Note: Numbers in parenthesis after the type of assistance indicate the number of programs listed in the Catalog having that type. Also, a program may have more than one type of assistance associated with it.
Government Grants - Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)
CFDA currently tracks over $10 million federal dollars obligated to domestic assistance programs. The following chart displays projected and actual Recovery and non-Recovery federal dollars obligated.
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) provides a full listing of all Federal programs available to State and local governments (including the District of Columbia); federally-recognized Indian tribal governments; Territories (and possessions) of the United States; domestic public, quasi- public, and private profit and nonprofit organizations and institutions; specialized groups; and individuals.
You do not need an account to search the catalog and view Federal assistance programs.
Where can I get help about CFDA? For questions about CFDA, you can contact the Federal Service Desk by clicking on the For Help: Federal Service Desk link on the bottom left of every page or by visiting the Federal Service Desk at (https://www.fsd.gov). Users may call the Federal Service Desk by dialing 1-866-606-8220 (national) or 1-334-206-7828 (international) from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Do I need to register for an Agency User account to use the system? No. CFDA Agency User accounts are only for Federal government staff managing the CFDA program data. You do not need an account to search the CFDA catalog or to view Federal assistance programs. This information is freely available to any interested party. You can search by keyword, by agency, by program number as well as fine tune your search requests using the advanced search feature.
Why was my account request rejected? CFDA system accounts are only for Federal government staff managing the CFDA program data. If your account request was rejected, that means that the Agency Coordinator was unable to confirm your status as a government staff member. If you feel this decision is in error, let us know via the firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail address.
Is there a User Manual? The public user manual is available on the homepage (www.cfda.gov) in PDF format. There is also a link to it at the bottom of every page.
Is there a way to electronically download program data? The CFDA established a public FTP site in order to promote sharing of program data, as well as to provide a means for related government systems to download data reliably and efficiently. The FTP site URL is ftp://ftp.cfda.gov and provides users with the ability to anonymously download program data in csv format. There are two available file options:
Daily File: This file is updated nightly and will contain the following limited program data fields: Program Number, Program Title, and Agency. The file name will adhere to the following naming convention: "programsYYDDD" with the 2-digit year and 3-digit Julian day, e.g., programs09159.csv
Weekly File: This file is updated weekly (Sunday night) and will contain ALL program data fields publicly available. The file name will adhere to the following naming convention: "programs-fullYYDDD" with the 2-digit year and 3-digit Julian day, e.g., programs-full09164.csv
How can I tell if a CFDA program contains Recovery Act funding? All CFDA programs that are funded in whole or in part by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (the Recovery Act) have a "RECOVERY" icon embedded in their header information. This icon is visible in the [Search Recovery Programs] results and when you view the program description for a Recovery Act-funded program.
The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance is a government-wide compendium of Federal programs, projects, services, and activities that provide assistance or benefits to the American public. It contains financial and nonfinancial assistance programs administered by departments and establishments of the Federal government.
In 1984, Public Law 98-169 authorized the transfer of responsibilities of the Federal Program Information Act from the Office of Management and Budget to the General Services Administration (GSA). The transfer took place in July 1984. These responsibilities include the dissemination of Federal domestic assistance program information through the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance, pursuant to the Federal Program Information Act, Public Law 95-220, as amended by Public Law 98-169. GSA now maintains the Federal assistance information database from which program information is obtained. The Office of Management and Budget serves as an intermediary agent between the Federal agencies and GSA, thus providing oversight to the necessary collection of Federal domestic assistance program data.
As the basic reference source of Federal programs, the primary purpose of the Catalog is to assist users in identifying programs that meet specific objectives of the potential applicant, and to obtain general information on Federal assistance programs. In addition, the intent of the Catalog is to improve coordination and communication between the Federal government and State and local governments.
Programs selected for inclusion in the Federal assistance data base are defined as any function of a Federal agency that provides assistance or benefits for a State or States, territorial possession, county, city, other political subdivision, grouping, or instrumentality thereof; any domestic profit or nonprofit corporation, institution, or individual, other than an agency of the Federal government.
A "Federal domestic assistance program" may in practice be called a program, an activity, a service, a project, a process, or some other name, regardless of whether it is identified as a separate program by statute or regulation. It will be identified in terms of its legal authority, administering office, funding, purpose, benefits, and beneficiaries.
"Assistance" or "benefits" refers to the transfer of money, property, services, or anything of value, the principal purpose of which is to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by Federal statute. Assistance includes, but is not limited to grants, loans, loan guarantees, scholarships, mortgage loans, insurance, and other types of financial assistance, including cooperative agreements; property, technical assistance, counseling, statistical, and other expert information; and service activities of regulatory agencies. It does not include the provision of conventional public information services.
For years, GSA has published a printed version of the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA or Catalog), as required by legislation dating to 1977 and 1983. That same legislation allowed GSA to distribute free copies of the printed Catalog to designated recipients. In fiscal year 2003, nearly 10,000 paper copies of the Catalog were distributed at no cost to the recipients.
Current legislation, however, authorizes GSA to determine in what form to prepare and publish the Catalog. Consistent with the Administration's Electronic-Government initiatives, the Government Paperwork Elimination Act, and a move to a paper free environment, GSA will now disseminate the Catalog electronically through the CFDA website on the Internet. As a result, effective immediately, GSA will no longer print and distribute free copies of the Catalog.
