Funding Resources: Grants
Grants.gov is the official government site for information on federal grants and funding. Managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the site offers a database of more than 1,000 grant programs administered by 26 federal grantmaking agencies, searchable by agency, category, eligibility or CFDA number. Users can also browse listings of grant opportunities by agency or category. Grants.gov offers an overview of the grant application process, as well as answers to frequently asked questions and other resources.
Other official sources of information on government funding include the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, theFederal Register, and individual agency web sites. For information on these and additional resources, see the listing of books, articles, and web sites below.
Things to consider before applying for government funding:
• The majority of government grants are awarded to state agencies or eligible nonprofit organizations, and not to individuals. For information on funding for individuals, see our frequently asked questions for individual grantseekers or visit Benefits.gov.
• Research funding opportunities thoroughly. Be sure to record details on the program itself, application guidelines, the timeline for submittal and notification, agency contacts, the review process, past grants awarded, and any other relevant information.
• Since government funding programs and priorities change frequently, it is a good idea to call or e-mail the appropriate agency contact person to obtain the most up-to-date information on funding guidelines and application information.
• Federal funders generally prefer projects that serve as prototypes or models for others to replicate; state and local government funders typically look for strong evidence of community support for a project.
Selected resources below may also help.
Writing Grants | Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance: Outlines steps to writing a successful government grant.
• Federal grants season is here-Are you ready? | The Grantsmanship Center
Brief article shares favorite tips, insights, or strategies from The Grantsmanship Center consultants on preparing for federal funding opportunities, which often are due within 4-6 weeks after being announced. Published April 2010.
• * Grants.gov
The “electronic storefront for federal grants,” organized by topic. Selecting a topic provides links to funding pages for the 26 federal grantmaking agencies, some of which support individual research projects. Managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, it offers users “full service electronic grant administration” with guidelines and grant applications available online.
• * Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)
The CFDA is a government-wide compendium of Federal programs that provide assistance or benefits to state and local governments, private for-profit and nonprofit agencies, and individuals. Users can browse or search information on assistance by agency, program area, and other fields.
USA.gov provides the public with easy, one-stop access to all online U.S. federal government resources, including government benefits and grants information.
• * Nonprofits | USA.gov
Includes links to relevant federal web sites and information about grant programs by agency and department. Visitors can also search Notices of Funding Availability from the Federal Register. Find information and services for nonprofits, including grants, loans, assistance, taxes, management and more.
A searchable database of federal government contracting and procurement opportunities over $25,000.
• Grants for Nonprofits: Government Funding | Michigan State University Libraries
Provides a listing of books, web sites, and other resources of interest to nonprofit organizations seeking government funding opportunities at the federal, state, and local levels. Also includes a listing of government and agency web sites with informatio
A single, free, searchable, and publicly accessible site mandated by the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act of 2006 (Transparency Act). Click on Spending to search/browse recipients according to type of funding (grants, loans, contracts,
• Federal Grants Wire | A free resource for federal grants, government grants and loans.
A free resource listing federal grant and loan programs, including those for individuals as well as organizations. Suggested tags: Government Resources, Personal Needs, Housing, Businesses, Health/Medical, Science and Research
• Preparing a Federal Grant Proposal | Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York [pdf] Outlines the steps involved in preparing a federal grant proposal.
• * Common Problems Found in Applications for Federal Grants | Department of Justice
Goes through a list of common mistakes made when applying for federal grants.
• Grants | National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government, the National Endowment for the Arts is the nation’s largest annual funder of programs in the arts.
• Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships | U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
The Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships formerly known as the Center for Faith-based and Community Initiatives, provides assistance to both secular and faith-based nonprofits in pursuing federal grant opportunities.
• Grant Applicants | Institute of Museum and Library Services
As the primary source of federal funding for the nation’s 123,000 libraries and 17,500 museums, the Institute of Museum and Library Services works to create strong libraries and museums that connect people to information and ideas.
• Apply for a Grant | National Endowment for the Humanities
The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent grantmaking agency of the federal government dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation, and public programs in the humanities.
• Funding Opportunities and Notices | National Institutes of Health
• As part of its mission of extending healthy life and reducing the burdens of illness and disability, the NIH funds research and other activities supporting the advancement of fundamental knowledge about the nature and behavior of living systems.
• Grants & Contracts | U.S. Department of Education
• Information on DOE funding opportunities for state agencies, nonprofit organizations, and individuals.
• Grants and Funding | U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
• Contains resources and guidance for organizations interested in HHS grant programs, as well as links to helpful web sites and listings of agency-related funding opportunities.
• Rural and Community Development | U.S. Department of Agriculture
The USDA works with private sector and community-based organizations to promote community and economic development in rural and under-served areas.
• Grants | U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Provides links to related information on HUD funding for state agencies and nonprofits.
• Grants | U.S. Department of Justice
Provides an overview of major DOJ grant initiatives and a listing of agency web sites with information on funding opportunities.
• Grants – General Information | Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
• The CDC awards grants to assist other health-related and research organizations that contribute to the agency’s mission of health promotion through education, preparedness, prevention, and research.
• New Funding Opportunities | Corporation for National and Community Service
The Corporation for National and Community Service provides grants to nonprofits, schools, government agencies, and other community organizations committed to strengthening their communities through volunteering.
• Department of Labor Contracting and Grants Program Overview | U.S. Department of Labor
Contains information on grant programs and other funding opportunities offered through the Department of Labor.
• How to Fail in Grant Writing | The Chronicle of Higher Education
• Tongue-in-cheek advice on what not to do in grant proposals, from former and current grant reviewers or program officers. See readers’ comments for more tips. Published Dec. 5, 2010.
• Books and Articles
“Crowding-out and fundraising efforts : the impact of government grants on symphony orchestras” , Summer 2014
• By Hughes, Patricia. Nonprofit Management & Leadership 2014 . p. 445-64 , This article examines “crowding out” of private…
• “The impact of capacity-building programs on nonprofits : a random assignment evaluation” , June 2014
By Minzer, Amy. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 2014 . p. 547-69 , This study evaluated one of the…
• “Congress promotes prize competitions to award research funds” , 9 May 2014
By Basken, Paul. Chronicle of Higher Education 2014 . p. A8 , Reports on efforts by legislators encouraging federal…