Federal Government Grants
There are approximately 26 federal grant agencies that offer over a 1,000 federal government grants assistance opportunities. Federal government assistance helps organizations and groups implement programs in approximately 21 areas including aagriculture, arts, health, housing, business, commerce, humanities, community development, information and statistics, consumer protection and environment, law, justice, legal services, disaster prevention relief assistance, natural resources, education, regional development, employment, training, science and technology, energy, social services, income security, environmental, transportation and food and nutrition. There are grants for minorities, women, disabled persons, small businesses and students.
Federal College Grants
Students and displaced workers are also eligible for government Pell Grants and other need based grants to help fund their education and training to compete in the workforce. Students should apply early by completing an online Free Application for Federal Student Aid (“FASA”), at the government’s website at: http://studentaid.ed.gov/PORTALSWebApp/students/english/grants.jsp.
Pell grants are typically for undergraduate students seeking a bachelor’s degree or who are enrolled in a post baccalaureate teaching certificate program. Students are only allowed to receive one Pell Grant at a time. The maximum award amount for the 2011-2012 award year is $5,550.
Government Agencies that Provide Grants
Some of the government agencies that provide grants include:
- Department of Agriculture
- Department of Commerce
- Department of Defense
- Department of Education
- Department of Energy
- Department of Health and Human Services
- Department of Housing and Urban Development
- Environmental Protection Agency
- National Endowment for the Arts
- National Endowment for the Humanities
- National Science Foundation
Applying for Federal Grants
To apply directly for a government federal grant, you need to register at the grants.gov government website and download an application. Each grant is identified by a CFDA number, funding number and application number. After you have submitted an application, you can check the status by using these identifying numbers. Be sure to read all the guidelines carefully and follow the instructions. The deadline for submission is also posted on the website. You can apply for multiple grants. Pass through grants require your state to apply to the government for the grant and they hand out the funds to organizations that request the money. Make sure that you qualify for the grant programs so that you are not wasting your time. Government grants are popular and there is a lot of competition. So it is a good idea to submit your application early if you can in case the funding agency needs additional information. Be sure to attach all the required supporting documents that the funding agency requests such as your operating budget and financial information, your IRS 501 ( c) (3) exemption letter, information about your board of directors and other required information.
The great thing about federal government assistance grants is you do not need to pay back the money to the government. However, there are certain obligations that are expected by the government, and you must report how you use the funds and you are subject to a government audit.