Grants and Federal Domestic Assistance
How Best to Find Information
- Find out Who is eligible for a Grant? Other government websites may be more suitable for personal need, student loans, small business assistance, or other business opportunities such as government contracting. The website Government Benefits, Grants, and Financial Aid may also be of help.
- If eligible, search for programs in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA). Includes grants, loans, business
and nonfinancial help.
- Contact federal office given in CFDA program description: if state or local office is indicated,
check Regional Agency Offices at top of CFDA website for addresses.
- Go to federal websites given in each CFDA program description for more information and for state administering agencies responsible for managing these programs.
- Check current federal grants opportunities at Grants.gov, obtain a Dun and Bradstreet
(DUNS) number, register
with Central Contractor Registration
(CCR), and apply online (links and instructions given at the website). Additional notices appear at FedConnect.
- Search foundations for project funding:
use the Foundation
Center website or Foundation Center Cooperating Collections in libraries to identify
national, state, and community foundations.
- Learn how to write grant proposals: follow CFDA's Developing and Writing Grant ProposalsWriting Grants Proposals, or take the free online
Foundation Center Proposal Writing Short Course.
Key Federal Funding Sources
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (General Services
The CFDA, issued annually and updated continuously on the
Web, describes some 1600 federal grants and non-financial assistance programs.
Grantseekers can identify programs that might support their projects and can
learn the program's objectives, requirements, application procedures and contacts.
For current notices of funding availability, see Grants.gov or FedConnect.
Grants.gov (via Dept.
of Health and Human Services)
Federal grants website that allows eligible grantseekers (see Who is eligible for a Grant?) to find and
apply for current competitive grant opportunities from ALL federal agencies. Grantseekers can check on notices of funding availability (NOFAs) posted in the last 7 days; access RSS feeds of grant opportunities; and apply for federal grants through a unified process by downloading the application and submitting online. The website guides grantseekers in obtaining a Dun and Bradstreet (DUNS)
number, registering with Central Contractor Registration (CCR), and registering
with Grants.gov to apply and to track applications. For full federal program descriptions, see CFDA below. See also website FedConnect for additional grants and contracts opportunities.
'Single Points of Contact' (Office of Management and Budget)
Under Executive Order 12372, some states require federal grants applicants
to submit a copy of their application for state government level review and
comment. The state offices listed here coordinate federal
financial assistance and may direct federal development. For
help in identifying state-level grants, other state government agencies websites may be found at State and Local Agencies by Topic.
CFDA in Local Libraries (Government Printing Office)
Although CFDA is available full-text on the Internet, some
may prefer a print edition. However, only the Web version is continuously
updated-- the published volume is annual with no supplements. The CFDA is available in all states in Federal
Related Federal Resources
Index of U.S. Department and Agencies
(General Services Administration)
To better develop a grant proposal, search a department or agency's Home Page
to learn more about its programs and objectives. The site USA.gov
also links to Government Benefits, Grants and Financial Aid.
Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (Department of Energy)
Grants are EERE's primary funding vehicle for businesses, industries, universities and others.
Most EERE grants are awarded on merit on a competitive basis. EERE financial assistance opportunities are listed in the Financial Opportunities by Audience database and on Grants.gov or FedConnect. For state-by-state information on state, local. utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, search DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency).
Homeland Security Open for Business -- Grants (Department of Homeland Security)
Most Homeland Security non-disaster grant programs are designated for state and local governments and specific entities such as colleges, etc. Unsolicited applications from individuals are generally not accepted. Includes Urban Area Security Initiative, Citizens Corps, Medical Response System, Operation Stonegarden (border security), Infrastructure Protection. Contact homeland security State Offices. Programs for firefighters may be found at Assistance to Firefighters.
USA.gov for Business (GSA)
Includes contracting with the federal government, international trade and exporting,
and small business. See also financial assistance links at the Small Business Administration website.
for Nonprofits (GSA)
Links to federal department and agency information and service for nonprofit
organizations, including fundraising and outreach, grants, loans and other
assistance, laws and regulations, management and operations, online services,
registration and licensing, and tax information. The White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships includes information on Grants and Resources.
Student Aid on the Web (Department of Education)
Financial assistance for education beyond high school is generally "needs-based" and often includes loans and work-study, in addition to some grants. College and university applications, websites, and brochures usually include financial aid information for prospective and incoming students.
GovBenefits.gov (via Department of Labor)
Government grants are not direct assistance to individuals, but fund state and local programs providing help to those in need. This online screening site can be used to identify state and local government benefits and how to apply. Covers direct payments, loans, insurance, training, or other services.
Consumer Alert (Federal Trade Commission)
The FTC warns consumers to beware
of paying "processing fees" for information that is available free to the public. Ads claiming federal
grants are available for home repairs, home business, unpaid bills, or other personal expenses are often
OMB Grants Management Web Site
(Office of Management and Budget)
government-wide grants management policies and guidelines through circulars
and common rules. OMB Circulars are cited in CFDA program descriptions and may be printed out fulltext.
Private and Corporate Funding Sources
The Foundation Center
Gateway to information about private funding sources, the grantseeking process,
guidelines on writing a grant proposal, addresses of state libraries with
grants reference collections, and links to other useful Internet websites.
The Center maintains a comprehensive database on foundations; produces print and electronic directories and guides; conducts research and publishes studies
in the field; and offers a variety of training and educational seminars.
Grants Resources by State
Click on state map to find links to information about a state's foundations,
community foundations, corporate giving programs and the state's home page.
Merete F.Gerli, CRS