State government grants originate from block grant funds received from the Federal government or directly from the state. These grants are always derived in some way from taxes or fees paid to the state, or to the Federal government. Because of the highly political nature of the funding, these grants are constructed to maximize the return to the state, and have stringent reporting requirements after the grant is funded.
State government grants depend on sufficient revenue being received by the state, especially regarding return on invested funds, to sustain the grant program offerings. Economic conditions always affect the volume of grant funds at every level, and this is particularly true of state funding.
State government grants often mirror the funding being offered by the Federal government, since the funds derive from block grants. Education, housing, urban renewal or development, rural initiatives, and cultural areas are some of the common areas of focus for states.
Typically, there will be state government grants administered by agencies that deal with these specific focuses, such as departments of education, housing or justice. Some states may have a single grant and program department that consolidates the release of RFP’s for each agency.
The typical recipient of a state government grant will be a non-profit, school or a localized agency such as a county, or fire and police departments. Many times the funding will be released on a county or even city level, with only certain city or county organizations being eligible.
The process of applying for state government grants is very much the same as applying for Federal grants. Some states may have a central website similar to grants.gov, while others may require that you contact each department separately. Your organization may also have to register for email or surface mail alerts, or to be added to an RSS feed. Also similar to Federal grants, there is seldom any direct funding to individuals.