US Government Grant Applications

The process for completing US government grant applications is exactly the same as the process for completing private foundation grant applications.  You must read and re-read the grant application’s guidelines and follow the instructions perfectly.  If the instructions for US government grant applications require that the applications be double-spaced, with one-inch margins and 12-point font, the application must be submitted exactly in that format or it will not be read. The key components required in US government grant applications are the same key components that are typically required in private foundation grant applications:

  • Mission statement
  • History of organization
  • Organization information/capability
  • Problem/need statement
  • Goals and objectives
  • Program plan/methodology
  • Evaluation
  • Future funding/sustainability
  • Project Budget
  • Copy of 501(c)(3)

The primary difference in US government grant applications and private foundation applications are 1) the order in which the components are requested, 2) the number of required forms that must be included with
grant applications, and 3) the rating factor assigned to the criteria for which they will be scored.  US government grant applications normally require the following forms: 

  • Cover Page – Form 424
  • Abstract – a summary of the entire project on one page
  • Table of Contents
  • Budget Form – Form 524
  • Drug Free Workplace Form – Form 524
  • Assurances Form – Form 424B

While many private foundations also have criteria and points assigned to required components, US government grant applications always have criteria or rating factors assigned to each required component.  Some components, like the problem statement and program plan will have more points assigned to them.  It is therefore, incredibly important to do an excellent job in describing the problem and building a case to support the problem statement, as well as describing the solution and implementation plan.  An example of the criteria used to select winning government grant applications is below: 

  • Rating Factor 1:  Capacity of the Applicant and Relevant Organizational Experience = 15
  • Rating Factor 2:  Problem Statement/Need/Extent of the Problem = 25
  • Rating Factor 3:  Soundness of Approach (Program Plan/Methodology) = 40
  • Rating Factor 4:  Leveraging Resources and Collaboration = 10
  • Rating Factor 5:  Achieving Results/Program Evaluation = 10

U.S.G.G. Grant Writing Workshops provide comprehensive instructions on how to complete US government grant applications and include two winning government grant applications in its workbook for participants to take home. Follow-up review and editing is offered to all U.S.G.G. Grant Writing Workshop participants at low to no cost, depending upon the amount of editing required. US government grant applications can now be completed online by going to www.grants.gov.  In most cases, US government grant applications must be submitted in hard copy.  The federal government often offers free grant writing workshops for new programs and technical assistance is always available. The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance provides free information on “Developing and Writing Grant Proposals.” 

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