The process of applying for a federal grant is never quick or simple. The initial process of just registering for a federal grant can further complicate things for first-time applicants.
The first step — after you’ve identified a grant opportunity — to register for a federal grant is to sign your organization up with grants.gov. This is the first step of a five-step process. It’s important to do this as soon as possible because the approval process can take up to two weeks if there are lots of applicants registering at once.
According to grants.gov, the five-step process to register for a federal grant involves the following:
- Obtain a DUNS number (optional for Individual applicants).
- Register with SAM.gov (optional for Individual applicants). Organization Applicants will not be able to move on to Step #3 until they complete this step.
- Create a Grants.gov username and password. You will need to create a Grants.gov user profile by visiting the Get Registered section of the website.
- The E-Business Point of Contact (POC) at your organization must respond to the registration email from Grants.gov and login at Grants.gov to authorize you as an Authorized Organization Representative (AOR). Please note that there can be more than one AOR for an organization.
- At any time, you can track your AOR status by going to the Applicant Login with your username and password.
While confusing, the good news is that the process to register for a federal grant is the same regardless of which federal agency you seek funding from. More information, including FAQs, can be found here.
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