The Foundation Center's Site for Individual Grantseekers
is a great help to individual grant seekers. It has information on grant searching, fiscal sponsorship, and FAQ section,
and a nationwide list of Foundation Center cooperating collection libraries.
The Grants for Individuals
website, created and run by Michigan State University, provides links to sites with
grant and scholarship information for individuals, divided by population groups,
academic levels, and subjects. Much of it is for students, but some, like the links to the
arts and music, are useful to nonstudents, too.
A quick way to check for government benefits, grants, pensions, Social Security, Medicaid, etc., is to visit the website:
Firstgov Benefits . Links are provided at this site for federal web pages
on each of these topics. In order to find out what benefits you may be entitled to is to visit the federal government benefits web page. You click on the general government program in which you are interested, and answer a few questions. The web page then gives you a list of benefits for which you may be eligible, and links that can give you more information.
If you want to check into state programs, see the links to states.
Click on a state, and follow the interactive screens.
For those who believe that they may be owed money by the government (for federally insured mortgages, pensions
from failed companies, savings bonds, settlements from class action suits by federal employees, etc.) see the website
on federal monies owed to individuals.
It has links to sites that can be searched for all these federal benefits.
To check unclaimed properties by state, see the site of the
National Association of Unclaimed Property Administrators for the appropriate
If someone really wishes to check every grant available to individuals from the federal government,
they can go to the Grants Clearinghouse and do an advanced search for broad areas,
limited by applicant eligibility.
For a list of programs from the federal government, including lower-interest mortgages, mortgage guarantees,
HUD homes and counseling, see the HUD webpage for individuals.
For those interested in buying or rehabilitating a home in a rural area, the United States
Agricultural Department Rural Housing Service has programs to help. These include loan guarantees
and direct loans. They are subject to income limits. For more information, see the
website for rural development.
A HUD program exists to encourage police officers, K-12 teachers, firefighters, and EMS technicians to live
in areas that need revitalizaton. The Good Neighbor
Next Door Program sells HUD homes in revitalization areas for a 50% discount to people in these professions,
if they commit to the house as their permanent sole residence for 36 months.
For those wanting to buy a home, or any other property, real or personal, for sale by a federal agency,
there is a one-stop shop.
It links to agencies and federal auction announcements.
Community Action Agencies (CAAs), created as part of the Great Society programs, are often the providers of energy
assistance, housing, business assistance and other local financial aid programs for individuals.
You can identify the ones in your state and see what
services they provide.
To find state programs to help low-income people get energy assistance and help in insulating their homes, see this link by the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Clearinghouse. There is also a link for the disconnect policies in each state.
Several new tax credits are available for homeowners who make improvements in the energy efficiency of their homes. The Energy Star website has a full listing of them, how to qualify, and forms needed to claim the credits.
For a list of incentives given by each state, see the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.
For a list of training providers nationwide that are eligible for WIA (Workforce Investment Act) funding, see the career one stop site.Schools, correspondence schools, flight and vocational schools, apprenticeship and
training programs, and even overseas schools eligible for VA funding are searchable here.
A good place to start looking for federal or state funding help is the SBA website on loans and grants..
Some legitimate grant opportunities exist
for research and development grants
for small high tech businesses (STTR and SBIR). The webpage above describes both programs.
For more information on SBA programs, see their websites on
There are tax incentives in place for employers who hire ex-offenders, recent welfare recipients, unemployed veterans, residents of empowerment zones and enterprise communities, and others. The employer who hires a qualified applicant may be eligible for a tax credit equal to 25% of wages of an employee working between 120 and 400 hours, and 40% of the wages of an employee working over 400 hours. For more, see the Department of Labor web page.
For sources of loans and grants for farmers, especially those new to the business (less than 10 years), see the funding page for the Beginning Farmers website. Another is the grant site for the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center.
MEDICAL CARE AND DISABILITIES
A website explaining the new national healthcare law, its text, and your options by state and personal circumstances (employment, chronic health problems, etc) has been rolled out. Check it for more options on obtaining health care.
