How NGOs get funds from the government in the USA? Would you like to know, what is the best way to obtain funding for a non-governmental organization? Organizations operating in the USA can use different funding sources, such as donations provided by private entities – there is no obligation for those donations to originate from America – they may be given by foreign citizens, as well as the companies from the private sector, philanthropic foundations, and foreign countries governments. Additionally, NGOs can try to acquire grants from the American government at the federal level. What should be done to receive such funding?

How NGOs get funds – table of contents:
  1. How NGOs get funds – grants are the basic form of support
  2. American government grants
  3. How obtain a federal grant for NGOs?
  4. Summary

How NGOs get funds – grants are the basic form of support

Grants differ from other forms of financing of non-governmental activity in a way that they are usually dedicated to a specific purpose (related to the well-being of the public) and have a non-refundable character. Those funds are usually granted for the realization of the interesting project or ambitious program in the area pointed out by the non-governmental organization that is consistent with the governmental interest.

Occasionally, they can take the form of annual financing (when the project is prolonged in time, and the interests of all parties remain the same).

American government grants

In the case of the USA, grants are offered mainly by multiple governmental resorts at the federal level. Their value depends on the federal budget and the goals of agencies, which means that they can change from year to year (accordingly to the changes in the political situation, economic situation, or events taking place in the country).

Those findings are granted from public money collected by the taxpayers, which means that each application for the founding requires conducting open, clear, and objective competition, to determine, who should receive financial support.

How obtain a federal grant for NGOs?

All the information about grants given by the State Department of the USA is available on the federal website The details presented on the website show the information related to the open competition of 26 federal agencies, which offer combined funding that comes up to 350 billion dollars.

To apply for the available grants on the websites the account is required with all the details about the financing that show the eligibility of the applicant. On the governmental website there are grants aimed at, not only non-governmental organizations, but governmental, non-profit, and public benefit organizations.

how ngos get funds

The requirements concerning the financing possibilities for the specified entities are determined by national law and the politics of the federal agencies.When the eligibility of the company is known, the organization can start searching for the right grant that is adjusted to the scope of the activity of the non-governmental organization.

After entering the competition the organization gets access to the documentation (so-called application package), which contains all the information required to fill the application forms alongside the guidelines that should support the application process.

how ngos get funds

In the next step, you have to log in to the System for Award Management, where all the necessary documents have to be uploaded. What is the subsequent procedure? The Agency that gives grants downloads the application from the website and contacts the applicant in case of any issues. The applicant has to wait for the results of the competition.

The website is kept up-to-date on an ongoing basis as regards the currently open competitions, hence the best way to find the right grant everyday checking. What is important, there are grants on the website, that foreign non-governmental organizations can apply for. Such type of organization has to possess a DUNS number with the NCAGE code.

How NGOs get funds


NGOs operating in the USA can access a range of opportunities regarding the financing of their everyday activity. Many entities decide to use financial support offered by federal agencies – mostly because of the amount that can be received for the realization of the specific program or project.

It has to be stressed that the competition in this respect is high, hence constant checking of and good preparation of the application form are the basic activities on the path to success.

Read also: What is a CCO? What does a CCO do?

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Author: Andy Nichols

A problem solver with 5 different degrees and endless reserves of motivation. This makes him a perfect Business Owner & Manager. When searching for employees and partners, openness and curiosity of the world are qualities he values the most.