This post was originally published on April 17, 2017 and updated on July 3, 2019.
Federal financial assistance is the transfer of anything of value, most often money, from a federal agency to a non-federal entity.
In the most general sense, federal financial assistance is a tool the government uses to serve public purposes as defined by Congress.
Federal financial assistance is a very broad term, and it can take on a variety of more precise forms.
- One of the most common forms is a grant, which we write about quite often on this blog.
- Other examples of federal financial assistance include cooperative agreements, donations of property, direct appropriations, food commodities, loans, interest subsidies, and insurance.
- Each type of federal financial assistance serves different purposes and has different legal and regulatory frameworks that govern how that specific assistance can be used.
Continue reading What Is Federal Financial Assistance? [Updated]
The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA), an E-Gov initiative managed by the General Services Administration (GSA), is a list of all federal financial assistance and nonfinancial assistance programs available to a variety of applicants.
The CFDA, now called Assistance Listings on beta.SAM.gov, helps users find general information about the assistance, identify program objectives, eligibility requirements, and links to current opportunities on Grants.gov related to a particular assistance listing.
CFDA numbers are the system for identifying and sorting the 2,000+ federal programs. Each CFDA number contains five digits and appears in the following format: ##.### (e.g., 10.001 or 98.102).
GSA recently moved the CFDA from the now retired CFDA.gov to beta.SAM.gov, and it is now referred to as Assistance Listings.
To search the Assistance Listings, go to beta.SAM.gov, select the “Assistance Listings” option from the search drop-down menu, then type a keyword or number and click the Search button. Here’s a direct link to the Assistance Listings as well.
Continue reading What Is a CFDA Number?
All tray tables and seat backs must be in an upright and locked position prior to take off. We expect turbulence on this blog post, so the author has turned on the fasten seat belt light.
This seemingly simple question requires a complex answer, so we have simplified it to four sections: (1) basic definitions, (2) five differences between grants and contracts, (3) examples of a grant and contract to illustrate these differences, and (4) resources for more information.
Continue reading What Is a Contract? 5 Differences between Grants and Contracts
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.
Continue reading What Is a Subaward and a Subrecipient?
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.
Continue reading What Is an Award?
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.
What are some other key elements of an FOA?
Continue reading What Is a Funding Opportunity Announcement?
A block grant is a specific type of federal financial assistance for a broadly defined function. Before getting into the nuance of block grants, it may be helpful to know what we mean by the terms “federal financial assistance” and “grant.”
Block grants are primarily awarded by the federal government to U.S. state or territory governments, although some block grants are awarded directly to local governments (e.g., Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Entitlement Program to cities and counties on a formula basis). The block grant recipients then implement the programs within those broadly defined functions (i.e., the purpose & parameters defined by legislation).
Continue reading What Is a Block Grant? [Updated]
In the context of applying for federal grants, “forms” are those seemingly endless documents you must fill out to complete the application process. An “online” form or webform, then, is a digital version of these documents that is accessible and editable in a web browser.
There is nothing revolutionary about this concept, but we at Grants.gov have now made online forms available in Grants.gov Workspace to make the application process a bit easier for you and your team. Continue reading What Is an Online Form?
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is an Executive Branch office that oversees the implementation of the President of the United States’ vision across government agencies (WhiteHouse.gov – OMB).
This relates to the grant programs implemented by federal agencies, how they are managed, their budgets, and the forms applicants complete when applying for a grant.
Continue reading What Is the Office of Management and Budget? (And How Does It Relate to Grants?)
Sunny with a slight chance of competition? Cold and gloomy thanks to freezing funds?
While federal grant applicants may at times face such varying climates, the grant forecasts we refer to here are previews of potential funding opportunities that a grant-making agency plans to announce in the future.
Applicants can search for grant forecasts just as they would for funding opportunities – by using Grants.gov Search.
By checking “Forecasted” under Opportunity Status, searches can be tailored to turn up forecasted opportunities.
Continue reading What Is a Grant Forecast?