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Grants for veterans in USA

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The grants for veterans in USA: Firstly, who is a veteran? So, a veteran is a person who has a long career in a specific field or occupation. And a military veteran is a person who has served his country and is no longer serving in the military. A military veteran that has served directly in combat in a war and is further defined as a war veteran. Military veterans are unique as a group as their lived experience is strongly connected to the conduct of the war in general and the application of professional violence in specific. Now, Let’s discuss grants for veterans.

If you are looking for grants for veterans, then there are a lot of options; you’ll have your pick of housing grants for veterans, education grants for veterans, and even veteran-affiliated non-profit organizations. Where you start looking likely depends on what your wants and needs are from the grants for veterans and some needs may be easier to meet than others depending on demand, the nature of the grants for veterans you are competing for, and more.

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What follows is not a comprehensive list of grants for veterans’ opportunities. Instead, this collection of grants for veterans is meant as a way to help get started exploring related and these resources that will inevitably cross your path while searching the types of grants offered to veterans. Here, in this article, we learn in brief about the types of grants for veterans available.

We touched on this in chapter one, but it bears repeating: assisting veterans and their families costs cold hard cash, and there is a constant fight for veterans’ fair share of federal, state, and philanthropic dollars. Just as we fund bullets and boots, so should we fund the enduring costs of war and military service.  

The budgets for the Department of Defense (DoD) and Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) are separate, and the VA, despite being the second largest federal agency and the largest healthcare system, must have its budget re-authorized yearly. This is all woefully inefficient, but it is the system we find ourselves negotiating.  

And because most care is delivered in communities, and less than half of veterans access the VA, much of the cost of war is externalized to localities and individuals. Yet the “sea of goodwill” has begun to dry, and veterans represent a very small portion of philanthropic giving and of finder portfolios.  

FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT FUNDING

Congress authorizes and appropriates the VA’s budget to deliver health services, compensation and disability, educational and other benefits, and cemetery services. Local community-based agencies may be funded by the VA to administer housing programs (Grant and Per Diem), eviction prevention (through Supportive Services for Veterans and Families; SSVF), and employment and training (Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program).    

States may fund local veteran programs through a variety of means: for example, through distribution of federal block grants funding, such Department of Labor (DOL) dollars. States also may also independently fund community-based veteran care; most notably county veteran services offices (CVSOs), which help secure VA benefits and other resources.  

Community-based nonprofits are best equipped to deliver local services, and federal funding provides core resources not only to deliver services but to leverage with other sources of income in order to provide wraparound care. Systems of government funding are by no means sufficient—they can be burdensome in their rigidity, provide less funding than is necessary, offer very low overhead, and simply cannot anticipate the varied nature of every community need. Agencies need both unrestricted funds to fill gaps and maintain agility in real-time changes in need. The machine will not run without this oil.  

It is beyond the scope of this guide to delve into individual state means of funding local government and private nonprofit community-based agencies. That said, advocates should encourage state leaders to reach beyond the traditional “veteran” funding and ensure that veterans get their fair share of aging, mental health, education, and other state-administered funds.  

THE PHILANTHROPIC WORLD: FOUNDATION AND INDIVIDUAL SUPPORT

Private and corporate philanthropy dedicated to veteran care is minuscule. The harsh truth is that less than two-tenths of one percent of all charitable giving is directed to military and veteran agencies.  

A figure bandied about states that there over 40,000 nonprofit charities whose mission is to serve service members, veterans, and their families. This number is highly misleading; almost 80 percent, or 33,347 of those 42,035 nonprofits counted are local posts of veterans organizations such as Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. These individual posts serve a vital purpose for their local communities, members, and their local veterans, but generally do not provide health and social services.

Just 3,035 of the 42,035 nonprofit organizations cited may have staff or provide a consistent array of services such as housing, employment and training, legal assistance, or health and social services.

Further still, much of the spike in foundation giving in the mid-to-late-2000s until present is focused solely on post-9/11 veterans. Certainly, these veterans need services, and assistance provided during transition may prevent the long-term suffering we see among our older veterans. But post-9/11 veterans present a fraction of the total veteran population and there is no reason to limit care to this population. Indeed, choosing not to fund services for veterans of all eras deepens the wounds endured through decades of neglect and furthers the long-term health consequences so present in older veterans.

Veteran services and advocacy too often fall into limbo. Relying on a tiny minority of foundations that list veterans amid their program areas is troublesome given the trickled-down support given to veterans in recent years, yet many funders fail to recognize veterans in funding portfolios dedicated to populations and issue areas that include veterans. Foundations that fund education, aging populations, women, LGBTQ+, healthcare, and criminal justice for example, do not explicitly recognize or distribute grants for veteran projects.  

CREATE RELATIONSHIPS WITH FUNDERS

Program sustainability for nonprofits can seem like it begins and ends with funders. As nonprofits continually plan for sustainability, they must seek funding that aligns with their program goals. Sustainable nonprofit organizations, whether large or small, raise funds from a variety of institutional grant makers such as private foundations, corporations, and government agencies.

Funding is not only about a good program and a well-written proposal; it is about creating a relationship with potential and current funders. Initiating, developing, and cultivating relationships with grant makers at an individual level is a critical important step to sustainability.  

Figure out who the program officer is and get to know them. Conduct meetings with current and potential grant makers about your organization, the success of your program (with data to back it up), and your understanding of the nature and scale of the problem that you address through your work. Convey the findings of your work in a translatable way that the funder can identify with. Long-term commitments are often gauged when a strong relationship with your program officer is made.  

  1. Call to check-in or notify your program officer of something exciting, whether it be an event, a breakthrough with a veteran, a new and exciting training program, etc.  
  2. Invite funders to visit your site for a tour. Make sure key members of your staff are available to talk about your programs. Prepare them with talking points prior to the meeting.  
  3. Do not miss established reporting deadlines! Make sure you write down important reporting dates and notify the funder that you are working on the report before the approaching deadline. 
  4. Establish meetings with funders before and after your reports are due to discuss your findings and answer any questions they may have so they can better understand the workings of your programs. 
  5. Establish measurable, definable goals before you solicit funding. Make sure that these goals are well within your program’s reach—do not over-inflate.  
  6. If you will not meet these goals, contact your program officer prior to submitting your progress report to discuss and be honest about why the goals were not met, and how, if appropriate, methods and goals may be altered to meet veteran needs. It could be the difference between additional funding and never being funded again. 
  7. Be honest with your funder about your challenges. It is not all about success, it is also about learning. Every challenge we experience should be communicated to funders so that they can examine the priorities as they pertain to the needs on the ground and in the communities we serve. Remember, funders do not have firsthand knowledge of direct services and needs of veterans, they rely on their grantees to educate them. Be honest about challenges and what needs are not being met by current funding.

Types of Grants for veterans?

There are many resources as grants for veterans. To find them first check in the state and local agencies to get the usual types of grants for veterans with food and housing. Here, we will discuss the types of grants for veterans you are looking for, Just read along.

Grants.gov

This is the official site for searching for government grants. It is free to use. Federal government grant opportunities will be listed at Grants.gov. There are numerous opportunities listed so plan to take time to review grant opportunities to see whether they may apply to your business. 

Grantwatch.com

This site continually updates available grants, and you can search by many different criteria. You’ll want to spend time researching as many as possible to identify opportunities that may apply. There is a subscription fee to access the Grant watch database and you can join for a short period of time to see if it’s a good fit. 

Street Shares Foundation 

The Street Shares Foundation presents the Military Entrepreneur Challenge in partnership with the Samuel Adams Brewing the American Dream program. This competition will choose 8-15 finalists and then award prizes of $15,000 (first place), $6,000 (second place), and $4,000 (third place). 

Nav’s Small Business Grant

Nav understands the challenges of starting, financing, and running a small business. To give small business owners a lift, Nav offers a quarterly $10,000 small business grant. While you don’t have to be a veteran to apply, veterans have participated and been awarded grants in this competition.

  • Education grants for veterans.

Here, the available grants are education grants for veterans. There are many agencies that offer financial help as grants for veterans who need to complete higher education, get credentialed or certified, etc. now, the question arises: who provides education grants for veterans? so, the answer is the federal government, state and local governments, private veteran-focused groups, foundation, and scholarships funds.

Pell grant, One of the best examples of government education grants for veterans is the Pell Grants for veterans, but those who are currently serving the military veteran may not qualify for the Pell grants for veterans If they earn too much taxable income. A notable exception to this may apply to those who have been recently deployed. Your taxable income in a war zone is lower due to combat zone tax exclusions where it is applicable.

Additionally, there are other education grants for veterans that are offered by the state governments. One such program is the Illinois grants for veterans. Where veterans can apply after filling out the FAFSA forms and yes they may qualify to have all tuition paid for college programs at institutions that are approved.

Another such grant for veterans is administered by the TVC (Texas Veterans Commission). It provides education grants for veterans under the act that is hazelwood act, it is described as a state of texas benefit “that provides qualified veterans, spouses and the dependent children with an education benefit of up to 150 hours of tuition exemption, including most fee charges, at the public institutions in texas of higher education”.

You can also seek veteran education help via veteran service organizations such as the following listed below, some of them may offer you grants for veterans as well as scholarships. And some scholarships programs may function more like grants for veterans depending on the program, some circumstances, and other variables. Have a look at the programs listed below.

  1. Fleet reserve association scholarship
  2. Green beret foundation heroes’ legacy.
  3. DAV Jesse Brown scholarship.
  4. Folds of Honor foundation.
  5. MOAA (military officers association of America-scholarships/loans/grants)
  6. MyCAA (military spouse career advancement accounts) program.
  7. Navy league.
  8. National military family association.
  • Housing grants for veteran

Housing grants for veterans are the two of the most important grants for disabled veterans, by qualifying medical terms and conditions coming from the department of veterans affairs; the special home adaptation grant and the specially adapted housing grant. These two programs are designed to help and support the veterans who have medical issues that meet the VA criteria for the grants for veterans to get funds to get home to be more accessible for the disabled veteran.

Additionally, the housing grants for veterans may come from the state government. Especially, from your state’s housing finance authority or office of veterans affairs. The program of the housing finance authority often features first-time homeowner incentives and there may be local down assistance payment grants for veterans programs in your area that you should know about. To know about it, you should check your state government official site or you can google your state’s name with a keyword that is housing grants for veterans.

If you are looking for private housing grants for veterans then it may disappoint you. That is one area where private resources don’t seem to be as plentiful as with education grants for veterans and general financial assistance. If your question is that one area that is not technically a housing grants solution but can be used for expenses of housing? Then the assistance may be offered on an emergency basis from the VSOs such as the Red Cross, and from military relief societies such as the navy-marine corps relief society, and air force aid society, etc.

Each of these programs of housing grants for veterans has featured emergency financial relief for qualifying military members that can be used towards the expenses of housing in many cases.

  • Small Do businesses need grants for veterans?

As we know, some financial needs are personal or some are organizational and there are grants for both. Veteran entrepreneurs should definitely explore the options for grants aimed at veteran-owned businesses and nonprofits. There is one private organization known as VSF(veterans support foundation), which provides grants for veterans to support veteran related projects including matching fund projects for scientific, charitable, and educational purposes.

Additionally, there are other grants that may not be specifically for veterans but they can be used by them to get funding by qualifying it. And one of the grants for a veteran is SBIR (small business innovation research) that is provided by the US department of energy. It is a part of a federal program that encourages small business research. Now, the question has arisen that how can a veteran qualify in this? Just present the program focused on the required area and you should be able to prove your project is potentially commercial.

