Difference Between Aid and Grant (With Table)

The human race is known for its helping behavior. “Humanity”, the quality of being human, the quality of being benevolent towards other humans. This is what sets us apart from other organisms on this planet.

Aid and grant are a form of such help. Providing financial help to other humans is what sums up aid and grant. In between this, it is significant to understand the difference between the two.

Aid vs Grant

The main difference between Aim and Grant is behind the intentions of providing financial help. The aim is given to other entities (to another country) to benefit that entity. In contrast to Aid, Grant is given out of empathy from one party to another. Trust, donations are all sort of Grant.

Aid is providing help to other entities or another country. This help could be provided in form of money or resources. Resources like medicines, food, textiles, etc. are shared. The help is done for benefit of another country. The aim is often done in order of political help or expecting favors in return.

Grant can be defined as the sort of help given to those in desperate need of it. It could be helping financially or providing any sort of resources like food, shelter, clothes, etc. All sorts of donations, trusts are types of grants. Grant is usually given by the privileged entity to the less privileged entity.

Comparison Table Between Aid and Grant

Parameters of ComparisonAidGrant
DefinitionAid is a type of help in form of funds or resources provided to another entity.Grant is a type of help in form of funds or resources provided to less privileged people.
IntentionsHelp is provided with intention to provide aid to another country.Grant is provided with intention to help less privileged.
Sub categories Bilateral Aid, Military Aid. Multilateral Aid. Humanitarian Aid are all types of Foreign Aid.Grant is of two types: Categorical Grant and Block Grant.
ReceiverThe receiver of Aid is usually the government of another country.The receiver of Grant is usually less privileged people.
ExampleIndia provided Aid to Nepal during Earthquake.Donations given to a NGO.

What is Aid?

Aid is provided for the exact purpose of providing help to another entity or another country. Aid can be in form of funds or resources.

For example, When there was an Earthquake in 2015 in Nepal. There was mass destruction and a lot of collateral damage. At that time, India provided Aid to Nepal in form of resources and funds.

Funds given are usually not in form of money or cash. As the currency might differ in different countries. It is usually in form of Gold. Aid is of four types: Bilateral Aid, Military Aid, Multilateral Aid, Humanitarian Aid.

Bilateral Aid is a type of foreign aid that is provided by one government to another. Multilateral Aid is a type of aid where more than one government together works to provide help to another entity.

While helping a government when it’s food defense in form of weapons or soldiers it is called Military Aid. When Human resource is provided as aid it is called humanitarian Aid.

Aid is usually done after expecting a good return. It is more like a favor done on another entity. These all are types of foreign Aid, foreign aid is just a new word for Aid, basically, when help is provided internationally it is foreign Aid.

What is Grant?

Grant is provided for the exact purpose of helping the less privileged people by those in power. These are done without expecting anything in return.

All forms of donations provided to those in need by the trustees are all coming under Grant. The usage of help provided solely depends upon the sender. It should be used for welfare in whatever way he wants.

For example, When someone donates funds for the building of hospitals or schools. Grant provided by the federal government primarily is sub-categorized into two types: Categorical Grant and Block Grant.

A categorical Grant is a grant provided with a specific purpose and requires some resources. For example, When help is provided for building roads or highways. It is a sort of categorical Grant. Another type of grant is Block Grant. It is a type of grant where help is provided in a sector where legal help is needed.

For example, Grant when provided for building schools, colleges are all types of Grants. Block grant is further subcategorized into Project Grant, Formula Grant, and matching grants. Grant is usually done out of empathy for social welfare. Sometimes government itself provides grants by providing funds for social welfare.

Main Differences Between Aid and Grant

  1. Aid is a type of help given in form of funds or resources to another entity whereas a grant is a sort of help given for a social welfare cause.
  2. Aid is provided with the intention of favoring the other country. In contrast to Aid, Grant is given with intention of a social welfare cause.
  3. Aid is broadly subcategorized into 4 types: Bilateral Aid, Military Aid. Multilateral Aid. Humanitarian Aid. Whereas, in case of a grant, it is subcategorized into Categorical Grant and Block Grant.
  4. The receiver of Grant could be a trust or those who would help in building any infrastructure, but indirectly it is done for a social welfare cause to less privileged people. While the receiver of aid is the government of another entity or country.
  5. The example of Aid is during natural calamity in Nepal ,India provided Aid to Nepal whilst, all the donations and trusts are examples of Grant.


To sum up, in everything that has been talked about so far, Aid is the help provided to favor another entity or country whereas Grant is the help provided for a social welfare cause.

The main difference between the two is of the receiver. The receiver of Aid is the government of another country. Aid could be in form of funds or resources. Human resources, food, arms are all types of aids.

Grant is received by the government or trusts working for social welfare. Indirectly it works for the less privileged people. Aid is done as a favor whereas Grant happens out of empathy.


  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/146499340100100104
  2. https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1086/NTJ41792095?journalCode=ntj