How to Find Your Congressional District for the SF-424 Form

The “Congressional District of Applicant” field is just one tiny rectangle on the SF-424 form, but if you get it wrong, it can create complications for your application downstream.

SF-424 Congressional District Code

In this field, the grant-making agency expects a code that begins with your state’s two-letter abbreviation and ends with a three-digit district number. A hyphen separates the two parts, like this, “VA-001” [State of Virginia – 1st Congressional District].

Continue reading How to Find Your Congressional District for the SF-424 Form

Grants.gov Release 16.0 Is Live! Here’s What You Need to Know

The latest updates to the Grants.gov system bring significant improvements to Workspace to better accommodate our diverse group of applicants. Below are the essentials for this release and links to more detailed information.

Release 16.0 is now live

Continue reading Grants.gov Release 16.0 Is Live! Here’s What You Need to Know

Grant Writing Basics: 3 Tips to Avoid Last Minute Problems

Applying for a federal grant can be a lot of work involving many moving parts. On top of strategizing, conducting meetings, and writing a compelling proposal, there are other little-but-necessary tasks on the path to successfully submitting your application that you should do well before the closing date.

grant writing basics icon

Here are 3 tips to avoid some of those last minute problems:

Continue reading Grant Writing Basics: 3 Tips to Avoid Last Minute Problems

Release 16.0 Preview: Introducing the Progress Bar

Since launching Workspace in 2015, Grants.gov has continued to enhance its collaborative features for applicants. Several new features will be available when Release 16.0 is deployed on June 19, 2017.

Release 16.0 Preview icon

Our first Release 16.0 preview post highlighted changes to user roles and access levels that will allow Workspace Owners to control access to budget forms and to add participants from outside organizations.

Another upcoming enhancement is the addition of the new progress bar at the top of the workspace.

Continue reading Release 16.0 Preview: Introducing the Progress Bar

How the Government Prepares Grant Application Forms – Part 1

In recent years, a lot has changed about the Grants.gov federal grant application process. The arrival of Workspace in 2015 gave applicants the ability to reuse forms and collaborate more easily. Grants.gov’s latest release, meanwhile, gave applicants the ability to forego the PDF and complete forms within a web browser.

The data requested on the forms also continues to evolve. The process for updating and creating new grant application forms is a complex one involving a range of government entities, including the grant-making agency, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as well as the Federal Register and Grants.gov, among others.

Continue reading How the Government Prepares Grant Application Forms – Part 1

Grants.gov FY2016 Annual Report Highlights

Last year brought a lot of changes and enhancements to the Grants.gov program, and you can find detailed information and statistics in the Grants.gov Annual Report for Fiscal Year (FY) 2016.

If you don’t have time to read through the full report, here are a few key highlights from FY16:

Annual Report Highlights

Continue reading Grants.gov FY2016 Annual Report Highlights

7 Tips for Transitioning Your Organization to Grants.gov Workspace

Thousands of federal grant applicants have submitted their application packages using Grants.gov Workspace. In this blog post, we share tips for streamlining organizational workflow in order to take advantage of Workspace’s full range of benefits.

These benefits include the following:

  • A set of shareable individual grant forms, rather than the legacy application package (which will be phased out in December 2017)
  • A form reuse feature that imports data from past application forms
  • Improved form validations that help to cut down on last-minute submission errors
  • A preview feature that gives applicants the ability to view the complete application in a single window

Below are some tips to help make the transition as smooth as possible for you and your organization:

1. Form reuse is the single most beneficial feature in Workspace.

Whether you’re a one-person show or you have a large team working on each application, the reuse feature within Workspace has the potential to save you tons of time.

Scenario
Let’s say you apply for a grant later this month using Workspace. In the end, you aren’t awarded the funds. The next time you apply for the same grant – perhaps a year from now – you will be able to reuse all of your old forms and focus your time and effort on improving the weakest parts of the application.

2. Familiarize your team with the general Workspace workflow.

Grants.gov Workspace Workflow

Workspace separates the application package into individual forms. This allows a team of applicants to work on each form separately – at the same time, if they wish. This changes the traditional workflow, which permitted only one applicant to work on the application at a time.

Continue reading 7 Tips for Transitioning Your Organization to Grants.gov Workspace

7 Things You Need to Know about Registering on Grants.gov

At first glance, registering with Grants.gov seems a little complicated. But if you keep the following tips in mind, your registration will be (almost) a breeze.

1) Registration is free. You do not need to pay to register.

If a website, email, or caller tells you that you need to pay to register for government grants, don’t fall for a scam. More scam and fraud info here.

2) Start registering immediately (after you read the rest of this article, of course).

It can take up to a few weeks if you don’t have all the pre-requisite registration data, so you want to register well in advance of the grant deadline. Here’s an overview of the organization registration process and timeline.

Continue reading 7 Things You Need to Know about Registering on Grants.gov