Grants are confusing, no question about it! As a fully grant-funded team, we’ve been in your shoes…
But trust us when we say they are designed to seem way more complicated than they actually are. In fact, by the end of this simple guide, you will be a certified grant genius! (at least in our mind) Just like every other seemingly inaccessible thing in this world, you usually just need a helping hand to get you on your way. That’s why we’ve built this comprehensive guide to help curb the initial grant learning curve.
Here, you’ll gain access to all the insider secrets and industry lingo to jumpstart you on your uber-successful grant journey! Congratulations once again for choosing to take this step with Pocketed. Let’s get started…
There is some important information you should have handy before you start applying for grants. We suggest creating one document that stores each of the following items for a quick reference whenever you begin a new application.
- Business Number (CRA)
- Company Description: This is a brief description of what industry your company operates in, as well as a broad overview of what your company does. An example of this is: Cindy’s Cloud Storage is a SaaS provider that offers innovative data storage solutions for coffee companies and their supply chain. (remember to keep it brief — 1–2 sentences)
- Company Address and Contact Information
- Incorporation Date
If you’re seeking a hiring grant, you’ll additionally need:
- Job Descriptions: it a digital-based role? Is it non-digital? What are the key activities the employee will perform in their role? What are their expected hours? Try to answer these questions, along with any other specific information you can include, and you’ll be set. Don’t worry too much because changes can be made after submission, but you’ll need a defined role in order to apply.
- Outline of Success Initiatives: Grant programs want to ensure you’re setting your employees up for success — you should want to do this too! Applications will require a list of key actions you will take to ensure this happens. Some examples are: Weekly check-ins, SCRUM meetings, support from executives, and support from mentors.
If you’re seeking a training grant, you’ll additionally need:
- Training Outline: Prepare a general outline of what training will be taking place — if you can reference a specific course this is the best way to go about it. Also, consider if the training is for you or someone else on the team? This will be important to include.
If you’re seeking an R&D grant, you’ll additionally need:
- Research/Development Plan: This funding is intended to support specific research or development projects, so you’ll need to detail what this will look like for you. Is it a product development project? Is it a consumer research project? Prepare to discuss this in your application.
If you’re seeking a market expansion grant, you’ll additionally need:
- Market Expansion Plan: Just like a research plan, you’ll need to outline your intent to expand regionally. This proposal will likely be lengthier than others as you’ll need to cover your growth strategy and how the money will be allocated to support this.
To give a sense of what a grant application process looks like, we’ll use a hiring grant procedure as an example.
Hiring grants are one of the most common (and useful!) types of grants you will encounter. As the name implies, a hiring grant enables you in making a new hire by subsidizing the salary of that future employee. This serves as a great opportunity to add value to your team and expand your business’s capabilities. Need a data analyst to crunch those numbers? Want a full stack developer to help build your software services? There are plenty of roles that can be subsidized using grants.
Below we outline the process of securing a hiring grant and the best practices that will help you succeed!
- Identify an Opportunity: Could you benefit from another person on your team (for free)?? Don’t get caught up, that’s good enough — move on to applying!
- Apply: This step is pretty self-explanatory, we know, but many companies actually never get past it. They are hesitant to apply for hiring grants because they are uncertain of their ability to find a hire within the timeframe of the grant. Here’s an insider secret: if you’re approved for a hiring grant you don’t actually have to make a hire. You can be approved for a hiring grant, not find the right candidate for you, and let the grant expire without making any hire at all! If that happens, don’t worry, you won’t be put on the grant naughty list. That’s why it never hurts to apply for a hiring grant and then see if you find the right hire. If you do, that’s great! If you don’t, no worries there’s always next time.
- Get the Grant: If your application is approved, you’ll be notified that you’ve successfully secured the grant. You’ll then be given instructions regarding any reporting requirements you’ll need to follow.
- Find the Employee: Remember, if you don’t find the right hire, don’t make a hire! You will not be penalized if you can’t find a suitable candidate to utilize the grant on. But if/when you do find the perfect fit, move quickly to ensure your funding is finalized. Grant funding is distributed on a rolling basis, so if other approved applications claim all of the money… well you’ll have to try next round.
- Submit Paperwork for Employee: Provide all required documents on your employee, including role overview, hour commitment, and any other relevant job details. This includes their personal information so that the funding program knows who they are and can provide additional resources to their employment experience (think SIN, address, etc.). Sometimes, employees will have to fill out forms directly through the delivery organization. You’ll be notified if this is the case.
- Pay Employee/Reap the Benefits of Your New Hire: Business as usual here!
- Submit Reports/Pay Stubs: Don’t lose any documentation. At this stage, you’ll need to submit reporting for salary expenses incurred over the employment term. There can be a number of documents to submit, so make sure you’re staying on track — Pocketed helps with this.
- Get Reimbursed: What you were waiting for, the money! Well of course you gained a lot of value along the way, but this is the stage where you will be paid for the costs you accumulated through the payment of wages. Now you truly realize how awesome grant funding is!
And that’s that! Not too bad with a little help along the way.
Uncertain about any of the terms you read above? Check out our Grants Glossary to clear things up!
Now that you have a better understanding of the grant space and the benefits it provides, you’re ready to start securing funding with Pocketed!
Lucky for you if you still have any questions, we have a team of experts ready to help and we’ve put together an extensive FAQ so you can get your more urgent questions answered with a few quick clicks. Don’t wait any longer — start applying!!