Government Grants in the United States 2018/2019

Welcome to USGrants.org - your "go-to" portal for government grants and funding opportunities in the United States. Our goal is to help businesses and organizations find and apply for grant opportunities by providing all the resources and tools needed.

 

 

What are government grants?

Government grants are non-repayable financial awards and incentives from federal agencies and public for-profit & not-for-profit organizations, often given to individuals, businesses, and organizations with the intention of stimulating/growing the economy and creating job opportunities. There are also education funding opportunities (Pell grants) provided to help students in need. The government does not provide grants to individuals for personal pleasure.

The federal government/congress issue funding to each state within the United States in four different types of categories: Block Grants, Categorical Grants, Project Grants, and Formula Grants.

Quick facts about government grants

  • The United States government has been issuing grants for the past century.
  • Grants are offered to eligible applicants in order to support specific public purpose. Therefore, the United States government does not offer any grants to support any individuals or organizations for their own financial gains.
  • The majority of the funding opportunities are for businesses and organizations. Therefore, government grants are not for everyone.

Are there free government grants?

Government grants are always free to apply, and you do not have to pay back the awarded amount as long as you meet all of the obligations (if any). However, there may be fees involved in preparing for your application package. For example, some business grants may require you to go through certain financial and environmental audit and that will often cost you money up front.

The majority of public funding opportunities can be found on www.grants.gov - the official website for government grants in the United States. Some funding agencies and organizations may have the funding opportunities published exclusively on their websites or networks. You can use our website and browse funding opportunities by category and by agency.

Government grants for businesses and corporations

One of the major funding agencies in the business sector is the Small Business Administration (SBA - www.sba.gov). The SBA has been working together with many public and private funding agencies and organizations to offer government grants focused on scientific research and development (R&D) and technology innovation. If you are looking for capital to help you launch a business but do not offer any scientific advancement or technology innovation, you will have a harder time finding eligible opportunities.

Government grants application process

In order to receive funding from government agencies and funding organizations, each applicant will go through the following process/lifecycle:

  1. Searching for opportunities
  2. Registering for an account on grants.gov
  3. Preparing for application package
  4. Submitting the application package
  5. Monitoring the status of the application
  6. Receiving the Notice of Award
  7. Reporting status and spending progress back to the funding agency

The first challenge people face is they are not aware of the funding opportunities that they are eligible for. The second challenge is not knowing how to prepare the application package properly, resulting in rejected applications. If you can identify the funding opportunities that you are eligible for and submit a well-prepared application package in time, the chances of you receiving the funding will be much greater.

How long does it take to get a grant from the government?

Keep in mind that government grants are not a quick funding option in most cases. The time it takes for you to receive the money depends on the number of applicants and the response time of the issuing agency or organization. It usually takes up to 6 months (on average) and sometimes up to a year for a grant to be approved, issued, and delivered.

If you are waiting for a grant from the federal government, expect anywhere from 3 to 6 months wait time before you hear a response. If you are waiting for a grant from the state government, it will take about 6 months. If you are waiting for a grant from a corporation/organization, expect about 6 months of average wait time. If you are waiting for a grant from a funding foundation, you may be waiting for a year before you hear a response.

 

 

How do I write a grant?

The process of preparing for an application package is often referred to as "grant writing". As mentioned previously, many people fail to receive grants due to inadequate application package. When a grant opportunity is published, the requirements are clearly laid out in the description. You as the applicant must, at minimum, include all the materials requested. And to stand out among the rest of applicants, you must go beyond the requirements and provide additional information that will convince the grant issuer and award you the funding requested. Applicants need to understand that funding is limited for each grant opportunity, and is awarded to the most qualified applicants.

The preparation of an application package is a complex process. The United States government has created an online tool - workspace - as an additional option to help applicants to collaborate and prepare files in an application package. A funding opportunity may require a numerous amount of materials including your organization's business plan and historical and current data.

Remember that your application package will be competing with application packages submitted by other individuals and/or organizations. Therefore, it is in your organization's best interest to spend a substantial amount of time in preparing for your application package.

