20 Types of Grants Available

types of grants

There are many different types of grants available depending on what you are looking for. A grant program can help provide funding for your business, research, or education. In this article, we’ll go over a list of the top 20 types of grants available for your organization today.

What are Business Grants and How Do They Work?

A business grant is a financial award given to a business to help it grow, expand, or simply get started. They are broadly categorized as being government and private, with government grants being more numerous but also more difficult to obtain.

The grant application process can be lengthy, but it’s worth it as most grants don’t need to be repaid. Additionally, there are typically no minimum requirements in terms of credit score or financial history, and applying for grants won’t affect your FICO score.


What are The 4 Main Types of Business Grants?

Business owners are always looking for funding. There are many grants types available that provide businesses with the funds they need such as the following:

  • Federal Grants. Businesses can get federal government grants from the United States government. The government offers these types of grants to promote new businesses and jobs, support research and development, and help businesses expand into new markets.
  • State Grants. These are grants offered by state governments to businesses operating within their state. The requirements and amount of funding available vary by state, but these types of grants are typically available to help businesses with start-up costs, job creation, and expansion.
  • Local Grants. Local governments also offer grants to businesses, typically in the form of tax breaks or low-interest loans. These types of grants are typically available to businesses that are creating new jobs or investing in the community.
  • Corporate Grants. Some large corporations offer grants to small businesses. These types of grants are typically available to businesses that are aligned with the corporation’s goals, such as promoting diversity or environmental sustainability.

20 Different Grant Programs

Government funding sources and grant opportunities are available for all eligible entities and businesses of all sizes from federal, state, and local governments as well as non-federal entities. The eligibility requirements and application process can vary greatly from program to program. Let’s dive into our list and see which grant is right for you:

Federal Government Grant Funding

The federal government offers a variety of grant programs for businesses. Federal grants are available from several different federal agencies, including the Department of Commerce, the Department of Energy, and the Small Business Administration.



Grant funds from federal agencies can be used for a wide variety of purposes, including research and development, marketing, and workforce training. Let’s take a look at some:

1. SBIR and STTR

If you’re looking to fund and establish a new program but need financial support in the form of a planning grant for initial research efforts, then the SBIR and STTR projects may be for you. However, you’ll need to justify the need for the program you’re trying to establish when applying.

2. Trade Adjustment Assistance For Firms

The Trade Adjustment Assistance for Firms program provides financial assistance to businesses that have been negatively affected by imports. The funding can be used for a variety of purposes, including plant renovations, marketing, and training.


The MBDA program provides financial and technical assistance to minority-owned businesses. The program is designed to help businesses grow and create jobs.

4. SUD Startup Challenge

The SUD Startup Challenge is a grant that provides funding to businesses that are working on solutions to the nation’s opioid crisis. The goal of the program is to encourage entrepreneurship and innovation in the fight against addiction.

5. Rural Energy for America Program

The Rural Energy for America Program provides financial assistance to businesses and farmers that are working on projects to reduce energy consumption. The funding can be used for a variety of purposes, including energy efficiency upgrades, renewable energy projects, and feasibility studies.

6. Pass-Through Grants

Pass-through grants allow organizations to receive funding directly from a granting body, without having to go through a middleman. This pass-through funding structure is beneficial because it allows organizations to bypass any bureaucratic red tape and receive their funds more quickly.

7. Natural Resource Sales Assistance programs

The Natural Resource Sales Assistance program provides funding to businesses that are working on projects to develop natural resources, such as timber, minerals, and oil and gas. The funding can be used for a variety of purposes, including feasibility studies, project planning, and marketing.


State and Local Grant Programs

State and local governments provide funding for businesses through various types of grants. Here is a couple:

8. Formula Grants

These grants are non-competitive. Formula grants are available from the federal, state, and local government levels and are given to pre-determined recipients. All applicants who have an interest in these grants will need to meet the minimum census criteria to qualify. When applying, read over the funding announcement to know the type of grant you’re applying for so you can proceed accordingly. The Nutrition Services Incentive Program is an example of such a grant.

9. Research Grants

When seeking grant funding from local governments, it’s important to be aware of the overhead expenses that are typically associated with these grants. Many health-related research projects may have a difficult time securing funding because of their high overhead costs.

Non-Federal Entities

There are many programs offered by non-federal entities that provide grant funds to businesses. These programs provide financial support and assistance for a variety of business needs, from start-ups to expansions. Let’s take a look at some below:

10. Nav Business Grant Contest

The Nav Business Grant Contest is a great opportunity for small businesses. The quarterly contest offers a $10,000 grand prize and a $5,000 runner-up prize.

