Who is Eligible for a Government Grant?

Written by Allison Boyd

Apr 22, 2021

April 22, 2021

We have all seen them; late night infomercials, websites, and reference guides, advertising “millions in free money” Don’t believe the hype! Although there are many grants on Grants.gov, few of them are available to individuals and none of them are available for personal financial assistance.

There are many groups of organizations that are eligible to apply for government grants. Typically, most grantee organizations fall into the categories below.

Government Organizations
State Governments
Local Governments
City or Township Governments
Special District Governments
Native American Tribal Governments (federally recognized)
Native American Tribal Governments (other than federally recognized)

Education Organizations
Independent School Districts
Public and State Controlled Institutions of Higher Education
Private Institutions of Higher Education

Public Housing Organizations
Public Housing Authorities
Indian Housing Authorities

Non-Profit Organizations
Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education

For-Profit Organizations (other than small businesses)

Small Businesses
Small business loans and small business grants may be awarded to companies that meet the size standards that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has established for most industries in the economy. 

Once you have figured out if your organization is eligible for a government grant, you need dig a little further into the Request for Proposal (RFP) and/or the grant announcement.  Government grants are birthed by by-laws, or legislative authority.  While you are scanning the grant announcement, look to see if your program matches the purpose statement.  This statement will tell you the intended purpose of the grant funding.  If your program does not fit, do not get discouraged!  Continue looking through the federal register or grants.gov for another opportunity!

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