Who is Eligible?
Determining whether you are eligible to apply for and receive a federal grant is very important. If you are not legally eligible for a specific funding opportunity, you would waste a lot of time and money completing the application process when you cannot actually receive the grant.
When considering eligibility, the first step is to know what type of organization you represent (or whether you are applying as an individual). If you already know whether you will apply on behalf of your organization or as an individual, then you are ready to check your eligibility.
There are many types of organizations generally eligible to apply for funding opportunities on Grants.gov. Each type of organization listed in the categories below is a specific search criterion in Search Grants. Individual applicants are welcome too!
City or township governments
Special district governments
Native American tribal governments (federally recognized)
Native American tribal governments (other than federally recognized)
Independent school districts
Public and state controlled institutions of higher education
Private institutions of higher education
Public Housing Organizations
Public housing authorities
Indian housing authorities
Nonprofits having a 501(c)(3) status with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), other than institutions of higher education
Nonprofits that do not have a 501(c)(3) status with the IRS, other than institutions of higher education
Organizations other than small businesses
Small business grants may be awarded to companies meeting the size standards established by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for most industries in the economy.
Individual people may submit applications for a funding opportunity on their own behalf (i.e., not on behalf of a company, organization, institution, or government). If you are registered with only an individual applicant profile, you are only allowed to apply to funding opportunities that are open to individuals.
Most of the funding opportunities on Grants.gov are for organizations, not individuals. If you are looking for personal financial assistance or other types of funding, check out the Grant Programs section to learn about how to find other forms of funding from the government.
The authorizing legislation and agency policies will determine whether a foreign individual or organization may apply for the grant. Foreign applicants need to complete the same registration process as domestic applicants, but there are additional steps to this registration process.
Depending on the intended usage of the grant you are applying for, you may need to file a U.S. tax return which requires a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN), also referred to as an employer Identification Number (EIN). If a non-resident alien is awarded funding to perform activities outside the United States, then this likely does not constitute U.S. source income and a TIN/EIN is not necessary. Examples of such funding include scholarships, fellowship grants, targeted grants, and achievement awards.
Before applying, foreign applicants should thoroughly review the IRS website and search for their most recent guidance for Aliens and International Taxpayers.