Federal resources and systems for grantseekers have been changing. If your organization participates in the federal grants process or plans to, it’s imperative to stay on top of developments at Grants.gov, SAM.gov, and the federal agencies with which you are most involved.
“Sign up for notices and make frequent check-ins a priority on your to-do list.” said Barbara Floersch, chief of Training & Curriculum at The Grantsmanship Center in Los Angeles, Calif. “You can’t afford to learn about important changes at the last minute.”
- The following examples of the changing environment drive Floersch’s point home.
- Grants.gov now has a mobile app (on Google Play and Apple’s App Store) through which you can search for grant opportunities and receive notifications.
- In March 2018 (for new SAM.gov registrations) and April 2018 (for existing registrations being updated), organizations had to submit a signed, notarized letter identifying the authorized Entity Administrator before their registration was activated. Effective June 11, 2018 that changed for entities who create or update their registration to apply only for federal assistance opportunities — and it will change on June 29, 2018 for all non-federal entities.The staggered dates relate to an organization’s stated “Purpose of Registration” as either “Federal Assistance Only” or “All Awards.” While both categories must still mail the original signed copy of the notarized letter to the Federal Service Desk within 30 days of account activation, having that letter on file before the registration is activated will no longer be required.
- The Catalog of Federal Assistance (CFDA) as many have known it for years, no longer exists. It is now called “Assistance Listings” and is housed at a site called beta.SAM.gov. The federal General Services Administration is merging 10 “legacy” sites into one system and the CFDA is one of those legacy sites.
- Why, you might wonder, is there now a site called “beta.SAM.gov?” Here’s the answer posted in the FAQs: GSA decided to use the term beta when naming beta.SAM.gov to distinguish it from the current legacy SAM.gov site. While parts of the site are official, others are demonstration only and continue to be supported on one of our original websites. The original websites will be gradually migrated to the beta site. When the functionality from an original site has been migrated, the site will be a candidate for retirement. The original sites will co-exist with beta.SAM.gov until they are retired. Once the original SAM.gov site has retired, this site will be renamed “SAM.gov.”
- It’s been six months now since applicants have been required to use the Grants.gov Workspace application to submit proposals. If you haven’t submitted a federal proposal in the past six months but plan to in the future, dive in now. Take the tutorials and get lined up to use Workspace.
“To compete effectively within the dynamic environment of federal grant funding, you’ve got to keep up with changes,” said Floersch. These few examples point out why staying alert is a win-or-lose factor. © Copyright 2018 The Grantsmanship Center.