Mobile Menu - OpenMobile Menu - Closed

Grant Types



  • For specific programs; may be used only for narrowly described purposes
    • Such as highway programs and education grants
  • Includes requirements
  • States may be required to adopt certain federal guidelines such as speed limits and drinking age limits in order to receive grants
  • Makes up about 90% of federal grant money


  • Provides more leeway for states by providing funding for eligible activities identified in authorizing legislation
    • Such as community development (CDBG: Community Development Block Grants), education, health services, and crime control (LLEBG: Local Law Enforcement Block Grants)
  • States have a lot of flexibility on deciding how to spend the funds to meet most pressing needs
  • May have match requirements


  • Grant activities must fall within one of 25 categories
    • Such as historic preservation, real property acquisition, demolition, site preparation, site disposition, economic development, job creation, housing assistance, public service activities, assistance to not-for-profit entities
  • Eligible activities must address at least one of the program’s national objectives
    • Principally benefit low and moderate income persons
    • Aid in eliminating/preventing slums or blight
    • Meet urgent community development needs where there is a serious or immediate threat to the public.
  • In man-made and natural disasters, funds have been utilized to help with disasters
    • Such as short and long-term relief efforts, mitigation activities, housing and business assistance, infrastructure reconstruction and public services


  • Requires payment or services to all eligible persons and are often awarded based on a formula
    • Such as SS disability insurance, low income programs
  • Entitlement programs are a difficult expenditure to control since it is hard to project how many people will be eligible for the program in the coming year


  • Similar to categorical, but only funds specific projects or services
    • Such as Minority Business Development Grants and Wetland Protection Grants
  • Projects are competitive and awarded on the merits of the proposal
    • Allows considerable discretion within the federal agency granting the funding
  • States provide technical assistance to communities developing grants proposals


  • Allocated based on a decision rule such as X dollars/public school student
    • Purpose is to allocate funding based on quantifiable variables
    • Such as HUD grants, like the HOME Program and CDBG (both are formula and block grants)
  • Funds are for on-going programs and seldom for special projects, unless the special project falls within the ongoing program


  • Requires that recipient contribute something towards project costs
    • Such as FEMA grants that can have in-kind services match or cash match
    • Some block grants also have a match requirement
  • Match % varies among grant programs due to buy in, program longevity, and fiscal accountability
    • Economic Adjustment Grant is 50% match and Federal Aid Highway Program is 10% match
  • Very few grants fund 100%