Economic Development

Economic development grants are typically awarded to communities to revitalize, expand and upgrade their physical infrastructure to attract new industry and development, encourage business expansion, diversify local economies, and generate or retain long-term, private sector jobs and investment. Local governments, state governments, and the federal government all provide economic development grants.  Private foundations and trusts, as well as corporate foundations and trusts also award grants for economic development.

Economic development grants from the federal government are normally awarded through the U.S. Department of Commerce, Economic Development Administration. The mission of EDA is to lead the Federal economic development agenda by promoting innovation and competitiveness, preparing American regions for growth and success in the worldwide economy.  The EDA has seven different economic development grants programs that are described in detail on their website at

• Public Works
• Economic Adjustment Assistance Program
• Research and National Technical Assistance
• Local Technical Assistance
• Partnership Planning
• University Center
• Trade Adjustment Assistance

There are at least 178 private foundations in the United States that give economic development grants with total giving that ranges from $431 million to less than $100,000.  The Ford Foundation, Open Society Institute, Mott Foundation Woodruff Foundation, Knight Foundation, Kauffman Foundation and Citigroup Foundation lead the pack in total giving of economic development grants.  In 2003, the Ford Foundation awarded $1,258,488 in economic development grants to Corporation for Enterprise Development for core support of a program called “Savings for Education, Entrepreneurship and Downpayment, national demonstration to explore the potential of Children’s Savings Accounts.

For high quality, cost effective training on how to write successful economic development grants attend one of U.S. Government Grants two-day workshops in a city near you. U.S. Government Grants specialize in the arena of economic development grants for nonprofit organizations. Its founder and lead instructor, Beverly Santicola, served as Executive Director of an economic development nonprofit organization for ten years and grew the organization from a $25,000 annual budget to over $500,000 annually.  She has a track record of success in writing grants, not only for economic development, but also for elementary-secondary education, technology, healthcare, science, literacy programs, and labor-management cooperation.  With an average of one million dollars in grant awards each year, Santicola has authored grants that have:

• Encouraged economic growth.
• Promoted labor-management cooperation.
• Established community technology centers.
• Advanced professional development.
• Increased learning outcomes in reading, writing and mathematics.
• Increased interest and learning outcomes in science and citizenship.

In her grant writing workshops, Santicola shares the secrets to her success and provides participants with samples of many of her award-winning grant proposals.  In the workshops, she shares stories of unique and creative proposals that generated over $3 million in K-12 educational grants in just three years.  With one project that taught 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students to build computers in less than 30 minutes and one after-school program that involved students in revitalizing a downtown business district, these stories will help participants learn how to start thinking “outside the box” and develop one-of-a-kind projects for whatever target population they serve. Each participant that attends a U.S.G.G. Workshop receives a list of 10-100 potential prospects for funding grants in their field of interest.