Federal Grant Funding

How Best to Find Information

Find funding programs and learn how to write grant proposals:
  1. Search or browse the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) by Keyword or other indexes for federal grants, loans, business and nonfinancial assistance.
  2. Contact federal office indicated in CFDA program description: State or regional addresses and telephone numbers are given in CFDA Appendix IV: Federal Agency Contacts in Region/State.
  3. Search other Web sites that access federal program and grants information for special grantseekers, for example the Business Advisor, the State and Local Resources from EGov, or the Nonprofits Resources from EGov.
  4. Search also for Private Foundations that might be interested in a project. Use the Foundation Center web site or Foundation Center book collections in libraries to identify national, state, and community foundations.
  5. Learn how to write grant proposals: follow CFDA guidelines Developing and Writing Grant Proposals, or take the Foundation Center Proposal Writing Short Course.
Key Federal Funding Sources

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (General Services Administration)
The Catalog (CFDA), issued annually and updated continuously on the Web, describes some 1,400 federal grants and non financial assistance programs administered by the departments and agencies of the federal government. It helps grantseekers identify programs that meet specific objectives of their projects and is intended to improve coordination and communication between the federal government and state and local applicants for federal assistance.
Catalog Indexes and Listings (GSA )
Although keyword searching is often a good place to start, also browse by broad subject, by federal department or agency, or by recipient category to identify more federal funding programs. CFDA program descriptions may provide direct links to local and regional federal office addresses, to related programs, and to Office of Management and Budget circulars.
  • Keyword Search
  • Browse by Functional Area (broad subject or topic)
  • Browse by Beneficiary
  • Browse by Applicant Eligibility
  • Alphabetical Listing of Programs
  • Browse Catalog by Agency (or Department)
Guidance in formulating federal grant applicatiolns, including initial proposal development, basic components of a proposal, review recommendations, and referral to federal guidelines and literature.

Federal Agency Contacts in Region/State (CFDA Appendix IV)
Much of the federal grants budget moves to the states through formula and block grants -- state, regional, and local federal offices often handle grants applications and funds disbursement. Each federal agency hass its own procedures: if the CFDA program description refers to a state or regional Information Contact as listed in Appendix IV, grantseekers should contact the federal department or agency office listed here before applying for funding to obtain the most up-to-date information.

State 'Single Points of Contact' (Office of Management and Budget)
Under Executive Order 12372 of 1962, federal grants applicants may be required to submit a copy of their application for state government level review and comment. The state offices listed here coordinate government (both federal and state) grants development and provide guidance to grantseekers.

CFDA in Print (Government Printing Office)
Although the Catalog is available full-text on the Internet, some may prefer to consult a printed version. Users should remember only the Web Catalog is updated throughout the year-- the published volume is annual with no mid-year supplements.

Related Federal Resources

Official Federal Government Web Sites
To better develop a grant proposal, search a department or agency's Home Page to learn more about its programs and objectives. Some government departments or agencies have Web pages specifically designed for specific types of grantseekers (see below).

Grants.gov (Dept. of Health and Human Services)
A pilot site for the federal government's E-Grants initiative (FedBizOps) which will provide potential grant applicants with a single location for finding federal funding opportunities, applying for and managing federal grants, as well as facilitating "the quality, coordination, effectiveness and efficiency of operations for grant makers and grant recipients."

Homeland Security Grants and Training (Dept. of Homeland Security)
Provides information on federal homeland security and public safety grant opportunities, whether administered by DHS or other departments and agencies. Critical state and local missions supported through these grants include the preparedness of first responders and citizens, public health, infrastructure security, and other public safety activities. Department of Homeland Security grants listed include those administered by the Office of Domestic Preparedness (ODP), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA). Other Federal agency programs include the Department of Health and Human Services' public health preparedness grants, Department of Justice grants for counter-terrorism and general-purpose law enforcement activities, and Environmental Protection Agency grants for enhancing the security of our Nation's water supplies.

U.S. Business Advisor (Small Business Administration)
Small Business Administration Web page intended to provide business with one-stop access to federal government information, services, and transactions. Covers business development, laws and regulations, international trade, work place issues, and buying and selling.

USA.gov Government-to-Government (for State and Local Governments; GSA)
Thousands of grants and loans are made by the federal government to state and local governments and other public entities. This site provides one-stop access to grants management and federal assistance programs, in addition to resources about acquisition and procurement, financial management, and taxes.

