If you have been in the federal grants community for any time at all, you probably know that your organization needs an account with the System for Award Management (SAM), or SAM.gov, to do business (e.g., receive grants) from the U.S. government.
SAM registration is relatively simple (you’ll need a DUNS number), and it’s free. However, there is no shortage of spam calls and emails offering paid services to register and maintain your registration. These can cost hundreds of dollars, but be cautious when responding to such appeals. Registering, renewing, and updating your SAM registration is absolutely free.
The third-party emails or unsolicited calls will typically warn you of an impending expiration.
For example, an email might read, “You’re receiving this message because the registration for [your entity], in the U.S. Federal Government’s System for Award Management (SAM), will expire [date]. It is time to update your annual registration.”
The message will then follow with a link to a non-government website.
Buried on that website are often details about the costs involved with handing your registration maintenance over to the vendor – often hundreds of dollars for a multi-year service agreement.
“There is NO FEE to register, or maintain your registration, in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov),” reads a notice on the Federal Service Desk website. “If you receive an email from a company claiming to represent SAM.gov, be cautious. If you get an e-mail from a company offering to help you register in SAM.gov [and] asking you to contact them and pay them money, be cautious. These messages are not from the Federal Government. It is FREE TO REGISTER in SAM.gov for any entity.”
In case you’re wondering, getting help with your SAM registration is also free.
“Just contact the supporting Federal Service Desk (FSD) at 866-606-8220 or www.fsd.gov,” counsels the Federal Service Desk.
SAM.gov, meanwhile, offers user guides and demonstration videos to help with the registration, renewal and maintenance process.
To be sure, it is important to keep your SAM registration active and accurate – especially if you are applying for federal grants. But you can do this quite easily without forking over hundreds of dollars to a third-party company.
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