People with severe, debilitating diseases may be eligible to have a patient advocate help them negotiate bills with medical providers and advise them of available sources of financial help. Contact the Patient Advocate Foundation at 1-800-532-5274.
For people who are trying to find group health insurance, a website by Foundation for Health Coverage Through Education lists information about public and private health care available on a state-by-state basis, as well as a short quiz that can help you find health insurance carriers. They also have a toll-free hotline (800.234.1317) that is available 24/7.
State governments have offices in charge of programs for chronically ill children. The definition of the children covered varies from state to state, but many offer programs to help diagnose health conditions, and may provide some help in treating specific health conditions. For the list of state offices, see the HHS webpage of state offices.
Many drug companies have programs to aid people who need prescription medications and who are not
covered by government programs or private insurance. Qualifications vary by company. For a complete list,
see Needymeds. A listing for psychotropic drugs for the mentally ill is
the NAMI website. Another source of information about prescription help from pharmaceutical
companies is at RX Assist.
The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) offers a
patients' assistance program to provide financial assistance to uninsured or underinsured people
in obtaining medications.
Besides prescription drugs, Needymeds
is a good website for links to medicare, medicaid, state health services and to find the locations of free and low-cost clinics.
Pfizer has several different programs for the uninsured. For more information, call 1-866-766-3700 or see their information website.
Eli Lilly has their own program, also for medicare beneficiaries with
restricted income, that provides drugs for a flat fee. To register or get more information, call 800-545-6962.
Several major drug manufacturers have created a drug discount card program called
Together Rx. People eligible for this card must be under 65, (or over 65 and ineligible for Medicare),
and have no other private or public drug coverage. They must have restricted incomes as well.
Insure Kids Now has
information on children's health coverage in other states.
InfantSEE is a program to provide sight and eye health screenings for babies between the ages of 6 and 12 months regardless of income or insurance status. To find a cooperating doctor near you, see the InfantSEE locator.
Mission Cataract USA, coordinated by the Volunteer Eye Surgeons' Association, is a program providing
free cataract surgery to people of all ages who have no other means to pay. Surgeries are scheduled annually
on one day, usually in May. Their phone number is: 1-800-343-7265.
Another site with information on financial help for eye exams and treatment is the National Eye Institute's Financial Aid for Eyecare site. This lists aid provided by national organizations, Medicaid and SCHIP (aid for uninsured children).
VISION USA, coordinated by the American Optometric Association (AOA), provides free eye care to uninsured,
low-income workers and their families. Screening for the program takes place only during January of
each year, with exams provided later in the year. Their phone number is: 1-800-766-4466.
Sight for Students, a Vision Service Plan (VSP) program in partnership with
The Entertainment Industry Foundation, provides eye exams and glasses to children
18 years and younger whose families cannot afford vision care. Their phone number is: 1-888-290-4964.
New Eyes for the Needy provides vouchers for the purchase of new prescription eyeglasses.
The mailing address is 549 Millburn Avenue, P.O. Box 332, Short Hills, NJ 07078-0332.
Their phone number is: (973) 376-4903.
The Starkey Foundation makes hearing aids available for those who have no other financial resources and
cannot afford them. For more information, contact the Hear Now program at: 1-866-354-3254 or write: Hear Now Program,
6700 Washington Avenue S. Eden Prairie MN 55344.
To find information on lower-cost dental care, see
the information sheet by the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, or call them at:
(301) 402-7364 for a list of nearby dental schools that may provide help.
Financial aid for adaptive equipment--whether for mobility, equipment, or computer hardware or software for the disabled--is available through many state agencies and nonprofits. For a list of the leading agency in each state, see the website of AbleData. Another roundup of places to find low-cost computers is the site at aidpage.com.
Disabled people can receive assistive technology loans from nonprofits to become work-ready or to make job hunting or business start-ups possible. For more information on financial help for assistive technology in general, see this link.
The Association of Blind Citizens also provides financial aid in purchasing adaptive equipment and software for the legally blind--up to 50% reimbursement for equipment ranging from $200 to $6000. Income restrictions apply.
The Barr Foundation provides financial assistance for amputees in need of prothesis and other equipment who are unable to pay for it. See their website for more information, or call (561) 391-7601.
