February: the shortest month — though with an extra day for leap year. Some think of hearts and Valentines’ Day. But the main attention - at least for now - is on the Super Bowl’s big 50th anniversary.
Even if you’re not into football you get caught up in all the hype. This year’s contest pits youngest against oldest quarterback with a historic age difference of 13 years. The Panthers have been in one Super Bowl (they lost) while the Broncos make their 8th appearance and have won twice. Beyonce will set her own record with a second Super Bowl half-time appearance.
The money involved is mind boggling. Ad spots are sold out. A 30-second ad goes for $5 million! Win or lose the players will do quite well — up to a $97,000 bonus for winners and a $47,000 bonus for “losers.”
Betting on the game? You’ll be part of $1.4 billion being wagered (about $1.3 billion of it illegal). Is it a wise investment? Maybe - but there are surer ways to improve your life. We focus on them with new articles and updates about repairing your home, starting your new business, getting grants for nonprofits and more — including lottery tickets and even a dip in the Shark Tank…
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Speaking of the Super Bowl, the Host Committee has committed to giving 25% of all the money it raises to local charities. They aim to provide grants specifically for youth-related projects, community development and activities that promote sustainable environments. The outreach is called the “50 Fund Playmaker Grant Program” and will provide grants in the amount of $10,000 each. They are looking for groups with a passionate champion and very specific plans for using the money to have an immediate impact on their community. If you think your project might qualify and you’re in the San Francisco Bay Are this could be for you! For additional information and applications the host committee web site directs you to 50fund.org. (Note: We were unable to get to that page. It’s not clear what the deadline is — but even if it has passed you can get ideas and inspiration from reading the winners’ stories.)
If you’re not in the Bay Area or if the deadline has passed our new article Grants for Nonprofits will give you lots of ideas and sources for funding. You may be (very) surprised to learn that until recently the NFL - yes the National Football League - was officially classified as a nonprofit! Beyond that tidbit this article will show you more about the importance of being a 501©(3) — and how you can still find grants even if you don’t have that designation. Get tips and tricks for finding grants close to home including some potential resources you probably haven’t thought of. Government grants are always a possibility. We provide some specific steps to narrow your focus when searching grants.gov so you’re not overwhelmed with results that aren’t helpful to you. And there are tips not only for finding foundations but also for getting really good at writing foundation grants fast and with a winning style. If all those resources don’t pan out — or if you need to explore some other types of financing - we also offer some tips on finding loans specifically for nonprofits.
Nonprofits not your thing? Still dreaming of owning and running your own business — and being your own boss? We’re all for that! Our most recent new article Grants to Start a Business may be right for you. Get creative ideas for raising startup funds; find information and guidance about Microfinancing; learn what “angel investors” are and how to find them; and see some special programs and options for women and minorities. Finally, check out the “Shark Tank” and learn what you need to know to be ready to dive in!
Business-related news and updates have been numerous lately. In the past month we’ve covered some step-by-step guides for getting a new business going in our SBA website review. Grants for Small Business has an update on new grants for shipyards and provides some tips for finding some small business grants on grants.gov. And Small Business Grants for Women reports on grants available from an industry association.
Grants.gov Is Not For You explains why many people get frustrated trying to find a grant on grants.gov. And it’s true the site is primarily for government agencies and other “qualifying applicants.” Many people don’t understand the true definition of grants and are actually looking for federal aid. They are quickly disappointed. But if you are a nonprofit organization, a for-profit business or even an individual looking for a grant, grants.gov can actually be useful. In a new update to Grants.gov Is Not For You we explain how and provide step-by-step direction about how to enter your search so your results are specific to your situation and eligibility.
Free Dental Care: Check it out for news about a private business with free service programs — there might be an office near you.
Grants For Home Repair: Most of the government grants for home repair come from HUD, the Department of Housing and Urban Development. They go to states and local agencies and sometimes you can find local grant programs to help people do important repairs. Often a major portion of these funds goes to a local Area Agency on Aging. So if you are a senior and in serious need of repairs you can improve your odds of finding a grant if you search correctly — check out the HUD section update in Grants For Home Repair. In the new section about Local Home Repair Help you can also read about a Dallas program. If you’re in Dallas and need repairs, give them a call. If you live elsewhere you can use this information to search for something similar in your own area.
Can Powerball Really Change Your Life?: Well if you win, of course. But the odds are seriously against it. We mean Seriously. But after that last big Powerball jackpot we just had to take another look. See the Lotteries section of Free Money and find out when buying a lottery ticket could actually be an ok idea…
Enjoy the Super Bowl, have a Happy Valentines’ Day and make the most of that extra day in February!