CHALLENGE AMERICA: Using Grants.gov

Register or Renew/Verify Registration with Grants.gov

NOTE: Applicants are required to change their Grants.gov passwords every 60 days. See www.grants.gov for more details on requirements for Usernames and Passwords.

It is your organization's responsibility to create and maintain a regularly updated registration with Grants.gov. This includes registration with the System for Award Management (SAM), where your organization's information must be renewed annually. Finalize a new or renew an existing registration at least two weeks before the application deadline. This should allow you time to resolve any issues that may arise with Grants.gov or SAM. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in your inability to submit your application.

If your organization is not yet registered, go to Grants.gov's Get Registered. Allow a minimum of two weeks for this multi-step, one-time process. If your organization already has registered, renew your registration with SAM and verify that your registration with Grants.gov is current.

If you have problems with registration:

  • SAM Federal Service Desk: Call 1-866-606-8220 or see the information posted on the SAM website at SAM User Help.
  • Grants.gov Contact Center: Call 1-800-518-4726, e-mail support@grants.gov, or consult the information posted on the Grants.gov website at Help. The Grants.gov Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Maintain documentation (with dates) of your efforts to register or renew at least two weeks before the deadline.

You do not need to complete the registration process to download the application package and begin to prepare your material (see below). However, you will need your Grants.gov Username and Password that you obtain during the registration process to submit your application.

Download the Application Package

  1. Verify your softwareYou must have a version of Adobe Reader that is supported by Grants.gov installed on your computer before you download your application package from Grants.gov. Non-compatible versions of Adobe Reader or other Adobe products will lead to errors and prevent you from submitting your application. If more than one computer will be involved in the preparation of the application package, ensure that the same version of Adobe Reader is used.Please go to "Download Software" to see the compatible versions of Adobe Reader or to download and install Adobe Reader.
  2. Access the application package on Grants.gov by clicking on the link below:
    DOWNLOAD[Funding Opportunity Number 2013NEA01CAFT]          

    This will bring you to the "Selected Grant Applications for Download" screen.

    Download the application package and follow the instructions below. It is not necessary to download the instructions from Grants.gov as you will merely be directed back to the instructions in this document.

  3. When you download the application package, the Grants.gov "Grant Application Package" screen will open. Click on the "Save" button at the top of the form and save the application package to a location on your computer or network where you can find it readily. Save your application each time you work on it. You will get the message: "The File already exists. Replace existing file?" Click "Yes" to ensure that you always save the most recent version.
  4. In the "Mandatory Documents" box, you will see four forms. You must move these forms to the “Mandatory Documents for Submission” box before you can open them. Once moved, the four forms merge into a single document. You can access each form by clicking on it to highlight it and then clicking on the "Open Form" box OR you can scroll down your screen and you will come to each form in succession.The forms are:
    • Application for Federal Domestic Assistance/Short Organizational Form
      (SF-424)
      : This form asks for basic information about your organization and project. Complete this form first. Data entered here will populate fields of other forms where possible. See instructions for completing this form below.
    • Project/Performance Site Location(s) Form: This form collects information about the primary site location where the project will be performed. See instructions for completing this form below.
    • NEA Organization & Project Profile Form: This form asks for some additional information about your organization and project. See instructions
      for completing this form below
      .
    • Attachments Form: This is not a form in the conventional sense, but rather a place to attach additional items (e.g., your application narrative and the Project Budget Form) that must be included for your Grants.gov application package to be considered complete. See instructions for completing this form below.

Submit Your Electronic Application

  1. Check the size of your electronic application. The total size should not exceed 10 MB.
  2. To begin the submission process, click the "Save & Submit" button. [This button will not become active (and turn from light to dark gray) until you have saved your application with all required fields completed. Clicking this button will prompt you to save your application package one last time. When asked if you want to replace the existing file, click "Yes." You will then be reconnected to Grants.gov and the Internet.] You will be prompted to provide your Grants.gov Username and Password that you obtained during registration.
  3. Click the "Login" button. This will bring you to the "Application Submission Verification and Signature" screen, which provides a summary of the Funding Opportunity for which you are applying. Click the "Sign and Submit Application" button to complete the process. Be certain that you are satisfied with your application before you click this button. No revisions to your application are possible through Grants.gov once it is submitted.If you have difficulty submitting, go to Adobe Reader Error Messages or Applicant Resources for several tools and documents to help you.
  4. Ensure that your application was validated and accepted by the Grants.gov system. Go to Track My Application to track the validation and progress of your application submission through Grants.gov. After the Arts Endowment retrieves your application from Grants.gov, log in to the Grants.gov system by using your Username and Password to receive your Agency Tracking Number (this will be the Arts Endowment-assigned application number).

REMINDER: After submission of your application to Grants.gov, you must submit certain items (detailed in "Step 6: Prepare and submit work samples electronically" below) for your application to be considered complete.

Additional Help

For additional help on how to use Grants.gov, please see the Grants.gov website at Help. You also can send e-mail to the Grants.gov Contact Center at support@grants.gov or call them at 1-800-518-4726, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For specific help on how to complete your application, please review the instructions in these guidelines including the Frequently Asked Questions, or contact the Challenge America staff at fastrack@arts.gov or call 202/682-5700