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While some government grants are available to individuals, organizations, and businesses, it’s important to know that there are also many scams offering people “free government money,” which require the supposed recipient to send a fee to collect the money. You can read more about grant scams on the Federal Trade Commission’s website or at the Consumer Affairs website.
Legitimate grant programs require the individual, business, or organization to meet specific criteria and the recipient must agree to adhere to the guidelines stipulated in the grant. You can find information about legitimate government grants on the following websites.
The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance lists federal programs available to state and local governments, private profit and nonprofit organizations, groups, and individuals. A good way to familiarize yourself with this site is by reading the types of assistance available. Scroll down until you find Additional Resources on the right side of the page, then click on Types of Assistance. This page explains the types of grants available.
To search by grant type:
- On the home page, click in the drop down box where you see the words Select Assistance Type (under Find Programs) and chose the type of grant for which you are searching.
- Click Search. You will now see a listing organized by Program Title, Agency/Office, and Types of Assistance.
- To read about eligibility requirements and application procedures, click on the magnifying glass icon on the left side of the list.
You can also search by keyword or program number using the search box on the home page. To locate a program number, click on Find Programs by number under the search box.
A downloadable PDF of the print version of the catalog is available on the homepage.
This website lists business opportunities for grants, federal agency and military contracts, and other programs. There are many instructional videos available on the site to help you access the information you need. Click on the Getting Started tab to access the instructional videos.
Managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, this website allows you to search and apply for federal grants. More than 1,000 grant programs are offered by 26 different federal agencies. There are some grants provided to individuals but most are for organizations. Please note that personal financial assistance is not provided through this site or any of the sites listed above. If you are looking for this type of assistance, see the entry below for Government Benefits, Grants, and Financial Aid.
For an explanation of grants.gov:
- Click on Learn More highlighted within the text on the home page.
- Next click on Who is Eligible for a Grant?
- Scroll down below the gray box and click on the Eligibility Tutorial located at the end of the first paragraph below the gray box. This will lead you to a video which briefly explains eligibility requirements.
To search for grants:
- Click on Grant Search under the For Applicants section on the right side of the page. -Next click on the Advanced Search link. Here you may do a keyword search or scroll down the page to search for grants by Date, Eligibility, Agency, Funding Activity Category, and/or Funding Instrument Type.
- After you have made your selections, click on Search. You will see a results page listing available grants.
- To learn more about a particular grant, click on the underlined grant title.
When seeking personal financial assistance the USA.gov webpage is a good place to start. Simply scroll down the page and click on the topic that best describes the type of assistance you are seeking.