What Is the Difference Between Grants.gov and Benefits.gov?

This blog post was first published in 2017 and updated on April 1, 2020.

Grants.gov regularly receives a significant amount of queries from users hoping to apply for personal financial assistance from the federal government. These individuals might be looking for home repair grants or forms of disability assistance.

Others are unfortunately driven to Grants.gov by scam artists posing as agents of Grants.gov (or some made-up variant) who promise “free government grants” in exchange for monthly fees or gift cards.

What is the difference between Grants.gov and Benefits.gov?

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What Is a Subaward and a Subrecipient?

Note: This blog post was originally published in 2017 and updated on March 18, 2020.

To understand the definitions of “subaward” and “subrecipient”, it helps to think in terms of a grant that has just been won. (If you are not sure what an “award” is, start with the What Is an Award? post, then come back.)

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Rather than the grantor (i.e., the grant-making agency) entrusting just one entity with carrying out a federal program, sometimes multiple awardees will shoulder the responsibilities.

In such cases, one entity – the one who submitted the grant application – will serve as a pass-through to the partnering entities, which are called subrecipients.

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What is the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)?

This post is part of our “What Is…?” explainer series, which also covers topics like block grants and budget narratives.

The Unique Entity Identifier, or the UEI, is the official name of the “new, non-proprietary identifier” that will replace the D-U-N-S® number beginning in December 2020, according to the General Services Administration (GSA). The UEI will be requested in, and assigned by, the System for Award Management (SAM.gov).

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How will the UEI be used by Federal Grant applicants?

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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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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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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.

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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.

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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.”

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