Federal Grants, Where Do I Start?
Are you having trouble navigating the federal grant world?
You are not alone! There are over 1600 federal grant programs provided by Congress. The scope and complexity of federal grants has increased considerably over the past decade. It can feel overwhelming when you start to seek a federal grant. For many grant seekers, grants.gov is often the go-to source for federal grant information. If you start with grants.gov – you are probably too late to get the grant!
See, grants.gov will provide you with information on existing grant opportunities.
You want to win the grant! Therefore, we know you want to prepare for your grant application well in advance of the notice of funding availability.
That is where the CFDA comes in to play!
You can find the “encyclopedia” of federal grants at CFDA.gov. The CFDA provides you with the resources you need to prepare for your federal grant.
We all know that preparation for grants, especially federal grants, requires many months of preparation including partnership development, drafting budgets, establishing MOUs, establishing strong community needs, garnering political support, and hiring a grant professional to develop, review or edit the proposal.
How do I find out about Federal Grants before they are announced?
Easy! You can go to the CFDA and find grants that align with your project. Then you can go to the funding organization’s website to find their grant schedule. Now, time is on your side. For instance, if you know that a grant opportunity will be announced sometime in June you can begin your work in January to get as much of the background work drafted well in advance of notice of funding availability. Once the NOFA or request for proposal is posted on grants.gov you can pull all your work together, polish you narrative, finalize your budget, secure strong commitments from partners and activate your project’s political support.
A few more thoughts on preparation and “CFDA”
(Confucius, , Fitzgerald David, and Alexander)
“Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure.” Confucius
“The time to repair the roof is when the sun is shining.” John F. Kennedy
“The tendency of an event to occur varies inversely with one’s preparation for it.” David Searles
“Before anything else, preparation is key to success!” Alexander Graham Bell
Do you have any tips that help you prepare for federal grants? Do you have questions about federal grants? You are invited to leave us a comment, question or suggestion in the comments section below.