OUR TOWN: Part 1 - Submit the SF-424 to Grants.gov for Knowledge Building Projects

These are expired guidelines. New guidelines will be posted in May, 2019.

Complete and submit the SF-424 (Application for Federal Domestic Assistance/Short Organizational Form) to Grants.gov.

Register or renew/verify Grants.gov and SAM.gov registration | Download the SF-424 | Fill-out the SF-424 | Submit the SF-424 to Grants.gov | Track Your Application

Part 1 - Submit SF-424 to Grants.gov August 9, 2018 by 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time
Part 2 - Submit Materials to Applicant Portal August 14, 2018 at 9:00 a.m., Eastern Time, to August 21, 2018 at 11:59 p.m., Eastern Time

Note: To allow time to resolve any problems you might encounter, we strongly recommend that you register/renew your Grants.gov/SAM registration by at least July 19, 2018 and submit the SF-424 to Grants.gov by at least July 30, 2018.

UPDATE: SAM.gov notarized letter process changes

Entities who create or update their registration in SAM.gov will no longer need to have an approved Entity Administrator notarized letter on file before their registration is activated. The timing of when this process change is effective (June 11 or 29) will depend upon the type of registration you have. See here.

Entities seeking Federal Assistance still must mail the original, signed copy of the notarized letter to the Federal Service Desk. Failure to do so within 30 days of activation may result in the registration no longer being active.

Unfortunately, the NEA has no control over the SAM requirements and we are unable to allow extensions to posted deadlines due to delays caused by the SAM requirements.

1. Register or renew/verify Grants.gov and SAM.gov registration:

Before submitting the SF-424, your organization must register or renew/verify its current registration with both Grants.gov and the System for Award Management (SAM). Failure to comply with these requirements may result in your inability to submit your SF-424.

  • Go to Grants.gov's Organization Registration to create a new organization registration.
  • 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 Support. The Grants.gov Contact Center is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • SAM Federal Service Desk: Call 1-866-606-8220 or see the information posted on the SAM website at SAM User Help.
  • Registration can take several weeks. Exceptions to the deadline will be considered only for those issues related to registration or renewal. Maintain documentation (with dates) of your efforts to register or renew by at least July 19 with the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS), System for Award Management (SAM), or Grants.gov.
  • In addition to these instructions, you should periodically check the Grants.gov blog or the Grants.gov homepage for tips, updates, and alerts.

2. Download the SF-424:

  • First, verify your software. You must have a version of Adobe Reader that is supported by Grants.gov installed on your computer before you download the application package containing the SF-424 from Grants.gov. Please go to "Download Software"to see the compatible versions of Adobe Reader or to download and install Adobe Reader. Please see important information about versions of Adobe Reader DC here.

  • Access the SF-424 on Grants.gov by clicking on the link for your deadline:


    [Funding Opportunity Number 2018NEA01OT]

    When you download the application package, the Grants.gov “View Grant Opportunity” screen will open. Choose “Apply” and follow the screens from there. You will be prompted to apply using a Grants.gov Workspace. If you want to learn more about using Grants.gov’s Workspace, see here

    Look for the “Application Filing Name” field above the “Create Workspace” button. Enter the legal name of your organization here and then click the “Create Workspace” button. Please note that you will submit the substantial part of your application during Part 2.

3. Fill out the SF-424:

NOTE: All asterisked (*) items and yellow fields on this form are required and must be completed before you will be able to submit the form. Do not type in all capital letters when completing the form. Enter information directly into the form. Do not copy from an old SF-424 or another document and paste into the form.

1. Name of Federal Agency: Pre-populated.

2. Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance Number: Pre-populated.

3. Date Received: This will be filled automatically with the date that you submit your SF-424; leave blank.

4. Funding Opportunity Number: Pre-populated.

5. Applicant Information:

a. Legal Name: The name provided here must be the applicant's legal name as it appears in the current IRS 501(c)(3) status letter or in the official document that identifies the organization as a unit of state or local government, or as a federally recognized tribal community or tribe. (Do not use your organization's popular name, if different.)

If you are a parent organization that is applying on behalf of an eligible independent component, do not list the name of the independent component here. You will be asked for that information later.

b. Address:

Enter the same address that you use for your SAM.gov registration.

Use Street 1 for your street address or post office box number, whichever is used for your U.S. Postal Service mailing address. Street 2 is not a required field and should be used only when a Suite or Room Number or other similar information is a necessary part of your address. Do not use Street 2 to give a second address for your organization.

In the Zip/Postal Code box, organizations in the United States should enter the full 9-digit zip code that was assigned by the U.S. Postal Service. If you do not know your full zip code, you may look it up at www.usps.com/zip4/

d. Type of Applicant: Select the item that best characterizes your organization from the menu in the first drop down box. Additional choices are optional.

e. Employer/Taxpayer Identification Number (EIN/TIN): Enter the 9-digit number that was assigned by the Internal Revenue Service; do not use a Social Security Number.

f. Organizational DUNS: All organizational applicants for federal funds must have a DUNS number, which is recognized as the universal standard for identifying organizations worldwide. The number that you enter here must agree with the number (either 9 or 13 digits) that you used with the SAM (System for Award Management) as part of the Grants.gov registration. Otherwise, your SF-424 will not be validated by Grants.gov and will be rejected.

g. Congressional District: Enter the number of the Congressional District where the applicant organization is located. Use the following format: 2 character State Abbreviation-3 character District Number. For example, if your organization is located in the 5th Congressional District of California, enter "CA-005." If your state has a single At-Large Representative or your territory has a single Delegate, enter your 2 character state/territory abbreviation and "-000." If you need help determining your district, go to www.house.gov and use the "Find Your Representative" tool.

