time, you may have to actually provide maybe a written report or you have to maybe go to a conference or maybe you have to do be at a pitch competition or something like that. So yes, it is free money, free money air quotes here. Invisible air quotes but I just want to know that there are strings attached to that. Let me walk you through my background and my story of winning grants as a podcast and as a creative So there was an opportunity that I saw a funding opportunity that was giving away grants to it was a personal finance grant and they were giving funds away to support personal finance projects. And me and a quantity a which you have heard many times on the podcast. We ended up co producing millennial wealth builders, which was a 12 part audio doc series highlighting women of color building wealth. We had this idea of like, hey, there's a big gap. We don't really hear a woman of color sharing their stories of how they are building, well how they are leaving legacies behind for their families. And we really wanted to create a project that would highlight these amazing stories and people who inspire us on a daily basis. So we went ahead and we applied for this Foundation's grant and we ended up winning that award which helped us to kickstart that idea that we had and actually bring it to life. So we started working on the audio series, we started interviewing guests and we were able to launch that show within two months of getting the funding. So this is a really good example of how even if you have an idea that you may find grand tours and funders that are looking to support you and see your vision come to life. So once I saw that, okay, we applied and we won a grant to support the podcast, I couldn't unsee that it was just shocking to me that as a creative that I could actually win grant. I wasn't a researcher. I wasn't a scientist, but I was winning grants to support my dream to support this project that I really, really wanted to produce, but I didn't have necessarily the funds to make it happen. So I was so inspired and I just kept on telling everybody how amazing grant is. And I started to strategically search for grants on my own for more opportunities and more opportunities. And it was coming to the point where I would be sharing out opportunities I found with my friends, but there were still a lot of opportunities that I found that I actually didn't know who to send it to because it wasn't necessarily, maybe it was relevant to me, maybe it wasn't. But there was something I was like, oh, I don't really have any friends in my circle that would benefit from this, who else could I send it to. So then I had this idea of creating a website and a platform called grants for creators. But to be fair, I was pregnant at the time and I was in a transition period of leaving my 95 job and it just didn't really feel like the right time. And I kind of was overwhelmed with all the things I needed to go with creating a new website, like your logo and your branding and your colors and yada yada. So I just had the idea there. And I remember like sharing with my husband how many time talking about it with a couple of creative friends that I had as well, but it was just something that I just kind of sat on and I said, you know, one day I'll get to it Now. I also want to say here that by profession, my 9-5 job, I used to be a great administrator. So what I would do is I would help researchers and physicians and faculty at a medical school apply for grant funding, find grant funding and also managed their funds once the award came in. So looking back at it now, I had all the skills to launch this project confidently because a lot of it, I did it for my 9-5 job. but I never saw the correlation of how I could find and win grants for myself as a creator Using the skills that I learned in my 9-5 job. So hopefully sharing with you that perhaps if you do have a 9-5 job that you have skills that you have learned or are learning or have mastered that you can potentially use to launch a project launched a side hustle, launch a new career, potentially. It's just so interesting to see that I've had grants been working on grants for others for the past seven years and now I'm now working on grants for myself and for my community. So I started strategically like searching for grants, more opportunities for myself. And I was coming across so many things that I couldn't share with others. Credits didn't know who else needed the support. So I had the grants for creative idea, but I kind of tabled it. I eventually ended up leaving my job and working for myself and just working on different sides of my business, like the podcast here. I also run women of color podcasters, W. C. Podcasters. So I was just working simultaneously on those two big projects. And it wasn't until january 2022 that I was sleeping, you know, was probably, I was sleeping. But at the time I just in the morning a little morning, I would always wake up like three a.m. And then I couldn't sleep. Baby K was just like, mom, you need to work on this grants or creative project. Just look into it, research it, This needs to be born. Like this needs to come to life. And it was three a.m. And I wasn't doing anything anyway. So I was like, okay, I started looking into, okay, how can I launch this project in a way that is not overwhelming because during pregnancy, I was tired all the time and just life and not having that much time to devote to launching this new project, which I didn't really know if it was going to be successful or not. So I started looking into sub stacks and I I saw some examples of the things that I really liked and the formats that I liked and I said, you know what, I'm going to go ahead and launch it as a substack newsletter and folks can decide to subscribe to a newsletter and potentially even join the page here for access to the entire list of grants. I find also I had a process and methodology for finding grants, but I also didn't want to over commit to be like, I'm going to be able to find so many opportunities. So I just started off with like I'll share what I find every other week and I spent two days working on the copy working on what I wanted to offer, finding some grants just start off with. And then I literally tweeted out and just said, holy cow, I just want a new project is called grants for creators, check it out. So yeah, you follow me on Twitter at the thought card, my pin tweet will be that tweet where I just was like, I'm super nervous about launching this but here it goes. So literally Baby K inspired me to take an idea and to launch it out in the world. And it was just shocking to see how many people were so excited about this project of wow, they're actually great opportunities available for me or different types of funding mechanisms available to me while I was sharing these opportunities, Also dropping little hints that hey, as a creative, you are also a small business owner. So you can qualify for so many more opportunities if you brought in your skill set and you brought in the way you see yourself and we'll talk about that in a second here. Over the next couple of months, the newsletter grew so much and now we're at about 1,200 subscribers since we launched January 2022 and it's July now. So the last seven months we've just grown so much. And let me tell you every newsletter which I send out every other week. I'm sending out maybe anything from like 15 to 30 plus grants and opportunities, funding opportunities like paid opportunities for all different types of creatives, but I will say that it is specifically for us creatives. So, so that is my one asterisk. I'm looking for us opportunities to share with us creatives. So my moral the story is that you may be sitting on an idea that you maybe feel overwhelming, it's overwhelming to get it started or you may not feel like you have the right skill sets or the right timing, but if it's nudging at you and you feel like there's a moment of time that you're like, you know what I'm ready to devote to getting this started. Like you may be surprised to see how much of an impact it has in the world and how it's changing the conversation and Grants for Creators is definitely that for me in addition to sharing my story about grants or creators. I also wanted to share with you.

