Congressman Jim Cooper

Representing the 5th District of Tennessee
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Grants

Are you looking for information about federal grants available? Check out this guide and resources for  information on federal grants, loans, and nonfinancial assistance, as well as on private funding.


 

How Best to Find Information

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  1. Find out Who is Eligible for a Grant? Other government websites may be more suitable for personal needs, student loans, small business assistance, or other business opportunities such as government contracting. The website Government Benefits, Grants, and Financial Aid may also be of help.
  2. If eligible, search for programs in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA). Includes grants, loans, business and nonfinancial help.
  3. Contact federal office given in CFDA program description: if state or local office is indicated, check Regional Agency Offices at top of CFDA website for addresses.
  4. Go to federal websites given in each CFDA program description for more information and for state administering agencies responsible for managing funding.
  5. Check current federal grants opportunities at Grants.gov, obtain a Dun and Bradstreet (DUNS) number, register with System for Award Management (SAM), and apply online (links and instructions given at the website). Additional notices appear at FedConnect.
  6. Search foundations for project funding: use the Foundation Center website or Foundation Center Cooperating Collections in libraries to identify national, state, and community foundations.
  7. Learn how to write grant proposals: follow CFDA's Developing and Writing Grant Proposals, or take the free online Foundation Center Proposal Writing Short Course.
 

Key Federal Funding Sources

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Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (General Services Administration)
The CFDA, issued annually and updated continuously on the Web, describes some 1600 federal grants and non financial assistance programs. Grantseekers can identify programs that might support their projects and can learn the program's objectives, requirements, application procedures and contacts. Includes a detailed subject index; browsable listing of programs by applicant eligibility; and Appendix VI, Developing and Writing Grant Proposals. Appendix IV gives state, local and regional offices of federal agencies: if the CFDA program description refers to a state or regional Information contact, grantseekers should contact them before applying for funding to obtain the most up-to-date information. For current notices of funding availability, see Grants.gov or FedConnect.

Grants.gov (managed by Dept. of Health and Human Services)
Federal website that allows eligible grantseekers (see Who is Eligible for a Grant?) to find and apply for current competitive grant opportunities from ALL federal agencies. Grantseekers can check on notices of funding availability (NOFAs) posted in the last 7 days; access an RSS feed of grant opportunities; and apply for federal grants through a unified process by downloading the application and submitting online. The website guides grantseekers in obtaining a Dun and Bradstreet (DUNS) number, registering with System for Award Management (SAM), and registering with Grants.gov to apply and to track applications. For full federal program descriptions, see CFDA below. See also website FedConnect for additional grants and contracts opportunities.

State Single Points of Contact (Office of Management and Budget)
Under Executive Order 12372, some states require federal grants applicants to submit a copy of their application for state government level review and comment. The state offices listed here coordinate federal financial assistance and may direct federal development.  For help in identifying state-level grants, other state government agencies websites may be found at State and Local Agencies by Topic

CFDA in Local Libraries (Government Printing Office)
Although the Catalog is available full-text on the Internet, some may prefer a print edition. However, only the Web Catalog is continuously updated-- the published volume is annual with no supplements. The Catalog is available in all states in Federal Depository Libraries.

 

Related Federal Resources

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A-Z Index of U.S. Government Departments and Agencies  (General Services Administration)
To better develop a grant proposal, search a department or agency's Home Page to learn more about its programs and objectives. The site USA.gov also links to Government Benefits, Grants and Financial Aid.

Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (Department of Energy)
Grants are EERE's primary funding vehicle for businesses, industries, universities and others. Most EERE grants are awarded on merit on a competitive basis. EERE financial assistance opportunities are listed in the Financial Opportunities by Audience database and on Grants.gov or FedConnect. For state-by-state information on state, local. utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, search DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency). 

Grants Funding State, Local and Tribal Governments (Dept. of Homeland Security)
Most Homeland Security non-disaster grant programs are 0designated for state and local governments and specific entities such as colleges, etc. Unsolicited applications from individuals are generally not accepted. Includes Urban Area Security Initiative, Citizens Corps, Medical Response System, Operation Stonegarden (border security), Infrastructure Protection. Contact homeland security State Offices. Programs for firefighters may be found at Assistance to Firefighters.

USA.gov for Business  (GSA)
Includes contracting with the federal government, international trade and exporting, and small business. See also financial assistance links at the Small Business Administration website.

USA.gov for Nonprofits  (GSA)
Links to federal department and agency information and service for nonprofit organizations, including fundraising and outreach, grants, loans and other assistance, laws and regulations, management and operations, online services, registration and licensing, and tax information.

Student Aid on the Web (Department of Education)
Financial assistance for education beyond high school is generally "needs-based" and often includes loans and work-study, in addition to some grants. College and university applications, websites, and brochures usually include financial aid information for prospective and incoming students.

