What Is Federal Financial Assistance?

Federal financial assistance is the transfer of anything of value, most often money, from a federal agency to a non-federal entity. In the most general sense, federal financial assistance is a tool the government uses to serve public purposes as defined by Congress.

Federal financial assistance is a very broad term, and it can take on a variety of more precise forms. One of the most common forms is a grant, which we write about quite often on this blog.

Other examples of federal financial assistance include cooperative agreements, donations of property, direct appropriations, food commodities, loans, interest subsidies, and insurance.

Each type of federal financial assistance serves different purposes and has different legal and regulatory frameworks that govern how that specific assistance can be used.

Where Does Federal Financial Assistance Come From?

Well, that question could take a while to answer in full. In short, your elected officials make laws that outline and define federal financial assistance programs. Then executive agencies implement these programs. The judicial branch may also evaluate these laws to ensure the programs are consistent with the Constitution.  Learn more about the branches of government on USA.gov.

If you have questions and would like more details about federal financial assistance, consider consulting the following resources:

  • Grant Policies – What they are, how they are made, and those that pertain to grants
  • OMB Uniform Guidance for Grants – Thorough definitions and guidelines of federal financial assistance
  • USA.gov – “Learn about government programs that provide financial help for individuals and organizations”
  • Benefits.gov – For individual citizens looking for more information about federal benefits

ContactPlease post a comment below or on Twitter if you have questions about federal financial assistance or grants.

26 thoughts on “What Is Federal Financial Assistance?

  1. Hi I am on disability and what I get a month doesn’t help pay all my bills. I’m about to lose my furniture cause I can’t pay the furniture bill nor help with providing for my 15th year old and buying things I need for the home or the personal things that we need. What type of grant is there that can help me with that ?


  2. yes hello I am in the same situation at Demetrius.. But I am needing a grant for school… my car broke down and thays my. onky way to amd from school where I live there is no public transportation at all and walking or riding a bike is put of the question due to how far OT is from the college… I just need grant from somewhere some how so that I may get my car going once that’s fixed my financial aid will Kik in but not till half way three the first month of school.. I wouldn’t normally just use that but I have to get myself to school that first half of the fist moth of school if not I might. lose my fasfa money.. oh also I am on socail security disability too.. Amd a. native American if that helps me get anymore help… Thank you have a great day


  3. I’m 62 My house is in need of repairs, including a new hoof. My ins co. is giving 6 mo to repair. I earn 36,000 a year but medical and cost of living cost make it impossible to save. is there any help ?


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