Let’s face it, adoption grants are awesome when they are awarded to you! However, the time spent filling out grant applications and gathering documentation can be the most daunting part of the adoption process for some families.
Here’s what I mean. When your adoption agency gives you a checklist of paperwork to fill out or things to do (like getting fingerprints on file), you do them because they’re required and typically result in a completed adoption.
Unlike completing agency checklists, filling out grant applications may or may not result in money being awarded to you. When you get the grant, it feels great and time was well spent. When you don’t, you’re frustrated and annoyed (I know I was). How can they say no to us, right? Ugh!
Since we’re all about getting things done right in the shortest amount of time (hey, we all have busy lives), we put together a list of
4 common mistakes to avoid when applying for adoption grants. You’d be shocked how many people mess these up, waste time, and get frustrated.
Applying For Grants – 4 Mistakes To Avoid
1. Review the application criteria and eligibility requirements. For example, one grant could be awarded for all types of adoptions while another is only given for special needs or international. If your type of adoption doesn’t fit within the application criteria, stop and look for other grants that do. Our list includes more than 80 active grant organizations. Get the Adoption Funding Kit and receive the full list of 80 grants FREE! Our recommendation is to identify your top 5 grants that you are eligible for. If you want to apply for more, by all means, go for it. We applied for 10 and were awarded 6. Be efficient and don’t waste your time filling out applications that have no chance of being approved.
2. Wait until your home study is complete. Most grants require an approved home study. The last thing you want to do is fill out an application only to find out the process or deadlines have changed. Have your list of grants handy when your home study is approved. In the meantime, you can work on fundraising and gathering all your financial documents.
3. Share your story. Don’t be afraid to go into detail. Most grants are not awarded based solely on financial need or other eligibility criteria. The people who are reading applications all day long and awarding grants are real people too. Be authentic and let them know who you are and why you are adopting. As the old proverb goes, “those who tell the stories, rule the world.” In this case, those who tell their stories get the grants.
4. Answer every question on the application and send in all the required documentation. If you don’t, your application will get placed on the side or thrown in the garbage. Just recently, Lori and I had a conversation with a representative from a well-known grant organization. When we asked her what tips she could give when applying for grants, she said, “Make sure you tell people to answer every question. We have to throw out so many applications because people miss or don’t answer certain questions, usually about income or finances.” In addition, she emphasized, “Just get your application in. We are giving away a lot of money!” That’s great news for adoptive families.
Wondering if it’s worth the time to apply for adoption grants? You bet it is! We received $30,500 in direct and matching adoption grants. To learn which ones we applied for click here.