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AoA Grant Programs

Funding Opportunities


Grants and cooperative agreements are the vehicles by which AoA transfers its appropriated funding resources to the Aging Network. Grants are used when AoA has no substantial involvement in the administration of project and there is no direct benefit to AoA. If, however, AoA expects to have substantial involvement in the direction and implementation of a project, AoA often uses cooperative agreements.

There are two basic types of Federal grants: Formula (or Mandatory) Grants and Discretionary Grants. In addition, AoA’s Title VI program uses a hybrid grant which features elements of both Formula and Discretionary grants and is therefore listed separately.

Formula Grants

Title III and Title VII of the Older Americas Act make funds available to grantees through Formula grants. They are on-going programs administered by State agencies for which no application or competition is required. By Congressional mandate, however, the funds for these two programs are divided among individual states and U.S. territories using a population-based formula. In addition, grantees are required to match a percentage of the Federal funds received with State-appropriated funds and to administer the total of state and Federal program funds in accordance with an AoA-approved State Plan for the state. (See: Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) for additional background on Title III and Title VII program administration.)

For information on Title III and IV state funding, see Funding Allocations to States and Tribal Organizations.

Discretionary Grants

AoA funds projects under Title IV of the Older Americans Act to encourage projects that develop, test and disseminate best practices to be used by organizations in the Aging Network. Competitive grants allow AoA to exercise discretion in selecting the projects to be funded and determining the amount to be awarded. Because of the nature of these projects, substantial involvement on the part of the Agency is often necessary, as a result, discretionary grants are increasingly being administered as cooperative agreements. In addition, funds that Congress has set aside for specific legislatively-defined purposes are administered with Title IV projects . (See: Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) for more on Title IV program administration.)

Native Americans (Title VI) Grants

Title VI grants to Native American Tribes and Hawaiian Americans require that, like discretionary grants, grantees must submit an application if they wish to be included in the allocation of funds, but like formula grants, a population based formula is used to estimate the distribution of funds that will be made available to grantees under this Title. (See: Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) for more on Title VI program administration.)

For information on Title VI Tribal funding, see Funding Allocations to States and Tribal Organizations.