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Arkansas State University

Grants: Finding Grants

A short intro to finding and writing grants.


Federal Grants     |     State Grants     |     Foundation Grants


There are over 1,000 programs in 27 federal agencies that provide grant opportunities.  Federal grants are mandated by law and usually have a "public purpose," meaning they cannot solely benefit an individual.  Because there are so many federal grants of varying amounts, differing requirements and restrictions; it's impossible to cover them all in one guide. 

Fortunately, there are two very useful websites for navigating federal grants: Assistance Listings      provides a full listing of all Federal programs available to State and local governments (including the District of Columbia); federally-recognized Indian tribal governments; Territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic public, quasi- public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals. is a central storehouse for information on over 1,000 grant programs and provides access to approximately $500 billion in annual awards.  You can go through to apply for nearly any federal grant -- all you need to do is create a account.  (Note: If you are applying for funding related to A-State in any way, you MUST go through the Office of Research Development.)



A word about
"Free Government Money"



The information contained in these "free money" products is usually the same information available for free either through the, and/or  

The government does NOT give you money to "quit your job," "pay your bills," or even "live your dreams." 

Books and websites that make these sort of promises are telling half-truths, exaggerating claims and charging you for it. 

The truth:

Money to fix your car? A listing of automobile recalls

Money to pay your bills? A listing of utility and housing assistance programs only available to low income families

Money for health care? Mostly Medicare and Medicaid listings



Finding state grants can be a challenging process compared to federal grants.  One problem is that there is no single listing of every state grant opportunity.  (However, there is a listing for state benefits through  Another problem is that each state is different.  Some states have all their grants listed in one place, others don't. Arkansas is one of the states that doesn't list grants in one single place.

To find Arkansas grants, you must either search the State of Arkansas website or go directly to each individual agency's web page.  For example, if you need an education grant, you will need to go the the Arkansas Department of Education site and search.


Foundations are nonprofit, non-governmental organizations that award grants.  Foundations can be divided into two categories:

  • Private Foundations
   Grant giving organizations funded by individuals, families, or corporations (e.g. Walton Family Foundation, Inc.)
  • Public Charities
  Organizations funded by donations from the general public (e.g. Ms. Foundation for Women)

Because foundations are not tied to the government, they sometimes have more freedom in who they give grants to.  Foundations can give grants to other organizations, institutions, communities and even individuals and can cover a wide range of purposes.


Foundation Center

The Candid is the free site from the company that provides a basic search of foundations and 990s.  You can search by foundation name, state, zip code and 990 only. Candid also hosts the Foundation Directory Online, but subscription is required.