A federal grant might not be the best option to get a new program off the ground—especially for public agencies. First look at your existing budgets for the funding you need. There are always surplus dollars available in city, county and school district budgets. When someone says there isn’t anywhere to cut, they just haven’t looked hard enough or the new program isn’t a high enough priority or they aren’t willing to make a difficult decision. Keep looking. If you truly can’t find the funds, then consider federal grants. It’s just so much easier, and there are a lot fewer strings attached, when you check your existing budgets first.