Federal Grant Resources
Federal funds and grants are available to help communities throughout the United States. These funds are meant to help states, local governments, and community organizations improve infrastructure, economic opportunity, public health, and local quality of life. Additionally, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Plan and Inflation Reduction Act will make increased funding available for infrastructure projects over the next half decade.
It is my priority to ensure California receives its fair share of available funds and that communities most in need have the necessary resources to apply and successfully compete for these funds.
The competitive nature of some of these funds varies in scope and requirements. It is important that applicants understand the metrics being used by federal agencies and demonstrate support from elected leaders. That’s why my office is available to assist you in navigating federal agencies or receiving a letter of support for your project through our casework and field program.
If you or someone you know needs assistance or has additional questions, please reach out to my office.
What is a grant?
A grant is one of the government’s tools for funding ideas and projects to provide public services, stimulate the economy, and benefit the public. Grants can be awarded for a wide variety of activities, such as innovative research, recovery initiatives, infrastructure building, or any of the other hundreds of funding programs in the online searchable catalog of federal assistance programs including grants, loans, benefits and technical assistance. The Assistance Listings for grants can be found on the SAM.gov page.
The links below can help you find the assistance best suited for your community or organization.
Understanding the various type of grants available is made easier by Grants.gov which is managed by the Department of Health and Human Services.
How to Apply for Federal Grants
Once you understand the types of funds available and are prepared to apply, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has put together Tips for Preparing Grant Proposals. For additional tips on how to write a competitive grant proposal, please review the report issued by the Congressional Research Service: .
A guide on How to Apply: Grants was created by the U.S. Department of Labor. You can also view a two-part video series from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) on How to Apply for and Manage Federal Grants – Part 1 and Part 2.
Federal Funding Application Process
The process of acquiring Federal funding differs by program type (e.g. grants, loans) and by agency. * Most federal funding is administered at the state level. There may be sub grants available at the local level as well. Grants that are not available via state or local can be found on Grants.gov.
Competitive funding programs (including grants, loans, and loan guarantees) often follow similar process. The United States Department of Transportation (DOT) created an overview of the Federal Funding Application Process.
Find and Apply for Grants
There are many programs and grants available to apply for. Grants.gov main search page is the best source. You can also search grants by specific issues, topics, or agency. Also, remember that some federal funds are administered at the State and local levels. The direct links below are examples of where you can start your search for federal grants and programs.
Beware of Scams
Be aware of private vendors marketing and selling information on how to apply for grants. Most if not all this information is available for free from the administering entity providing the grant. Grants.gov has a very helpful section on preventing Grant Fraud and Scams and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released an Alert on Government Grant Scams. The Federal Trade Commission Consumer (FTC) Government Grant Scams
There are also additional trusted sources and partners working in this space including your Congressmember. Here are some additional sources that may be able to provide information in this space.
California Grant Resources from The Grantsmanship Center
Extra layer of intergovernmental review:
The State Clearinghouse (SCH) serves as the Single Point of Contact for the submission of Federal assistance notices pursuant to Presidential Executive Order No.12372 and State Administrative Manual (SAM) Section 0911. This is the on-line database to assist with reporting.
Additional Tips for Federal Grants and How My Office Can Help
- Sign-up for alerts from relevant federal agencies. Many will allow you to subscribe specifically to Notices of Funding Opportunities (NOFO). All NOFOs and forecast synopses are available at Grants.gov. Here are a few non-exhaustive examples of direct NOFO links:
- Center for Disease Control and Prevention
- U.S. Department of State
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
- U.S. Department of Transportation (Key NOFOs for Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act funding)
- Your local governments can request a support letter from our office for their grant applications. Partnerships between cities, counties and or the state, are highly encouraged.
- The application process can be very time consuming and should include researching potential funding opportunities you may be eligible for.
- Be patient and determined to meet all the requirements for your application. This can include signing up for SAM and receiving your unique identifying number and registering for Grants.gov. There are also additional requirements departments, agencies, your state and local entities may require for a complete application.
- Project applications should emphasize how activities align with the Administration’s priorities. For example, the Justice40 initiative has set a goal of making disadvantaged communities the recipients of 40% of overall federal investments in climate change, clean energy, clean transit, affordable housing, and workforce development.
- Ensure that your project aligns with the goals of the program that you are applying to.
- Do not put all your eggs in one basket. Grant programs offering high dollar awards are the most competitive. We encourage you to apply to as many programs as you are eligible for.