Grants.gov is the best web site to go on and search if you are planning on applying for grants.
At first you don’t need to be registered if you want to look through different option, but once you’re ready to apply, you have to get registered and this process can take up to 5 days or even a couple of weeks if you get something wrong.
This site is operated by the US Department of Health and Human Services and offers over 1000 programs for grants provided by 26 agencies. Researching is very easy because you can search by category, by the agency which provides the grant, CFDA number or eligibility.
Grants are actually money or financial help that the Government offers to people with some special plan or purpose or to help with many other things like paying rent, bills or going to school. Grants are not repaid after some time, meanwhile loans have to be repaid. Grants can also be given by non-profit organizations, associations and charity organizations. The organization that provides the grant can decide whether the grant will be restricted and it will be used only for special purposes pointed out by the organizations and the Government, or the grant will be unrestricted and the receiver will be free to use the grant money as he has planned. Categorical grants are grants that are somehow restricted and can be spent only for particular purposes. The results and researches have shown that around 90% of the grants which are given to people are categorical grants. Also, around 33% of these categorical grants are considered to be formula grants. Formula grants are part of the categorical grants and have to be spent according to some laws that the Government will dictate. Project grants are available for researches who want to participate in project researches like for example, medical researches. The duration of these project grants is three years. Earmark grants are specified in appropriations. There have been many controversies around these earmark grants because of the existence of many political lobbyists who have paid to secure these earmark grants. There are 21 categories of grants for which you can apply for:
- Business and Commerce
- Community Development
- Consumer Protection
- Disaster Prevention and Relief
- Education Regional Development
- Employment, Labor, and Training
- Environmental Quality
- Food and Nutrition
- Information and Statistics
- Law, Justice, and Legal Services
- Natural Resources
- Science and Technology
- Social Services and Income Security
All of these categories are available and can be applied for. There can be a Government request which gives you a lot of information and seeks people who are willing to apply or, you can always apply on your own. But, some rules have to be respected and your grant proposal has to be great iin order to be considered as a possible candidate.