Grants.gov Registration and How it Can Make or Break Your Chance at Federal Funding

Imagine you just found the perfect federal grant opportunity for your organization or a client calls and would like you to help them with a proposal.  As much as you would like to help them you can’t.  They aren’t registered on Grants.gov, don’t have a DUNs number, are not active in SAM and the application deadline is only a few days away.

It is a scenario that plays out time and time again in the grant writing world.  Be it for potential grant clients, or a non-profit organization you are working for, nothing is more frustrating than seeing a funding opportunity come and go and not being able to apply because there isn’t enough time to get registered in Grants.gov.

Part of the confusion with this process is many individuals don’t understand what is needed to apply for an account or how to get started. So, let’s look at the process. You may have heard the terms, DUNS and SAM but aren’t sure what they are or why you need them. For that matter, what exactly is Grants.gov?

DUNS – A unique 9-digit entity Identification number provided by the commercial company Dun Bradstreet. It is used for tracking purposes and to validate address and point of contact information.

SAM (System for Award Management) – Repository for certain standard information about federal financial assistance applicants, recipients, and subrecipients.

Grants.gov – A centralized location for grant seekers to find and apply for federal funding opportunities. Today, the Grants.gov system houses information on over 1,000 grant programs and vets grant applications for federal grant-making agencies.

Now to explain why you need them and where to get them.

First, your organization must apply for a DUNS number at http://www.dnb.com/ if you don’t already have one. This number will be needed to register your organization in SAM.

All federal grant applicants must maintain an active registration in the SAM system http://sam.gov/SAM/ to apply for federal funding opportunities.

Once active in SAM, you will be able to apply for, and set up,  a Grants.gov account for your organization at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html.

After grants.gov has verified you are active in SAM you will be able to begin searching and applying for grant opportunities in Grants.gov. The only way to apply for many federal grant programs is through the Grants.gov website as most federal agencies have moved away from accepting mailed hard-copy applications.  Without an active SAM registration and Grants.gov account, you could miss out on valuable funding opportunities, or even worse, not be able to submit applications you have worked long and hard to complete. The registration process can take several weeks.

So, if you don’t have an active grants.gov account, make sure to get started today!  Or, even better, let Comprehensive Grants Management shoulder the load and get your organization registered in Grants.gov, find funding opportunities that fit the mission and vision of your organization and create competitive application packages that help your organization win funding.