CHALLENGE AMERICA: How to Apply
Submitting an application is a multi-step process:
- Register with Login.gov, the System for Award Management (SAM) at Sam.gov, and Grants.gov or renew/verify these registrations.
- Part 1: Submit to Grants.gov the “Application for Federal Domestic Assistance/Short Organization Form.” This is a brief form that will collect very basic information about your organization. A direct link to the Grants.gov Opportunity Package is included further down this on this page.
- Part 2: Complete the “Grant Application Form (GAF)” and upload items through the NEA’s Applicant Portal. This web form is where you will enter the majority of your application material (e.g., project description, timelines, and budget information).
Login.gov, SAM, Grants.gov (Part 1), and the NEA’s Applicant Portal (Part 2) are all separate online systems.
Instructions for Part 1 and Part 2, including application deadlines and a list of all the application questions, can be found at the bottom of the page.
All Applicants: Registration and Renewal
Applying for a federal grant for the first time? See here.
Register with Login.gov, SAM, and Grants.gov or renew/verify these registrations
Before applying, your organization must create and maintain up-to-date registrations with Login.gov, the System for Award Management (SAM) at SAM.gov, and Grants.gov. Registering and maintaining these accounts is always FREE.
These registrations can take several weeks to finalize, so begin this process early! Registrations with Login.gov, SAM, and Grants.gov must be active for you to submit your application. Finalize your registrations well before the application deadline. This should allow you time to resolve any issues that may arise.
We recommend that you register in the following order:
Both SAM and Grants.gov will require you to use your Login.gov username and password to log in to their sites.
Go to Create an account to set up your Login.gov account. This account will allow you to access many government websites, including both SAM and Grants.gov. Important:
You must use a unique-to-you email address for Login.gov (for example: email@example.com). This should not be an email account that is shared by multiple people or an account affiliated with a particular job role (for example: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Go to SAM Entity Registration to get started on a new registration, or to renew/check the status of an existing registration.
Your SAM registration must be current at the time a grant is made, and throughout the life of the award. SAM registrations, once activated, can take a day or more to be visible in Grants.gov. Verify your SAM registration well ahead of the application deadline.
When registering/renewing your SAM account, you must select “Yes” when completing the “Representations & Certifications” section. All awardees are required to have these representations & certifications in order to receive an award.
Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)
To apply for federal funds, organizations must have a Unique Entity Identifier, also known as a “UEI.” The UEI is a 12-character alpha numeric value that will be assigned by SAM for free during the registration process. Organizations can find their UEI in their SAM record.
If you have difficulty locating the UEI, contact SAM at 1-866-606-8220 or see the help section of SAM’s website.
- If your organization is not yet registered with Grants.gov, go to Organization Registration, after setting up your Login.gov account, and registering with SAM.
- During the Grants.gov registration process, you will be asked to set up a separate username and password for Grants.gov.
- After creating your Grants.gov account, you may link your Grants.gov and Login.gov accounts.
- After linking accounts, you will use your Login.gov credentials each time you sign in to Grants.gov.
- If your organization already has registered with Grants.gov, renew your registration with SAM and verify that your registration with Grants.gov is current.
- If you have not already linked your Grants.gov and Login.gov accounts, you will be prompted to link your accounts when you click the “login” button on Grants.gov.
You must complete the Grants.gov registration process to access the Part 1 application package (see below). You will need the Login.gov username and password that you obtain during the registration process to submit your application, and you won’t be able to submit your application unless your SAM registration is active and up-to-date.
Login.gov, SAM, and Grants.gov Help
The NEA does not have access to your Login.gov, SAM, or Grants.gov accounts. If you have any questions about or need assistance with these sites, including questions regarding electronic accessibility, contact them directly:
- Login.gov Help: Consult the information posted in their Help Center, or use their online form to submit a question.
- SAM Federal Service Desk: Call 1-866-606-8220 or see the information posted on the SAM website at SAM Help.
- Grants.gov Contact Center: Call 1-800-518-4726, email email@example.com, 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.
Part 1: Go to the Grant Opportunity Package
Access the Grant Opportunity Package for Part 1 with the Application for Federal Domestic Assistance/Short Organization Form on Grants.gov by clicking on the link below:
GO TO GRANT OPPORTUNITY PACKAGE
Clicking the link above will take you directly to the pre-populated application package in Grants.gov.
The Grants.gov “View Grant Opportunity” screen will open, click the red “Apply” button.
You will be prompted to log in. In order to create the Workspace application, you must be logged into Grants.gov with a participant role of either Workspace Manageror Authorized Organization Representative (AOR). See more information on participant roles.
After logging in, to create a Workspace application:
- Fill in the Application Filing Name field with your organization name, then
- Click the Create Workspace button.
Afterwards, you will be directed to the Manage Workspace page, where you can begin working on the application.
Learn more about using Grants.gov’s Workspace.
Application Questions and Instructions:
Full instructions on how to complete both Part 1 and Part 2, including the application questions, and a link to the NEA Applicant Portal for Part 2, can be found in this PDF document.