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Grants Terminology

Last Modified: 08/30/2013

The follow are provided as a courtesy to potential grant applicants.

Applicant is the entity requesting a grant.

Application notice is published on fedgrants.gov and invites applications for one or more discretionary grant competitions. It provides basic program and fiscal information on each competition, informs potential applicants when and where they can obtain applications, and cites the deadline date for a particular competition.

Application package contains the application notice for one or more programs, and all the information and forms needed to apply for a discretionary grant.

Appropriations legislation is a law passed by Congress to provide a certain level of funding for a grant program in a given year.

Assurances are a variety of requirements, found in different Federal laws, regulations, and executive orders, which applicants agree in writing to observe as a condition of receiving federal assistance.

Authorizing legislation is a law passed by Congress that establishes or continues a grant program.

Authorized Representative is the official within an applicant organization with the legal authority to give assurances, make commitments, enter into contracts, and execute such documents on behalf of the applicant as may be required by a grant maker. The signature of the Authorized Representative certifies that commitments made on grant proposals will be honored and ensures that the applicant agrees to conform to the grant maker's regulations, guidelines, and policies. Note that the Authorized Representative is not necessarily the Project Director.

Budget period is an interval of time into which a project period is divided for budgetary purposes.

Budget narrative explains the budget. Explanations can include the derivation of amounts (for example, a $1,250 budget item derives from 100 people at five meetings each using a $2.50 expendable item), the itemization of totals, the purpose of purchased supplies and services, and the justification of the size of salaries, fringe benefits, and indirect costs.

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) lists all domestic assistance programs of the Federal Government. It includes information about a program's authorization, fiscal details, accomplishments, regulations, guidelines, eligibility requirements, information contacts, and application and award process. It is maintained by the General Services Administration in both a printed publication and a database.

Certification is a statement, signed by an applicant or grantee as a prerequisite for receiving Federal funds, that it meets or will adhere to certain conditions and/or will undertake or not undertake certain actions.

CFDA number is an identifying number for a Federal assistance program, composed of a unique two-digit prefix to identify the Federal agency (e.g., 10 for the Department of Agriculture), followed by a period and a unique three-digit code for each authorized program.

Competitive review process is used by FNS to select discretionary grant applications for funding, in which applications are scored by subject-area experts and the most highly scored applications are considered for funding.

Deadline date is the date by which a discretionary grant application must be received by the Food and Nutrition Service in order for it to be considered for funding.

Discretionary grant is an award of financial assistance in the form of money by the Federal government to an eligible grantee, usually made on the basis of a competitive review process.

DUNS Number is a nine-digit number assigned to an organization by Dun & Bradstreet. The number does not convey any information about the recipient. A built-in check digit helps assure the accuracy of the DUNS Number. The ninth digit of each number is the check digit, which is mathematically related to the other digits.

Federal Register is a daily compilation of Federal regulations and other Federal agency documents of public interest, which is prepared by the National Archives and Records Administration for public distribution by the Government Printing Office.

FNS stands for the Food and Nutrition Service, an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Funding priorities are a means of focusing a grant competition on the areas in which the agency is particularly interested in receiving applications. Priorities can be absolute, which the applicant must address in order to be considered for funding; competitive, which the applicant has the option of choosing whether or not to address and for which they may receive additional points, or invitational, which the applicant is encouraged but not required to address.

Grantee is an individual or organization that has been awarded financial assistance under one of the agency's grant programs.

Grant Award Notification is an official document signed by the authorized official stating the amount and the terms and conditions of an award for a discretionary grant.

Indirect costs are costs an organization incurs for common or joint objectives that cannot be readily and specifically identified with a particular grant project or other institutional activity. FNS' has compiled a list of websites with helpful indirect cost information and materials.

Indirect cost rate is a percentage established by a Federal department or agency for a grantee organization, which the grantee uses in computing the dollar amount it charges to the grant to reimburse itself for indirect costs incurred in doing the work of the grant project.

Program regulations implement legislation passed by Congress to authorize a specific grant program, and include applicant eligibility criteria, nature of activities funded, selection criteria under which applications will be selected for funding, and other relevant information.

Project period is the total amount of time during which FNS authorizes a grantee to complete the approved work of the project described in the application.