Government Grants Can Get You Funding — Do You Qualify?

Government Grants Can Get You Funding — Do You Qualify?

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You need funding for your project. Grant funders have money to give to worthy causes. Yet finding, applying for, and managing a government grant isn’t an easy process. So where do you begin?

What Is a Government Grant?

Federal, state, and local governments provide government grants to offer financial assistance to select organizations. It gives projects that serve the public good an opportunity to be tax-funded.

Once awarded, the grant money is expected to be used for the stated purpose and won’t have to be repaid. Each grant comes with compliance and reporting measures to ensure the funding is well spent.

How a Government Grant Works

In order to receive a government grant, you have to apply for it. It can be an extremely competitive process requiring a complex amount of paperwork, which should include detailed descriptions of how you will use the awarded money. Many grant seekers choose to work with professional grant writers to increase their chances of success.

Researching and Finding Government Grants

In the United States, all federal grants are posted and managed on the website It provides a current listing of all government grants, eligibility requirements, and detailed information on the application process.

  • You can browse by eligibility – this includes categories such as nonprofit, individual, independent school districts, and small businesses
  • You can browse by category – agriculture, arts, business and commerce, education, health, and science and technology, to name a few
  • You can browse by federal agency – Department of Energy, Department of Health and Human Services, and Small Business Association are just a few of the organizations represented

While is considered the central clearinghouse for government grants, it’s not the only place to search.

The website provides information on grant and contractual opportunities through various government offices and agencies. You can search based on key terms for your demographics, such as location, date of posting, or agency.

If you have a specific opportunity in mind, another tactic can be to go straight to the source. For example, if you’re looking for specific educational grant opportunities, visiting the Department of Education’s website could provide a wealth of information. This includes deep-diving down to individual government offices at all levels of government.

Checking Eligibility

While it may seem obvious, reading through the grant’s eligibility requirements is essential to ensure you meet the criteria before applying. Check things like the type of organization that can apply, the size requirements of the grant, and geographic locations. If you don’t meet the qualifications, your application will be rejected. Thus, you can save yourself time by not applying.

Applying for a Government Grant

The application process for any government grant is always free, with no strings attached. If you’re asked to submit a fee, there’s a good chance it’s a scam.

When an organization announces a grant, they issue a Request for Proposals (RFP). The RFP will help you understand the project specifications and the application procedures. If you’re interested, you can download the entire application package with all the necessary instructions and forms for submission.

Once you have the necessary information, you can familiarize yourself with the process. Most applications will request things like:

  • A cover form to summarize your application and introduce your project
  • A budget summary to indicate the federal funds you’re applying for
  • A line-by-line budget to provide details of how you’ll use the money
  • A forecast of needs to explain the timeline for the use of funding
  • Assurance forms to ensure that you have the necessary qualifications to follow through with the project

When you have your grant application written and any supporting documentation at hand, you can visit the website and apply. You’ll only have access to this process once, so be prepared to submit the entire application when you log in.

Additional Tips to Help Your Grant Writing Process

The grant proposal process is increasingly competitive. If you take the time to apply for a grant, ensure you deliver a thorough application that answers the most critical questions.

  • Do the proper research – we can’t stress that enough. Many applications are discarded for not following the rules.
  • Provide an overview of your organization in your executive summary. The reader should understand who you are and what you’ll do with the money.
  • Know the audience you’re writing the grant proposal for. What do they really want to know?
  • Create an application that is easy to read and flows naturally from one point to the next. This is where it pays to do your due diligence and even request others to proofread it.
  • Be passionate about your work – this will impact it significantly. Talk about it; the grantors want to see your passion shine through.
  • Show your history, assuring the grantor that you’re the best fit for receiving the funds. Provide action items that show your responsibility.

Government grants are out there, waiting for you to apply. Spend some time browsing, and start applying.