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Grants for Nonprofits : Government Funding


A compilation of web pages and books of potential interest to nonprofit organizations seeking funding opportunities related to government funding.

Web Sites | Books

Reality Check!

Government funding is often available for nonprofit initiatives. Government funding comes in the form of grants, loans, subsidies, fellowships, scholarships, traineeships, technical information, advisory services, and sales or donations of federal property. It may be unclear what level of government funding is coming from, since federal funds are often administered through state and local government units.

Information about specific government grant programs is often confusing, out-of-date or contradictory. We recommend establishing a relationship with your local, state, or federal representative or elected official and spending your time building person-to-person relationships once you've identified several likely sources that best match your needs as opposed to sorting through the written documents. Before you apply for a specific agency grant, confirm the information with the agency.

Some tips:

  • Federal funders generally prefer projects that serve as prototypes of models that other organizations can replicate.
  • Local government funders almost always require strong evidence of community support for a project.
  • Keep careful records about how you spend a government grant, since an audit is always a possibility.
  • Make sure you have the staff capacity and infrastructure in place to manage the grant and handle the reporting requirements.
  • Many government awards require a local match -- raised from foundation, corporation or individual sources.

Web Sites

Administration for Native Americans (ANA)
Promotes self-sufficiency for Native Americans by providing discretionary grant funding for community based projects and training and technical assistance to eligible tribes and native organizations. Contact Us via Toll Free Phone AT 1-877-922-9262 OR via E-mail at anacomments@acf.hhs.gov
(Last checked 07/12/13)

Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities
Federal Programs for Sustainable Agriculture, Forestry, Entrepreneurship, Conservation and Community Development
When farmers, entrepreneurs, and others in agriculture ask for sources of funds, grants, money, resources, assistance, etc, this is a great place to send them. Original Authors: Romana A. Vysatova and Laurie S.Z. Greenberg; revised by George Kuepper and Karen McSpadden, National Center for Appropriate Technology; edited by Margaret Krome, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute. January 2001.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)
This web site gives you access to a database of all Federal programs available to State and local governments (including the District of Columbia); federally-recognized Indian tribal governments; Territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic public, quasi-public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals. You can search this database to find assistance programs meeting your requirements and for which you are eligible. You can then contact the office that administers the program and find out how to apply.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
The President's Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships does not fund religion -- but it does allow some of America's most effective social service providers to compete for Federal funding to serve the needy while retaining their religious identity. Through soup kitchens, homeless shelters, drug treatment centers, job training programs, and other efforts, these charities are making a real difference in the lives of our most vulnerable citizens.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

Federal Funding Tools and Links
Provides web links to federal databases, newsletters, and websites.
Listed under Government Funding.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

FederalGrants.com is dedicated to helping you find information on United States federal grants. We aim to provide accurate information on how to qualify for these government grants, the processes related to applying for a grant, and what to do once you are approved.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

A free resource for federal grants, government grants and loans. Repackages the information available in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. Covers over 1600 federal grants and loans organized by sponsoring agency, applicant type, and subject area.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

Federal Resources for Sustainable Rural Communities
Environmental Protection Agency, 2012.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

Financing Childhood Obesity Prevention Programs : Federal Funding Sources and Other Strategies
A compilation by the Finance Project, September 2004.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

Financing Transitional Jobs Programs : A Strategic Guide to Federal Funding Programs
A compilation by the Finance Project, June 2004.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

Finding Funding : A Guide to Federal Sources for Workforce Development Issues
A compilation by the Finance Project, June 2005.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

Finding Funding : A Guide to Federal Sources for Youth Programs
A compilation by the Finance Project, January 2007.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

First Stop Guide to Stimulus Funds
Nonprofits and faith-based organizations looking for information about federal stimulus funds should take a look at the First Stop Guide to Stimulus Funds : A Simple Road Map for the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act by the East Bay Community Foundation of Oakland, California. This guide features a number of tools, including a way to search for funds by topic such as child care, education, health, and housing. It provides a list of funds available, organized by topic, including what they can be used for, who is eligible to apply for them, and how to apply. And it includes additional sources of information on the many government agencies from which stimulus money is distributed. The guide is a joint project of the East Bay Community Foundation and the Office of Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-Oakland, California). Take a look at it. It's helpful for any organization wondering about stimulus funds.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

