What is a SDGG?
The SDGG (previously the Small Socially-Disadvantaged Producer Grant) is administered by the USDA Rural Development program and is aimed at providing funding to cooperatives and Cooperative Development Centers that provide assistance to socially disadvantaged groups. Applications are accepted annually and are accepted between the dates indicated in the Notice of Funding Availability published each year. If awarded, this grant must be completed within one year of the grant start date.

How much funding has been available?
Available funding for this program has been consistent over the past five years, with $3 million available in funding and maximum award of $175,000.  This grant does not require any matching funds. FY 2020 applications are currently being accepted and are due August 10, 2020 via grants.gov.

How can funds be used?
The funds awarded through this grant program may only be used for Technical Assistance provided to small, socially-disadvantaged producers. Technical Assistance activities include:

  • Market research
  • Product and/or service improvement
  • Legal advice and assistance
  • Feasibility studies
  • Business plans
  • Marketing plans
  • Training

Who can apply?
For any of the following applicant groups, a majority of the board of directors or governing board must be compromised of individuals who are members of a socially-disadvantaged group. Eligible applicant entities include:

  • Cooperatives
  • Groups of Cooperatives
  • Cooperative Development Centers

How are SDGG applications scored?
The following Evaluation Criteria is based on the 2015 SDGG Notice of Solicitation of Application. This point structure is based on a total of 60 points and is subject to change each year.  Grant reviewers have the option to award up to the maximum number of points allowed for each category.


Point Category

Maximum Points

Technical Assistance

15 pts.


15 pts.


10 pts.

Work Plan/ Budget

15 pts.

Local Support

5 pts.


60 pts.

For more information, visit the USDA’s website.