For beginners, visit the Federal Domestic Assistance Catalog at cfda.gov for a complete overview of the grants you may be eligible for. Grant descriptions include the purpose of the grant, its uses and restrictions, eligibility requirements, and other correlated information. Information on the grant application process is available on the CFDA website. It is a good reference material.
Veteran applicants, who have a better idea of the type of grant they need, may prefer to go directly to grant.gov, which provides specific details and also allows you to apply online.
Prepare to apply.
There is no application fee, but you must obtain a DUNS number and Award Management System (SAM, formerly CCR) and registering with SAM can take up to a week or more. If you want to receive a grant at a certain time, plan accordingly. Also, don’t wait until the last minute to try to submit your prize electronically.
• Get a DUNS number
Federal policy requires that anyone who does business with the federal government have a DUNS number. Go to http://www.dnb.com and click on “D&B DUNS Number” in the upper right tab. On the next page, click the “Next” tab in the “For Contractors, Suppliers, and Recipients of US Government Grants” box. On the right side of the page. Follow the instructions. There is no charge for this number.
• Register at SAM.gov (Award Management System).
Federal policy also requires that anyone who does business with the federal government, including those seeking grants, be registered with the SAM. Go to sam.gov Follow the instructions.
• Documents you need if you are applying for a federal grant for the first time:
Intention letter. As an individual, this would be your resume and why it would be appropriate to receive funding. A business or organization must include an organizational resume and the reason the grant would be appropriate.
References. They must be professionals capable of speaking about their qualifications for the grant. Letters of support are perfect. You will want to befriend the political support staff, because you carry a lot of weight when you have a letter of support from your congressional delegate.
• When you have all your documents in order, a DUNS number, and are registered with SAM, you can now register with Grants.gov to submit a grant application electronically. Whatever you do, don’t wait until the last minute to submit your grant, give yourself at least 48 hours.
One last tip, if you don’t have your DUN or SAM number, give yourself up to three weeks to get those items.