Government Grants  

Learn how Government Grants are available in the US and how you can apply.Government grants funding is a highly confusing process, involving federal budgets, departments, government initiatives, and transfers. Wading through this process can be extremely confusing, and many people give up before they've even broken the surface of the grant process. This is a shame.

The US government has been criticized by many who feel the government grant funding process is far too confusing to be of actual benefit to the average citizen. Although the government has been making progress in this regard, it remains very difficult to make such a complex system understandable to the average person.

How Government grants work

Typically, government grants start with the Federal government.
Every year, billions of dollars are allocated through the budget to Federal grant initiatives. This money is then distributed to the various Federal government departments, which then clarify and solidify their unique initiatives and targets for funding.

From there, most grant funding is then directed down to the State government level. These funds are termed either mandatory and discretionary grant funds. Generally speaking, State governments then implement mandatory programs within their state, and target more state and local level needs using discretionary funds.

Tracing this funding can be difficult. For example, the Low Income Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) is a program that is funded federally and provides a one time cash payment to help eligible families pay their heating (or cooling) bills. However, this cash is not provided to the individual directly from the Federal government. Although the federal department of the Administration of Children and Families' Division of Energy Assistance in the Office of Community Services administers this program at the federal level, the actual cash is given to State governments to whom individuals apply. Other initiatives that involve discretionary funding can be administered differently in each State, meaning that an individual must track down the program name and funding that their state of residence uses to administer the grant initiative.

At the federal level, grant programs and funding are provided through 7 financial types of assistance and 8 non-financial types of assistance.

1) Direct Payments for Specified Use

Funds from the Federal government that are given directly to individuals, or private firms and institutions. These payments are then directed to a specified goal or activity, with performance assessments built in.

2) Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use

These funds are directly provided to individuals who satisfy preexisting eligibility requirements. The recipients may spend these funds any way they wish. These funds include pension, retirement and compensation plans.

3) Formula Grants

Allocations of funds to States (or subdivisions) in accordance with legally or administratively prescribed distribution formulas. These are for programs of a continual nature but not necessarily directed to a specific project.

4) Project Grants

Allocations of funds for fixed periods of time for specific projects. Examples include scholarships, research grants, evaluation grants, construction grants, and others.

5) Guaranteed/Insured Loans

These loan programs offer protection by the Federal government for lenders who may suffer loan defaults by borrowers.

6) Direct Loans

These are loans provided through Federal dollars for a set period of time. These loans may or may not require interest payments, but are expected to be repaid.

7) Insurance

This type of financial assistance can be provided by the Federal government or private carriers. It is provided as reimbursement for losses experienced under specific conditions, and may or may not require payments of premiums.

Non-financial types of assistance include:

Sale, Exchange, or Donation of Property and Goods; Use of Property, Facilities, and Equipment Programs; Provision of Specialized Services Programs; Advisory Services and Counseling Programs; Dissemination of Technical Information Programs; Training Programs; Investigation of Complaints; and Federal Employment Programs.

Read more about the federal government grants process and how grant money flows to your State. Understand how mandatory and discretionary funding allocation directs u s government grants.


Discover how to find your Government Grants today with the Able Grants Internet Guide.


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