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Prepare Your Application

Completing a grant application can take 40 hours or more. We want to help you navigate the process.

Where to begin

Before you begin, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I read the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)? Do I understand it?
  • Is my organization eligible to apply, based on the eligibility criteria in the NOFO?
  • Does my organization have the technical expertise, personnel, and financial capacity to successfully implement the project described in the NOFO?
  • Are all my organization’s stakeholders supportive of applying for this grant?
  • Is my organization prepared to successfully implement the project within the budget we're proposing?

Be sure you can answer “yes” to each of these questions. If you can, you’re ready to apply.

How we help you through the process

Our application guides help you prepare and submit your application through

When you apply, you need to fill out an SF-424 application form.

We created a guide for each of these forms:

Note: If you use assistive technology, you may not be able to access information in these files. For help, please email Doretha Dixon or call 301-443-1783.

Remember: these guides give you general HRSA information about the application and submission process. Refer to the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for specific instructions.

Updated requirements in SF-424B & SF-424D

The government made the general certification and representation requirements standard in the following:

  • SF-424B - Assurances - Non-Construction Programs
  • SF-424D - Assurances - Construction Programs

Review Financial Assistance General Certifications and Representations.

On January 1, 2020:

  • The System for Award Management (SAM) began storing the updated common certification and representation requirements.
  • When you apply for federal financial help, you must confirm these requirements through the SAM each year.

How to write a strong application

Applications must be 80 pages or less. So, be brief, but precise as you describe:

  • Goals and objectives
    • Define them clearly
    • Be specific
  • Need
    • The need for the service or activity that the grant will support
    • Your organization's track record in fulfilling that need
  • Response and impact
    • Show how you plan to achieve the program’s purpose
    •  Include supporting data whenever possible
  • Resources and capabilities
    • Elaborate on your organization’s knowledge, staffing, and fiscal stability
    • Explain how these ensure you can carry out your proposal and meet the goals of the grant program
  • Budget
    • A realistic plan that matches your goals and objectives
    • Include a narrative that justifies the costs

Follow our ten tips

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