The Modest Needs Grant

The Modest Needs Grant

by Kim Pinnelli
Senior Contributing Writer

February 4, 2020
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This grant helps low-income families with unexpected expenses and is a free grant, not a loan.

Have you ever found yourself in a financial bind unable to pay an unexpected bill? You aren’t alone and The Modest Needs Grant may be able to help.

This grant provides financial assistance to individuals and families are operating just above poverty level and are therefore ineligible for standard financial assistance from the government. They focus on individuals living alone, veterans, teachers, and first responders.

Who is Eligible?

You may be eligible for a Modest Needs Grant if you:

  • Are 18 years old or older
  • Are a US citizen
  • Have at least one bank account
  • Filed at least one tax return in the last 2 years
  • Have internet access at home
  • Rent your home
  • Pass the income and employment tests described in the application

How it Works

If you need a low income grant from Modest Needs, you must complete their application. You’ll need to provide the reason you need financial assistance as well as proof of your income. It can take up to 45 minutes to complete the application, so make sure you have adequate time.

The grant is specifically for the employed – at least one household member must be employed to qualify. In addition to employment income, the household income can come from retirement income, VA benefits, or child support.

Once you submit your application and necessary documentation, Modest Needs underwrites the application, deciding if they should prequalify you. If they do, they place your application on their website for donors to see, but no personal information is divulged. Donors decide which applications they want to fund first. Once they raise 100% of the funds you need, it goes through a final administrative review. Once the review is complete, Modest Needs notifies you and you are required to write a ‘Thank you’ to the donors. Once you write the thank you, Modest Needs funds the grant.

Where do Funds Come From?

Modest Needs obtains funds from fundraising. They started the process in 2002 which involves the application going in front of the donors who then try to raise funds by crowdsourcing. They don’t guarantee funding, but are typically fairly successful in getting the funds needed. This does mean that funds aren’t immediate – it may take some time for them to raise the funds after receiving and approving an application.

How Can You Use Funds?

You can use funds from the Modest Needs Grant for any of the following:

  • Unexpected expenses that you can’t afford because you live paycheck-to-paycheck
  • Regular monthly bills you can’t afford because of an unexpected issue (illness, injury, etc.)

The expense must be one that Modest Needs can pay directly for you. They are unable to send cash or gift cards directly to recipients.

The Modest Needs grant is a great way to get financial assistance for low-income families when you can’t make ends meet. While it’s a slightly slow process because you have to wait for crowdfunding, it’s a 100% free grant – not a loan, so you don’t have to worry about repayment.

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