The federal government provides financial aid for various purposes. There are several ways to access federal government assistance. Assistance is available for individuals, for-profit organizations, and nonprofit organizations.
Grants are a common form of assistance from the government. Organizations can get grants for program support, research, and training activities. The federal government provides billions of dollars in grants annually. Each of the eleven federal departments posts grant funding opportunities throughout the year.
Federal government grants require strict documentation of applicant ability to effectively implement proposed programs and manage government funds. To apply for federal grants, contact the applicable federal agency for guidelines and grant forms. Most government agencies require online submissions through a grant portal. This helps streamline the application and award processes.
It can be challenging to secure federal government assistance. Seasoned grant writers with federal grant writing experience can help not only with proposal writing but also with the evaluation design. Effective grant administration can determine future grant awards.
In addition to posted grant opportunities, federal government assistance may also be available in the form of discretionary grants. Contact the specific federal agency or department to which you plan to submit a request and ask about discretionary funds that may be available. Typically these funds are for projects the department is interested in funding but do not fit within the scope of current grant programs. These grants will likely be smaller than those in the grant programs.
Proposal requirements for discretionary grants vary by department. Many departments ask that applicants submit a preliminary proposal summary outlining the project and budget. If they are interested, they will request a full proposal. This saves time and money for both the applicant and the reviewing agency.
Federal government grants may support activities for one or more years. Multi-year grant funding is usually dependent upon successful performance of programs during the first year of the grant. Initial grants may be awarded to establish a pilot project with second year funding available for full implementation.
Another type of federal government assistance is a hybrid that combines grants with loans. These programs provide grant funding for the first year of operations. The following year or two reverts to a low-interest loan from the government. These programs help businesses with major development and expansion activities. Examples include the development of medical devices, energy transfer projects, and defense technologies.
Federal government grants provide needed financial support for a wide spectrum of programs and projects that benefit large numbers of people. Grants are available for issues spanning health to technology.