Applying for a Federal Grant for the First Time?

Applying for a federal grant is a multi-step process that is always entirely free.

If you are an organization that has not previously applied for a federal grant and plan to apply for an Arts Endowment grant, you must first obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) and register at and

Registering an Organization

Provides general step-by-step directions for organizations that have not applied for a federal grant before, including obtaining a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI), registering with the System Award Management (SAM), and registering with Additional resources for registering are found below. 

Things to Know Before You Apply: Federal Civil Rights and Your Grants Application

Writing an application for grant funding can seem confusing, but we are here to help! On January 26, 2020, the NEA conducted a civil rights webinar about the connection between federal civil rights laws and language in your federal grant application to the National Endowment for the Arts. Learn about federal Civil Rights compliance requirements when applying for a NEA grant and hear guidance to accurately communicate your project description and plan.

Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) Assistance

Your organization must have a Unique Entity Identifier or UEI.

If you are starting the registration process prior to April 4, 2022, your UEI will be a DUNS number. If you don’t have a DUNS number, you can register by filling out a simple online application at the Dun and Bradstreet website or by calling their toll-free number at 1-(866) 705-5711. To apply, you’ll need to know:

  • The legal status of your business (partnership, LLC, corporation, proprietorship)
  • Your business’s legal name
  • The year of establishment
  • Address
  • Phone number
  • Primary products or services
  • Number of employees

Enter the data into the fields online or read it over the phone to complete your registration. The whole process typically only takes a few minutes.

To learn more about the DUNS number, go to the Dun and Bradstreet website.

If you are starting the registration process on or after April 4, 2022, you will not need to obtain a DUNS number. Instead, you will go directly to and they will assign you a UEI for free. The UEI is a 12-character alpha numeric value. Assistance

Registering with can take time; start early! 

Before You Get Started

This page on will help you through the initial steps you need to take before starting registration. has a robust Help page, including a Live Chat option where registrants can get real-time help. Assistance can also be found at the Federal Service Desk (, which is accessible from the Help page. Below are a few useful direct links.

Video Assistance:

Entity Registration - Workspace Navigation

This video provides an overview of the workspace options for users that have access to entity registrations in

Entity Registration – Advanced Search

This video provides information on the search options available for entity registrations in

Additional Resources:

Instructions for registering in


Info on user accounts Assistance Support

Provides support portal, FAQs, grants learning center, and more.

Training Resources and Videos for

Includes videos on how to register with, how to search for a federal grant, intro to applying on, and more.