Given the billions of dollars the federal government awards in grants each year, it's logical to assume there would be a department in charge. In fact, while there is a single, primary source of information about government grants (grants.gov), the grants themselves are awarded by individual government agencies.
There are 26 Federal Agencies That Award Grants. They are listed below with a brief description of their focus.
Keep in mind that regardless of what you read elsewhere, these agencies do not provide grant assistance to individuals. They deal with government agencies, housing agencies, non-profit organizations, educational institutions and others —- not individuals. If you are an individual looking for assistance, there are numerous sources of financial aid:
If you are looking for personal financial aid, see our article on Financial Aid; check out Scholarship Information if you are a student; see Grants for Business or Microfinance in the United States for assistance starting or growing your business; Grants for Research if that applies to you, and Government Grants to Purchase a Home if you are in need of help to buy or keep your home.
- Agency for International Development: aid outside the United States.
- Corporation for National and Community Service: service and volunteering
- Agriculture: food safety, resource conservation
- Commerce: U. S. economic health and technology
- Defense: the defense of our nation
- Education: education in the U.S.
- Energy: energy security and related issues
- Health and Human Services: the health of all Americans.
- Homeland Security: protection from attack and from harm due to natural disasters.
- Housing and Urban Development: home ownership and community development.
- The Interior: U.S. heritage, Indian tribes and island communities.
- Justice: law enforcement, crime control and equal justice for all Americans.
- Labor: work related issues including safety, opportunities, rights, and other issues.
- State: U.S. relations and general stability around the world.
- Treasury: the U. S. economy and various financial systems.
- Veterans Affairs: a variety of issues and services for U.S. veterans.
- Environmental Protection Agency: the U.S. environment.
- Institute of Museum and Library Services: support for U.S. libraries and museums.
- National Aeronautics and Space Administration: U.S. space program, aeronautics and exploration;
- National Archives and Records Administration: maintains public records of government actions.
- National Endowment for the Arts: promotes the arts, arts accessibility and education.
- National Endowment for the Humanities: makes grants which promote a variety of programs related to the humanities;
- National Science Foundation: promotes progress and achievement in science for the benefit of all Americans and for our national defense. It is a major provider of related grants made for government supported research at universities and colleges.
- Small Business Administration: promotes and encourages small businesses through grants to related organizations and by providing a wide range of education and support.
- Social Security Administration: leads and manages the U.S. Social Security programs.