Guidance and key resources to help eligible grantseekers find information on federal grants, loans, and nonfinancial assistance, as well as on private funding.
Prepared by the Congressional Research Service for the U.S. Senate, updated January 2021.
How Best to Find Information
- 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.
- If eligible, search for programs at Assistance Listings. Includes grants, loans, business and nonfinancial help.
- Contact federal office given in each Assistance Listing program description.
- Go to federal websites given in each Assistance Listing program description for more information and for state administering agencies responsible for managing these programs.
- Check current federal grants opportunities at Grants.gov, register with System for Award Management (SAM), and apply online (links and instructions given at the website). Additional notices appear at FedConnect.
- Search foundations for project funding: use the Foundation Center website or Foundation Information Network resources in libraries to identify national, state, and community foundations.
- Learn how to write grant proposals: Take the free online Foundation Center Proposal Writing Short Course, or see other tips and sample proposals at Grantspace’s How Do I Write a Grant Proposal?
Key Federal Funding Sources
SAM.gov. The website, produced by the General Services Administration (GSA) and it houses federal assistance listings previously found on the now-retired Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA). Each federal assistance program has a corresponding CFDA program number; these CFDA numbers are still used as numerical program identifiers. Descriptions are updated by departments and agencies, and they cover authorizing legislation, objectives, and eligibility and compliance requirements.. For current notices of funding availability, see Grants.gov or FedConnect. 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 RSS feeds 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. See also website FedConnect for additional grants and contracts opportunities. State and Local Agencies.
Related Federal Resources
USA.gov also links to Government Benefits, Grants and Loans. Financial Opportunities and listings 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). State Offices. Programs for firefighters may be found at Assistance to Firefighters. Small Business Administration website. OMB Circulars are cited in beta.SAM.gov Assistance Listing program descriptions and may be printed out full text.
Private and Corporate Funding Sources
- How do I find grants for my nonprofit?
- Proposal Writing Short Course (also in Spanish, French, and other languages)
- Foundation Information Network (by state) Check for locations. Free funding information available in libraries, community foundations, and other nonprofit centers nationwide.