The Internet and GSA’s free CFDA website at http://www.cfda.gov will be the primary means of disseminating the Catalog. The CFDA website will also contain a PDF file version of the Catalog that, when printed by any user, will have the same layout as the printed document that the Government Printing Office (GPO) has provided.
GPO will continue printing and selling the CFDA to interested buyers. For information about purchasing the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance from GPO, call the Superintendent of Documents at 202-512-1800 or toll free at 866-512-1800, or you may reach GPO's on-line bookstore at
for grants for unemployed people. Review all government
Types of Savings Accounts
Everybody needs a savings account in one form or the other. These accounts not only help you set aside money for emergency or planned expenses, but also earn you interest which is a very nice change versus having to pay it.
As you compare savings accounts, look at the most important features: the interest rate (APY) and any fees you'll pay. You'll obviously end up with more if you minimize fees and earn a decent interest rate. However, especially with smaller account balances, the interest rate might not be as important as you think; a competitive rate is a good rate – you don't necessarily need the highest rate. Finally, safety is important, make sure any savings account is insured.
The Basic Savings Account
In its simplest form, a savings account is just a place to hold money. You deposit into the account, earn interest, and take money out when you need it. There are some limits on how often you can withdraw funds (up to six times per month for preauthorized withdrawals – but unlimited in person), and you can add to the account as often as you like.
Traditionally, that was about it: you'd open a savings account at the same bank that had your checking account, and you'd store excess cash there. There's nothing wrong with using one of these plain-vanilla accounts, but there are other types of savings accounts that might benefit you. Those other accounts are all variations on the traditional savings account.
Online Savings Accounts
The next step up is an online savings account. These are accounts offered by online-only banks (although some brick-and-mortar banks offer online-only savings accounts that offer higher rates). The main reason to use an online savings account is the interest rate; you'll generally earn more from an online bank, plus fees
and minimum balance requirements are rare.
Online savings accounts require a bit more self-sufficiency. You can't walk into a branch and get assistance from a teller – you'll have to most of your banking online. However, managing your account is easy, and you can always call customer service for help (note that some brick-and-mortar banks limit how often you can call customer service, and they may charge fees for getting help from a human being).
To use an online account, you usually also need a brick-and-mortar bank account (almost any checking account will do). This is your “linked” account, and that's the account you'll use for initial funding. Once your online account is up and running, you can make deposits from other sources as well – you can probably even deposit checks to the account with your mobile phone.
Online savings accounts are a great place to keep cash, but it can be difficult to spend your money if you need it quickly. Fortunately, some online banks also offer online checking accounts that allow you to write checks, pay bills online, and use a debit card for purchases and cash withdrawals. It's generally easy and fast to move funds from your savings account to your checking account at the same bank.
Student Savings Accounts
With the exception of online banks, savings accounts can be expensive if you don't keep a large balance in your account. Banks charge monthly fees, and they pay little or no interest on small accounts. For students (who spend most of their time studying – not working), that's a problem. Some banks offer “student” savings accounts which help students to avoid fees until they get a job and can qualify for monthly fee waivers.
If you're a student, a student savings account at a brick-and-mortar bank or credit union is a great option for your first bank account.
Oriented Savings Accounts
You can save for anything – or nothing in particular – in a savings account, but sometimes it's nice to earmark funds for a specific purpose. For example, you might want to build up savings for a new auto, your first home, a vacation, or even gifts for loved ones. Some banks offer savings accounts that are specifically designed for those goals.
The main benefit of these accounts is psychological. You generally don't earn more on your savings (although some banks and credit unions offer perks to encourage regular saving), but you might be more likely to reach savings goals if a specific account is tied to something you value. If that sounds like something you'd benefit from, look for “savings club” (or similar) programs. You can also design your own program: Paula Pant describes how to do this at SmartyPig, and you can create “subaccounts” or multiple accounts (with descriptive nicknames) at most online banks.
Variations on Savings Accounts
What if you need a bit more than a savings account can offer? There are other types of accounts that pay interest (like savings accounts) while offering additional benefits.
Money market accounts (MMAs): money market accounts look and feel like savings accounts. The main difference is that you have easier access to your cash: you can usually write checks against the account, and you might even be able to spend with a debit card. However, like with any savings account, there are limits on how many times per month you can make withdrawals. Money market accounts often pay more than savings accounts, but they also require larger deposits. They are a good option for emergency savings because you have access to your cash, but you still earn interest.
Certificates of deposit (CDs): CDs are also similar to savings accounts, but they usually pay more. The tradeoff? You have to lock your money up in a CD for a certain amount of time (6 months or 18 months, for example). It is possible to withdraw funds early, but you'll have to pay a penalty, so CDs only make sense for cash that you won't need anytime soon. For more information, read about the basics of CDs.
Interest checking: if you really need access to your cash (and you still want to earn interest), you might get what you need from a checking account. Traditional checking accounts don't pay interest, but newer types of accounts allow you to earn and spend at the same time. Online banks offer checking accounts that pay a little bit of interest (typically less than a savings account). Reward checking accounts pay even more, but qualifying can be difficult.