FNS Discretionary Grants

Last Modified: 05/16/2014

This page provides an overview of the processes and activities associated with FNS' discretionary grant opportunities. Please note that grants administration in the Federal Government is undergoing a major technological advance. As you read this, arrangements are being made for all Federal grant applications to be submitted centrally through electronic means. Within the Department of Agriculture, FNS is one of the first agencies attempting to implement this process.

The Application Process

The entire FNS grant application process is described and the necessary forms are available from another page:

Helpful information to consider when completing a grant application can be found at:

Announcements -- Solicitations for Applications

FNS announces discretionary grant opportunities on Fedgrants.gov. Fedgrants.gov is the centralized system for grant announcements for the entire Federal Government. At some point Fedgrants.gov will become part of Grants.gov.

Grants.gov is the centralized system for applying for Federal grants. This system includes the functionality to sign up for notification of grant opportunities, browse available opportunities and apply electronically. This system is not complete but is in operation; Agencies are working to acquire the necessary capabilities.

FNS announces grant availability at various times throughout the year. The status of FNS' grant opportunities can be found on our solicitations web pages:

  • Solicitations open -- Grants awaiting applications
  • Solicitations closed -- Grant applications being evaluated at this time

The Award Process

FNS carefully and fairly evaluates the grant applications of all eligible grantees. After selections are made, applicants are generally notified within 60-90 days of the closing date of the announcement. Applicants will need to confirm that they accept the award and terms of the grant award.

Terminology

There are many terms of art in the grants management field. FNS has compiled a list of these terms on a separate page. If there are others you think should be added, please send them to our FM Web Page Coordinator:

Administrative Responsibilities

Compliance with cost principles

Grantees must use care in the administration of Federal funds. The Office of Management and Budget determines the policies regarding allowable and unallowable costs for grant funds. Grantees should familiarize themselves with documents called “OMB Circulars” which affect their use of Federal funds. The OMB Circulars relating to the grants are:

  • A-102, Grants and Cooperative Agreements With State and Local Governments
  • A-110, Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Other Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals and Other Non-Profit Organizations

These and all other Circulars can be found on the OMB website at

Audit

Individual Grantees may be subject to the Single Audit Act if they receive Federal funds in excess of $300,000. To learn more about the single audit process, click on the Frequently Asked Questions link on the Federal Single-Audit Clearing House website.