Benefits.gov (via Department of Labor)
Government grants are not direct assistance to individuals, but fund state and local programs providing help to those in need. This online screening site can be used to identify state and local government benefits and how to apply. Covers direct payments, loans, insurance, training, or other services.

FTC Consumer Alert (Federal Trade Commission)
The FTC warns consumers to beware of paying "processing fees" for information that is available free to the public. Ads claiming federal grants are available for home repairs, home business, unpaid bills, or other personal expenses are often a scam.

OMB Grants Management  (Office of Management and Budget)
OMB establishes government-wide grants management policies and guidelines through circulars and common rules. OMB Circulars are cited in Catalog program descriptions and may be printed out fulltext.

 

Private and Corporate Funding Sources

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The Foundation Center
Gateway to information about private funding sources, the grantseeking process, guidelines on writing a grant proposal, addresses of state libraries with grants reference collections, and links to other useful Internet websites. The Center maintains a comprehensive database on foundations; produces print and electronic directories and guides; conducts research and publishes studies in the field; and offers a variety of training and educational seminars.

Grants Resources by State (Grantsmanship Center)
Click on state map to find links to information about a state's foundations, community foundations, corporate giving programs and the state's home page.

Information Web page, prepared by the Congressional Research Service for Members of Congress, which gives guidance and Internet resources on Federal grants and nonfinancial assistance, as well as on private foundation funding. The Slide show "Grants Information for Constituents" provides overview and tips, reviews key sources, and demonstrates doing a typical grants request.

[Updated July 2006 ]

Grants Information for Constituents

 

How Best to Find Information

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Find funding programs and learn how to write grant proposals:

  1. Search or browse the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) by Keyword and other indexes for grants, loans, business and nonfinancial help.
  2. Contact Federal office given in CFDA program description: if indicated, use CFDA Appendix IV: Federal Regional or Local Office Addresses (by Agency or by State).
  3. Search Federal Web sites given in each CFDA program description for more information and for State Administering Agencies responsible for managing these programs.
  4. Check current Federal grants postings at Grants.gov and apply online.
  5. Search also foundations for project funding: use the Foundation Center Web site or Foundation Center book collections in libraries to identify national, State, and community foundations.
  6. Learn how to write grant proposals: follow CFDA's Developing and Writing Grant Proposals, or take the Foundation Center Proposal Writing Short Course.

Key Federal Funding Sources

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  • Grants.gov
  • Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
  • CFDA Indexes and Listings
  • Writing Grant Proposals
  • Federal Agency Contacts in States
  • State Single Points of Contact
  • CFDA in Print
  • CFDA in Local Libraries

Grants.gov (via Dept. of Health and Human Services)
Federal grants Web site that allows organizations to electronically find and apply for current competitive grant opportunities from ALL Federal agencies. Grant seekers can check on notices of funding availability posted in the last 7 days; sign up to receive e-mail notification of future grant opportunities; and apply for Federal grants online through a unified process. For full Federal program descriptions, see CFDA below.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (General Services Administration)
The Catalog (CFDA), issued annually and updated continuously on the Web, describes some 1500 Federal grants and non financial assistance programs. Grantseekers can identify programs that might support their projects and can learn the program's objectives, requirements, application procedures and contacts. For current notices of funding availability, see Grants.gov.

Catalog Indexes and Listings  (GSA)
Although keyword searching is often a good place to start, also browse by broad subject (Functional Area), by Federal Department or Agency, or by Beneficiary to identify more Federal funding programs. CFDA program descriptions refer to local and regional Federal office addresses, to related programs, and to Office of Management and Budget circulars, all available full text on the Internet.

Developing and Writing Grant Proposals  (CFDA)
Guidance in formulating Federal grant applications, including initial proposal development, basic components of a proposal, review recommendations, and referral to Federal guidelines and literature.

Federal Regional or Local Office Addresses  (CFDA Appendix IV; by Agency or by State)
Much of the Federal grants budget moves to the States through formula and block grants -- State, regional, and local Federal offices often handle grants applications and funds disbursement. If the CFDA program description refers to a State or regional Information Contact as listed in Appendix IV, grantseekers should contact them before applying for funding to obtain the most up-to-date information.

State 'Single Points of Contact'  (Office of Management and Budget)
Under Executive Order 12372, some States require Federal grants applicants to submit a copy of their application for State government level review and comment. The State offices listed here coordinate government (both Federal and State) grants development and may provide guidance to grantseekers. For help in identifying State-level grants, other State government agencies Web sites include: the Library of Congress' State Government Information and National Association of State Development Agencies.

CFDA in Print (Government Printing Office)
Although the Catalog is available full-text on the Internet, some may prefer a print edition. However, only the Web Catalog is continuously updated-the published volume is annual with no supplements.

