Government Grants Require Transparency

“Sunshine Week” Requires All Government Grant Agencies Make Grant Process Clear

The week of March 14-20, dubbed “Sunshine Week,” requires that all government grant agencies make it clear to government grant applicants the processes and requirements that go into grant-making, at local, state and federal levels.

“As Sunshine Week begins, I want to applaud everyone who has worked to increase transparency in government and recommit my administration to be the most open and transparent ever, an effort that will strengthen our democracy and ensure the public’s trust in their government,” wrote President Obama this week.

The notion that the government should be completely transparent stems from President Obama’s idea that public engagement will enhance the government’s effectiveness and improve the quality of its decisions.

Recently instated in 2009, this new transparency will affect government grants by providing a database of past recipients; so that current applicants can 1) assess their likelihood of receiving government grants, and 2) let the public know where the government is spending their money.

You can visit and see clearly drawn out recipient reported data, detailing exactly the number of distributed awards, the amount of funding awarded, received funding and recipient reported jobs as up-to-date as Dec. 31, 2009.

For example, last year in New York State, the government awarded 3,060 grants, totaling roughly $10.21 billion dollars to be distributed over time. Of the $10 billion, between October and December, $1.77 of the grants were received. These government grants made it possible for a thus far 41, 767 jobs to be created. You can view details of the individual distributions on the website.

There Are 5 Steps To Apply For Government Grants

1) Make sure you are eligible

  • Government and education organizations
  • For-profit and non-profit organizations
  • Small businesses
  • Individuals (on behalf of him or herself, not on behalf of a company)

2) Identify specific government grant opportunities

  • Try or
  • For federal domestic assistance, try

3) Prepare to apply for a government grant

  • Have the following documents: a mission statement, references, a list of accomplishments.
  • You might try a grant application package, found at, which will assist you step-by-step through the process.

4) Register at

5) Apply for a grant

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