Federal Grants

The following information will help you find the grant opportunities that are presently available. Grants are not benefits or entitlements. A federal grant is an award of financial assistance from a federal agency to a recipient to carry out a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by a law of the United States. Federal grants are not federal assistance or loans to individuals.

A federal grant may not used to acquire property or services for the federal government’s direct benefit. The 26 federal agencies offer over 1,000 grant programs annually in various categories.

Grant Categories 

Agencies that Provide Grants

*IMPORTANT NOTICE: All applicants please read immediately

You do not have to register with Grants.gov to find grant opportunities. However, once you are ready to apply for a grant, you will need to Get Registered. This process takes 3-5 business days.

You may also search for a specific application package by the Funding Opportunity Number (FON)Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number or Funding Opportunity Competition ID on the Download Application Package page. For more information, visit Apply for Grants.

Visit All About Grants to find resources from grantors, related associations and Grants.gov.

Subscriptions – Sign-up now and receive notifications of new grant opportunity postings delivered right to you.

How can our organization find out about funding opportunities?

First, you must become familiar with what is available. The following list contains general information on over 170 programs operated by multiple Federal agencies. Use this list as a starting point. If you find a program that interests you, you can get more information such as when and how you can apply for funds from the agency contact in each listing or from the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA). To use the CFDA, locate the CFDA Number at the end of each listing. Use that number to search for the program on the CFDA website: https://www.cfda.gov/

An important point: More Federal money is available from programs administered by States and localities than from the Federal government. For example, in the past, the Department of Health and Human Services has awarded significantly more money to States and localities, which in turn made much of the money available to non-governmental organizations, than it gave directly to grant applicants. So, in addition to finding out more about grants from the Federal government, you will probably want to look into partnering with your State and local government.

We’ve found some programs we’re interested in. What’s next?

All Federal grants have to be announced to the public. These announcements (sometimes called a “Program Announcement,” “Request for Proposal,” “Notice of Funding Availability,” or “Solicitation for Grant Applications”) are the government’s way of looking for charities and other groups to provide a Federally-funded service. Each grant announcement will contain instructions on how to apply, including where to get an application packet, information the application should contain, the date the application is due, and agency contact information.

Grant announcements are issued throughout the year. Unfortunately, there is no single document that contains every Federal grant announcement and no uniform format for these announcements although that President’s Administration is working to change this. In the future, it hopes to have all Federal agencies publish grant announcements electronically, in a single format and on a single website (www.grants.gov or https://www.fbo.gov/). Currently, most grant announcements are listed in the Federal Register, a daily publication that can be accessed on the Internet (www.gpoaccess.gov/fr/index.html) and at major public libraries. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (https://www.cfda.gov/) also contains information about grant announcements. You can also call the agency contact identified in the list that follows and ask that person how you can get a copy of the grant announcement.

How can our organization get more help?

Most Federal agencies have experts who are available to help organizations apply for and manage their grants. Applicants should call the contact identified in the grant announcement or contact an agency’s regional office. These agency staff are available to answer questions over the phone. They may also refer applicants to local or nearby technical assistance workshops or to organizations that are under contract with the Federal government to provide this kind of assistance. Assistance may also be available from the organizations funded by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Compassion Capital Fund. These organizations help small faith-based and community-based organizations learn about the grants process. They may also help small groups with other challenges, such as training volunteers and staff or expanding the reach of the services they provide. They do this at no cost to your organization. You can learn more about the Compassion Capital Fund and the organizations it funds through the White House. In addition, for general questions about writing a grant proposal, many State governments and cities provide grant writing workshops, as do a number of nonprofit organizations and foundations.


The following list of over 170 programs represents most of the programs, offered by various Federal agencies, of interest to small, faith-based and community groups. However, there may be other programs in these or other agencies that we have not listed. Additional programs will be added over time. Visit www.grants.gov to look for further funding opportunities.

The programs that follow are organized into general categories. In most categories, you will find programs from several different Federal agencies. For example, in the Elders in Need category are programs operated by the Departments of HHS and HUD. At the beginning of each category are programs for which you make application directly to one of the Federal agencies. In every case, the contact information in the listing is a good place to start for learning about the application process and other details about the program.

You will find “State and locally-administered Federal funding” at the end of most categories. These are the programs in which the Federal government makes large grants available to States and local governments. These States and localities then award grants themselves to grassroots and other organizations. Totaling more than $50 billion, State and locally-administered Federal funding represents a wide range of funding opportunities. To learn about these opportunities, you will need to get in touch with State and local agencies responsible for managing these programs where you live

For further information about grants and loans by category, please visit the following link: Government Grants and Loans for Individuals

Many people look to the government hoping to find out how to apply for a grant or to get “free money,” which they have seen advertised on television or in various publications. However, it is important to know that grants usually go to state and local governments or nonprofit organizations, which then use the money to operate assistance programs locally. Therefore, it may be difficult for an individual to qualify for a federal grant. USA.gov has information about legitimate grant and loan opportunities and contact information for grant or benefit-sponsoring agencies.