Two important ways that you can find grants support your business and your creative projects. So the first way to find this grant funding to support your biz is to broaden your definition of yourself. So for me, I'm a podcaster but I'm also a creator. I'm also a small business owner. I'm a community organizer. I'm a founder, I'm a Ceo and a writer and an author. Like I have so many different titles. But defining myself as a small business owner and casting my net wide has really helped me to find even more opportunities. I've been able to tap into more funding and more opportunities because I don't only see myself as a podcaster. Yeah, I'm a podcaster but I'm also a small business owner. Right? So my number one tip, when it comes to finding grants, that's not technical, like here's exactly step by step. What to do is to just brought your definition of yourself when you're looking at an application and you're looking to see the eligibility requirements. Do you qualify? Right. Even if it doesn't say like podcaster on it, I still qualify as a small business owner. So I'm going to go after small business grants. So cast a wide net and tap into more resources. But that starts in how you perceive yourself, broaden your definition widen your definition and more opportunities will come to you as a result. The second way to find grants, support your business is by subscribing to the grants for creators newsletter, grants for creators, the bi weekly newsletter that I curate and I have a small team including my husband and which I'm very excited about to help me with this project. But it's a biweekly newsletter where we curate funding opportunities for us Creatives. What is a creative creative can be a writer and author, a journalist, a podcaster, a photographer, a filmmaker and artist, poet and essayist. These are all different types of creatives. What we do is that we search for grants and opportunities, funding opportunities and we share in a biweekly newsletter with all of our subscribers. The benefits of this Grants For Creators is that I do a lot of the research for you because one of the challenges that folks run into when it comes to, okay, I'm open to, I want to win a grant. But where do I find them finding grants is actually very time consuming. It takes me hours like eight plus hours to put together a newsletter because there's just a lot of expiring opportunities. A lot of not relevant opportunities out there. So I do a lot of the research and I cut all that time out for my subscribers that all they have to do is just look at what we find at the check box and go through and see which ones they want to apply for, which ones they are not relevant. And now you have so many funding opportunities at your fingertips. And most recently I actually got an email from one of our subscribers that they actually won a $25,000 grant that they found from our newsletter. How amazing is that? How amazing is to know that like I'm helping creators win smaller micro grants like $500 grants, but also $25,000 grants. I always say like, what would $500 do to help you with your business or with your creative project? What would $50,000 do? What would $500,000 do? My gosh, right, so these are all possible if you're putting yourself out there and you are actually applying for grants. But like I mentioned before, it takes a lot of research. It takes a lot of time to actually find these opportunities, which is where we come in with the Grants For Creators bi weekly newsletter. And I also just wanted to also mention paid subscribers because the grants creators has two tiers that has the free tier where you get a small section of the grants we find, but the paid tier for our paid subscribers get access to our live events. So we've had coworking sessions. We also recently had to ask me anything session. You also get access to our archives of all the opportunities we found stating back toward the very beginning of January 2022 and of course you get access to the entire newsletter of all the opportunities that we usually anywhere between 15 to 30 funding opportunities and the things that we find moving forward. So I'm really excited about all the things that are coming to fruition with Grants For Creators, it was just an idea and a dream that Baby K inspired me to get started, but just being able to see the impact that it's having in the crater community of like wow grants is something that I could win and seeing folks win $25,000 grants, $5,000 grants, $10,000 grants is so, so just lights me up so much. So, I hope you enjoyed this episode and it gives you food for thought and inspires you to start considering applying for grants and other funding opportunities or just start that project that you've been having in the back of your mind that you've been waiting to get started on.

