Learn Key Terminology

Grants.gov provides a comprehensive glossary that can help users understand the terms and acronyms used on Grants.gov. Below are highlights from that glossary.

Application Package

A group of specific forms and documents for a specific funding opportunity, which are used to apply for a grant. The Application Package is the full, downloaded PDF, which includes all of the forms and attachments required to submit the application.

Authorized Organization Representative (AOR)

An AOR submits a grant on behalf of an organization. Only an AOR has the authority to sign and submit grant applications. The AOR must be approved by the E-Biz POC to submit the grant.


Financial assistance that provides support or stimulation to accomplish a public purpose. Awards include grants and other agreements in the form of money — or property in lieu of money — by the federal government to an eligible recipient. Awards are not: technical assistance; other assistance in the form of loans, loan guarantees, interest subsidies, or insurance; direct payments of any kind to individuals; and contracts which are required to be entered into and administered under federal procurement laws and regulations.

Catalog of federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number

The identifying number that a federal program is assigned in the Catalog of federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA).

Cooperative Agreement

An award of financial assistance that is used to enter into the same kind of relationship as a grant; and is distinguished from a grant in that it provides for substantial involvement between the federal agency and the recipient in carrying out the activity contemplated by the award.

Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)

A unique nine-character identification number provided by the commercial company Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). Your organization must have a DUNS number to be eligible to register with Grants.gov.

Discretionary Grant

A grant (or cooperative agreement) for which the federal awarding agency generally may select the recipient from among all eligible recipients, may decide to make or not make an award based on the programmatic, technical, or scientific content of an application, and can decide the amount of funding to be awarded.

E-Business Point of Contact (E-Biz POC)

An E-Business Point of Contact is responsible for the administration and management of grant activities in his/her organization. The E-Biz POC authorizes representatives of their organization to submit grant applications through Grants.gov. There can only be one E-Biz POC per DUNS number. An E-Biz POC must register as an AOR to submit an application. However, the E-Biz POC does not need to also be the AOR for the same application. If the AOR is not the E-Biz POC, then the AOR needs to be approved by the E-Biz POC to submit the grant.

Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA)

A publicly available document by which a federal agency makes known its intentions to award discretionary grants or cooperative agreements, usually as a result of competition for funds. Funding opportunity announcements may also be known as program announcements, notices of funding availability, solicitations, or other names depending on the agency and type of program.

Funding Opportunity Number

The number that a federal agency assigns to its grant announcement.


An organization receiving financial assistance directly from an awarding agency to carry out a project or program.


An award of financial assistance in the form of money, or property in lieu of money, made under an award by a recipient to an eligible subrecipient or by a subrecipient to a lower tier subrecipient. The term includes financial assistance when provided by any legal agreement, even if the agreement is called a contract, but does not include procurement of goods and services nor does it include any form of assistance which is excluded from the definition of award.


The legal entity to which a subaward is made and which is accountable to the recipient for the use of the funds provided.

System for Award Management (SAM)

SAM validates applicant information and electronically shares the secure and encrypted data with the federal agencies' finance offices to facilitate paperless payments through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT). The SAM stores your organizational information, allowing Grants.gov to verify your identity and to pre-fill organizational information on your grant applications.