GovBenefits.gov assists individuals looking for government grants and loans. It is the official government benefits website, encompassing more than 400 federal and 600 state programs funded by various agencies. This site allows you to complete a confidential questionnaire and receive a list of programs that may apply to your situation.

GovLoans.gov assists individuals looking for government loans. It acts as the gateway to government loan information by directing you to the loan information that best meets your needs.

Disability.gov assists individuals concerned with disability issues. It provides information and resources for people with disabilities.

Grants.gov assists states and organizations looking for grants.

Another source of information is the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA), which is a directory of over 15 types of federal assistance, including grants and loans. There are about 1,500 programs listed in the CFDA. Each program has a summary that explains program eligibility requirements, agency contact information, and application instructions.

If an immediate need for items such as food, clothing, healthcare, or emergency funds exists, please contact a state social services agency. Even if social services have been contacted and the applicant is ineligible for benefits, these agencies may be able to provide referrals to community organizations that might offer assistance. You may also search for and contact community or nonprofit organizations in your area directly for assistance or referral information.

Please note: All of the websites we reference are government sites and are not affiliated in any way with commercial websites that offer grant information, often for a fee. If you have received information stating you qualify for a “free grant,” you may wish to view the consumer alert on free grants from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). If you have been a victim of a grant scam, you can contact the FTC by calling 1.877.FTC.HELP (1.877.382.4357).

In addition, if you have purchased a book or otherwise paid a fee to obtain grant information and are not satisfied, you may wish to contact your state consumer protection office for assistance.

For further information about grants, loans, and government benefits by category, please visit the following links:

Arts and Humanities



Housing Assistance: Rent Payments

There are several agencies you may want to contact to find out what assistance may be available to help with your rent payments:

  • Start by contacting your state housing finance agency or your local housing assistance authority office. These offices may have information about assistance programs administered by your state.
  • Also, contact your local Housing and Urban Development (HUD) office, which is an excellent resource for information regarding rental assistance programstenant rights in your statehousing counseling and a number of other programs for certain groups, such as renters, and resources such as public housing.
  • If you are a veteran, you may also want to contact the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). The VA offers many programs designed to assist veterans.
  • If you are a senior citizen, you may also want to contact the Eldercare Locator. This is a free service, from the Administration on Aging (AOA), that can connect you with resources and programs designed to assist seniors in your area.
  • If you are a rural resident, you may also want to contact the local Rural Development (RD) office. These offices can provide assistance to rural residents through the Rural Housing Service.
  • If you are a person with a disability, information on housing options is also available.

Finally, to find out what other assistance may be available for you locally, we recommend that you contact your state social services agency. Even if you have contacted social services and are ineligible for benefits, these agencies may be able to provide referrals to community organizations that might offer assistance. You may also search for and contact community or nonprofit organizations in your area directly for assistance or referral information.

Additional Resources:

Financial Help for Single Mothers This site contains information on over 30 financial grants & assistance for single moms including college aid, housing subsidies, food stamp benefits, childcare insurance & more.

More than 70 agencies in the United States Federal Government produce statistics of interest to the public. The Federal Interagency Council on Statistical Policy maintains this site to provide easy access to the full range of statistics and information produced by these agencies.  http://www.fedstats.gov/

The official website for searching the U.S. government, this site differs from the Nonprofit Gateway (below) in that there is no special focus on the interests of charitable organizations.  http://www.usa.gov/

Combined Federal Campaign – An annual fund-raising drive conducted by Federal employees in their workplace each fall. Each year Federal employees and military personnel raise millions of dollars through the CFC to benefit thousands of non-profit charities. http://www.opm.gov/cfc/

Links to Federal Agencies From Louisiana State University Libraries – A list of Federal Agencies on the Internet, grouped by Executive, Judicial, Legislative, Independent, Boards, Commissions and Committees, and Quasi-Official;  plus there is a key-word search; and a “Find” feature you can use to search the full U.S. Federal Government Agencies Directory (to which a link is provided). http://www.lib.lsu.edu/gov/fedgov.html

Some Tips on Applying for Federal Grants by  Sue Fox – Nonprofit Coordinating Committee of New York http://www.npccny.org/info/fr5.htm

Council on Foundations – The Council’s site provides a wealth of information on foundations, including helpful advise on seeking funding. http://www.cof.org

The Foundation Center – The Foundation Center’s site includes news, information on the various libraries and affiliates, as well as a useful publication list. http://foundationcenter.org/

The Idealist – Formerly the Contact Center, this is a project of Action Without Borders. The site contains several important resources for nonprofits, including a searchable directory and a list of directories available on the web. http://www.idealist.org

The Nonprofit Gateway – This site, developed by the federal government, offers a connection to various government sites of interest to nonprofits.

Council for the Advancement and Support of Education – The primary organization for college and university fundraisers, the CASE site includes news, links and important professional development information. http://www.case.org

Association for Professional Research for Advancement – The primary organization for prospect researchers offers a page with links to various databases and professional information. http://www.aprahome.org

Additional Information

Management and Operations

Tax Information