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An Introduction To Federal Grants

Aug 17, 2007
If you've heard about Federal Grants and always wanted to apply for one, this section will introduce you to the Federal Grant program.

The first place to look for federal grants is the government, which provides the largest number of grants to businesses and other organizations. An excellent and comprehensive place to begin your search for a federal grant is the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, or CFDA. This catalog offers 15 different types of federal domestic assistance, including formula grants and project grants. Formula grants are given to states "in accordance with distribution formulas," and project grants provide funds for "specific projects . . . [which] can include . . . research grants, training grants, . . . technical assistance grants . . . and construction grants"

This site also gives information on how to apply for federal assistance. Essentially you use the search engine to find programs which will meet your needs. It will give you information on what the program offers and what you need to do to apply. It gives information for contacting the agency offering the grant so that you can find out directly from the source if your grant proposal or project proposal meets their parameters for funding, if there are funds available at the current time, and answers to any other questions you might have. If everything seems to match well, the next step is to apply for the grant. There is a standard form 424, called the Application for Federal Assistance that you will usually use, although certain agencies may have other forms you will need to fill out as well. The CFDA also gives help with writing the grant itself, and explains all the parts of a grant proposal.

You should also check out Grants.gov. This website lists all types of federal grants that the government offers. It offers a search engine that you can use to find grant opportunities, and you can also download an application for writing a grant proposal here as well.

In addition to the government, another place to look for grants is foundations and non-profit organizations. There are a couple of great websites that offer a lot of information about grants available through foundations and non-profits. One is The Foundation Center. One especially unique and useful feature of this site is a listing, both in a book form and online version, of Foundation Grants to Individuals. This lists, all in one place, grants for individuals rather than non-profit organizations. There is a small subscription rate for the online service, and the book is available for purchase


Their materials are also available at cooperating libraries. Additionally, they offer online courses in grant writing and how to research grant opportunities. As you might have noticed, some for-profit corporations also have foundations that sometimes provide grants. One well-known case in point of this type of funding would be Bill Gates of Microsoft Corporation who also has the Gates Foundation, which gives grants for educational purposes, for one example from among many of their beneficiaries.

Another useful site is USA.gov. Here they list USA.gov for Nonprofits. You might not currently be a non-profit, but you could either become one or you could become affiliated with one in order to become eligible for grant monies, so it doesn't hurt to take a look around this website. It offers many opportunities for grants and their eligibility requirements and application deadlines.

You might not find the grant you wanted through the government, but that's okay. There are other avenues available such as foundations and non-profit organizations that might be able to help you find the money you need.

This article has given you a brief overview of the Federal Grant system and how it can help you.
About the Author
Dwayne Garrett is the author of several eBooks and popular software applications, he also offers an affordable Government Resource that will help you to make sense of getting free grant money. Visit:

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