Get Ready to Apply
Are you interested in applying for federal funds to support your youth program, but not sure where to start? Start here! In June 2018, the Interagency Working Group on Youth Programs hosted a webinar on finding and applying for federal grants for youth programs. Access the webinar archive to tour the youth.gov funding information “center” to learn how the tools, guides, and features can aid your federal funding search.
Conduct Background Research
Gather vital information before drafting and submitting your funding proposal:
- Read topic reviews
Youth Topics provide in-depth, youth-focused overviews of more than 25 topics, including recent research, prevalence data, risk and protective factors, prevention and early intervention strategies, specific information for special populations, and relevant Federal resources, among other tools.
- Assess federal funding in your area
Map My Community is an interactive mapping tool that pinpoints the locations of federally-supported youth programs throughout the U.S. The map is searchable by keyword, location, youth topic, or funding agency.
- Review evidence-based programs
Using Evidence to Improve Youth Outcomes features information on using evidence to prevent and/or reduce delinquency or other problem behaviors in young people. This section also provides a step-by-step guide to implementing evidence-based programs.
- Explore federal links
Federal Resources provide a search feature to access tools, guides, websites, and other resources on a variety of youth topics. The tool is searchable by keyword, federal agency, federal department, or youth topic.
- Learn from collaborations
Collaboration Profiles feature organizations that have successfully partnered with other organizations or local, state, or federal agencies that can help you implement programs or services that are beyond your current reach.
Consult the Grants.gov Applicant Resources page, Online User Guide, and Applicant Training Videos to learn about the complete Grants.gov process. The Grants Learning Center is another helpful resource for learning about the grant application process, including policies, grant eligibility, and funding opportunities.
Registering to apply for grants on Grants.gov includes several steps and types of registration, including DUNS, SAM.gov, and Grants.gov accounts. It's not a highly complex process, but it can take 1 to 3 weeks to complete. Do not allow yourself to miss the application deadline because you waited until the last week to try to register.
To apply for a grant you or your organization need to register with Grants.gov and create a username, password, and user profile. Prior to registering, your organization must have a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number assigned to it. You can obtain a DUNS number on the Dun & Bradstreet website. Your organization must also be registered with the System for Reward Management (SAM) before completing an application with Grants.gov. This Quick Start Guide (PDF, 1 page) can assist you in registering with SAM.gov.
Remember to give yourself plenty of time to register for the multiple required systems, and keep the following timelines in mind:
- A DUNS number can be created within 1 to 2 business days.
- A SAM.gov application can take 7-10 business days to be processed.
- Creating a Grants.gov username and password (individual, organization) can be done as soon as you have a DUNS number. It is processed same day.
Registering as an organization applicant requires the following five steps:
Search for Grants
To simplify your funding search, we’ve developed a custom search tool that allows you to search Grants.gov for opportunities to improve youth outcomes. The tool pulls from more than 300 funding streams. Searches can be performed by keyword, funding agency, or youth topic.
You can also search for funding opportunities directly on Grants.gov by keyword, Funding Opportunity Number (FON), or Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number. Further refine your search by opportunity status, funding instrument type, eligibility, category, and/or agency.
NOTE: The first thing you should do when you identify a potential opportunity is review the eligibility requirement to make sure the opportunity is an appropriate fit for your organization. Then record the FON and/or CFDA number associated with any funding opportunities you are interested in pursuing, as you will need one of these numbers to download the application package.