Related Federal Resources

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  • A-Z Index Departments & Agencies
  • Homeland Security Grants
  • Disaster Assistance
  • FirstGov for Government-to-Government
  • FirstGov for Business
  • FirstGov for Nonprofits
  • Faith-Based Initiatives
  • GovBenefits.gov
  • FTC Consumer Alert
  • Federal Register (for CFDA Updates)
  • Office of Management & Budget (OMB Circulars)

A-Z Index of U.S. Departments and Agencies (General Services Administration)
To better develop a grant proposal, search a department or agency's Home Page to learn more about its programs and objectives. The site USA.gov also has an A-Z Index of Government Benefits, Grants and Financial Aid.

Homeland Security Grants (Dept. of Homeland Security)
Information on Federal homeland security and public safety grant opportunities, whether administered by DHS or other departments and agencies. Covers First Responder Grants (which includes Assistance to Firefighters, Disaster/Response Program, and State Homeland Security Contacts).

Disaster Assistance (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
FEMA disaster assistance falls into three general categories: Individual and Households; Public Assistance for emergency services and repair or replacement of damaged public facilities; and Hazard Mitigation funding to reduce future losses to public and private property.

 

USA.gov for Business  (GSA)
Includes contracting with the federal government, international trade and exporting, and small business. See also financial assistance links at the Small Business Administration website.

USA.gov for Nonprofits  (GSA)
Links to federal department and agency information and service for nonprofit organizations, including fundraising and outreach, grants, loans and other assistance, laws and regulations, management and operations, online services, registration and licensing, and tax information.

Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives)
The Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Justice, and Labor operate a number of programs to serve Americans in need for which faith-based and community organizations may apply. Consult Guidance to Faith-Based and Community Organizations on Partnering with the Federal Government and Federal Funds for Organizations That Help Those in Need. Many are "formula grants" made available to States and local governments, which in turn award grants to grassroots and local organizations. To learn about them, contact local and State agencies responsible for managing these programs. [Download a free PDF reader]

Benefits.gov (GSA)
Free online screening tool to identify government benefits and how to apply. Covers direct payment, loan, insurance, training, or other services. Browse programs by State, by category, or ‘Get Results by Questionnaire'.

FTC Consumer Alert (Federal Trade Commission)
Ads claiming federal grants are available for home repairs, home business, unpaid bills are often a scam. Most sources of grants don't give money to individuals for personal need (except in disaster situations). The FTC, the nation's consumer protection agency, also warns consumers to beware of paying "processing fees" for free information.

Federal Register (National Archives)
The Federal Register, printed each business day, publishes updates and notices affecting Federal assistance programs. Scroll down to check current year; scroll down further to enter Catalog program number, or subject/keyword "AND CFDA" in Search Terms box.

OMB Grants Management Web Site (Office of Management and Budget)
OMB establishes government-wide grants management policies and guidelines through circulars and common rules.  OMB Circulars  are cited in Catalog program descriptions and may be printed out fulltext.

Private & Corporate Funding Sources

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The Foundation Center
Gateway to information about private funding sources, the grantseeking process, guidelines on writing a grant proposal, addresses of State libraries with grants reference collections, and links to other useful Internet Web sites. The Center maintains a comprehensive database on foundations; produces print, Web, and CD-ROM directories and guides; conducts research and publishes studies in the field; and offers a variety of training and educational seminars.

Grant Resources by State (Grantsmanship Center)
Click on state map to find links to information about a state's foundations, community foundations, corporate giving programs and the state's home page.

Community Foundation Locator (Council on Foundations)
Community foundations have special interest in funding local and community projects.

Additional Sources

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Geographic Tracking of Federal Funds
Two U.S. Census Bureau publications are the Federal government's primary printed documents detailing the geographic distribution of Federal monies to States and Counties:

  • Federal Aid to States
    FAS details actual expenditures of Federal grant funds to State and local governments. Figures are presented to the State level by program area and agency.
  • Consolidated Federal Funds Report
    In CFFR, grants generally represent obligations and include payments both to State and local governments and to nongovernmental recipients. Data are provided for State and county levels.

Grants and Other Funding Sources (House Information Resources)
Resource page, compiled for congressional offices, covering public and private Web links under funding categories such as:

  • Where to Find Federal Grants
  • How to Apply for Grants
  • Help with Managing the Grant Process
  • Foundations
  • Nonprofit Charitable Organizations
  • Corporate Charitable Giving
  • Small Business Resources
  • International Trade & Development
  • State & Local Govt. Funding Resources
  • Disaster Assistance
  • Money for College
  • Scholarships - Specific Fields of Study
  • Internships/Summer Employment
  • Computers for Schools and Communities
  • Other Educational Resources
  • Surplus & Unclaimed Property
  • Consumer Protection
  • Demographic and Statistical Resources
  • Other Helpful Resources

Comprehensive guide prepared by the Congressional Research Service (updated Jan. 2013)