The What is… Blog Series is designed to serve as a gentle entry point for readers who are new to federal grants, or who might just need a refresher on a particular term. Previous installments have focused mainly on defining types of federal funding. Here, and in several forthcoming series posts, we will explore terminology within the federal grant application itself, beginning with something that is sometimes called the “heart” of the federal grant proposal – the statement of need, or need(s) statement.
Q: What is a Need Statement?
A need statement outlines a public or community need that the federal grant applicant’s proposed project aims to address.
The need statement may be a few sentences, or a few paragraphs, in length. It is typically one part – a very important part – of the larger project narrative that carries the reader from the defined need into discussion of specifically how the applicant aims to address that need.
“The need statement should … tell a story that conveys the applicant’s knowledge and insight, and demonstrate that the organization understands the issue well enough to address the problem,” reads guidance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
In the context of federal grants, the “problem” can be anything from the need to digitize and preserve historically significant photographs to the need to protect a habitat or an endangered species, or the need to investigate a scientific finding that promises health benefits for people with cancer, or the need to support efforts to re-train workers from fading industries.
The need statement, then, conveys that the applicant is both familiar and equipped to address a problem according to the specifics outlined in the federal agency’s funding opportunity announcement published on Grants.gov.
Want to Go Deeper?
We have devoted a separate blog post focused on how to write a good need statement.
Some federal agencies also publish successful proposals on their website. Dig into these and you will find some great examples of need statements. We recommend starting with the Institute of Museum and Library Services application database.
This week’s edition of Federal Funding Spotlight 🔦 features opportunities from the Department of the Interior, Department of Energy, USAID, and the National Science Foundation.
Department of the Interior, Office of Surface Mining | Current Closing Date for Applications: September 30, 2019
The Not-for-Profit, Acid Mine Drainage (AMD) Reclamation – Watershed Cooperative Agreement Program (WCAP) aims to restore streams affected by AMD to a level that will support a diverse biological community and provide recreational opportunities for communities.
Continue reading Federal Funding Spotlight: Opportunities from USAID, National Science Foundation & More
This post was originally published on May 9, 2018 and updated on August 28, 2019.
We expect to hit some turbulence in this blog post, so we have turned on the proverbial fasten seat belt light.
The seemingly simple question, “What is a government contract?”, requires a complex answer. We have divided this blog post into 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 Government Contract? And How Does a Contract Differ from a Grant?
The official Grants.gov app offers the most convenient way for grant pros to manage their Grants.gov workflow when away from the desk.
App users can search for grants, create and manage saved searches, submit completed applications (this requires Grants.gov Submit privileges), and much more.
The latest mobile app update is now live for users with iOS and Android devices. Here’s what’s new within the app:
- Create, view and edit saved searches (login required)
- Filter searches by Opportunity Status, Funding Instrument Type, Eligibility, and Category (in addition to Agency, which was already available)
- Sort results by those Recently Posted, Closing Soon, and by Opportunity Number
- A new Explore screen showing an expanded list of available actions and features
Visit our App Store or Google Play pages to download and learn more about the app.
This edition of Federal Funding Spotlight features a list of recent opportunities open to state government applicants. The programs discussed below aim to:
- Expand public understanding of the connections between music and wellness;
- Make research contributions in the area of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias;
- Address the problems fish and wildlife will face in the future;
- Help communities and regions devise and implement long-term economic recovery strategies.
Continue reading Spotlight: Recent Federal Funding Opportunities Open to State Governments
Do you enjoy making time in your day for podcasts, whether during a commute, over lunch or after a long day at work? If you’re a grant pro – or if you’re on your way to becoming one – you might want to add the National Institutes of Health (NIH) All About Grants podcast to your listening queue.
While the podcast’s episodes are often geared towards NIH programs and policies, applicants to other federal agencies will still find a good amount of wisdom and insight.
Continue reading Applicant Resource: NIH’s ‘All About Grants’ Podcast
In this edition of Federal Funding Spotlight, we are highlighting recent Grants.gov tweets about open funding opportunities from the National Endowment for the Arts, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and more.
Click the link below each tweet for a full list of the agency’s current open funding opportunities on Grants.gov.
Continue reading Federal Funding Spotlight: Twitter Edition
In recent months, the Grants.gov mobile app’s install base has topped 200,000 users and has become an essential part of the federal grant pro’s toolbox.
We’re excited to announce that even more improvements to the app are just around the corner. These improvements will help bring the mobile app’s search functionality in line with that of the Grants.gov website, among other things.
Continue reading Saved Search Coming Soon to the Grants.gov Mobile App (iOS and Android)
The time is coming to say goodbye to the D-U-N-S® number.
The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) recently published a resource page that outlines upcoming changes to the unique entity identifier used to do business with the government.
Beginning in December 2020, the D-U-N-S® number will be replaced by a “new, non-proprietary identifier” requested in, and assigned by, the System for Award Management (SAM.gov). This new identifier is being called the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), or the Entity ID.
Continue reading GSA Provides Projected Timeline for Implementation of New Unique Entity Identifier Replacing D-U-N-S® Number
This post was originally published on May 1, 2017 and updated on July 23, 2019.
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 and affects 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 Federal Grants?)