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Federal Government Grants: No Free Lunch

How the Federal Grant Process Works


Program or Project Budget Approval
Through the annual federal budget process, Congress passes laws making money -- lots of it -- available to the various government agencies for doing major projects designed to assist some sector of the public. The projects may be suggested by the agencies, Members of Congress, the President, states, cities, or members of the public. But, in the end, Congress decides which programs get how much money.

Finding and Applying for Grants
Once the federal budget is approved, funds for the grant projects start to become available and are "announced" in the Federal Register throughout the year.

The official access point for information on all federal grants is the Grants.gov website.

Who is Eligible to Apply for Grants?
The gnant’s entry on the Grants.gov website will list which organizations or individuals are eligible to apply for the grants. The entry for all grants will also explain:

  • How grant money can be used
  • How to apply including detailed contact information
  • How applications will be reviewed, judged and awarded
  • What is expected of successful grantees including reports, audits and performance standards

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