Federal government grant money is available to social service agencies and business entities to carry out specific legislative initiatives. Although a number of agencies provide federal grant money, it is one of the most difficult pools of funding to obtain. Grants from the federal government are full of requirements and are often very narrow in their scope. In layman’s terms, obtaining federal grant money means that entities awarded funding will be expected to adhere tightly to all of the guidelines attached to their award and only use the funds that they receive for pre-approved activities or services.
Tips on Applying for Federal Government Grant Money
- Clarify the activities or services that will be provided with federal grant money. For example, you will need to know exactly how the funds will be used. Will they be used to provide a direct service? Will the funds be used to pay “overhead” costs such as salaries or facility costs? Often, federal grants are very specific about the activities or services that they will reimburse an agency or business for.
- Speaking of reimbursement, it is important to understand the terms of grant solicitations. A number of federal government grants work on a reimbursement basis; thus, an entity must expend their own resources before they will get the grant to cover expenses that the entity has already incurred. Additionally, federal grant money often requires a match, meaning that the entity will have to provide an equal amount of funds toward the project from their own assets.
- The goal of individuals researching federal government grant money opportunities is to locate the best match between the needs of the entity requesting funds and the grant’s purpose as outlined in the funding announcement.
- Once one or several solicitations for federal grant money has been located that the entity believes is a good fit, the entity then needs to read and then re-read the requirements for application.
- Almost every solicitation for federal government grant money requires that organizations or businesses have DUNS and CAGE numbers and an active registration with Central Contractor Registry (CCR). Entities that do not have a DUNS number should immediately register and then the DUNS will be emailed to the recipient. After 24 hours, the entity can apply for a CAGE number and then in the CCR.
- Prior to submission, all materials should be gathered and organized in accordance with the Request for Proposal (RFP). All documents should be professionally written and should be edited prior to being submitted.
- Most federal government grant money solicitations also require that letters of intent, statements of intent, full proposals, and applications be applied for online. Since entities will be submitting most of their information online, entities are strongly encouraged to submit their materials well in advance of the deadline.
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