USA.gov for Nonprofits (GSA)
Links to federal department and agency information and services to assist nonprofit organizations. Examples:

  • USDA Nonprofit Gateway
  • Small Business Administration
  • Education: Grants and Contracts
  • Environmental Protection Agency
  • Health and Human Services
  • Housing and Urban Development: Funding
  • Interior Department Nonprofit Gateway
  • Justice Department Community Support and Grants
  • Labor Department Nonprofit Information Gateway
  • National Institutes of Health Grants
  • Transportation: Grants Information & Policy
Federal Register (National Archives)
The Federal Register, printed each business day, publishes updates and notices affecting federal assistance programs. Scroll down to check current year; scroll down further to enter Catalog program number, or subject/keyword "AND CFDA" in Search Terms box.

Federal Funding Report (House Information Resources)
Weekly compilation of items published in the Federal Register which affect federal domestic assistance programs. The summary consists of three parts:(1) Federal Register Summary, (2) Early Warning Grants Report, and (3) Disaster Loan Applications.

Notices of Funding Availability  (via Department of Agriculture)
Notices of Funding Availability (NOFAs) are announcements that appear in the Federal Register inviting applications for federal grant programs. This page allows you to generate a customized listing of NOFAs by date, by broad subject terms, or by department/agency.

OMB Grants Management Web Site (Office of Management and Budget)
OMB establishes government-wide grants management policies and guidelines through circulars and common rules. OMB Circulars are cited in Catalog program descriptions: some program descriptions on the Internet version of the Catalog link directly to OMB Circulars required for program management, others just give OMB Circular numbers, which may then be printed fulltext from this Web site.

Private & Corporate Funding Sources

The Foundation Center
Gateway to information about private funding sources (including national, state, community, and corporate foundations), the grantseeking process, guidelines on writing a grant proposal, addresses of state libraries with grants reference collections, and links to other useful Internet Web sites. The Center maintains a comprehensive database on foundations; produces print, Web, and CD-ROM directories and guides; conducts research and publishes studies in the field; and offers a variety of training and educational seminars.
  • Beginning Your Research, Giving to Individuals, The Proposal Process, Information Resources.
  • Proposal Writing - Online Short Course; on developing a good grant proposal.
  • Foundation Finder - Search by name for address and basic information about the more than 61,000 private and community foundations in the U.S. Includes links to IRS filings and foundation Web sites.
  • Foundation Center Cooperating Collections (by state) - Free funding information centers in libraries, community foundations, and other nonprofit resource centers that provide a core collection of Foundation Center publications and a variety of supplementary materials and services in areas useful to grant seekers.
The Grantsmanship Center (TGCI)
In addition to useful links to government resources, this site includes information on community foundations and international funding. Community Foundations (by State) are often particularly interested in local projects and maintain diverse grants programs. TGCI also offers publications, training, and workshops in proposal writing, grantsmanship, and fund raising for nonprofit organizations and government.

Additional Sources

Geographic Tracking of Federal Funds
Two U.S. Census Bureau publications are the federal government's primary printed documents detailing the geographic distribution of federal monies to States, Counties, and Congressional Districts:
  1. Federal Aid to States (FAS) (Census)
    FAS details actual expenditures of federal grant funds to state and local governments only. Figures are presented to the state level by program area and agency.
  2. Consolidated Federal Funds Report (CFFR) (Census)
    In CFFR, grants generally represent obligations and include payments both to state and local governments and to nongovernmental recipients. Data are provided for state and county levels.
Grants and Other Funding Sources (House Information Resources)
This resource page, compiled for congressional offices, covers public and private Web links under a variety of funding categories, including:
  • Where to Find Federal Grants
  • How to Apply for Grants
  • Help with Managing the Grant Process
  • Foundations
  • Nonprofit Charitable Organizations
  • Corporate Charitable Giving
  • Small Business Resources
  • International Trade & Development
  • State & Local Govt. Funding Resources
  • Disaster Assistance
  • Money for College
  • Scholarships - Specific Fields of Study
  • Internships/Summer Employment
  • Computers for Schools and Communities
  • Other Educational Resources
  • Surplus & Unclaimed Property
  • Consumer Protection
  • Demographic and Statistical Resources