How Government Grants Are Awarded.


Are you interested in a government grant? Understanding how a state awards a grant is a critical part of your application.

The U.S. government redistributes national resources to eligible recipients through federal grants. Their federal budget process avails this money to various government agencies for major projects. Congress determines which programs get these grants and announces these opportunities on the Federal Register.

Who Are Eligible For Grants?

To win a specific grant, you must first determine whether you’re legally eligible before you apply. Individuals can apply for a grant although most funding opportunities target organizations. You can look for grants that are open to individuals but they’re rare. Entities should know the type of organization they represent before they apply. Many organizations qualify for federal government grants.

Type of OrganisationCriterion
Not-for-profitNonprofits that have or don’t Internal Revenue Service (IRS) tax immunity
EducationPublic, private and independent school districts
GovernmentCounties, special district governments, state governments, etc.
For-profitLarge business enterprises
Small enterprisesCompanies that meet size requirements of the U.S. Small Business Association
Public housingPublic and Indian housing authorities
ForeignersFellowships, scholarships, and achievement awards

The Life Cycle of A Grant

To understand how federal states award their grants, we must understand their granting process. A grant process is a linear cycle that starts when a government develops a funding opportunity and interested candidates apply. The state then picks ideal recipients who can successfully implement the grant’s project. The government groups the above actions into three phases;

  1. The Pre-award Phase
  2. The Award Phase
  3. The Post Award Phase

The Pre-award Phase

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 A grantor creates a funding program that meets its administrative and congressional mission. The grantor announces the opportunity on the official government website for grants and invites eligible candidates to send their proposals through an extensive application process. Interested individuals search for funding programs that align with their organization’s mission and apply. You may take weeks to complete an application. Make sure you meet all stipulated requirements before you submit.

The grantor retrieves completed applications and screens them for compliance. Once an application passes the first screening, the funding program refers it to a relevant implementing agency for consideration. The agency starts processing your submission. The funding program will communicate the status of your application. Relevant stakeholders will review the screened applications for a second time.

The Award Phase

After the second screening, the grantor notifies those who have won or failed to secure the grant. The program works with awardees to finalize the legalities of a financial agreement then it disburses the funds. The funding agency also sends a Notification of Award to a successful applicant.

After all these requirements are met, you can start your project. This notice is a legal issuance of a grant agreement, signing it means you accept the terms and conditions of the grant.

Post Award Phase

The funding program assigns a grants management officer to each project, who audits your reporting compliance. Your financial records, procedures, performance, etc., are excellent metrics of your accounting. The officers may also conduct site visits. These monitoring measures identify inefficient and unethical award recipients.

Reporting maintains transparency and prevents fraud. Once the project comes to a successful end, the grantor reviews your final accounting and technical reports and closes the granting process. When the Federal awarding agency is satisfied with your project, it will officially notify you that your work is done. This phase may also take months.

Do You Have To Repay A Grant?

The government can ask you to repay a grant if you fail to comply with its requirements. In extreme cases, a grant’s recipient can face penalties like economic sanctions and imprisonment.


Granting is a detailed process that includes the following phases, pre-award, award, and post-award. These are vital steps that give you an idea of what to expect during the application process. You must check if you meet all requirements before applying to maximize your chances of getting a grant.

The government’s officers work with awardees to ensure you legally use grant finances to complete your intended project. Lastly, you may repay a grant if you fail to meet your obligations as an awardee.

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