Many years ago Congress passed a mandate stating that a certain percentage of the income collected by the
federal government had to be made accessible to qualified recipients to benefit the greater good – and so was born federal government assistance. Grants are not federal benefits or government entitlements. A federal grant is an award of financial assistance from a federal entity to a receiver to carry out a specific public purpose of support as authorized by a law. A federal government grant is not the same as federal assistance or government loans to individuals.
A federal government grant cannot used to obtain property or purchase services for the direct benefit of the federal government. There are several federal agencies which offer over one thousand combined federal government grant programs. Each program offers federal government funding opportunities that supply a financial lifeline designed to benefit the greater good of the nation as a whole. Those who qualify for federal government assistance are:
- Native American tribes
- For profit businesses
- 501-C-3 nonprofit organizations
- Counties, cities and states
There are several types of federal government grants available, and all are agency-specific. The National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control tend to offer money for health related research and disease identification and control. The National Science Foundation, which is split into several sub-entities, often overlaps federal government grant opportunities with the NIH, the CDC and sometimes the Department of Defense. The Department of Defense is charged with protecting our shores, land and citizens. The Department of Labor fosters and promotes the welfare of job seekers, wage earners and retirees by working to improve workplace conditions while protecting their retirement and health benefits as well as monitoring national economic resources.
Not all federal government assistance vehicles are allocated to health, defense, scientific or national economic interests. Some federal agencies were designed strictly with the preservation of American culture in mind. The National Endowment for the Arts; the largest national source of funds for the arts, is a public agency dedicated to bringing the arts to all Americans and providing leadership in arts education. The National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent federal government grant agency and is dedicated to supporting research, education, preservation and public programs in humanities. The
Department of Education sponsors federal government grants to assure equal access to education and encourages educational merit inside federal education programs.
In the last decade, the federal government has changed the way it does business. The primary means of researching, locating and applying for federal government assistance opportunities is now handled almost
exclusively by the Internet via the federal government funding portal at Grants.Gov. There anyone with a computer and Internet access can research and apply for current and future funding opportunities for all twenty-six branches of the federal government. If you are willing to navigate the maze of federal agencies, research offered opportunities and learn to write your funding request in the way the government requires, whether you are an individual or a corporation – you can find a federal government grant tailored just for you.