Technical guides

How to Determine Eligibility for Federal Funding Opportunities

Determining your eligibility for federal grants is an important first step in the federal grant application process. Funding opportunity eligibility requirements are defined by legislation and federal agency policies. To receive a grant, you must meet an opportunity's eligibility requirements. Below are some tips for finding federal funding opportunities for which you may be eligible: 

1. Know your applicant entity type

Are you a nonprofit organization? Municipality or water utility? Tribal organization? Knowing this allows you to better narrow your search for funding opportunities

2. Search by keyword, then narrow your results

Every funding opportunity has unique eligibility requirements, so using Grants.gov Search is an important part of the process for determining an entity's eligibility for funding. Begin by going to the Grants.gov Search page and search by keyword. Be as specific as possible. After conducting the keyword search, narrow the results on the left side of the screen by selecting the Funding Instrument Type, Eligibility, or Category. Finally, be sure to save your search so that you can receive notification of new funding opportunities matching this criteria as they are posted in the future.

3. Get into the details of each funding opportunity

Once you have identified a group of funding opportunities that you appear to be eligible for, it’s time to closely review the official eligibility requirements of each one. You want to do this before you begin significant work on the application, so that you can be sure that the program is a good match for your applicant entity. The funding opportunity’s eligibility requirements may be listed in the Eligibility section of the grant Synopsis. But often the requirements are discussed in much greater detail in the official notice of funding opportunity (NOFO) document created by the federal grant-making agency. On Grants.gov, this document is usually found under the Related Documents tab. You can also use the Link to Additional Information field on the Synopsis Tab.

4. Reach out to the agency point of contact

If, after reading the NOFO, you still have any questions about eligibility, contact the federal agency point of contact listed in the NOFO.

For more information on how to determine your eligibility for federal funding opportunities read more at this blog post.


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