CHALLENGE AMERICA: How to Apply

NOTICE: The System for Award Management (SAM) will be offline from April 1, 2022 at 8:00 p.m. ET through April 4, 2022 at 9:00 a.m. ET. See sam.gov for more information.

Submitting an application is a multi-step process:

  • Register with Login.gov, SAM 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.
  • 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, budget information).

Login.gov, SAM, Grants.gov (Part 1), and the NEA’s Applicant Portal (Part 2) are 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.

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All Applicants: Getting Registered

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.

Register in the following order:

  • Login.gov
  • SAM
  • Grants.gov

Both SAM and Grants.gov will require you to use your Login.gov username and password to log in to their sites.

Login.gov Registration

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.

SAM Registration

Currently, a Duns and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number is required by the federal government to register your organization with SAM.

On April 4, 2022, the federal government will switch from using the DUNS number to a new 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.

Organizations without a SAM registration:

  • Prior to April 4, 2022: You will need a DUNS number to register with SAM. You will be assigned a UEI as part of the SAM registration process.
  • On or after April 4, 2022: You will be assigned a UEI by SAM as part of SAM’s registration process. You will no longer need a DUNS number to register with SAM.
  • Go to SAM Entity Registration to get started.

Organizations already registered with SAM:

  • A UEI will automatically be assigned to your organization by SAM. The UEI will be visible in your organization’s 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.

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. 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.

Grants.gov Registration

New Applicants:

  • 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 separate a 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.

Returning Applicants:

  • 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.

Registration 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 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 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. 

All Applicants: Go to the Grant Opportunity Package

Access the Grant Opportunity Package with the Application for Federal Domestic Assistance/Short Organization Form on Grants.gov by clicking on the link below:

CLICK HERE
Funding Opportunity Number: 2022NEA01CA

  1. Clicking the link above will take you directly to the pre-populated application package in Grants.gov.
  2. The Grants.gov “View Grant Opportunity” screen will open, click the red “Apply” button.
  3. 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 Manager or Authorized Organization Representative (AOR). See more information on participant roles.
  4. After logging in, to create a Workspace application:
    1. Fill in the Application Filing Name field, then
    2. Click the Create Workspace button.
  5. 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 Instructions:

Full instructions on how to complete both Part 1 and Part 2 of the application can be found in this PDF document.

Instructions for completing Part 1 and Part 2 (PDF)