Many grants are available to independent artists working on specific projects, which can be used for materials, work time, work space, or any number of purposes. Grants for cameras, however, are fewer, and generally geared towards educational institutions. There are grants available for individuals, however. To get them, you will need to demonstrate artistic ability and talent with a portfolio, and prove your purpose with an artist's statement and an application.
Olympus offers an education grant that awards the teacher that creates the best lesson plan involving digital cameras with $2,000 worth of Olympus cameras. The grant is awarded every month from September to June.
It is possible to submit a grant proposal to a major company, such as Canon, Nikon or Apple, and ask them to cover the expenses to supply your class with digital equipment. Speak to specific companies to learn about requirements and opportunities.
Panavision Motion Picture Camera Grant
This grant is particularly for students and donates a 16mm or 35mm camera for the production of a public service announcement, showcase reel, low-budget film or any other short film not made for profit.
Independent grants are best achieved by applying for artists' grants, which can be used to purchase equipment. While it is rare for an individual grant to include specific equipment with it, you can use the money you get from a grant to purchase whatever type of camera you like.