What Is a Subaward and a Subrecipient?

To understand the definitions of “subaward” and “subrecipient”, it helps to think in terms of a grant that has just been won. If you are not sure what an “award” is, start with the What Is an Award? post then come back.

Rather than the grantor (i.e., the grant-making agency) entrusting just one entity with carrying out a federal program, sometimes multiple awardees will shoulder the responsibilities.

In such cases, one entity – the one who submitted the grant application – will serve as a pass-through to the partnering entities, which are called subrecipients.

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What Is an Award?

When you hear the word “award,” do you envision the federal government conferring funding to you to implement a public-serving project? Some of you grant professionals did, but it is understandable if you thought of this year’s Best Film, the league MVP debate, or your child’s T-ball participation trophy.

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Grant Agency Spotlight: Institute of Museum and Library Services

In this installment of our grant agency spotlight series, we look at the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) and its mission to “inspire libraries and museums to advance innovation, lifelong learning, and cultural and civic engagement.”

According to IMLS, there are around 120,000 libraries and 35,000 museums in the U.S.

Many of these institutions – public, research, academic, tribal – have benefited from IMLS grants.

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What Is a CFDA Number?

The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA), an E-Gov initiative managed by GSA.gov, is a list of all federal financial assistance programs available to a variety of applicants.

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“The primary purpose of the Catalog is to assist users in identifying programs that meet specific objectives of the potential applicant, and to obtain general information on Federal assistance programs,” reads an overview on the CFDA website. It is also used to improve coordination amongst federal, state, and local government entities.

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5 Key Competencies for Aspiring Federal Grants Management Pros

A job in Financial Assistance Management might not have topped your career wish list when you first entered the job market (unfulfilled professional basketball aspirations notwithstanding). But some people who take a government job or work for a nonprofit eventually stumble into a grant manager role – and they end up loving it.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) defines federal grants management as work that “involves implementing and managing federal grants and cooperative agreements and providing grants-related assistance and services.”

Chief Financial Officers Council logoIf a grants management role sounds like it might be up your alley, the CFO Council has identified nine functional competencies that are standard performance requirements. Below, we have highlighted our five favorites (and summarized the other four).

1. Accountability

  • Ensures that effective controls are developed and maintained to assure the integrity of the organization
  • Holds self and others accountable for rules and responsibilities
  • Can be relied upon to ensure that projects within areas of specific responsibility are completed in a timely manner and within budget
  • Monitors and evaluates plans, focuses on results, and measuring attainment of outcomes

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What Is a Funding Opportunity Announcement?

A Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is the publicly available document that contains all the official information (e.g., goals, deadline, eligibility, reporting) about a federal grant. An FOA is how a federal grant-making agency announces the availability of a grant, and it provides instructions on how to apply for that grant.

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What are some other key elements of an FOA?

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Grant Agency Spotlight: National Endowment for the Arts

In continuing the grant agency spotlight series, we look at the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and its work to give “Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities.”

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Why Does NEA Exist?

Browse the NEA website and you will likely notice a two-word credo repeated on almost every page: “Art Works.” Here’s how the bureau of the National Foundation on the Arts and the Humanities explains the credo:

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What’s New with Grant Policies? DATA Act & OMB Memos

The 2017 fiscal year has been an important one for federal government grants. Milestones include the completion of a Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) pilot program and the release of the OMB M-17-26 Reducing Burden for Federal Agencies by Rescinding and Modifying OMB Memorandum.

For seasoned grant professionals, you have probably heard about the DATA Act and are familiar with memos from OMB that provide new guidance on how to better manage and implement grants.

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Shared Services in Federal Government & Grants.gov

Many federal agencies conduct similar types of work, such as awarding federal grants. While the mission and specific goals of each grant program vary, many of the processes for posting, applying for, managing, and reporting on federal grants are the same. This is where federal shared services come in. Rather than each agency developing & maintaining the same services, the costs and benefits are shared. In this role, Grants.gov serves its purpose—to be a shared service for both the public and federal agencies.

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Exploring Eligibility: Federal Disaster Assistance for Damaged Homes & More

The Exploring Eligibility blog series previously covered the general availability of federal grants for home repairs, among other topics. This follow-up post focuses on grants and other forms of financial assistance associated with federally-declared disaster zones.

Hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, forest fires and other natural disasters can leave deep scars on the communities they impact. Homes and property can be damaged or destroyed. Jobs and businesses can be lost. Lives can be upended.

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When a natural disaster strikes and a region is declared a federal disaster zone, the U.S. government can authorize several forms of assistance designed to help impacted communities recover and rebuild.

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