2005 Guide to Grants: A Grants Glossary

Abstract: A brief summary of the proposed project, frequently limited to one page. Abstracts should give a brief description of the applicant, clearly state the goal orpurpose to be supported by the grant and provide a statement of need. Also known as a Project Summary or Executive Summary.

Audit: A formal review of a grantee’s use of grant funds. Audits can be financial or programmatic. Financial audits detail expenditures, etc. Programmaticaudits focus on project successes, failures, benchmarks, milestones,etc. An outside reviewer or consultant generally conducts audits. In many cases, auditing fees can be built into grant budgets. Many grant programs do not require grantees to perform audits, but almost allgrant programs require some form of reporting.
Authorizing agency: The agency administering the grant program.
Block grants: Funds distributed on a formula basis to states, localities and municipalities, generally to address a specific issue or need. State and local governments are then able to determine the unique needs of their constituencies and distribute the funds accordingly.
Bricks and mortar: The supplies needed for construction or renovation of a building or other structure: i.e., wiring, concrete, plumbing, lumber, etc.
Bridge awards: Grants awarded once the initial grant has expired to help grantees achieve a project-related goal or to continue the project until other funding canbe secured.
Call for proposals (CFP):The announcement made by the authorizing agency requesting applications from potential grant recipients. CFPs generally contain program objectives, guidelines, eligibility, budget, award limitations andspecific instructions for proposal submission. CFPs should always becarefully read and precisely followed. Also known as a Request forProposal (RFP).
Challenge grant: A grant that requires the grantee to raise a pre-determined amount of dollars from other sources in order to receive the grant. Challenge grants generally come with specific terms regarding when the additional dollars must be raised and for what the additional dollars can be used.
Competitive grants:Grants that are open to any applicant who meets the eligibility requirements. Competitive grants are generally announced through RFPs or CFPs, and are frequently reviewed by committees often composed of volunteers who specialize in the subject area. The competitiveness of a grant program can frequently be determined by comparing the dollars available for expenditure through the program in that fiscal year to the award limit or ceiling, as stated in the RFP.
Consortium: A cooperative arrangement entered into by like-minded organizations intent onpursuing a common goal. Many grant programs favor consortiums due tothe likelihood that resource-sharing will lead to a broader impact and better “bang for their buck.” Even if the grant is to be awarded to the consortium, one organization withinthe group must serve as the lead agency and assume responsibility for administrative oversight of the grant.
Cost-sharing: While“cost-sharing” and “matching” are often used interchangeably, many agencies and institutions make the following distinction:“Cost-sharing” means that some of the project costs must be assumed by the institution requesting funding, while “matching requirements” mean that a certain ratio of funds will be acquired, spent or reserved in proportion to the award.
Direct costs: All costs directly and solely applicable to the proposed project. These can include salaries, travel expenses, equipment purchases or bricks and mortar.
Drawdown: The request for dollars submitted by a grant recipient to the authorizing agency once a grant has been awarded and, according to the terms of the grant, periodically until the close of the award. Drawdowns are generally administered by an organization’s financial or business office.
Eligibility: The criteria an applicant must meet in order to apply for the program. Eligibility is generally determined by organization type (e.g. healthcare organization, K-12 schools, law enforcement agency). Regional location,population or previous awards may also affect one’s eligibility.
Formula grants: Grants distributed based on a calculation to address a specific issue or need.The calculations, or formulas, are frequently based at least in part on population. Other factors, depending upon the purpose of the grant, may include crime statistics or poverty indexes.
Grant: An award made by a foundation, organization, corporation, governmental or non-governmental agency. Grants normally fund specific projects, initiatives or needs.They generally have a pre-specified time cycle (i.e., funding will be provided on an annual basis for one, two, three or four years).
Grantee: The recipient of a grant. The grantee will be listed on the award letter or notice and may be an institution or an individual, depending upon the criteria and purpose of the grant program.
Indirect costs: The costs incurred through a project that are not directly related to it, such as costs related to administrative support or the use and subsequent deterioration of an institution’s physical plant. Indirect costs can sometimes be recovered through a grant budget, often through apercentage of the direct costs. Some federal agencies refer to indirect costs as facilities and administration, or F&A. Indirect costs are also known as overhead.
In-kind match: Sometimes referred to as a “soft” match, in-kind matches are goods, services or other things of value that will directly support the requested project and are being provided through sources outside of the funder. If theRFP specifies that applicants must match a percentage of the grant andthat they can do so through in-kind matches, the value of the in-kind services should be determined based on fair market prices and represented in the proposal budget.
Lead agency: The agency or organization responsible for grant administrative oversight and proposal submission in a consortium.
Letter of intent: A letter submitted prior to a proposal stating an organization’s intent to apply to a grant program. Requirements for letters of intent vary,but many federal agencies require only a statement of intent. Letters of intent help authorizing agencies to fine-tune their review process prior to the proposal deadline.
Matching costs: See cost-sharing.
OMB circulars: Office of Management and Budget documents detailing instructions to federal agencies on the fiscal administration of grant programs, among other items. OMBs help grant applicants by outlining fiscal expectations and requirements inherent in any federal grant program. Of particular interest are OMB Circular A-102 (Grants and Cooperative Agreements With State and Local Governments), OMB Circular A-133 (Audits of States,Local Governments and Non-Profit Organizations),OMB Circular A-87(Cost Principles for State, Local and Indian Tribal Governments), OMB Circular A-21 (Cost Principles for Educational Institutions), OMB Circular A-110 (Uniform Administrative Requirements for Grants and Other Agreements with Institutions of Higher Education, Hospitals and Other Nonprofit Organizations), and OMB Circular A-122 (Cost Principles for Nonprofit Organizations).
Operating support: Support for the basic needs of a project or organization to maintain its activities. Also known as general support.
Pass-through grants:Grants awarded to a grantee, such as a state administrative agency,with the requirement that the majority, if not all, of the funds then be distributed to other, generally smallerorganizations or agencies.
Program/project director:The individual responsible for oversight of the grant-funded initiative. In some cases, grants are awarded directly to the individual directing the project, but they are frequently awarded to the individual’s agency or organization. Program directors aregenerally charged with reporting responsibilities. Research grant programs generally refer to the program director as the principal investigator or PI.
Program officer: The individual at the authorizing agency responsible for administrative oversight of the grant program. Program officers are often extremely helpful throughout the grant application process, if applicants have thoroughly read the RFP and all other available materials, yet still have additional questions.
Proposal: The document(s)submitted by a grant applicant, generally in response to an RFP. While proposals vary in length and content, depending upon the requirements of the grant program, they generally include a proposal narrative,explaining the needs, goals, implementation plan, and evaluation plan for the proposed initiative, a budget, and a budget narrative, which provides a clear and concise description of every line item on the budget.
Request for Proposals: See Call for Proposals (CFP).
Reports: Most grant programs require recipients to submit annual and final reports throughout the life of the grant. Annual reports generally include a narrative explaining successes, benchmarks achieved, the progress ofthe grant-funded initiative and a financial report outlining expenditures to date. Final reports generally include evaluative information covering all years of the grant’s life, as well as plans for continuation and dissemination and a final budget outlining all expenses year-by-year.
State Administrative Agency (SAA):In pass-through grants, the agency responsible for accepting federal dollars and distributing them to localities and municipalities.
Seed Money: The money required to launch a new project or initiative. Also known as start-up funds. HST

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