As an organization or individual interested in state government grants, it is important to note where your area of service or the location of your project will take place. Once you determine your scope of work, area of service, and population served, if applicable, you are ready to contact your state offices for assistance in applying for a state government grant.
The State receives funding from various tax revenue sources. Some revenue sources are directly from State tax dollars, while other funding comes from the federal government to the State for disbursement. The State has agencies established that are similar to federal agencies to oversee functions of government in a particular area. You have the State departments of justice, education, community development (housing), economic development, transportation, and financing. Each agency offers state government grants to qualifying not-for-profits, individuals, cities, counties, and corporations. Many of the state government grants do not go directly to an individual, but are awarded to not-for-profits or governmental entities to then offer services to individuals or, in some cases, pay direct cost for individuals. A good example of this process is housing repair grants. The federal government allots funds to the State, the State gives a state government grant to a local city, and then the city pays for needed repairs on behalf of a homeowner. Remember, if you do not qualify directly for a state government grant, you may be able to partner with a local not-for-profit, business, or city/county to receive the funds you need.
Every state government grant opportunity should be listed on each State agency’s website. State government grants can be difficult to understand, which results in confusion on eligibility issues. Your State agency responsible for the state government grant you are interested in should be able to clarify any questions on the process. The correct agency may not be able to offer assistance with the actual state government grant application, since the process is competitive. A good partner that will strengthen your application is a city or county. Some local city/county entities will have local community development or economic development departments that can give you one-on-one support throughout the state government grant application process.
Regardless of the obstacles you must face when applying for state government grants, the reality is it gives you free money to complete your project or establish your program. Do not hesitate to ask for assistance from your state and local government! With their expertise and support, you are one step closer to securing a state government grant to fund your need.