Types of Federal Grants

Federal grants are financial aids given and authorized by the United States federal government to non-government and non-profit organizations to assist projects and programs for the benefit of the public and the community. There are about 1,000 programs which can be sponsored or subsidized by federal agencies.

Upon getting a federal grant, it is required for the recipient to use the money provided to fulfil the projects they have applied the grant for. The money should be spent on the project and is audited yearly. Upon the completion of the project, the unspent money would be returned to the government.

In certain fields, like in arts or in education, being awarded by a grant is prestigious and highly regarded. The process of application and getting the grant can be lengthy and very difficult since there are a lot of application for federal grants, which is why getting the grant itself can be very important. The good thing about getting a grant is that this would almost definitely assure you and your organization of the completion of the project.

How would you know if your project can be covered or can be granted by federal financial aid? Here are the types of federal grants.

Actually, federal grants can be divided into different categories. Here are the following 20 distinct categories:

• Agriculture
• Arts
• Business and commerce
• Community development
• Disaster prevention and relief
• Education
• Employment
• Labor and training
• Energy
• Environmental quality
• Food and nutrition
• Health
• Housing
• Humanities
• Information and statistics
• Law, justice and legal services
• Natural resources
• Regional development
• Science and technology
• Social services and income security
• Transportation

There are also different types of federal grants based on how you acquired the federal grant: direct and pass through grants.

• Direct grants

Direct federal grants are grants which you can apply directly from the federal government. The good thing about applying directly to the federal government is that there are no middle men. Less people involved means less red tape. You get to apply directly to the program officer overseeing the management of funds. You can directly get straight-forward information from the federal agency about the grant and would be informed about the process and requirements.

Bu on the other hand, applying directly means more competition. There are a lot of grant applicants who apply directly to the federal government. Since there are 50 states, think about competing with different organizations from 50 different states . It is also more difficult to get grants through this process.

• Pass-trough grants

Pass through grants are grants won by your state and is passed through to different organizations. But since you only compete with organizations and groups from your state there are higher chances of getting one.

But in terms of amount, is considerably lower that direct grants. The state deducts a certain amount from each federal grant awarded to an organization. This is to cover the administration cost.

Aside from these two main types of grants, grants can also be classified into the following:

• Project grants- this is the most common form of grants. Most of it goes to science and technology, arts, education, social services and health care projects.

• Formula grants- this is a grant as stated by the law and based on the preset standard formula created by the state agency.

• Block grants- these are grants also considered to be formula grants.

• Earmark grants- these federal grants stated in the appropriations made by the Congress. They tend to be very controversial since there would be issues of paid political lobbyists who work to have the grant approved.