User Story: Applying for Federal Grants When Internet Connectivity Is Limited

Leo - I need to apply for a federal grant, but I have to drive a couple hours from our rural community to a town with internet access. As a result, I need to be able to fill out the grant application forms offline. has long been attentive to the needs of applicants like Leo. One of the key benefits of the Workspace platform is that it can serve a range of applicant needs, including those applicants who must work on forms offline due to slow or intermittent access to internet.

Part 1: Downloading & Saving Forms from a Workspace

Before Leo can download the individual forms for his grant application, he will need to go online to create a workspace for the opportunity. This is the first step he should take after finding the funding opportunity for which he wants to apply.

Once the workspace has been created, Leo can go to the Forms tab to download a fillable PDF of every required or optional form he will submit.

Click the download a fillable PDF to work offline in the Forms tab

When downloading the forms, Leo can give each a custom file name on his computer. If he wants to solicit help on, for example, a budget form, Leo can attach the form to an email and send it to the person directly.


Part 2: Completing PDF Forms Offline

Once Leo has safely stored the fillable PDF forms on his computer or on a portable storage device, such as a flash drive, he can begin filling them out at his convenience, even when his computer is not connected to the internet.

Every time the Save button is clicked on a form, the file is updated on the local drive.

When the Check for Errors button is clicked, a list of field entry errors (missed fields, etc.) will be produced. Additional validations will be run by when each form is uploaded back into the workspace.

Check the form for field errors using the Check for Errors button in a PDF form


Part 3: Uploading Completed Forms to a Workspace

The next step in Leo’s workflow involves uploading the completed forms back into the workspace he created in Part 1.

If someone has helped Leo complete a budget form, this colleague can simply email the updated PDF back to Leo. One by one, Leo can upload the completed individual forms into his workspace under the Forms tab, using the Upload link in the Actions column. Completed and validated forms will be marked as “Passed” in the Form Status column.

Submit when all forms are in the "Passed" status

If any edits are needed after Leo has uploaded the forms back into the workspace, he can make them within the fillable PDF and re-upload the file.

Or, if Leo has a feasible period of internet connectivity at a public library, he can alternately click the Webform link associated with the form and edit form data within a web browser. When a PDF form has been uploaded, the data is automatically mirrored in the webform version of the form.

When all of the required and optional forms have been uploaded to the workspace, Leo can perform final validations by clicking the Check Application button. He can submit the application by clicking the Sign and Submit button.

On most applications, the submission process should take no more than a few minutes. Shortly after submitting an application, Leo will receive a confirmation with a tracking number, which he can use to check the status of his submission the next time he has access to internet.

Click the User Story tag to find the full list of posts featuring user scenarios from across the user base.