Grant money helps provide support for low-income individuals, students, businesses and non-profit organisations, giving money that doesn't require repayment for the recipient to use as needed or in working toward a specific goal. While most grants deal with improving communities or offsetting the effects of poverty, you can still use grant money to purchase furniture in some isolated cases.
If you operate a non-profit organisation, you likely rely on grant money as a source of revenue to fund your programs. Some non-profit grants, which can come from government agencies or private granters, are for general use, which means that the recipient can use the funds for any necessary purpose. If your non-profit needs new furniture in an office or residential facility it operates, note this in grant applications. Discuss how the new furniture will make your non-profit more efficient and help it meet its goals in the community.
Some grants apply only to educational institutions. These grants come from organisations, including governments and businesses, that want to see students succeed, whether it's to improve the quality of a local workforce, bolster the economy or help a community keep pace with educational improvements elsewhere. Schools can use grants to pay for furniture, including desks, chairs and office furniture, when the funds come without stipulations that they go toward teacher development, school meals or other specific programs. Schools that use data to show a rise in the number of students or a decline in tax revenue can demonstrate their need for funds to purchase necessary furniture.
Most grants for low-income individuals are meant to cover the costs associated with basic needs, such as rent, utility bills, childcare and food. If you receive state welfare, it likely includes stipulations on how you can spend the money. Food stamps, for example, are only useful for certain grocery items and won't allow you to purchase furniture, even if it's sold at a grocery store. Some general low-income grants are usable for furniture, but if you violate the terms of a grant, you risk becoming ineligible to receive it in the future.
Buying furniture with grant money is an option when the granter doesn't specify the use of the funds, but you or your organisation may have better options available, leaving your grant money available for other uses. For example, thrift shops and estate sales make low-cost furniture available on a regular basis and can help you outfit an office or home for very little money. If you hold fundraising events, you can ask for furniture donations, giving you options to keep the furniture for use or sell or donate it following the event.