Free Help For Veteran-Owned Businesses

While it may be challenging to secure free money for your business, you can get free expert help from several organizations that want to help veteran business owners succeed. Here are several you can tap: 

Veteran Business Outreach Centers

A program of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Veterans Business Outreach Center (VBOC) program is designed to provide entrepreneurial development services such as business training, counseling, and resource partner referrals to transitioning service members, veterans, National Guard & Reserve members, and military spouses interested in starting or growing a small business. 

Free services include pre-business plan workshops, business plan preparation, comprehensive feasibility analysis, entrepreneurial training and counseling, mentorship, and more.

Personal financial hardship grants for veterans

There are some avenues of relief for specific expenses. For example, the department of veteran affairs provides need-based debt relief for VA co pays and related expenses. It may not be a grant but the financial relief can help you in addition to grants for veterans programs. You can request a grant application from the military aid societies listed above.

  1. Financial relief grants may also include the VSOs like VFW and its unmet needs program, which is defined as financial aid grants for
  2. military families who need it. The VFW grants for veterans under unmet needs are for basic living expenses and are paid to the family’s creditors. These programs also have some specific rules and conditions.
  3. The qualification for this program is; Financial hardship is the result of current deployment, payment error, or being discharged due to medical issues.
  4. Must be discharged on or after 11 Sept 2001.
  5. Financial hardship can’t be caused by legal, civil, or domestic problems.
  6. Must provide current bills.
  7. Must have a direct result of military service-connected injuries and illness.

Conclusion

Grants for veterans are not loans. And there should not be a repayment option. You may be faced with the repayment option if you are not successfully meeting the criteria of grants for veterans. Hope you get all the information you need from this article. Are you a veteran? And looking for housing assistance then read along with this article on housing assistance for free.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much money can you get with a VA business loan?

How much money can you get with a VA business loan

VA loans generally refer to loans guaranteed by the Veteran’s Administration (VA). Many veterans are familiar with the VA home loan program for mortgage loans to qualifying veterans. However, there are no VA small business loans made through the Veteran’s Administration. The VA does not make or guarantee small business loans, unfortunately.

Are there grants for veterans to start a business?

Are there grants for veterans to start a business

The vast majority of small business grants are made to existing businesses and not to startups. To get a grant, you will generally need to have a business that is already producing a product or service to apply. As a reminder, neither the federal government nor the VA offer grants to start a business. 

Can I get a veteran business loan with bad credit?

Can I get a veteran business loan with bad credit

Although veteran small business owners can find financing with a less-than-perfect credit profile, expect to pay higher interest rates with shorter terms. To give you an idea of what’s available outside the SBA, here are some things to consider.

Qualifying for a conventional bank loan will usually require a personal credit score above 680 (preferably into the 700s).

Online lenders typically require a personal credit score of 600 or better (although some will go lower).

Most non-traditional lenders, like online lenders, will require at least a year in business (although there are some that will accept six months), $100,000 in annual revenue, and sufficient cash flow to service debt.

Specifically identified collateral is not a requirement for many non-traditional lenders, but they will often require a general lien and a personal guarantee.

You should expect that a strong personal and business credit profile will be necessary to get the best interest rates and most favorable terms when looking for a small business loan.

In addition to financing, with a weak credit profile, you might want to consider crowdfunding as an option if your business or product has enough appeal to attract the support of the crowd. There are crowdfunding options that don’t require a strong credit profile and are solely based on whether or not you can attract the crowd to your business idea.

VA Business Loans and Grants Summary

VA Business Loans and Grants Summary

While funding via grants or small business loans is often top of mind for any small business owner, there are other resources that can help veterans looking to start a business or level up. Veteran-owned businesses can seek out their local Office of Veterans Business Development for various resources for veterans, including training programs for adjusting to civilian life, technical assistance, business training, and other tools that may not be available at traditional small business development centers.