The Corporate Angel Network assists cancer patients in financial need in
getting airplane transportation to and from treatment sites by finding and arranging for flights on empty seats on
corporate gets. Financial need required. For more information, call toll-free (866) 328-1313.
The Social Security Administration has instituted the
Ticket to Work program for SSI and SSDI recipients. This is a voucher that allows them to get
cash benefits while they work, choose an agency to give them
job training, education and rehabilitation, and helps with extra work expenses related to one's disability.
You don't need to physically have the ticket in order to get these benefits, and if you have the
ticket, you are not required to use it.
For more information on financial help for the disabled, see
Disability Resources. Ignore the part on "grants"; that is for nonprofits. Instead click "financial information".
Federal benefits for the disabled are found at the DisabilityInfo page, including information for the parents of disabled children, food stamps, and work incentive programs.
To find out about assistance programs for the elderly, check
Benefits Checkup an interactive website sponsored by the National Council on Aging, in which information about
an elder can be input, with a list of possible aid programs and contact information given out.
Scholarships for elementary and high school are always tricky. Consult the individual school or schools in
which you are interested, or check this website of the
Children's Scholarship Fund to see if your area has a local scholarship affiliation. A more comprehensive list of scholarships is at the Alliance for Choice website and their list of vouchers and state options.
Another list of funding for pre-college students is at the Michigan State University website. Be sure to check the About.com site on private school scholarships.
The Veterans Administration
website has excellent information on veteran's programs and benefits,
but there is another print source that is good, too: What Every Veteran Should Know, an annual publication by the
Veterans Information Service (a private publisher) on benefits, education, housing, health care, homeless veterans, etc.
Besides the federal Veteran's Administration office, many states provide aid for veterans in housing, emergency help, education (for veterans, their orphaned children, and children of disabled veterans), and burial. See the veteran's affairs office in your state for details. For emergency help, please see your county veterans affairs officer.
The Universal Service Administrative Company, a not for profit agency, was set up by the federal government to help the poor with their phone accounts, among other things. The low income program is divided into two parts: Link Up, which helps with the initial start-up costs, and Lifeline, which helps with ongoing phone bills. Note that these only help with expenses for bare-bones, local telephone accounts. To find out if you qualify, see the links to federal qualifications and qualifications within each state and tribal land. Within each state, you will find out about qualifications for that state and how to apply for service within each phone company. A page also describes the program in Spanish.
Safelink Wireless is a government-supported program that provides a free cell phone and airtime (about an hour)to people who otherwise wouldn't have them. Enter your zip code to see if it's available in your area, as well as eligibility in your state. You have to apply in print (the website gives you an application that you have to print and fill out), and send documentation that shows you are qualified, or fax them to the number shown. Mailed applications can take up to 2-3 weeks. For more information, call Safelink at 1-800-977-3768 from 8 a.m. till 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, or Sunday from 8 a.m. till 7 p.m., eastern time.
There are some announcements, proposals, scholarships, and grants at the
Art Deadlines List, however, you will get a up-to-date list if you subscribe for a fee. The
Ohio Arts Council has an excellent searchable database on financial opportunities for artists, and it is not
limited to Ohioans.
Here are some other websites for artists:
Michigan State University Grants for Individuals--Artists. This site was created by MSU, but has nationwide listings,
although it leans somewhat towards Michigan. Look under the headings “art,” “film,” “photography,” “writing,” and “music.”
NYFA Interactive lists job opportunities, casting calls, emergency help for artists,
Another source of grants, scholarships, and fellowships is Mira's List.
To find local car ownership for low-income people who need transportation to work, check Need a car or Opportunity Cars.
PET AND ANIMAL CARE
The ASPCA has a list of agencies that provide low-cost spaying and neutering. The Humane Society of the United States also has a list of agencies that may be able to help with pet care if you are in financial difficulty. They also have a website of organizations may be able to help with veterinary care. Remember that these are subject to restrictions and their own ability to get funding. For organizations that may provide assistance with feral cats in your area, here are lists of organizations from Alley Cat Allies and the Humane Society of the United States..