Before You Apply
Before applying for grants, make sure to get your house in order by completing these pre-requisites well in advance of submitting a grant application. These are usually one-time or once-a-year steps, but do not delay as it may take several weeks to complete.
System for Award Management (SAM)
Any city applying for federal funding needs an active SAM registration and becomes an entity in the SAM system.
Registration and validation are required to obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) number - more on this below. Also, if your city only plans to be a subgrantee, you may only need a UEI, not SAM registration.
Check status: Entity Registration Status
Renewal: Your city must renew its registration every 365 days to remain active. This takes 5 minutes, and you can make updates to your registration anytime or during renewal.
New registration: This can take an average of 7-10 business days to process. Start now!
Validation: Once your entity (city) is registered, it must be validated. This step is to confirm the correct legal business name and physical address of the city; additional documentation may be required.
SAM registration is free; beware of scammers.
Unique Entity Identifier
All federal grant recipients must acquire a UEI number through SAM.gov. The UEI is how your city identifies itself to the federal government.
If you have an active SAM registration, you already have a UEI. See: Where do I go on SAM.gov to view, manage, or deactivate an existing entity registration?
Grant sub-awardees may only need a UEI, not SAM registration. See What's the difference between only getting a Unique Entity ID and registering your entity?
As of April 4, 2022, the DUNS number has been replaced by the UEI and all applicants, current grantees and subgrantees must use UEI on all grant applications and reporting forms. See DUNS to Unique Entity ID (SAM) Transition.
This is where individuals and organizations (i.e. cities) can search and apply for federal grants. Creating a grants.gov account for your municipal entity is a one-time but critical step to accessing and administering grants.
The Grants.gov Community Blog has quick-read and how-to articles to assist with different issues including Grant Writing Basics and What Is a Grant?. If you are new to Grants.gov, here are some articles to get you started: