What is the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA)?

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) is a resource provided by the United States Government. It consists of a complete collection of information about domestic assistance programs funded by the government in the form of a searchable database which can be used by citizens, local and state governments, and organizations. In addition to being available on the Internet, the catalog is also published each year in hard copy form.

Woman standing behind a stack of books
Woman standing behind a stack of books

Information in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance pertains to local and state governments, including recognized tribal governments and territories of the United States. It also contains information which can be useful to private and public organizations, both profit and nonprofit, along with individuals. Each listing details the type of assistance offered, the agency offering the assistance, and the contact information. Entries also include eligibility criteria so that people can decide whether or not to apply.

When people use this resource, they can find information about grants, loans, and direct payments. They can also find out about consulting services, job placement, use of government real estate and property, insurance, and other forms of assistance. In short, if the government offers it within the United States, it can be found somewhere in the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance.

This guide does not offer suggestions on how to apply for assistance, and it cannot be used directly to apply for assistance. Instead, users take note of assistance which they might find useful and then use the contact information to get in touch with the government agency which handles the assistance. That agency can provide more detailed information, along with application materials.

For Americans, the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance can be a great resource. Many organizations rely heavily on federal funding, and it is very convenient to have a resource which lists all of the types of funding available. Most large organizations and agencies which use federal funding also have a staff member who specializes in getting information about and applying for assistance, and the catalog can make this task much easier.

The most current version of the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance is usually available at www.cfda.gov. Bookstores can also order the printed version, for people who would prefer to browse it that way.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a wiseGEEK researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

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