Letter from Senator Sanders
Thank you for visiting my website to learn more about how to find funding for your project or organization. Each year the federal government distributes billions of dollars in grants and loans to organizations throughout the United States. Organizations such as colleges, universities, non-profits, and local and state governments can compete for these funds. This web page is designed to be a road map for Vermonters who are seeking federal funds or other resources to support their projects. Please contact my office at (802) 862-0697 or toll-free in Vermont at (800) 339-9834 if you have any questions about how our office can help you.
Helping Vermonters with Federal Grants
- Federal Funding Sources
- Private Funding Sources
- Small Business Loans
- Writing Grant Proposals
- Getting a Letter of Support from Senator Sanders
Federal Funding Sources [back to top]
The definitive source of Federal grant information is the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA), which is updated continuously on the Web. This comprehensive catalog describes some 1,600 federal grants, loans and non-financial assistance programs, and is searchable by keyword, subject or recipient category. Grant seekers can use this resource to identify programs that might support their projects and can learn the programs' objectives, requirements, application procedures and contacts.
Most of the federal grants budget is disbursed to the states through formula and block grants. These grant applications are often handled by state or regional federal office[s] (see CFDA Appendix IV: Federal Agency Contacts in Region/State). If the CFDA program description refers to a state or regional information contact, applicants should contact the federal department or agency office listed here before applying for funding.
This website is designed to be a "one-stop shop," a place where grant seekers can find and apply for current grant opportunities from all federal agencies. You can find more than 1,000 grant programs that distribute more than $400 billion in awards each year, and sign up for email notification of future grant opportunities. To apply for a grant through this site you first need to register (which takes 3-5 business days to process), and then you can track your application progress online.
Faith-based and community organizations can apply for funds to help Americans in need through additional programs. Many of these are "formula grants" made available to states and local governments, which then award grants to local organizations.
Private Funding Sources [back to top]
The Foundation Center compiles the most comprehensive information on private funding sources for projects, research and scholarships. Use this website to find national, state, community and corporate foundations, learn about the grant seeking process, find guidelines on writing a grant proposal, and link to other useful websites.
The Grantsmanship Center is another website with a searchable database on government grants as well as information on community foundations and international funding.
The Vermont Community Foundation is a statewide public charity that distributes charitable funds through grants, and helps non-profits manage their resources. They provide tips for grant seekers in Vermont.
Small Business Loans [back to top]
The Small Business Administration's web page offers help on business development, laws and regulations regarding starting and operating a business, and locating financial assistance to do so. Information on how to bid on government contracts is also available, as well a resources designed to help minority or otherwise disadvantaged businesses. Women entrepreneurs, veterans, Native Americans, other minorities and young entrepreneurs can access useful information on programs and services tailored to support their businesses.
Writing Grant Proposals [back to top]
Get help writing grant proposals by following CFDA guidelines described in Developing and Writing Grant Proposals, or take the Foundation Center's Proposal Writing Short Course. The Congressional Research Service also has two reports - Resources for Grantseekers and How to Develop and Write a Grant Proposal – that have helpful information on identifying and applying for government and private funding opportunities.
Getting a Letter of Support from Senator Sanders [back to top]
NOTE: Senator Sanders will give full attention to every request for letters of support. But owing to the large number of requests he receives, and his commitment to giving strong and focused support to a limited number of proposals to make sure they are given the strongest possible consideration, it will not always be possible to provide letters of support in response to all requests
Senator Sanders offers letters of support for Vermonters who are seeking funding for their projects. To request a letter of support for your application, please supply our office with the following:
1. A description of your organization,
2. A summary of the application,
3. A description of what the money will be used for, and
4. A draft letter of support.
Please forward this information to the Burlington office at the following address:
Senator Bernie Sanders
1 Church St., 3rd Floor
Burlington, Vermont 05401