Join over 1,200 creators who have joined the Grants For Creators newsletter and I will see you in your inbox very soon. If you enjoyed this episode, listen to episode 73 next, where Daniella Flores breaks down how to pursue lucrative side hustles that get you paid as an update Actually Daniela recently quit their job to pursue entrepreneurship. So congratulations, Daniella, we are so proud of you and we are cheering you on here. You can also listen to episode 69 to learn how I became a financially savvy traveler and how you can too.

Now that is all for now and I will catch you in the next one. I hope you enjoyed this episode. But don't forget there's way more where that came from. When you become a supporter of the show, you'll get bonus episodes, additional tips on affording travel real time updates as well as strategies for building wealth and creating multiple income strings head over to dot com forward slash join to support. Also be sure to follow me on instagram. I'm at the Danielle desire slide in my DM and share with me your thoughts about this episode. What did you enjoy what stood out to you? Let me know, I'd absolutely love to connect with you outside of the podcast. See you in the next one.

How To Find Grants and Get Funding For a Project

In this episode, we discuss:

  • [2:24] Why apply for grants?
  • [3:44] Is a grant free money? 
  • [4:54] How I started winning grants as a podcaster 
  • [7:25] The inspiration for creating Grants For Creators
  • [8:04] My background as a Grants Administrator and how it helped me launch this project
  • [13:28] How to search for grants to support your business

Watch the episode here:

What are grants?

Grants are funds that can support the launch or growth of a project or idea. This award does not have to be paid back, so it is not a loan. Grants also do not require equity or an ownership stake.

Grants typically have strings attached.

With a grant, there are eligibility requirements, and there may be some post-award reporting requirements.

Resources

Grants For Podcasters and Audio Creators – Grants For Creators

Grants For Women Business Owners – Grants For Creators

Listen to Grant Funding a Podcast, where I share how I won several grants as a podcaster. You can also watch it on YouTube below.

Grants exist for podcasters. But you have to know where to find them.

Other Episodes To Listen To

Creating Lucrative Side Hustles With Danielle Flores – Episode 73

How I Became a Financially Savvy Traveler – Episode 69 

Connect With Danielle Desir Corbett

Instagram: @thedanielledesir

Twitter: @thethoughtcard

Need help saving or affording travel? Book a 1:1 money coaching session.

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