When preparing for a grant application package, make sure you:

  1. Read the grant application carefully.
  2. Understand all the requirements thoroughly and make sure you are eligible.
  3. Write a strong, convincing, and concise summary statement.
  4. Create an outline for your proposal, in a logical order.
  5. Write your proposal with details. Go beyond the requirements.
  6. Format your proposal to help the grant issuer read, such as images, infographics, tables, and lists.
  7. Proofread your proposal, 3 times minimum, by 3 different set of eyes.
  8. Add a cover letter to your application package.
  9. Show your application package to 3 other individuals outside of your organization and see if they can be convinced of your plans and requests.
  10. Submit both digital and hard copies of your application package well before the deadline.

Submitting application package as an individual

There are rarely funding opportunities available for individuals. Ask yourself this question - what are you going to do with this funding? Is it for your own financial gain, publicity, or any other self-interest? If so, you will not find any assistance from the government.

An example of grants available to individuals is research grants where the government officials believe the funding provided to the researcher will result in positive outcome that will benefit the society or a specific and current economic initiative.

Individual application process:

  1. Find a funding opportunity that is available for individuals and obtain the funding opportunity number.
  2. Complete the registration form as an individual on grants.gov and obtain a username and password.
  3. Submit the application package containing all of the materials required by the funding opportunity. Obtain a tracking number.
  4. Track the status of the application with the tracking number.

Remember, when you apply for a government grant opportunity for individuals, you are not guaranteed to be awarded of the funding. Your application package will compete with other application packages submitted by other individuals. The funding officials will carefully select the recipients based on the content of these applications.

Submitting application package as an organization

Not all organizations qualify to receive grants. If your organization is not a government, education, public housing, and not for profit organization, your organization must match SBA's size standards in order to qualify to apply for grants.

Organization application process:

  1. Obtain a DUNS number. This is a unique 9-digit identification number provided by Dun and Bradstreet (D&B) for your organization. This is a mandatory step and will take up to 2 business days to complete.
  2. Register with the System for Award Management (SAM). The United States utilize SAM (which is why some people reference government grants as Uncle Sam's money) to manage funding applications for organizations. This is a mandatory step and will take up to 4 weeks to complete.
  3. Complete the register form as an organization on grants.gov and obtain a username and password.
  4. Submit the application package containing all of the materials required by the funding opportunity. Obtain a tracking number.
  5. Track the status of the application with the tracking number.

Hiring grant writers

Since applying for government grants is a complex and time consuming process, sometimes hiring a professional grant proposal writer with relevant experience can be a cost-effective investment to obtain government funding. Do keep in mind that no one can guarantee the approval of grants. Beware of scammers promising you of success. One should also ask him/herself - why should the government invest in you or your organization?

It is always free to apply for government grants. However the process may be very complex depending on the funding opportunity you are applying for. Let us help you!

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Government Grants in Local States

Government grant scams!

  • The only way to apply for government grants is through the official grants.gov website. If any website or anyone is asking for "application fee", it's a scam. It is free to apply for government grants.
  • There's no one universal "application package". Each funding opportunity requires different materials from the applicant. If any website or anyone is asking you to buy an "application package", it's a scam.
  • The government does not offer "free money for everyone". For example, there are no "housing grants for first homeowners". Government grants are mostly awarded to organizations that support specific public purposes based on the economic plans of the current government. For example, if the government is currently supporting green initiative, there may be funding opportunities made available for businesses and organizations that support the initiative.
  • You are not guaranteed to receive funding. Each funding opportunity may have hundreds or thousands of applicants. The funding officials will decide and choose the proposals from organizations that they feel will best utilize the funding to support the funding initiative. In short, government grants are carefully awarded to a selected group of applicants.
  • Small business grants are not for all "small businesses". Only the businesses that match SBA's size standards may be eligible to receive grants. For example, if you operate a full service restaurant, you will not qualify for government grants if your business does not generate more than $7.5 million dollars a year in revenue.

 

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