11. Visa Everywhere Initiative

The Visa Everywhere Initiative is a global grant program that was first launched in the U.S. in 2015. To date, 8,500 startups have participated in the program and have collectively raised more than $16 billion in grant funding. The Visa Everywhere Initiative offers prizes worth over $500,000, with the overall winner receiving $100,000.

12. Idea Cafe Small Business Grant Funding

If you are a woman entrepreneur who wants to start a business or already owns one, the Idea Cafe Small Business Grant Funding could be for you. Grants of $1,000 are available, with three finalists each receiving a $500 advertising credit.

13. National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) growth grants

The National Association for the Self-Employed (NASE) is a nonprofit that offers growth grants to its members. These grants can be up to $4,000, and applications are reviewed quarterly based on the schedule on the NASE website. To be eligible for a grant, members must be in good standing. The NASE has awarded nearly $1,000,000 in grants since 2006.

14. FedEx Support Small Business Grant Contest

The FedEx Support Small Business Grant Contest has been running since 2012. It is open to for-profit small businesses that have been selling a product for at least six months by the time the contest starts and have 99 employees or less. The businesses must also have a shipping need to qualify for the grant.

15. Queer to Stay Initiative

The Queer to Stay Initiative is a grant program that was created by The Human Rights Campaign and SHOWTIME® to provide financial support to small businesses that serve the LGBTQ+ community. The initiative helps to provide financial assistance to at least 25 businesses, making it easier for them to continue serving the LGBTQ+ community.

16. SoGal Black Founder Startup Grant

SoGal, a social media company geared towards millennial women of color, is offering $10,000 and $5,000 cash grants to black women entrepreneurs. The grant requires the recipient to seek investor financing to scale their business.

17. Patagonia Corporate Grant

The Patagonia Corporate Grant provides financial support to environmental organizations. The grant size typically ranges between $5,000 and $20,000 depending on the grant program you apply to.


Nonprofit Organizations

There are many grant programs available to help a nonprofit organization with financial management and overhead expenses. For example, the following three grants rounding out our list:

18. Seed Money Grant Programs

Seed money grant programs allow nonprofit organizations to receive funding. The start-up grant funding can be used for a variety of purposes, such as marketing, research and development, or hiring new employees. Eligibility requirements vary depending on the program.

19. Facilities and Equipment Grant programs

These funding sources provide financial assistance to a nonprofit organization for the construction, renovation, or purchase of facilities and equipment. These grants can be used to cover a wide range of costs, including the purchase of new equipment, renovation of existing facilities, or the construction of new facilities.

20. Technical Assistance Grants

Technical assistance grants provide financial assistance to a nonprofit organization for the purpose of providing technical assistance to the organization. These grants can be used to cover the costs of hiring consultants, providing training to staff, or developing new programs.

How to Find Small Business Grant Funding

When it comes to finding small business grant funding, it’s important to do your research on a site like Grants.gov or the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA). You can easily filter for small business grants and other criteria on Grants.gov.

Start by looking for research grants, as these are often available to new applicants. Once you’ve found a few promising opportunities, submit a strong proposal.

It’s important to demonstrate your organization’s need and ability to use the funds effectively during the proposal selection process.

What is a general purpose grant?

A general purpose grant provides funding for a wide range of activities, such as research and development, marketing, or workforce training. These types of grants are typically available to businesses that are new or have limited experience in the activity being funded.

What is a continuation grant?

A continuation grant is a grant that is awarded to existing grantees or current award recipients. It provides funding for work that is already underway or has been previously funded.

Can a competitive grant be used for business?

Yes, a competitive grant can be used for business purposes. Most grants are written with a compelling narrative that explains how the requested funds will be used. The requested materials, such as the project budget and timeline, are important to demonstrate that your proposal is feasible.

Funds can often be used for an education school program as well. Schools and other educational institutions rely heavily on grant writing to secure the necessary resources for their various programs.

What is a currently funded entity?

A currently funded entity is a health-related organization that has current guarantees of financial support from the government. This includes organizations such as hospitals, clinics, and other health-related facilities. The purpose of this financial support is to ensure that these organizations can continue providing essential services to the public.

Are federal grants hard to get?

The competition for federal grant funds can be fierce. It’s important to remember that federal grant programs are highly competitive and that the application process can be lengthy. The best way to increase your chances of success is to start the process early and put together a strong proposal.


Image: Envato Elements

More in:

Kevin Ocasio Kevin Ocasio is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been with the team for 2 years. He holds certifications in SEO, digital marketing, and content marketing. Kevin is also certified in Information Technology Technical Support Fundamentals.