Explanation of Grant and Contracting Terminology

Acquisition is the acquiring of supplies or services by a government agency with appropriated funds through pur­chase or lease.

Applicant is the entity requesting a grant.

Applicant notice is published on Grants.gov and invited 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 is a group of specific forms and documents for a specific funding opportunity which are used to apply for a grant.

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.

Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) is the individual who submits a grant on behalf of a company, organi­zation, institution or government. Only an AOR has the authority to sign and submit grant applications.

Award is financial assistance that provides support or stimulation to accomplish a public purpose. Awards include grants and other agreements in the form or money or property in lieu of money, by a grantor agency to an eligible recipient. The term does not include: technical assistance, which provides services instead of money; other assistance in the form of loans, loan guarantees, interest subsidies, or insurance; direct payments of any kind to individuals; and contracts.

Benefits.gov is a federal website created in 2002 to provide citizens with easy online access to government benefit and assistance programs. Information provided includes on citizen tax filing, federal rulemaking, electronic training, and bene­fit information delivery.

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

Budget period

Budget narrative explains the budget. Explanations can include the derivation of amounts, 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. It can be found on the web at

Certificate of Competency is a certificate issued by the Small Business Administration (SBA) stating that the holder is “responsible” in terms of capability, competency, capacity, credit, integrity, perseverance, and tenacity for the purpose of receiving and performing a specific government contract.

Certified 8(a) Firm is a firm owned and operated by socially and economically disadvantaged individuals and eligible to receive federal contracts under the SBA 8(e) Business Development Program.

Contractor Team Arrangement is an arrangement in which (a) two or more companies form a partnership or joint venture to act as potential prime contractor; or (b) an agreement by a potential prime contractor with one or more other companies to have them act as its subcontractors under a specified government contract or acquisition program.

Cost sharing or matching is the portion of project or program costs not borne by the grantor agency.

Deadline date is the date by which a discretionary grant application must be received by a grantor agency in order for it to be considered for funding.

Discretionary grant is an award of financial assistance in the form of money by a grantor agency 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 (D & B) and required to suc­cessfully transmit electronic on-line federal grant applications.

E-Business Point of Contact (E-Biz POC) is responsible for the administration and management of grant activities in his/her organization. The E-Biz POC authorizes representative of their organization (AOR) to submit grant applications through Grants.gov. An E-Biz POC must also register as an AOR to submit an application.

Emerging Small Business is a small business concern whose size is no greater than 50 percent of the numerical size standard applicable to the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code assigned to a contracting opportunity.

Emerging Small Business

FedBizOpps.gov is the single point-of-entry for commercial vendors and government buyers to post, search, monitor and retrieve opportunities solicited by the entire federal contracting community.

Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) is the body of regulations which is the primary source of authority governing the government procurement process, The FAR, which is published as Chapter 1 of Title 48 of the Code of Federal Regulations, is prepared, issued and maintained under the joint auspices of the Secretary of Defense, the Administrator of General Services Administration, and the Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Federal register is a daily compilation of Federal regulations and other Federal agency documents of public interest including competitive grant proposals prepared by the National Archives and Records Administration.

Funding Opportunity Announcement is a publicly available document by which a federal agency makes known its intentions to award discretionary grants or cooperative agreements, usually as a result of competition for funds. Funding opportunity announcements may be known as program announcements, notices of funding availability, request for pro­posals, solicitations or other names depending on the agency and type of program. Funding opportunity announcements can be found at Grants.gov/FIND and on the internet at the funding agency’s or program’s website.

Funding Opportunity Number is the number that a federal agency assigns to its grant announcement.

Grant is an award of financial assistance, the principal purpose of which is to transfer a thing of value from a grantor agency. A grant is distinguished from a contact, which is used to acquire property or services for the grantor’s direct bene­fit or use.

Grantee is an individual or organization that has been awarded financial assistance by a grantor agency.

Grants.gov is a storefront web portal for use in electronic collection of data (forms and reports) for federal grant-mak­ing agencies through the Grants.gov site (www.grants.gov).

Indirect cost rate is a percentage established by an 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.

Local Government is a local unit of government, including specifically a county, municipality, city, town, township, local public authority, school district, special district, intro-sate district, council of governments, or any other regional or in­terstate entity.

Marketing Partner ID (MPIN) is a personal code that allows you to access federal government applications and acts as your password. You make up the code and register it in SAM. The MPIN must have 9 digits containing at least one alpha character (must be in capital letters) and one number (no spaces or special characters permitted).

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) Code is a code with a maximum of six digits used to classify business establishments. This code will be replacing the Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) code.

Organization is a grant applicant who is submitting a grant on behalf of a company, state, local or tribal government, academic or research institution, not-for-profit, or any other type of institution.

PDF is a file format designed to enable printing and viewing of documents with all their formatting (typefaces, images, layout, etc.) appearing the same regardless of what operating system us used, so a PDF document should look the same on Windows, Macintosh, Linux, OS/2.

PDF document

Point of Contact (POC) is an individual who is designated as the person responsible for authorization and mainte­nance of information on behalf of a registrant, coordinating communication among organizations.

Profile is applicant information stored in the Grants.gov system for the purpose of identifying a user.

Project Period is the period established in the award document during which awarding agency sponsorship begins and ends.

Request for Application (RFA) is a type of solicitation notice in which an organization announces that grant funding is available, and allows researchers and other organizations to present bids on how the funding could be used.

Request for Proposal (RFP) is a solicitation made, often through a bidding process, by an agency or company interested in procurement of a commodity, service or valuable asset, to potential suppliers to submit business proposals.

Small Business Innovative Research (SBIR) is a grant/contract designed to foster technological innovation by small businesses with 500 or fewer employees. The SBIR contract program provides for a three-phased approach to research and development projects: technological feasibility and concept development; the primary research effort; and the conversion of the technology to a commercial application.

Standard Form 424 (SF-424) Series Forms include the following:

SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance cover page)

SF-424A (Budget Information Non-construction Programs)

SF-424B (Assurances Non-construction Programs)

SF-424C (Budget Information Construction Programs)

SF-424D (Assurances Construction Programs)

Third Party In-kind Contributions is the value of non-cash contributions provided by third parties. Third party in-kind contributions may be in the form of real property, equipment, supplies and other expendable property, and the value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the project or program.