Thank you for visiting my Grants and Federal Domestic Assistance page to learn more about the grants application process. I am pleased that you are interested in applying for funding that will benefit the 34th Congressional District of California and make more resources available to your local community. My staff and I are happy to help should you have any questions.
I give requests full and fair consideration and will be happy to provide a Letter of Support when appropriate.
To get started with your grant letter request, please e-mail Roberto Gama in my district office at least 30 days prior to your application deadline.
Who is eligible to apply for a grant?
Types of grants available
Key Funding Sources
Tips for Writing a Grant Proposal
Basic Elements of a Grant Application
Private and Corporate Funding Sources
Related Federal Sources
Who is Eligible to Apply for a Grant?
- State governments
- County governments
- City or township governments
- Special district governments
- Native American tribal governments (federally recognized)
- Native American tribal governments (other than federally recognized)
- Independent school districts
- Public and state controlled institutions of higher education
- Private institutions of higher education
Public Housing Organizations
- Public housing authorities
- Indian housing authorities
Types of Grants Available
Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), other than institutions of higher education
- Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
- Formula Grants: allocations of money to states or their subdivisions for activities of a continuing nature not confined to a specific project. Includes block grants to states and local governments.
- Project Grants: funding, for fixed or known periods, of specific projects or the delivery of specific services or products, including fellowships, scholarships, research grants, training grants, traineeships, experimental and demonstration grants, evaluation grants, planning grants, technical assistance grants, survey grants, construction grants, and unsolicited contractual agreements. Can also be referred to as discretionary or categorical grants or funding.
- Direct Payments for Specified Use: federal financial assistance provided directly to individuals, private firms, and other private institutions to encourage or subsidize a particular activity.
- Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use: federal financial assistance provided directly to beneficiaries who satisfy federal eligibility requirements with no restrictions as to how the money is spent.
Key Funding Sources
- Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (General Services Administration): The Catalog (CFDA), issued annually and updated continuously on the Web, describes some 1600 federal grants and non-financial assistance programs. Grant seekers can identify programs that might support their projects and can learn the program’s objectives, requirements, application procedures, and contacts. For current notices of funding availability, see Grants.gov or FedConnect.net.
- Grants.gov (managed by the Dept. of Health and Human Services): Federal website that allows eligible grant seekers to find and apply for current competitive grant opportunities from ALL federal agencies. Grant seekers can check on notices of funding availability (NOFA) posted in the last 7 days; access an RSS feed of grant opportunities; and apply for federal grants through a unified process by downloading the application and submitting online. The website guides grant seekers in obtaining a Dun and Bradstreet (DUNS) number and registering with System for Award Management (SAM) and registering with Grants.gov to apply and to track applications. For full federal program descriptions, see CFDA below. See also website FedConnect.net for additional grants and contracts opportunities.
- State Single Points of Contact’ (Office of Management and Budget): Under Executive Order 12372, some states require federal grants applicants to submit a copy of their application for state government level review and comment. The state offices listed here coordinate federal financial assistance and may direct federal development.
- CFDA in Local Libraries (Government Printing Office): Although the Catalog is available full-text on the Internet, some may prefer a print edition. However, only the Web Catalog is continuously updated. The published volume is annual with no supplements. The Catalog is available in all states in Federal Depository Libraries (click on link FDLP Public Page).
Tips for Writing a Grant Proposal
- Build Relationships and Ask Questions: If you need clarification or have a question about a grant announcement, you should contact the program officer listed on the announcement. If you experience any difficulty getting in contact with the program officer, my office will be more than happy to contact the agency on your behalf.
- Give Yourself Time: Grant proposals can be incredibly time consuming and extensive, so give yourself plenty of time to meet all deadlines given by the agency, as late applications will not be accepted.
- Review a Successful Proposal: You may submit a request to a federal agency to see a copy of successful proposals.
- Be Realistic: Make sure that the proposed budget and predicted outcome are realistic and attainable. When possible, substantiate your proposal with factual evidence.
- Proof Read: It is important that you have someone proofread your proposal to limit any grammar or spelling errors. It is also helpful to have a fresh set of eyes review the proposal to identify any clarity issues.
