Did you know that the U.S. Government offers more than 2,200 Federal assistance programs to the American public? It does, and these programs serve a variety of purposes and provide a range of benefits to state and local governments, non-profit organizations, institutions, and individuals.
The one characteristic shared by these Federal assistance programs is their goal of supporting the American public. The benefits available through these programs include, but are not limited to, financial assistance and the exchange of property or services.
With so many Federal assistance programs and services available, it can be understandably difficult to keep track of them all or know where to start when looking for assistance. That’s where the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance — known fondly as the CFDA– comes into play! The General Services Administration maintains a database of all of these programs and publishes a comprehensive guide to the programs annually.
The 2013 Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance assists users in identifying programs that meet their needs and obtaining general information about the program-such as how to apply for assistance, the approval process, related programs, and contact information.
What categories of U.S. Government Federal Assistance Programs are there and what information is provided on each?
Each program is detailed in the CFDA, and potential users can review the details including each program’s Objectives, Types of Assistance, and the rules for applying for and using this program, including Uses and Use Restriction and Eligibility Requirements for both the grant applicant and beneficiary(ies).
Each entry also includes any Credentials/Documentation required and the Application and Award Process that must be followed to apply for , from Preapplication Coordination and Application Procedures to Award Procedure and Deadlines for submitting your application (if required).
Types of Federal assistance programs run the gamut from Formula or Project Grants to Cooperative Agreements; Direct Payments for either a specified or unrestricted use; Direct Loans or Guaranteed / Insured Loans; Insurance; Sale, exchange, or donation of Federal property or goods; Use of Federal property, facilities, or equipment; even Investigation of complaints and Advisory Services and Counseling; plus many more.
Sampling of some of the Federal Assistance Programs available
In order to demonstrate the broad scope of these Federal assistance programs a bit more, here’s a look at some of the more interesting programs offered by these top 5 agencies that provide the most program offerings:
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
- Nutrition Services Incentive Program
- Mental Health Research Grants
- Grants to Increase Organ Donations
- Poison Center Support and Enhancement Grant Program
U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI)
- Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program
- American Battlefield Protection Grants
- Coastal Wetlands Planning, Protection and Restoration Act Grants
- Cooperative Endangered Species Conservation Fund
U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Collaborative Forest Restoration Project
- Farmers’ Market Promotion Program
- Animal Health and Disease Research Grants
- Emergency Community Water Assistance Grants
U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)
- Missing Children’s Assistance Grants
- Community-Based Violence Prevention Program
- Juvenile Mentoring Program
- Economic High-Tech and Cyber Crime Prevention Grants
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)
- Housing Counseling Assistance Program
- Appalachia Economic Development Initiative
- Lead-Based Paint Hazard Control Grants
- Veterans Homelessness Prevention Program
“The purpose of the Veterans Homelessness Prevention Demonstration Program (VHPD) is to explore ways for the Federal Government to offer early intervention homelessness prevention, primarily to veterans returning from wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The authorizing statutory language for the VHPD acknowledges the increasing number of female veterans, veterans with families especially with a single head of household, as well as those from the National Guard and Reserve who are being discharged from the military and whose unique needs should be more closely examined.”
The VHPD grant money funding is to be…
“used for short-term housing assistance, including security deposits, up to 18 months of rent assistance, rental and/or utility arrearages, or related housing assistance. Grantees may also use funding for appropriate services for veterans and their families, including, but not limited to, child care, family services and case management.”
As you can see, Federal assistance programs exist to benefit the American public in many different arenas and through a variety of methods. Whether the goal is to reduce veterans’ homelessness, to mitigate the impact of earthquakes, or to provide mentorship for young people, the 2013 Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance is the ultimate resource and all-in-one guide for learning about the programs that are available from the U.S. Government.
After all, the public needs to be aware of these programs in order to take advantage of what they have to offer!
How can I get these and other Federal Government publications on Federal Benefits?
In addition to clicking on the links in the article above to find the publications, you may find other benefits publications from the following:
- Shop Online Anytime: You can buy eBooks as well as print publications– with FREE Standard Shipping worldwide– from GPO’s U.S. Government Online Bookstore website at http://bookstore.gpo.gov:
- Visit a Federal Depository Library: Search for U.S. Government publications in a nearby Federal depository library.
- Visit a Public Library: Ask your local public librarian about Federal books in their collection as well as Federal eBooks that may be available for library patrons to check out electronically.
About the Authors: Guest blogger Stephanie Jaeger is Sales & Marketing Coordinator for GPO’s Sales & Marketing Division that markets GPO’s publishing services to the Federal sector.
Government Book Talk Editor Michele Bartram is Promotions and Ecommerce Manager for GPO’s Publication and Information Sales Division in Washington, DC, and is responsible for online and offline marketing of the US Government Online Bookstore (http://bookstore.gpo.gov) and promoting Federal government content to the public.