Grants.gov: The Official U.S. Government Site for Finding Grants
Grants.gov is the federal government’s online application system. It provides one central website where organizations and individuals can find and apply for grants through the federal government. Grants.gov is the place to access over 1,000 grant programs offered by the different federal agencies that make grants (26 in total!). To learn more, visit www.grants.gov.
Government grants provide federal assistance to individuals, benefits or entitlements. Grants may also be issued by private non-profit organizations such as foundations, not-for-profit corporations or charitable trusts which are all collectively referred to as charities.
According to Wikipedia, there are over 900 grant programs offered by federal grant-making agencies. These programs fall into three different types:
- Categorical grants. This type of grant may be spent only for narrowly defined purposes, and recipients often must match a portion of the federal funds. About 90% of federal aid dollars are spent for categorical grants, and they are divided into project grants and formula grants. Project grants are meant to fund research projects, such as a research project for medical purposes. Before applying for a project grant, an individual must have certain qualifications. The typical duration for project grants is three years.Formula grants provide funds as dictated by a law.
- Block grants. These are large grants provided from the federal government to state or local governments for use in a general purpose.
- Earmark grants.They are not competitively awarded and are explicitly specified in appropriations of the U.S. Congress.
Regardless which type of grant you are applying for, the first step is to register through Grants.gov. Registration must be completed before you can apply; it is a multi-step process that will likely take at least two weeks.
Once registration is complete, you can use Grants.gov to:
- search for government grants
- apply for grant funding
- find forms
- track your application
- access grant resources
Note: it is your responsibility to create and maintain a regularly updated registration with Grants.gov. You do not need to complete the registration process to download the application package and begin to prepare your materials. However, you will need your Grants.gov Username and Password that you obtain during the registration process to submit your application. Don’t forget to sign up to be notified of future funding opportunities!