Grants.gov is the official government site for information on federal grants and funding. Managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the site offers a database of more than 1,000 grant programs administered by 26 federal grantmaking agencies, searchable by agency, category, eligibility or CFDA number. Users can also browse listings of grant opportunities by agency or category.

Grants.gov offers an overview of the grant application process, as well as answers to frequently asked questions and other resources. Organizations and individuals must register in order to apply for funding through Grants.gov.

Learn how to find and apply for federal grants with Foundation Center's 2-part webinar Getting Started with Government Grants

Other official sources of information on government funding include the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, the Federal Register, and individual agency web sites. Foundation Directory Online recently began offering access to federal government funders as well. For information on these and additional resources, see the listing of books, articles, and web sites below.

In contrast to the overabundance of information on federal funding, availability of information on state and municipal grants varies with each locality. Check with local government officials and congressional offices directly for more information.

Federal funders generally prefer projects that serve as prototypes or models for others to replicate; local government funders require strong evidence of community support for a project. The majority of government grants are awarded to eligible nonprofit organizations, not to individuals. Government grants nearly always have stiff reporting requirements. Careful record keeping is a must, since an audit is always a possibility.

Things to consider before applying for government funding:

  • The majority of government grants are awarded to state agencies or eligible nonprofit organizations, and not to individuals. For information on funding for individuals, see our frequently asked questions for individual grantseekers or visit Benefits.gov.
  • Research funding opportunities thoroughly. Be sure to record details on the program itself, application guidelines, the timeline for submittal and notification, agency contacts, the review process, past grants awarded, and any other relevant information. Bookmark or follow the agencies you apply to so that you do not miss future funding opportunities.
  • Since government funding programs and priorities change frequently, it is a good idea to call or e-mail the appropriate agency contact person to obtain the most up-to-date information on funding guidelines and application information.
  • Government grant applications often have strict content and formatting guidelines. Be sure to follow any instructions closely, especially deadlines for submission.
  • Federal funders generally prefer projects that serve as prototypes or models for others to replicate; state and local government funders typically look for strong evidence of community support for a project.
  • Government grants nearly always have stiff reporting requirements. Careful record keeping is a must, since an audit is always a possibility.

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