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Faith-Based and Community Initiatives

Grants Catalog
(To download the full Grants Catalog as a PDF, click here)

If you are in the business of caring for people in need, you need money to do your job. Chances are that if you had a little more money, you’d be able to help more people and do your work better. That’s where Federal grants come into play. If you run an organization to help those in need, you may be eligible to receive Federal money through grant programs.

This booklet provides some basic information about the Federal grants process. It also lists over 170 programs that may interest your organization. Grants programs are organized into general categories ranging from programs for elders and the homeless to those that serve at-risk youth and people making the transition from welfare to work.


The Federal government uses two kinds of grants:

  1. Grants awarded by an agency of the Federal government (also known as ‘discretionary’ grants)—for instance, a homeless assistance grant given out by the Department of Health and Human Services to a homeless shelter.
  2. Grants that put Federal money in the hands of States, cities, or counties for them to distribute to charities and other social service providers, usually under their own rules and regulations (also known as ‘formula’ or ‘block’ grants). Therefore, you can apply directly to the Federal government or you can apply for funds to an entity that distributes money it receives from the Federal government.

How can our organization find out about funding opportunities?
First, you must become familiar with what is available. The following list contains general information on over 170 programs operated by multiple Federal agencies. Use this list as a starting point. If you find a program that interests you, you can get more information such as when and how you can apply for funds from the agency contact in each listing or from the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA). To use the CFDA, locate the CFDA Number at the end of each listing. Use that number to search for the program on the CFDA website: Agency websites also contain information on funding opportunities. In particular, faith-based and community groups should check for information on the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives website ( as well as on the websites for the Agency Centers for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Many States and cities also have liaisons that can help faith-based and community applicants identify grant opportunities.

An important point: More Federal money is available from programs administered by States and localities than from the Federal government. For example, in the past, the Department of Health and Human Services has awarded significantly more money to States and localities, which in turn made much of the money available to non-governmental organizations, than it gave directly to grant applicants. So, in addition to finding out more about grants from the Federal government, you will probably want to look into partnering with your State and local government.

We’ve found some programs we’re interested in. What’s next?
All Federal grants have to be announced to the public. These announcements (sometimes called a “Program Announcement,” “Request for Proposal,” “Notice of Funding Availability,” or “Solicitation for Grant Applications”) are the government’s way of looking for charities and other groups to provide a Federally-funded service. Each grant announcement will contain instructions on how to apply, including where to get an application packet, information the application should contain, the date the application is due, and agency contact information.

Grant announcements are issued throughout the year. Unfortunately, there is no single document that contains every Federal grant announcement and no uniform format for these announcements although that President’s Administration is working to change this. In the future, it hopes to have all Federal agencies publish grant announcements electronically, in a single format and on a single website ( or Currently, most grant announcements are listed in the Federal Register, a daily publication that can be accessed on the Internet ( and at major public libraries. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance ( also contains information about grant announcements. You can also call the agency contact identified in the list that follows and ask that person how you can get a copy of the grant announcement.

How can our organization get more help?
Most Federal agencies have experts who are available to help organizations apply for and manage their grants. Applicants should call the contact identified in the grant announcement or contact an agency’s regional office. These agency staff are available to answer questions over the phone. They may also refer applicants to local or nearby technical assistance workshops or to organizations that are under contract with the Federal government to provide this kind of assistance. Assistance may also be available from the organizations funded by the Department of Health and Human Services’ Compassion Capital Fund. These organizations help small faith-based and community-based organizations learn about the grants process. They may also help small groups with other challenges, such as training volunteers and staff or expanding the reach of the services they provide. They do this at no cost to your organization. You can learn more about the Compassion Capital Fund and the organizations it funds through the White House and HHS faith-based websites ( or In addition, for general questions about writing a grant proposal, many State governments and cities provide grant writing workshops, as do a number of nonprofit organizations and foundations.

Finally, be sure and check the information provided in the brochure Guidance to Faith-Based and Community Organizations on Partnering with the Federal Government. That brochure is available directly from the White House Office, as well as at the White House Office website ( It addresses some of the questions that are frequently asked by faith-based and community organizations that are interested in receiving government funds.

The following list of over 170 programs represents most of the programs, offered by various Federal agencies, of interest to small, faith-based and community groups. However, there may be other programs in these or other agencies that we have not listed. Additional programs will be added over time. Visit,, and to look for further funding opportunities.

The programs that follow are organized into general categories. In most categories, you will find programs from several different Federal agencies. For example, in the Elders in Need category are programs operated by the Departments of HHS and HUD. At the beginning of each category are programs for which you make application directly to one of the Federal agencies. In every case, the contact information in the listing is a good place to start for learning about the application process and other details about the program.

You will find “State and locally-administered Federal funding” at the end of most categories. These are the programs in which the Federal government makes large grants available to States and local governments. These States and localities then award grants themselves to grassroots and other organizations. Totaling more than $50 billion, State and locally-administered Federal funding represents a wide range of funding opportunities. To learn about these opportunities, you will need to get in touch with State and local agencies responsible for managing these programs where you live.

For more information resources on grants, please refer to the “Additional Grant Resources” section at the end of this booklet.