Grant Writing Basics: How to Start Working on Future Funding Opportunities

As with many projects in life, it is best to begin your planning and writing as early as you can. When applying for federal grants, the OMB Uniform Guidance sets forth a 30 to 60 day range for federal funding opportunities to be open:

“(b) The Federal awarding agency must generally make all funding opportunities available for application for at least 60 calendar days. The Federal awarding agency may make a determination to have a less than 60 calendar day availability period but no funding opportunity should be available for less than 30 calendar days unless exigent circumstances require as determined by the Federal awarding agency head or delegate.” §200.203(b)

A reasonable follow-up question to this is what to do if you would like to begin working on a grant application more than two months in advance.

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Take a Deeper Dive into Federal Government Spending with USAspending.gov’s Data Lab

If you haven’t visited USAspending.gov lately, do yourself a favor and check it out (as soon as you’re done reading this post, of course). The website’s revamped design goes far deeper than just a new coat of paint.

For example, USAspending.gov’s new Data Lab beta site could prove to be a (heavenly) time-suck for data analysis nerds.

Its excellent visuals and interactive charts make diving into the world of government spending a little like exploring Hawaii’s coral reefs.

Hawaiian coral reefs

Photo Credit: National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration

What is the USAspending.gov Data Lab?

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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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Grant Agency Spotlight: U.S. Department of Education

Nearly every week, 50 or more new grant opportunities are posted to Grants.gov by federal grant-making agencies. Each of these grants aims to support a specific government objective – such as protecting our parks, funding research and development, or strengthening underserved communities.

Agency Spotlight Blog SeriesThis new blog series spotlights the federal grant-making agencies and the causes to which they are dedicated in service to the general public.

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Using USAspending.gov Data for Grant Applications

The passage of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2014 (DATA Act) has unlocked a wider array of U.S. government spending data for public consumption. Among the beneficiaries of this data are federal grant applicants and the new beta version of USAspending.gov. (Note: The data is still being migrated, so more historical data is available here.)

USAspending.gov Homepage

How Could This Data Help?

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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?"

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