How to Get a Grant for Transcribing or Captioning

    Secure the funding you need through a transcription grant. As consumers continue to clamor for new content and creators oblige them, millions of new videos and podcasts hit the internet every month. This steep increase in fresh entertainment media has expanded the number and size of transcription and captioning grants. Discover how to get a grant for transcribing or captioning below.

    What Is a Transcription Grant?

    A transcription grant is a money awarded by governments, charities, and corporations for the textual reproduction of audio, video, and other media. Applicants submit grant proposals to the grantors, detailing how the applicants intend to utilize the funding. In the case of a transcription grant, one of the most common uses involves the production of closed captioning for TV, film, and internet videos.

    Who Is Eligible for a Transcription or Closed Caption Grant?

    Anyone who meets all prerequisites for a transcription or closed caption grant program is eligible to request and receive grant money. Eligibility requirements vary from institution to institution, and meeting all qualifications does not guarantee a grant award for the applicant.

    How to Apply for a Transcription Grant in 8 Steps

    Although the application processes for available transcription grants will vary, they still share some of the same steps. All transcription grant programs require research, proof of eligibility, proposals, and follow-up. Discover how to apply for a transcription grant in eight steps below. 

    Step #1: Research Available Grants for Transcribing and Captioning

    Unless you intend to apply for a continuation grant, you will need to research available grants for transcription and captioning. Grants.gov represents one of the best places to start. However, you’ll encounter plenty of generous transcription grant programs elsewhere too. Some of the best places to look for grants include:

    Step #2: Check Eligibility Requirements

    Once you identify a grant that will help you achieve your goal, check the eligibility requirements before you spend any time or resources on a grant proposal. In most cases, you must meet all eligibility requirements. So, if you fail to satisfy even one prerequisite, go back to Step #1 and continue your search.

    Step #3: Review the Entire Application Process

    You don’t want to start the process only to find out later that you can not complete part of the application procedures. The application processes for transcription grants can prove rather complex. Read through the complete instructions to ensure you have all the necessary tools and resources to see the process through to the end.

    Step #4: Draft a Grant Proposal

    After you have found a suitable transcription grant, checked the eligibility requirements, and reviewed the application process, you can start drafting a grant proposal for a transcription or captioning project. Make sure you follow all instructions to the letter when writing your proposal. In many cases, one mistake can disqualify you from receiving the grant.

    Step #5: Wait Patiently for Deadlines to End

    It’s common not to hear a response by the stated deadline. While many grant programs issue awards on a rolling basis, other programs wait until after the deadline ends to notify grantees of approval. Unless you feel confident that you are one of the top applicants, let the deadline pass before you follow up.

    Step #6: Follow Up After Missed Deadlines

    Once the deadline ends, follow up with a friendly reminder email. Some captioning grant programs receive thousands of proposals, so making your project stand out from the crowd can make things easier for administrators. Other programs take in only a handful of proposals and may need a gentle nudge to get the review process moving.

    Step #7: Provide Additional Materials Upon Request

    Oftentimes, a grant program will request additional materials from you. Take this request as a positive sign and furnish everything they ask for so they can approve your proposal. If possible, try to organize all your documents in anticipation of such a request to speed up the entire process.  

    Step #8: Hire a Professional Transcription Company with Grant Funds

    Now that your grant proposal got approved and the funds disbursed, you can use the money to secure certified transcription services from a professional transcription company. Hiring a certified transcriber ensures your project gets completed in a timely, professional manner.

    FAQ on Transcription Grants 

    What are the four types of grants?

    The four types of grants are government, charitable, corporate, and individual. However, when most people discuss the four main types of grants, they mean the four types of federal grants, which include:

    1. Competitive — Merit-based awards
    2. Formula — Eligibility-based awards are disbursed according to a formula
    3. Continuation — Performance-based renewals of previous awards
    4. Pass-through — Discretion-based awards from one government entity to another

    Why do grants get rejected?

    Grants get rejected for a variety of reasons, including no reason at all. Even the most well-endowed grant program possesses finite funding. So, your grant proposal may fail because all of the grant money gets allocated to other applicants. Other common reasons for a grant rejection include:

    • Missed deadlines
    • Off-topic proposal
    • Unfollowed guidelines
    • Unoriginal proposal
    • Deprioritized niche
    • Unclear proposal
    • Unreasonable proposal budget
    • Demonstrated bias
    • Failed cost-benefit analysis
    • Poor writing

    Do grants have to be paid back?

    Grants do not have to be paid back unless the grantor discovers some form of fraud or other malfeasance. Other factors that may result in the revocation of a grant include failure to meet obligations under the grant proposal, withdrawal from the grant project, and unforeseen circumstances that render the purpose of the grant moot or impossible. 

    What type of grant is most common?

    Project grants are the most common type of grant. Examples of project grants include research, exploration, and transcription grants. Some other popular grant types are educational, medical, career development, and small business grants.