When the subject of government funding comes up, most people think of government grant funding. Government grants are offered by most agencies within the Federal government, and through many state government agencies.
Federal government grants require the applicant to acquire a registration number, known as a CCR (Central Contractor Registration) number. All government grant applicants must not only apply for and receive the number, but must keep it active throughout the grant process, including while the grant is being actively funded.
The www.grants.gov website offers the forms and instructions, and a rough timeline for approval, which the website states is three to five days, assuming you do not have any errors or omissions in your application. You may apply both as an organization and as an individual, but a separate CCR is required for each type of registration. Each time you apply for a grant, your status will be checked, and if your CCR has expired, you will have to register again before you will be allowed access to the grant forms and application.
All U.S. government grant funding should be accessible through grants.gov, although it may also be listed on a specific agency website. It is sometimes easier to access a department website to get the RFA number, than it is to search through all the grant.gov postings.
Government grant funding is available to non-profits, other government entities such as states, and occasionally to for-profit businesses, both large and small. When searching grant opportunities, be sure to check the eligible applicant list to be sure you can apply. Government grant funding can be accessed for projects both inside and outside the United States.
Grant funding covers both large and small projects. As an example, if your city or county needs Emergency Medical Service (EMS) equipment, there are grants posted specifically covering that need. They may be part of a larger grant description, such as a rural development grant, or under the auspices of one of the agencies responsible for national security, such as the Department of Homeland Security.
Grant funding from the government requires a high level of expertise or experience in applying for grants. The applications are detailed and lengthy, and form and formatting is strictly enforced. The deadlines are normally rigid, so it is extremely important to download the grant forms and be sure you have anything and everything available that is required. Most grant funding applications can be filled out online, although those with requirements for specific types of attachments or inclusions may have to be sent via a government-approved surface carrier.