Most government grants go to eligible nonprofit organizations, not to individuals. If you are an individual grantseeker, please click here.
Generally, U.S. government funders prefer projects that serve as prototypes or models for others to replicate; local government funders look for strong evidence of community support.
Finding U.S. government grant opportunities
For federal grants and funding, Grants.gov is the official site. Managed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the site offers a database of more than 1,000 grant programs administered by 26 federal grantmaking agencies, searchable by agency, category, eligibility or CFDA number. Users can also browse listings of grant opportunities by agency or category.
Grants.gov offers an overview of the grant application process, as well as answers to frequently asked questions and other resources. Organizations and individuals must register to apply for funding through Grants.gov.
Foundation Directory helps you learn about hundreds of federal government funders. All searches--such as by subject and geographic focus--include government funders by default in their results. If you only want government funding results, you can click on "Governments and agencies (grantmaker)" in the Organization Type search field. Along with finding requests for proposals (RFPs) in the results, you can see what kinds of grants these funders have given, a description of their programs, funding interests and contact information. You can also find out how to follow them on social media. Take our on-demand course, Introduction to Foundation Directory, to learn more.
Finding state and local grant opportunities
At the state and local level, the amount of information about grants varies widely. The Virginia state government, for example, offers a regularly updated grants portal. The government of the District of Columbia publishes a weekly funding alert through its Office of Partnerships and Grant Services. Check with your local government officials and the offices of your elected officials for more information.
Things to consider before applying for government funding:
- Do your research. Be sure to record details on the program itself, application guidelines and deadlines, agency contacts, the review process, past grants, and any other helpful information.
- Bookmark or follow the agencies you apply to so that you do not miss future funding opportunities.
- Government funding programs and priorities change frequently. It's a good idea to call or email the appropriate agency contact person for the most up-to-date information on funding guidelines and application information.
- Government grant applications often have strict content and formatting guidelines. Be sure to follow any instructions closely, especially deadlines.
- Government grants nearly always have detailed reporting requirements. Keep careful records in case you are audited.
For more information and additional resources, see the curated links below: