FAQs from City, Town & County Government Officials Seeking Federal Grants

Let’s say you’re a mayor of a small town in the Midwest, or a newly elected commissioner in a county along the East Coast, or an official who overseas parks in a suburb of a major city.

You’re looking for federal grant funding, but you don’t know where to begin.

The first thing you need to know is that you are not alone.

Grants.gov recently met with several groups of mayors, commissioners, and other local officials at the National League of Cities Congressional City Conference during the Federal Agency Round Robin event. Many of these local officials spoke of feeling overwhelmed when searching and applying for federal grants.

Federal grants for towns and cities

Over the course of our conversations with local officials, several key questions surfaced again and again, and in this space we would like to share them – along with our answers – in hope that they will be helpful to others who find themselves in similar positions, with similar needs.

 

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Mobile App Update Adds New Login and Submit Features

The federal grant application process is anything but simple. From searching for funding opportunities to submitting carefully crafted applications, there are complexities at every turn.

To this end, Grants.gov is always looking for ways to make applicant tasks more convenient. The Grants.gov Mobile App (available for Android and iOS), with its latest update, is a perfect example of this focus.

With convenient new login and submit features coming to the mobile app, applicants can now do even more while they are away from their desk or laptop.

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Federal Funding Spotlight on Agriculture: Open Opportunities Supporting Specialty Crops, Food Security & More

This week’s edition of #FundingFriday highlights open grant opportunities related to agriculture, including programs supporting…

  • Specialty crops, such as dried fruit, tree nuts and horticulture
  • Agricultural transformation and food security
  • Farmers, ranchers, farm workers and farm family members with disabilities, and more!

Funding Friday Grants.gov Community Blog Series Banner

Specialty Crop Block Grant Program – Farm Bill

  • Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Marketing Service
  • Current Closing Date for Applications: May 24, 2019
  •  The Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) announces the availability of approximately $72.4 million in grant funds, less AMS administrative costs, to enhance the competitiveness of specialty crops. Specialty crops are defined as fruits and vegetables, dried fruit, tree nuts, horticulture and nursery crops (including floriculture).

 

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International Women’s Day: A Special Edition of #FundingFriday

This week’s edition of #FundingFriday marks International Women’s Day by highlighting new funding opportunities supporting women’s issues around the world in the fields of medicine, politics, business and more.

Funding Friday Grants.gov Community Blog Series Banner

Strengthening Women’s Voices in Politics

  • Department of State, U.S. Mission to Kenya
  • Current Closing Date for Applications: March 15, 2019
  • This project will use a combination of training, outreach, and mentoring to strengthen women’s voices in the public sphere leading up to the 2022 Kenyan presidential elections.  More specifically, the project will build networks of successful men and women to support women leaders, identify and address gaps in communication and leadership skills among women leaders through training and mentoring, and create opportunities for women to participate fully as equal influencers in public debate on the issues of concern leading to the 2022 national elections.  The project will target female leaders in politics, business, technology, academia, civil society, and media.

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What’s New in Federal Grants: Opportunities Supporting Native American Libraries, Community Programming, and More

This week’s edition of #FundingFriday highlights new grant opportunities supporting…

  • the programs and services of Native American libraries
  • local programming designed to place volunteers in communities to assist older adults and individuals with disabilities in maintaining independence
  • innovative projects that help reduce crashes, injuries, and fatalities involving large trucks and buses
  • and more!

Funding Friday Grants.gov Community Blog Series Banner

Native American Library Services Enhancement Grant

  • Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • Current Closing Date for Applications: May 1, 2019 
  • Native American Enhancement grants are competitive grants available to carry out activities, described in 20 U.S.C. 9141, that advance the programs and services of eligible Native American libraries.

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What Is the Difference Between Grants.gov and Benefits.gov?

This post was originally published on April 18, 2017 and updated on February 20, 2019.

Grants.gov regularly receives a significant amount of queries from users hoping to apply for personal financial assistance from the federal government. These individuals might be looking for home repair grants or forms of disability assistance.

Others are unfortunately driven to Grants.gov by scam artists posing as agents of Grants.gov (or some made-up variant) who promise “free government grants” in exchange for monthly fees or gift cards.

What is the difference between Grants.gov and Benefits.gov?

Continue reading What Is the Difference Between Grants.gov and Benefits.gov?

Community Insights: Building Larger Partnerships in the Federal Grant Community

Community Insights is a new series that highlights advice and wisdom gleaned from the federal grant community. The posts excerpted in this series will have appeared already within Grants.gov’s Twitter and the Community Forum channels.

In this blog post, we’re featuring an exchange between applicants about creative ways to build partnerships when federal funding opportunities appear limited. A special thanks to Twila Nesky for taking the time to share her wisdom with the community.

Community Insights

‘A Truly Creative Endeavor’

Q: Hello everyone, I am interested to learn about how you all are being more creative in your approach to funding when the Federal funding is limited. 

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New System Enhancements for Users at Grant-Making Agencies

Recent updates to the Grants.gov system have brought welcome new features for users at federal grant-making agencies. These enhancements are discussed in detail in the online user guide. Below, we provide an overview of the changes, along with links to help resources.

New: Login with your PIV card

Grantors can now link a PIV or CAC card to their Grants.gov account. Doing so will give users the option of accessing their account with either the PIV/CAC card or their username and password.

Help Article | Video

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#FundingFriday: Federal Grant Programs Supporting Community Development, Refugees and Environmental Protection

If you don’t have time to regularly browse the funding opportunities posted on Grants.gov, consider setting up a saved search that will ping you every time a grant relevant to your interests is posted to Grants.gov.

You may also want to download the official Grants.gov mobile app (App Store | Google Play), which makes it easy to browse and subscribe to opportunities while you’re on the move – or on the couch.

Here’s a selection of new funding opportunity announcements that have been posted to Grants.gov in recent days.

Funding Friday Grants.gov Community Blog Series Banner

Refugee Individual Development Accounts (IDA) Program (Forecast)

  • Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families – ORR
  • Estimated Closing Date: April 28, 2019
  • The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) announces funding for the Refugee Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) Program, which establishes and manages Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) for low-income refugee participants. Eligible refugee participants who enroll in these projects will open and contribute systematically to IDAs for specified Savings Goals, including home ownership, business capitalization, vehicles for educational or work purposes, professional certification, and education (limited to postsecondary and/or continuing education, college entrance exam fees, Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and General Education Development (GED) Diploma preparation and test fees).

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#FundingFriday: Federal Grant Opportunities Supporting the Humanities, Languages and History

This week’s edition of #FundingFriday highlights grant programs from the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Park Service, and National Science Foundation. These programs support humanities-related research, preservation and expression.

Funding Friday Grants.gov Community Blog Series Banner

Dialogues on the Experience of War

  • National Endowment for the Humanities
  • Current Closing Date for Applications: November 15, 2018
  • The National Endowment for the Humanities offers the Dialogues on the Experience of War (Dialogues) program as part of its current initiative, Standing Together: The Humanities and the Experience of War. The program supports the study and discussion of important humanities sources about war, in the belief that these sources can help U.S. military veterans and others think more deeply about the issues raised by war and military service. Dialogues is primarily designed to reach military veterans; however, men and women in active service, military families, and interested members of the public may also participate.

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