Government Grants and Federal Funding for Business, Companies,
Communities, and Organizations: Where Do I Begin?
Finding grants for individuals for college is one thing, but finding grants for big projects for organizations is quite another thing. There is really a lot to it. We will attempt to present resources that will answer the questions "Where do I begin? How do I find government and federal grants?" We will list resources that are available that will help show you where you need to go to find state and federal government grants for your projects. Finding the grants is only one part of the process. The application process as well as the administration process if you obtain the grant are big adventures in their own right. On this website, we are going to cover only the "finding" part of the government grant process. However, some of the resources presented on this website will take you through the entire process.
Grants.gov is a central storehouse for information on over 1,000 grant programs and provides access to approximately $500 billion in annual awards. I have seen plenty of magazine articles telling people to access grants.gov to find grants and scholarships for college. Grants.gov does NOT contain college grants and scholarships for individuals. This is NOT a database for individual financial assistance. Basically, governments and organizations are recipients of the type of grants that can be found on grants.gov. In a way, individuals benefit from these grants because organizations receive the money and then distribute the money to individuals through a variety of programs. For example, a state department of social services might fund a specific child care program for single moms wanting to attend college. The single mother does not get the money directly from grants.gov. The state gets the money, first.
Somewhere on the grants.gov menu will be links "Find Grant Opportunities" or "Grant Search." These links will allow you to search www.grants.gov.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CDFA) "provides a full-listing of all Federal programs available to State and local governments (including the District of Columbia); federally-recognized Indian tribal governments; Territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic public, quasi-public and private public and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals."
Helpful tips on writing a proposal is covered under the "General Info" tab. This online Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance website offers a few ways to search, such as by keyword, by number, agency, and more.
Federal Grants website is an EXCELLENT source for general, introductory information about federal grants as well as providing a search engine for finding specific federal grants.
Information includes: Federal Housing Grants; Federal Grants for Small Businesses; Federal Grants for Women; How to Apply for a Federal Grant; How to Find, Evaluate, and Hire a Grant Writer; Real World Grant Writing Example; The Truth About Free Federal Grants; You're Awarded the Federal Grant, Now What?
Michigan State University Libraries has a website devoted to presenting all kinds of information about grants and topics related to grants. This website includes information about grants for nonprofits; grants for individuals; funding for business or economic development; national grant makers, grantsmanship techniques, nonprofit fundraising, and MUCH, MUCH, MORE. Seriously, there is A LOT of information at this website. You need to take your time exploring this website.
GrantSelect is a fee-based online grants database. It is not able to be accessed for free off the Internet. The typical type of organization that has this resource would be a major university library. GrantSelect will list over 10,000 grants from over 5,000 unique sponsors such as the federal government, associations, organizations, companies, and foundations.
The Foundation Center maintains a collection of grants but it is a fee-based system. It is likely that you will find this resource in a major university library. The Foundation Center is a well-known resource that was established in 1956 and now is supported by close to 550 foundations. This Center maintains one of the most comprehensive databases on U.S.grantmakers and their grants; issues a wide variety of print, electronic, and online information resources; and conducts and publishes research on trends in foundation growth, giving, and practice.
Small Business Information:
The Small Business Administration should be one of the first resources that you access if you are looking for any information related to small business. Information about starting a business, business plans, proposals, financing, and MUCH, MUCH MORE can be found at the small business administration.
Small Business Grants: The Facts and the Fiction is located at: http://articles.bplans.com/government-grants-for-small-businesses-the-fact-and-the-fiction/. "eXtension is an Internet-based collaborative environment where Land Grant University content providers exchange objective, research-based knowledge to solve real challenges in real time." A number of good articles on a variety of topics can be located at http://www.extension.org OR http://www.extension.org/entrepreneurship.
Michigan State University Library Funding for Business and Economic Development Web Page gives another very good "reality check" article about what to expect when it comes to federal government funding for small business, or funding of any kind from the government for that matter. There is more information on this website as you scroll through the page. Some of the information is local to the State of Michigan, but there are many resources that anyone in the United States can use.
ChooseWhat at http://www.choosewhat.com guides entrepreneurs through the process of starting a business. Articles and forums provide helpful information to anyone searching for answers to questions about business.
About.com: U.S. Government Information about Small Business has a few web pages that will provide information about small business grants:
The "How To" Grants Manual: Successful Grantseeking Techniques for Obtaining Public and Private Grants. If you have no clue on how to find government grants, then this book can be very, very helpful. This book is NOT about finding free money for individual assistance such as for college grants and scholarships. This book gives you a lot of information about how the government grant process works. The book covers categorical grants, earmarked grants, formula grants, block grants, and much more. This book covers how to find federal government grants and what to do after you find the grant, including the application and administration part of the grant process. This is one of the few books that deserves to have the words "How To" in the title.
The Grants Register can be located in most "big" libraries. This single, thick book, is "the most comprehensive guide available to postgraduate grants and professional funding worldwide. For twenty-eight years the leading source for up-to-date information on the availability of, and eligibility for, postgraduate and professional awards. All information is updated annually."
Winning Grants Step-by-Step is a very well-respected guide for showing how to write proposals for private or government funding.
Government Assistance Almanac is a guide to federal domestic financial assistance and other programs. This book is kind of a condensed version of the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. Government Assistance Almanac attempts to reduce the information to the essentials needed by most people seeking federal assistance.
Foundation Grants to Individuals will list foundations that will give funds directly to individuals.