Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance

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 non-financial assistance programs administered by departments and establishments of the Federal government. 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.

Contents of the Catalog 

The Catalog contains Federal domestic assistance programs available to: State and local governments (including the District of Columbia and 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.

Programs in the Catalog provide information on:

  • Federal agency administering a program;
  • Authorization upon which a program is based;
  • Objectives and goals of a program;
  • Types of financial and non-financial assistance offered under a program;
  • Uses and restrictions placed upon a program;
  • Eligibility requirements;
  • Application and award process;
  • Amount of obligations for the past, current, and future fiscal years;
  • Regulations, guidelines and literature relevant to a program; Information contacts at the Headquarters, regional, and local offices;
  • Programs that are related based upon program objectives and uses;
  • Examples of funded projects;
  • Criteria for selecting proposals;
  • Individual agency policies and Federal management policy directives pertaining to a program.

Programs in the Catalog provide a wide range of benefits and services; These have been grouped into 20 basic functional categories, and 176 subcategories that identify specific areas of interest. Listed below are the 20 basic categories in which all programs have been grouped by primary purpose.

Business and Commerce
Community Development
Consumer Protection
Cultural Affairs
Disaster Prevention and Relief
Education Employment, Labor, and Training
Environmental Quality
Food and Nutrition
Income Security and Social Services
Information and Statistics
Law, Justice, and Legal Services
Natural Resources
Regional Development
Science and Technology

Organization of the Catalog

The Catalog is divided into three basic sections — the indices, the program descriptions, and the appendices. 

INDICES –To locate specific programs of interest, determine eligibility, and to obtain information on the dates applications for assistance should be submitted to the funding agency, users may consult the Agency Program Index, the Functional Index, or the Subject Index; the Applicant Eligibility Index, and the Index listing deadlines for program applications.

The Agency Index provides a description of the functions and activities of Federal agencies responsible for administering programs in the Catalog. Program numbers are also listed with the administering agency.

The Agency Program Index lists all programs in the Catalog in numerical order by the five-digit program identification number, the program title, the Federal agency responsible for administering the program, and whether the program offers financial assistance, non-financial assistance, or a combination of both.

The Functional Index Summary lists the basic functional categories and the subcategories that further identify specific areas of interest. Following the Summary is the Functional Index listing each program number and title under the appropriate basic category and subcategory.

This URL takes you to the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) web site home page where you can download the CFDA 2011 Print Edition or the latest edition of the CFDA User Guide dated 2/11/11 at no charge.

Source: Chuck Christiansen, SCORE Counselor; Updated 2/19/12 
The material in this publication is based on work supported by the U.S. SmallBusiness Administration under cooperative agreement SBAHG-04-S-0001. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The information contained in this publication is believed to be accurate and authoritative but is not intended to be relied on as legal, accounting, tax or other professional advice. You should consult with a qualified professional advisor to discuss issues unique to your business.