Federal Grant Funding Basics
A federal grant is an opportunity for the government to fund ideas and projects that provide public services, stimulate the economy, and benefit the general public. Non-profit organizations can significantly benefit from federal grants, although the process of obtaining them can be both challenging and time-consuming. However, the funding results make the effort worthwhile. In this article, we will explore the basic information that you need to know about applying for federal grant money.
Understanding “The Grant Lifecycle”:
The grant process includes a number of actions that include creating the funding opportunity, applying, making award decisions and implementing the award. These actions are broken down into 3 phases:
1. Pre-Award Phase
This phase marks the beginning of the grant lifecycle. In this phase the awarding agencies prepare and publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA). The FOA will include all the information you need to assess your eligibility and interest in the opportunity. These opportunities are then listed on Grants.gov for you to search through. Once you find an opportunity that is right for your organization, you may then complete your application. The final action in this phase is for the awarding agency to review all of the submitted applications.
2. Award Phase
After the applications have been reviewed, the award phase begins. Award recommendations are made and then reviewed to ensure fair and unbiased decisions. Once the final decisions are made, the selected entities are sent a Notice of Award.
3. Post Award Phase
Finally, the post award phase. This phase focuses on the implementation of the grant. This includes utilizing the grant funds, providing regular progress reports, and meeting the necessary obligations until the grant project is completed.
To receive a grant, your organization must meet the proper requirements. Therefore, it is important to take the time to fully understand the eligibility and application requirements for each grant you apply to. As you proceed through the application process, keep track of closing dates and deadlines so that you don’t miss out on any of the opportunities you have identified.
Once your organization has been awarded a federal grant and you have accepted it, you must comply with proper reporting procedures. These reports typically include expense-related data as well as information about your project’s impact. As stated in the Single Audit Act, grant recipients may be subject to an audit once a year in order to ensure compliance with government regulations.
Keep Your Information Organized
Securing federal grant money involves managing a significant amount of information. Overlooking even a minor detail can mean losing out on funding and result in wasted time and effort.
Donor Wrangler’s Grant Management Module allows you to track all the information you need with ease. You can keep track of application deadlines, assign tasks to team members, store attachments and effortlessly track grant related expenses for seamless reporting. Learn more about this feature on the Grant Management Features page. You can also take an in-depth look at the Grants Module in our Knowledge Base.
Acquiring federal grant funding requires an understanding of the grant lifecycle and careful attention to detail. By understanding each phase and staying organized along the way, your organization can increase its chances of successfully obtaining a federal grant. Start your Free Trial to get hands-on experience with Donor Wrangler’s Grant Management Module or schedule a Guided Walkthrough for a one-on-one discussion with our development team who can show you how all of our features work together seamlessly.