1. Cover Letter – A one page letter, addressed to the funding agency, which briefly outlines the need for project.
2. Project Summary – A two to three paragraph summary, usually at the beginning of a proposal, which addresses the objectives of the project. The summary should explain the problem being addressed, outline the goals of the proposal, describe the strategy used to resolve the problem, provide an overall budget for the project, and explain how the project will maintain funding after the completion of the grant.
3. Introduction of Organization – This portion is a brief description of the organization and an opportunity to illustrate their qualifications to carry out the proposed project. It is important to highlight the mission and goals of the organization, past successes, and grants that were previously received.
4. Problem Statement – This portion is a succinct and clear statement that defines the problem being addressed by the proposed project and should be no longer than two pages.
5. Project Goals – This section is a realistic description of what the organization aims to achieve. You should be careful not to confuse goals with methods. A goal should be stated as “to improve the overall health of the community” as opposed to “building a health care clinic.”
6. Project Method - This segment is a detailed explanation of how the project is anticipated to resolve the issue outlined in the Problem Statement.
7. Evaluation – This portion of the proposal outlines a strategy to measure if the set objectives are being met. This evaluation may be completed by the organization, by an outside expert in the field, or both.
8. Future Funding – This segment of the proposal details how the program will maintain funding after the completion of the grant. Be sure also to include fundraising efforts taking place and upcoming plans to apply for additional grant opportunities.
9. Budget – This section is a detailed explanation of how the funds will be disbursed. Please be sure that all estimates are realistic and that you provide a clear budget format. Your plan should also include a Budget Summary.
For additional information on grant writing, you may visit: CFDA’s Developing and Writing Grant Proposals, or take the free online Foundation Center Proposal Writing Short Course.
Private and Corporate Funding Sources
- The Foundation Center: Gateway to information about private funding sources, the grant seeking process, guidelines on writing a grant proposal, addresses of state libraries with grants reference collections, and links to other useful Internet websites. The Center maintains a comprehensive database on foundations; produces print and electronic directories and guides; conducts research and publishes studies in the field; and offers a variety of training and educational seminars.
- Guide to Funding Research: An overview of the funding research process for those seeking grants from foundations, corporations, and grantmaking public charities.
- Foundation Directory: A free search tool providing public access to essential information about nearly 90,000 foundations and over 250,000 IRS Forms 990-PF.
- Requests for Proposals: Daily postings of requests for proposals (RFPs) from private funding sources by broad subject category.
- Foundation Center Cooperating Collections: Free funding information available in libraries, community foundations, and other nonprofit centers nationwide, including access to the Foundation Directory Online database.
- Grant Resources by State (Grantsmanship Center): Click on state map to find links to information about a state’s foundations, community foundations, corporate giving programs, and the state’s home page.
- Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (Department of Energy): Grants are EERE’s primary funding vehicle for businesses, industries, universities, and others. Most EERE grants are awarded on merit on a competitive basis. EERE financial assistance opportunities are listed in the Financial Opportunities database and on Grants.gov or FedConnect.net. For state-by-state information on state, local utility, and federal incentives that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency, search DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewables and Efficiency).
- DHS Financial Assistance (Dept. of Homeland Security): Most Homeland Security non-disaster grant programs are designated for state and local governments and specific entities such as colleges. Unsolicited applications from individuals are generally not accepted. This assistance includes Urban Area Security Initiative, Citizens Corps, Medical Response System, Operation Stonegarden (border security), and Infrastructure Protection. Contact homeland security State Offices. Programs for firefighters may be found at Assistance to Firefighters.
- Student Aid on the Web (Dept. of Education): Information on funding education beyond high school, including grants, loans, and work-study assistance to qualified students.
- GovBenefits.gov (via Department of Labor): Includes information on over 1,000 government assistance programs, and how to apply. Covers direct payment, loan, insurance, training, or other services.
- FTC Consumer Alert (Federal Trade Commission): The FTC warns consumers to beware of paying "processing fees" for information that is available free to the public. Ads claiming federal grants are available for home repairs, home business, unpaid bills, or other personal expenses are often a scam.
- OMB Grants Management Web Site (Office of Management and Budget): OMB establishes government-wide grants management policies and guidelines through circulars and common rules. OMB Circulars are cited in Catalog program descriptions and may be printed out full text.