6. Project Information:

a. Project Title: Provide a brief descriptive title for your proposed project. For example: To support An Exhibition of the Works of Georgia O'Keeffe.

b. Project Description: In two or three brief sentences, clearly describe your specific project, not your organization. Begin the first sentence with "To support" and include the name of the project. Follow this with up to two more sentences that describe the type of project, the target population that will be served, and where the project will take place during the requested period of performance. For examples, see Recent Grants.

Please note:

This field on the form has a character limit of 1,000, including spaces. Even if you have less than 1,000 characters, Grants.gov may translate special characters (e.g., apostrophes) in a way that will cause your SF-424 to be rejected. This can happen if you "cut and paste" from an old SF-424 or another document into the form. We strongly encourage you to write a succinct project description and double check the number of characters.

c. Proposed Project Start Date/End Date: Enter the beginning and ending dates for your requested period of performance, i.e., the span of time necessary to plan, execute, and close out your proposed project. The start date should be the first day of the month, and the end date should be the last day of the month. Our support of a project may start on or after July 1, 2019. Generally, a period of performance of up to two years is allowed. Your budget should include only the activities and costs incurred during the requested period of performance.

7. Project Director:

Provide the requested information for the Project Director. Select a Prefix (e.g., Ms., Mr.) even though this is not a required field.

Provide contact information, including an e-mail address, that will be valid through the announcement date for your category.

Due to restrictions from the Department of Homeland Security we are not able to send emails to alias addresses that forward to another email account. Please do not enter this type of email address.

8. Primary Contact/Grant Administrator:

Provide the requested information for the individual who should be contacted on all matters involving this application and the administration of any grant that may be awarded. For colleges and universities, this person is often a Sponsored Research, Sponsored Programs, or Contracts and Grants Officer. Select a Prefix even though this is not a required field. For the Telephone number field, use the following format: 000-000-0000.

In some organizations, particularly smaller ones, this individual may be the same as the Project Director. If this is the case, you may check the "Same as Project Director" box and not repeat information that you have already provided in Item 7. (If the Primary Contact/Grant Administrator is the same as the Authorizing Official, please complete all items under both 8 and 9 even though there will be some repetition.)

Due to restrictions from the Department of Homeland Security we are not able to send emails to alias addresses that forward to another email account. Please do not enter this type of email address.

9. Authorized Representative:

Enter the requested information for the AOR (Authorized Organization Representative) who is authorized to submit this application to Grants.gov. Select a Prefix even though this is not a required field. The AOR must have the legal authority to obligate your organization (e. g., be a senior member of the staff such as an Executive Director, Director of Development). See specific requirements for who can serve as an AOR for colleges and universities. Contractors or administrative support staff cannot serve as an AOR. By clicking the "I Agree" box at the top of Item 9, this individual will be certifying compliance with relevant federal requirements on your organization's behalf. (These requirements can be found in the "Assurance of Compliance" section of these guidelines.) The "Signature of Authorized Representative" and "Date Signed" boxes will be populated by Grants.gov upon submission of the SF-424.

Due to restrictions from the Department of Homeland Security we are not able to send emails to alias addresses that forward to another email account. Please do not enter this type of email address.

4. Submit the SF-424 to Grants.gov:

  • To begin the submission process, log on to Grants.gov and go to the Forms tab on the Manage My Workspace page. Click the “Sign and Submit” button, under the Forms tab. You will be prompted to provide your Grants.gov Password and to click the “Sign and Submit” button again.
  • Be certain that you are satisfied with your SF-424 before you click this button. No revisions to your SF-424 are possible through Grants.gov once it is submitted.
  • Once you complete and submit your application, you will see a confirmation screen explaining that your submission is being processed. Retain the Grants.gov Tracking Number that you receive in the application submission confirmation screen.
  • If you wait until the day of the deadline to submit your SF-424, you are taking a significant risk! We strongly suggest that you submit your SF-424 no later than July 30 to give yourself ample time to resolve any problems you might encounter.
  • We will not accept late SF-424s or late SF-424s that are the result of user error, including failure to verify that your SF-424 was validated and accepted by the Grants.gov system through Track My Application. Exceptions may be made if you can provide documentation dating from July 30 that, in the judgment of the National Endowment for the Arts, indicates a technological failure on the part of Grants.gov. We will consider and address your situation as appropriate.
  • Failure to successfully submit the SF-424 form through Grants.gov will make you ineligible to complete Part 2 of the application process..

5. Track Your Application:

  • Verify that your SF-424 was validated and accepted by the Grants.gov system. Go to Track My Applicationto confirm the validation and track the progress of your SF-424 submission through Grants.gov. Do not wait until the day of the deadline to verify your submission in case you encounter any difficulties.

6. Prepare to Complete Step 2:

  • Read the Part 2 instructions to learn about how and when to access the applicant portal to fill out and submit the NEA Grant Application Form and upload items to the applicant portal.
  • To access the applicant portal, you’ll need your Agency Tracking Number/NEA Application Number. The NEA assigns the number to your application 1-2 business days after you submit your SF-424.

Additional Help

For additional help on how to use Grants.gov, please see the Grants.gov website at Support. You also may 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.