What Is a Block Grant? [Updated]

Note: This blog post was originally published in 2017 and updated on January 21, 2020.

A block grant is a specific type of federal financial assistance for a broadly defined function. (Editor’s note: Before getting into the nuance of block grants, you may want to review the terms “federal financial assistance” and “grant.”)

Block grants are often awarded by the federal government to U.S. state or territory governments, although some block grants are awarded directly to local governments (e.g., Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Entitlement Program to cities and counties on a formula basis).

The block grant recipients then implement the programs within those broadly defined functions (i.e., the purpose & parameters defined by legislation).

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Continue reading What Is a Block Grant? [Updated]

How Grants.gov Is Preparing for SAM’s Rollout of the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)

Last July, we wrote about SAM.gov’s planned introduction of the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), which is currently scheduled to replace the DUNS Number around the end of 2020. You can get the most up-to-date information about the UEI rollout on the GSA’s Unique Entity Identifier Update page.

In this post, we begin preparing Grants.gov applicants for what the UEI rollout will look like within the Grants.gov system – particularly, what users will see when working on an application or taking other actions within Workspace.

Fields formerly labeled “DUNS” within Grants.gov will now be labeled “UEI” starting in March 2020

Continue reading How Grants.gov Is Preparing for SAM’s Rollout of the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)

What Is a Federal Award?

This post was originally published in 2017 and updated on January 2, 2020.

When you hear the word “award,” do you envision the federal government conferring funding to you to implement a public-serving project? Some of you grant professionals did, but it is understandable if you thought of this year’s Best Film, the league MVP debate, or your child’s T-ball participation trophy.

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Federal Funding Spotlight – Ten of the Most Viewed FOAs of 2019

Every month, hundreds of federal funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) are published on Grants.gov. The programs represented range widely across categories like space science, healthcare, law enforcement, job training, human rights, climate change and much, much more.

In this post, we highlight ten of the most-viewed funding opportunity announcements from 2019. (Note: Some of these opportunities have already closed and are no longer accepting applications.)

Federal Funding Spotlight

These ten FOAs are reflective of the vast array of opportunities published on Grants.gov every week. If you’d like to keep up with the funding opportunity announcements posted on Grants.gov, you can create saved searches for each area of interest. You will be notified when an opportunity matching your interest is published.

Continue reading Federal Funding Spotlight – Ten of the Most Viewed FOAs of 2019

What Is a Land Grant? (Part 2): Grants to Individuals for Homesteading and Settlement

This post was originally published in 2016 and updated on January 15, 2020.

A land grant is an award of land to a recipient with the requirement that a public purpose, as defined by legislation, is served through the grant. In Part 1, we covered land grant colleges and universities, which are great examples of land grants achieving lasting benefits in the United States of America.

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Land Grants for “Homesteading”

The passage of the Homestead Act of 1862 established a land grant program that allowed individuals, both U.S. citizens and intended citizens, to apply for 160-acre plots of land. “Homesteading” was a term referring to the process of moving west onto land in unsettled territories and cultivating the land.

Continue reading What Is a Land Grant? (Part 2): Grants to Individuals for Homesteading and Settlement

What Is a Land Grant? (Part 1): Land Grant Colleges and Universities

This post was originally published in 2016 and updated on November 19, 2019.

“Land grant” is a term you may have heard before, especially if you grew up near a state college or university that received land or funding as a result of one of the Morrill Land-Grant Acts. Before we begin our grant history lesson, let’s define what a land grant is.

Grants.gov's What is... Blog Series

A grant is the transfer of anything of value from the Federal government to a non-federal entity to carry out a public purpose authorized by U.S. law. So, a “land grant” is an award of land, instead of money, to a recipient with the requirement that a public purpose, as defined by legislation, is served through the grant.

Continue reading What Is a Land Grant? (Part 1): Land Grant Colleges and Universities

What Is a Budget Narrative?

The What is… Blog Series is designed to serve as an entry point for readers who are new to federal grants, or who might just need a refresher. Click here to read more posts in this series.

Grants.gov's What is... Blog Series

What Is a Budget Narrative?

A budget narrative provides explanations about line items from the grant applicant’s standard budget. In federal grant applications, a budget narrative is sometimes called a budget justification or a budget detail.

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OMB Issues Version 1 of the Standard Grants Management Data Elements

The Office of Management and Budget recently issued Version 1.0 of the Standard Grants Management Data Elements. The data elements had previously been made available for public comment from November 2018 to February 2019.

As part of the announcement, OMB, on behalf of the Cross-Agency Priority Goal: Results-Oriented Accountability for Grants Executive Steering Committee (ESC), also published an infosheet explaining how the  Standard Grants Management Data Elements fits within the broader federal government goal of “maximizing the value of grant funding by applying a risk-based, data-driven framework that balances compliance requirements with demonstrating successful results for the American taxpayer.”

Continue reading OMB Issues Version 1 of the Standard Grants Management Data Elements

Two Ways to Save Your Grants.gov Search Queries

Grants.gov users now have two ways to create saved searches and receive notifications about relevant, new opportunity announcements, whether they are sitting behind a desk or they are out and about with only a phone.

Continue reading Two Ways to Save Your Grants.gov Search Queries