A grant is a formof federal financial assistance that funds ideas and projects to provide public services and stimulate the economy. Grants support critical recovery initiatives, innovative research, and many other programs that help maintain and supplement local governments and groups.
There are many different grants available for many different programs, and these can sometimes be difficult to navigate. Grants.gov provides an easily searchable database. Users can sort by grant category, date posted, due, date, and more. Users can even view grants that are no longer active, a useful tool when conducting research for a grant application.
This site is useful for research department staff who are responsible for locating specific grant opportunities for various groups at their institution, but there are also grants available for individuals. Once a profile is setup in the search database, users can set up notifications for specific types of grants, enabling applicants to get started immediately on their paperwork. Users can also filter through grants manually and use the share feature to send the information to themselves or colleagues for review at a later time.
In addition to being a well-organized database, Grants.gov serves as an educational resource and workspace to facilitate completing applications. On the site, they provide a variety of educational videos, introducing the concept of a grant, what can be done with grant funding, who can apply, and the general process from application to funding.
They also manage a blog and a Twitter feed. On these media sites, subscribers will be sent regular posts containing grant writing tips, new grant posting announcements, site maintenance updates, information about grant funding agencies, deadlines, and more.
In 2017, they opened their Grants.gov application workspace, developed to facilitate group contribution to complete applications. This is an online cloud-based secure online workspace that is ideal for team collaboration. Prior to this system, the used what they called the “legacy PDF”, which was a series of basic fillable PDFs that were difficult to share by edit by more than one individual. On the workspace, multiple users can simultaneously work on a document online, or they can download a PDF, fill it out, and then upload it again to the workspace, where they can be edited by teammates.
Another benefit of an online system is that is works hand in hand with the federal government’s System for Award Management (SAM), which is responsible for verification and distribution of awarded grants, making for a streamlined process from start to finish.