Government Grant Funding Types

Government grants come in many forms. There are federal grants. There are state grants. That are county and city grants as well. While there differences are numerous, each has criteria and eligibility requirements that must be understood prior to any grant submission.

At the federal government, by far the largest granting agency, daily announcements can be received via email for review. Federal government grants are among the most sought after thus highly competitive. Numerous agencies participate in the grant programs from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), to the Department of Energy (DOE), to the Department of Labor (DOL). Each department or agency of the federal government has purview over the funding initiative, and grant submission is to that particular entity. Within the federal funding announcements, businesses – small businesses, large businesses, institutes of higher learning, state workforce agencies, non profit organizations, etc – are competing against each other to garner necessary funds to secure their businesses. Oftentimes, the funding announcement will require that a consortium be developed that includes at least one small business, a non profit organization, and another entity as defined by the announcement itself.

Beyond this, federal funding announcements can be very specific as to what is the nature and intent of the funding request. For example: a federal funding initiative is announced to train the long-term unemployed, and veterans. On the surface, the funding announcement appears straight-forward enough. However, there may be additional components involved: Perhaps there is a housing component to assist homeless veterans in finding permanent housing thus securing long-term employment. Perhaps, the training program requires that each participant is certified, and guaranteed job placement. Numerous details must be attended to when reviewing federal government grants.

State grants are much the same. States, too, offer grants through their departments and agencies, and again, each has certain requirements and criteria. State grants often fund healthcare initiatives, housing issues, homelessness, education, and basic human needs. While states may offer grants to businesses in specific enterprises, much research needs to be conducted in order to understand the “whys” and the “wherefores” of state funding.

Counties can access funds in several ways. They can write the grants themselves, and submit them to the corresponding granting agency. They can secure state funds or they can secure federal government grants directly as determined by the federal announcement. Needless to say, all this is complicated, and can leave one baffled as to what is funding what!

If a business or organization is engaged in homelessness, job training and placement, healthcare to low-income families, after-school activities for disadvantaged children and young people, works to re-build blighted communities, then government grants are available. There are government grants for environmental assessments of potentially polluted land (Brownfield sites). Government grants are available to help the very low-income weatherize their homes, or for renovations. There are research and development grants overseen by the Small Business Administration (SBA).

Numerous concerns mean there are numerous grants. All with exacting criteria and eligibility as key factors.

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