Things to Do Before You Apply
A free government grant is an ongoing federal program written and allotted in the U.S. national budget. Government grants are given to citizens of the United States as general funding for meaningful community and state-wide projects as well as individuals who need financial aid and benefits. Although government grants are considered free money to some people, the U.S. government does not give grants away easily.
What Are Free Government Grants?
Grants are given by the U.S. government to the grantee so that they can be stewards of the fund that will allow them to spearhead activities that are worthwhile for the community concerned. Funds from these grants ultimately come from taxpayer money and it is the job of the government and its citizens to make sure that the money used for these grants is put into good use.
There is no easy process to apply for free government grants. If your application is successful and you are awarded the grant money but was not able to do what the grantor expects from you, you might be placed under heaps of legal troubles.
There are certain projects and initiatives that allow individuals and organizations to apply for free federal grants online. Most federal grants are given to organizations that benefit their communities. Some examples of community projects include neighborhood street-paving projects, re-training of displaced workers, initiatives to attract business to depressed areas, water infrastructure programs, and flood control projects.
The projects that can qualify for federal government grants are wide in scope. You can apply for free grants successfully if the governing agency thinks that your community project is viable and beneficial. In addition, organizations with successful grant applications will be subject to strict oversight and performance measures for the duration of the project.
Before you apply for government grants for free, individuals and organizations must understand how the funds are allocated once the application is complete. All project expenditures must be strictly accounted by the grantee under strict accounting procedures and detailed audits. All money must be allotted to an item or expenditure that will be beneficial for the project and any money that is not spent should go back to the government.
The programs submitted for grant applications must be comprehensive, developed, and executed exactly as stipulated in the grant application. Any changes in the project must be approved by the government and all phases of the project must be completed on time. Strict government oversight ensures that taxpayer money is not wasted on marginally useless projects or fall to theft.
Federal government grants are usually given to other federal agencies, cities, states, colleges and universities, and research organization. Although individuals can apply for a free federal grant, it is rare for individuals to have the initial funding or expertise necessary to apply for free government grants. Individuals can employ a full time staff that can help apply for free government grants.
Consulting the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
Before you apply for free government grants, you must consult the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) to find out how much grant funds are available for advocacies that interest you. The CFDA lists all the assistance programs, how many funds are allotted to the program, the objectives of the grant program and the requirements needed to apply for free grants under each program. The CFDA can be found online at http://www.cfda.gov/.
The CFDA has the crucial details that you need to help you design a successful grant proposal. The summary of the program and the eligibility rules for individuals and organization are also included in the CFDA copy. The copy also includes information such as how the grant money can be used, detailed contact information, steps in the application process, and criteria for reviewing and awarding grant applications.
The biggest federal agencies that have extensive grant programs include the Department of Education, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Housing and Urban Development, Department of Transportation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Federal Emergency Management Association, and the National Institutes of health. If you have a great idea or a vision that can help achieve the goals of these agencies, you can apply for a free government grant.
Government Grants and Federal Aid
Individuals can also apply for free government grants and aid through government assistance programs like Social Security and Medicare. In addition, there are extensive government assistance programs that are just starting under President Obama's stimulus package.
The two types of grant programs given to individuals are direct payment and indirect funding to desired services. As an example, there are funding programs available for individuals that need money to pay for their mortgage. If the individual meets the state eligibility requirements, then the funds can be either sent to you as direct payment or sent to your landlord as an indirect service. Grants and aid are also available for debt relief, vehicle loans for the disabled, housing assistance, child care support, legal services, bills payment, and real estate tax relief. Collectively, grant programs work under the policies laid out by the federal government and reflect the objectives of the national budget.
GovBenefits Grant Portal
Individuals can find different government benefits available to them at GovBenefits (http://govbenefits.gov). GovBenefits is an online partnership of different federal agencies to provide a personalized and easy access to government assistance programs. GovBenefits have all the information you need to apply for a federal aid or grant. This portal will help you apply for free government grants easily particularly for people with disabilities. The search function of the website will help you find a grant or aid programs within seconds. You can also find programs where you can be eligible to apply for a federal grant. Searching through the GovBenefits database is easy to use and completely confidential.
Whether you need a direct payment, loan, insurance, training, tuition, or other services, GovBenefits will help you find a relevant program that is available to help you. Get started by choosing from local, state, or federal benefits from their website. You can browse for grant programs by category or get results once you answer an introductory questionnaire.