From the Summary: "Federal grants are intended to meet goals authorized by Congress and often target community needs. Federal grants are not guaranteed benefits or entitlements to individuals. Most federal grant funds go to state and local governments, which in turn may award funds as sub-awards to local entities, such as nonprofit organizations. Because of this, contacting federal departments and agencies, state-level grants administering agencies (SAAs), or both to discuss grant opportunities is likely to be an important step for many grantseekers. However, due to limited purposes of grants and competition for available funding, grantseekers seeking government aid might need to search for funding options other than grants. For instance, individuals may be eligible for other kinds of benefits or assistance. Small businesses and students may be eligible for loans. [...] This report provides a brief introduction to the grant process, describes key sources of information on government and private funding, and outlines eligibility for federal grants. This report also includes some sources for information on writing grant proposals."
CRS Report for Congress, RL34012
Congressional Research Service: https://crsreports.congress.gov/