WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR A GRANT?
ATTENTION! Grants.gov does not offer money for personal financial assistance or debt. If you are seeking personal financial assistance such as:
Social Security/Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid or State Social Services, please visit: www.GovBenefits.gov
Student Loans, please visit: www.Studentaid.ed.gov
Small Business Start-up Loans, please visit: www.sba.gov
This type of individual assistance is NOT available on this website.
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. To find an alphabetical listing of federal personal assistance visit USA.gov website's Government Benefits, Grants, and Financial Aid page.
There are many groups of organizations that are eligible to apply for government grants. Typically, most grantee organizations fall into the categories below.
- 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)
- 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
- 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 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. The most common size standards are as follows:
- 500 employees for most manufacturing and mining industries
- 100 employees for all wholesale trade industries
- $6 million for most retail and service industries
- $28.5 million for most general & heavy construction industries
- $12 million for all special trade contractors
- $0.75 million for most agricultural industries
Note that about one-fourth of industries have a size standard that is different from these levels. They vary from $0.75 million to $28.5 million for size standards based on average annual revenues and from 100 to 1500 employees for size standards based on number of employees.
With few exceptions, all federal agencies, and many state and local governments, use the size standards established by SBA. You can search for further information and for loan opportunities on the Small Business Administration’s website .
An individual submits a grant on their behalf, and not on behalf of a company, organization, institution, or government. Individuals sign the grant application and its associated certifications and assurances that are necessary to fulfill the requirements of the application process. So, if you register as an Individual, you will only be able to apply to grant opportunities that are open to individuals. An individual cannot submit a grant application to a grant opportunity that is just open to organizations.
To find out what grants are currently available for these different eligibility categories, please visit the Advanced Search page.