Government Grants

There are two types of government grants: federal and state. Federal and state governments have similar outlooks regarding grant management and distribution. Knowing what a government source looks for is helpful when writing a grant. To compete successfully for government grants, be sure to review eligibility requirements carefully. Below are some things to note.

  • Government grants tend to change with the times. The government's role in providing grants changes depending on the economy, the objectives of the party in power, and the hot topics of the day.
  • Federal and state grants require great detail and a lot of preparation. Government sources want all the details up front.
  • Government sources want model programs that can be replicated in other communities.
  • Government sources want to disperse grants evenly across the country. In a given grant cycle, it is unlikely that one institution will end up with a lot of funded projects, even if they had the best proposals.


The following checklist will help determine if a project meets the funding guidelines.

  • Are you eligible? (LEA, SEA, IHE, non-profit, etc.)
  • How many grants are given out? For example, if only 20 grants given out nationally, the competition may be too intense to warrant an application.
  • What are the maximum and minimum dollar amounts that can be requested? Does this accomodate your needs?
  • What are the priorities of the grant? Are there any absolute or high priority objectives? If you cannot meet the priorities, do not apply.
  • What kind of "matching" funds are required? Are these in-kind or cash contributions?
  • How long is the grant period? Is it renewable?
  • Is your agency required to have certain programs, equipment, or capabilities in place in order to apply? If they will request a history/track record and you have none, you may not be competitive.
  • What is the deadline for the proposal? Be sure to confirm whether it needs to be postmarked or received by the deadline. Many government grants can be submitted electronically.

Searching for Grants

Visit the federal government's grants website. This website contains information for over 1,000 grant programs offered by 26 Federal agencies. Offices or special units within the government provide good sources of grants for UW Colleges. They include the following groups: