Many people look to the government hoping to find out how to apply for a grant or to get "free money," which they have seen advertised on television or in various publications. However, it is important to know that grants usually go to state and local governments or nonprofit organizations, which then use the money to operate assistance programs locally. Therefore, it may be difficult for an individual to qualify for a federal grant. USA.gov has information about legitimate grant and loan opportunities and contact information for grant- or benefit-sponsoring agencies.
Benefits.gov assists individuals looking for government grants and loans. It is the official government benefits website, encompassing more than 400 federal and 600 state programs funded by various agencies. This site allows you to complete a confidential questionnaire and receive a list of programs that may apply to your situation.
GovLoans.gov assists individuals looking for government loans. It acts as the gateway to government loan information by directing you to the loan information that best meets your needs.
Disability.gov assists individuals concerned with disability issues. It provides information and resources for people with disabilities.
Another source of information is the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA), which is a directory of over 15 types of federal assistance, including grants and loans. There are about 1,500 programs listed in the CFDA. Each program has a summary that explains program eligibility requirements, agency contact information, and application instructions. A printed copy of the CFDA is also available at the Main Library in St. Petersburg. If an immediate need for items such as food, clothing, healthcare, or emergency funds exists, please contact a state social services agency. Even if social services have been contacted and the applicant is ineligible for benefits, these agencies may be able to provide referrals to community organizations that might offer assistance. You may also search for and contact community or nonprofit organizations in your area directly for assistance or referral information.