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Information on Competitive Grants  [ back to top ]

Competitive grants are among the many programs funded by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act of 2009, or what is commonly referred to as the federal stimulus. Applying for competitive federal grants is a process that includes several steps. The federal government provides comprehensive information about applying for grants, but please note these grant guidelines are subject to change. Learn more about the federal grant application process by visiting the step-by-step application registration guide online at Grants.gov.

Getting Started for Organizations  [ back to top ]
Organizations seeking federal grants are required to have what is called a Data Universal Numbering System number, or DUNS number. The DUNS number is a nine-character number that identifies your organization. The federal government uses these numbers to track how federal money is distributed. Most large organizations, libraries, colleges and research universities already have DUNS numbers. Your grant administrator or chief financial officer should be able to provide your organization’s DUNS number if one is available. If your organization has not already done so, it must also register with Central Contracting Registration (CCR). All applicants for federal grants, except individuals, must maintain current registrations in the CCR database. The database is a virtual storehouse for standard information about federal financial assistance applicants, recipients, and sub-recipients.

If your organization plans to apply for federal stimulus funds and does not currently have a DUNS number or is not currently registered with CCR, begin the process for both immediately. It can take some time to receive a DUNS number and to register with the CCR. Because many of the funding opportunities associated with the federal stimulus have fast-approaching deadlines, it is critical that you obtain this information as soon as possible to compete for available grant dollars.

Your organization may obtain a DUNS number by calling (866) 705-5711, or by visiting the DUNS Request Service online. To register with the CCR, please visit the CCR website to begin the process. An organization’s grant application is not considered complete unless it includes a DUNS number.

Getting Started for Individuals  [ back to top ]
If you are an individual applying for a grant on your own behalf and not on behalf of an organization, please visit Individual Registration at Grants.gov. Types of organizations include state, local and tribal governments, non-profits, companies, and academic or research institutions. If you apply as an individual to a grant application package designated for organizations, your application will be rejected. Individuals applying for federal grants are exempt from the DUNS number and CCR requirements described above.

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