FundsNet Government Funding Links
(Last checked 07/12/13)

General Services Administration
Cooperative Purchasing Program
In today's challenging economy, cash-strapped government entities are seeking innovative ways to save money and be fiscally prudent. Townships can save money on a variety of products and services through a U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) Cooperative Purchasing Program. GSA is the procurement arm of the federal government, providing commercial supplies and services to federal agencies at volume discount pricing. The Cooperative Purchasing Program allows state and local entities to benefit from these discounted prices by making commercial supplies and services, IT products and first responder equipment available to local governments. In addition to discount pricing for goods and services, GSA also donates excess computer equipment to schools and nonprofit organizations.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

Georgia Municipal Association
The GMA shares grant announcements regarding public safety, recreation, environment, and other issues of importance to municipalities.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

Government Grants Available through the State of Michigan, try the Michigan Electronic Grants Administration and Management System Portal (EGrAMS).

Grants.gov Grant Portal
Grants.gov provides organizations with the ability to search for Federal government-wide grant opportunities. Potential grant applicants can search Grants.gov to view listings of available funding. Once they have selected a grants program, they can download applications and submit the forms online.
If you are an individual looking for information on government benefits, refer to GovBenefits.gov, the official government benefits website, a free, confidential tool that helps individuals find government benefits they may be eligible to receive.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

Michigan Grants Available List (MiGAL)
Provides current notices on federal, state, private, and other funding grant resources.
(Last checked 10/07/11)

Southeast Michigan Council of Governments
Grants Available for Local Governments
(Last checked 07/12/13)

State of Michigan Funding Opportunities
Provides grants listings available from the state of Michigan. There is also a separate set of links to state of Michigan web sites that provide grant information.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

State of Michigan Grants, try the Michigan Electronic Grants Administration and Management System Portal (EGrAMS).

There is No Such Thing as a Free Lunch When It Comes to Federal Government Grants
Contrary to what a very popular book and TV ad say, the U.S. government is not giving away "free grant" money. A grant is not a Christmas present. According to American Government & Politics, by Jay M. Shafritz, a grant is, "A form of gift that entails certain obligations on the part of the grantee and expectations on the part of the grantor." The key word there is obligations. Getting a government grant will get you loads of them and not fulfilling them will grant you a load of legal troubles. Source: About.com's Guide to Government Information.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

USAGov for Nonprofits
Portal focuses on resources for nonprofit organizations including agency-specific nonprofit resources; fundraising and outreach, grants, loans and other assistance; and tax information.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

USAGov State and Local Gateway to Grants and Government Information
Access portal for grant information for state and local governments.
(Last checked 07/12/13)

Using CDBG to Support Community-Based Youth Programs
This brief aims to provide policymakers, stakeholders, community leaders, and program developers working in or with community-based youth programs with a basic understanding of how the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) is structured, how community-based youth programs fit into CDBG purposes and activities, and how communities nationwide are using CDBG to support youth initiatives. A compilation by Roxana Torrico, The Finance Project, January 2008.
(Last checked 07/12/13)


The books mentioned on this page are available for public use in the Michigan State University Libraries. If you are unable to visit our library, consider visiting a Foundation Center Cooperating Collection in your home state or a local public library in your home town. If the books are not available there, ask about interlibrary loan or visit a local bookstore to find out whether they can be purchased.

The business of government grants is thriving. Companies selling guides to government grants -- and scam artists peddling "guaranteed" government grants -- are profiting from the false notion that the government has billions of dollars available to help people pay their credit-card bills and other expenses. This is due, in part, to the exaggerations and misleading claims spread by Matthew Lesko and the nationwide network of Lesko distributers....(Excerpt) A report by the New York State Consumer Protection Board, Dec. 2004, 33pp.
For more information about Lesko, see an article by Dave Jamieson called "The Culler of Money" appearing in the Washington (DC) City Paper, June 1723, 2005.
(Last checked 07/12/13)


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Last revised 07/12/13

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