Government grants for minorities run the gamut, from health, housing, education and business, to research and human services areas.
While some minority grants are targeted to certain cultures, such as the Hispanic or American Indian populations, others simply say that any non-profit serving a minority population may apply.
In the U.S., “minority populations” are generally thought of as being racially or culturally defined.
Some Federal minority grants will actively define the term, while others leave it open to interpretation. Thus, a grant that does not define the target population may attract applicants dealing with ethnic minorities, gender-based populations, or disabled individuals. Grant writers or program staff should always read all of the supporting instructions for minority-based grants to insure that their group is included. This applies to both state and Federal RFP’s.
Grants from foundations normally adhere closely to the wording at the Federal level. Organizations whose mission is centered one particular demographic, such as the NAACP or the Native American Heritage Association (NAHA) will be looking for assistance for their members based on that one demographic.
Federal government minority grants may be tendered as block grants to the states, or they may be open nationally to direct application by the minority organization, but in either case the grant proceeds must be used to benefit the specifically defined population.
When applying for this type of grant, it is important to present accurate figures regarding the number of minority recipients that will benefit from the grant proceeds. These figures can be found, or extrapolated from, U.S. census information, or state, city or county demographic information and should always be included, with citations as to the source, as a part of the statement of need.
In some government minority grants there may a percentage of the amounts to be awarded that are mandated to a minority. Thus, an educational grant may have a set-aside within the larger grant that can only be accessed by minorities.