Grants.gov is the place to go to look for government funding. The good news is there are a lot of grants to search through. The bad news is there are a LOT of grants to search through.
The first step to narrow down your search is to set the filters to meet your needs. For example, if you are looking for active grants, select POSTED for opportunity status. Then, select GRANT as your funding instrument. From there, go to the ELIGIBILITY filter and select the type of entity that describes your organization.
This is a good start, but as you’ll see, there will still be an enormous number of grants and very few of them that will be a fit. However, further limiting your search could block you from seeing opportunities that would be a good fit. At the same time, going directly to the keyword search bar can backfire because it often leads to a pile of grants that don’t match either. I would recommend running a keyword search with multiple variations on what you are looking for. Over time, you will hone your keywords to those that dependably yield results.
To make the best use of Grants.gov, keep an eye on Congress and see the funding goes. The best way to optimize Grants.gov as a grant prospecting resource is by knowing what agency funding source you are looking for. Any time Congress passes a spending bill, find out what government agency is responsible for dispersing this funding and include this in your Grants.gov search filter. You can even run a search based on agency with eligibility filters to see what kind of funding is out there, whether or not the grant is currently posted, that way you can put it on the calendar to circle back around to in the next grant cycle.
Obviously, this is just scratching the surface. The best way to navigate Grants.gov is to use it often, get to know its functionality, and discover what keywords work best for find grants that suit your organization or entity’s projects.
Does trying to narrow your search without accidentally blocking out opportunities feel like hitting your head against a wall? We’re here to help. Get in touch and we can help you identify best practices for grant prospecting tailored to the needs of your team.