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Step by Step Guide for Federal Grant Eligibility

Grant funding is always a crucial part of running a nonprofit. What’s even more crucial is diversifying the types of grants you apply to. Previously we covered applying to private and community foundation grants. Another source of grant funding are federal grants, which is a completely different playing field. Here are some tips to get you started:

Step 1: Check your eligibility

Before attempting to apply for a federal grant, make sure your organization is eligible to apply. Firstly, you must register to apply through grants.gov. Then, understand the specifics of what federal funding opportunity you’re applying for. Regardless of how well you’ve written your application, you must make sure you’re able to receive the funds before applying. The way to find out is by following this link.

Step 2: Get an EIN

Whether you are a nonprofit organization or a private business, you must complete a few steps outside grants.gov before applying for federal grants. One of them is obtaining an EIN, or an Employer Identification Number. An EIN is a Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) specific to entities with a tax-exempt status. If you don’t already have one, you can obtain one by applying here.

Step 3: Register with SAM

To apply for federal funding, your System Award Management (SAM) registration must be fully processed, which can take an average of 7-10 business days. To register, access https://www.sam.gov and complete the online SAM registration process to obtain a UEI (SAM) or verify if your organization already has one. If your organization already has a UEI (SAM), make sure you’ve already registered with grants.gov.

Step 4: Add Profile to a Grants.gov Account

After registering an account with grants.gov, you may choose to add profiles within your account. All Grants.gov users need an account to utilize subscription and application functionality. One account can contain multiple profiles. A profile in Grants.gov corresponds to a single applicant organization the user represents. Each profile may have different roles based on which roles have been assigned to you by the organization's point of contact, such as the E-Business Point of Contact (EBiz POC). To add a profile during the registration process, click here

Step 5: Authorize roles as EBiz POC

Prior to being able to complete or submit application packages on behalf of your organization, your organization's EBiz POC must authorize roles. This safeguards your organization from individuals who may attempt to submit grant application packages without permission. The EBiz POC is likely to be your organization's chief financial officer or authorizing official, and there can only be one EBiz POC per UEI when registering with SAM. If you are not the EBiz POC, then you do not take any actions in this step. You have to await approval from the EBiz POC. To learn how to authorize roles as a EBiz POC, click here.

Step 6: Start your grant research

You are now finally able to start applying for federal grant funding. Congratulations! Signing up was the easy part. Now you can begin your search to find the right grant opportunity for your needs. If you want to know more about the grant research process, refer to our article here

Boules Consulting helps nonprofit organizations, social enterprises, and start ups obtain their SAM Registration so that they can be eligible for federal funding. If you are interested in pursuing government funding, reach out to us today at info@boulesconsulting.org to schedule your free consultation! 

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