As Chairwoman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, I am fighting to keep funding for competitive grant programs to help initiatives nationwide. I believe the federal government is making a smart investment in the smart programs keeping our communities strong – from equipment for local law enforcement, to science and engineering programs at our local community colleges, to economic development grants for our small businesses. I will keep fighting to protect the funding for these important initiatives.
Know that I am on your side! I can help local organizations with federal grant proposals by sending a letter of support for the project. At your request, I will send a letter of support directly to the head of the federal agency at the same time the proposal is submitted. If you are seeking a letter of support for your project, please fill out this form and email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
I wish you the best of success with your project, and I appreciate the opportunity to be of service.
How To Find Federal Funding Opportunities
The federal government offers a "one-stop shop" for information on all federal funding opportunities, with information about more than 1,000 grant programs administered by more than 25 federal agencies: http://www.grants.gov/
In addition to www.grants.gov, the following websites might be helpful in identifying federal funding opportunities:
- Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance
The CFDA describes federal grant programs and helps grant seekers identify programs that might support their projects. At CFDA, you can learn the program's objectives, requirements, application procedures and contacts, as well as whether the program is currently awarding grants. The CFDA is issued annually and updated on a continuous basis.
- Home Pages of Federal Agencies
Federal agencies sometimes post grant announcements on their Web pages. If you are interested in a specific topic area, I suggest visiting that agency's website for more information about grant opportunities. Click on the link above to view a list of agency grant pages.
- Governor's Grants Office
Federal grant opportunities – especially federal grants that are awarded by the state – are listed on this website. The site is a state clearing house for Maryland federal grants, and also has useful resources for local and foundation grants. Also, don't miss the office's webinars, trainings and materials on grant writing and management.
How To Write A Grant Proposal
Federal grants are competitive and federal dollars are limited. Grant proposals must be well-written and comply with grant criteria to be competitive. Grants are awarded to organizations whose proposals are in line with program priorities, and whose projects meet the highest standards. Here are some resources that will help you write a good grant proposal:
- Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations (MANO)
MANO is a state-wide organization that provides grant writing workshops, grants research, and other technical assistance to nonprofit organizations. There is a small charge for membership.
- How to Develop and Write a Grant Proposal
The Congressional Research Service provides valuable information on government, foundation, and corporate grants, as well as a bibliography of resources. It also includes information on guides to writing grant proposals. In addition to "How to Develop and Write a Grant Proposal," I recommend Resources for Grant Seekers.
- The Foundation Center's Proposal Writing Course
The Foundation Center, a database of private foundation grant opportunities, provides a simple and free online proposal development course. This can be a good place to start your training. Also, the Foundation Center's Cooperating Collections allow you to use its excellent database at no charge at participating libraries. Check with your local library.
- Your city or county government, and local nonprofit organizations, can often help with the grant writing process. You should contact your local elected officials to find out who those organizations are. Here are some examples:
- The Enoch Pratt Free Library (Baltimore)
Located in Baltimore, Enoch Pratt's main branch houses the Grants Collection, a resource for grant writing and fundraising.
- University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) (Baltimore County)
UMBC provides a variety of grant writing resources at no cost online. The website includes information on a wide array of topics that may be helpful to nonprofit organizations, including nonprofit management and event planning.
- Nonprofit Montgomery! (Montgomery County)
A group committed to strengthening nonprofits in Montgomery County and connecting them to the resources they need to succeed.
- Nonprofit Resource Development Council (Howard County)
Dedicated to providing resources to nonprofits in Howard County, including print resources, networking and financial assistance to weather the financial storm.
How To Apply for Federal Grants
Most federal grants require you to apply through www.grants.gov, which, in addition to being a research tool, is also an application management system. Here are three great Webinars, hosted by the Maryland Governor's Grants Office, which will help you navigate the system. They go over the steps you have to take in order to apply for a federal grant online:
For more information about federal grants, please contact my grants staff at: