Where Do Grants Go? Awards, USAspending.gov, and the DATA Act

Lots of grants are awarded by different grant-making agencies each year, so you may wonder—where do the grants go? Who receives the funding?

These are important questions. We will begin to answer them here, and we will also tell you where you can find more specific answers.

Character asking the question, "So, where do grants go after the funding opportunity closes on Grants.gov?"

To know where grants go, the federal agencies first have to make the final award decision. Once a grant-making agency reviews applications and makes an award, the Post Award Phase begins.

In this phase, the organization or individual who received the grant funding is doing the actual work of the grant. This is also when the agency is making sure the right work is getting done through the monitoring process. For more about the grants lifecycle, check out this article.

So, how do we know where the grants go when that decision gets made?

This is where USAspending.gov comes in. All federal contracts, grants, loans, and other financial assistance awards of more than $25,000 are searchable on USAspending.gov. To see where the grants have gone, begin by searching in the Where Is The Money Going tab on the site. You can search by location, awarding agency, or recipient.

You may also do a keyword search for the name of the grant program you’re looking for. For example, a keyword search for “children services” will show you data on funding from FY 2008 through FY 2017.

There are also exciting updates coming to USAspending.gov as a result of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act) in May 2017.

The main purpose of the DATA Act is to improve the quality and transparency of the Federal Government’s award data, and the DATA Act teams have been collecting your (i.e., the public’s) feedback for a couple years and making strides toward better data and transparency. For more about the DATA Act, start here.

You should also consider following @HHS_DAP on Twitter to get updates from the DATA Act Program Management Office.

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