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Office of Finance

Grants Management FAQs

(Corresponding Policy Volume)

  1. What kinds of grants are available from the Federal Government?

  2. What VA grants are available to organizations?

  3. Where can I find information on VA grants and other federal grant programs?

  4. What is Grants.gov?

  5. Who should use Grants.gov?

  6. Why do I have to use Grants.gov to submit my application?

  7. I'm having problems uploading my application in Grants.gov. Who do I contact?

  8. How can I find out if my institution is already registered with Grants.gov? How do I know who is authorized by my institution to submit applications (i.e. is an "Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR)")?

  9. How Does a Nonprofit Agency Apply for a Grant?

  10. What happens if my organization applies for a federal grant, but is turned down?

  11. What are some of the legal obligations that are part of receiving a federal grant?

  12. What will happen if we violate any of the grant rules or requirements specified in the grant?

  13. Where can I find additional information about Federal Grants Management?


1.  What kinds of grants are available from the Federal Government?


The Federal Government uses two kinds of grants:

  • Grants given by an agency of the Federal Government (also known as “discretionary” grants) — for instance, an assistance grant, Supportive Services for Veterans Families, given out by the Department of Veterans Affairs to a homeless shelter.

  • Grants that put federal money in the hands of States, cities, or counties for them to distribute to community groups, charities, and other social service providers, usually under their own rules and regulations (also known as “formula” or “block” grants).  For instance, State Home Per Diem Grants given to individual states based upon the number of homeless veterans in a facility.
Organizations can apply directly to the Federal Government or you can apply for funds from an agency/organization that distributes money it receives from the Federal Government.  VA grants are not available for individuals.

2.  What VA grants are available to organizations?


The VA has the following grant programs available to organizations:

  • Specially Adapted Housing Assistance Technology (SAHAT)
  • State Home Per Diem Program (SHPD)
  • Grants for Transportation of Veterans in Highly Rural Areas (TVHRA)
  • Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF)
  • Grant and Per Diem (GPD)
  • Construction of State Home Facilities (SHC)
  • Rural Veterans Coordination Program (RVCP)
  • State Nurse Retention Grant Program (SNRGP)
  • Veterans Cemetery Grants Services (VCGS)
  • National Veteran Sports Program (NVSP)

3.  Where can I find information on VA grants and other federal grant programs?


All VA grants can be found on Grants.govGrants.gov allows organizations to electronically find and apply for more than $400 billion in federal grants.  Be sure to follow the step-by-step instructions for registering on the site.  Then you may search for grant opportunities.  You may also want to sign up for grant opportunity email alerts.

4.  What is Grants.gov?


Grants.gov is the Federal Government’s online application system.  It provides one central portal where organizations and individuals can electronically find and apply for grants throughout the Federal Government.  Grants.gov is the single access point for over 1,000 grant programs offered by the 26 federal agencies that provide grants.

5.  Who should use Grants.gov?


All applicants for competitive discretionary grants are required to use Grants.gov.

If your organization is applying, the multi-step registration process can take up to two weeks.  Registration must be completed before you can apply.  See “Get Registered” for details.  Start now:  don’t wait until right before your deadline!

6.  Why do I have to use Grants.gov to submit my application?


The Federal Government has mandated that all Federal Government grant-making agencies use Grants.gov as their primary way of receiving grant applications.

7.  I'm having problems uploading my application in Grants.gov. Who do I contact?


Please contact Grants.gov Customer Support at 1-800-518-4726 or refer to the customer support section of the Grants.gov website.  VA cannot help you with Grants.gov technical problems.

8.  How can I find out if my institution is already registered with Grants.gov? How do I know who is authorized by my institution to submit applications (i.e. is an "Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR)")?


You can go to the System for Award Management (SAM) and search for your institution by DUNS number or by name.

If your institution is not in SAM’s database, then it is NOT registered with Grants.gov.  If you do find your institution listed, bring up the detailed information and scroll down until you find the name and contact information for your institution’s “Electronic Business POC”.  This is the person at your institution who decides who can submit applications.  You can contact that person and ask for the names of your AORs.  If there is no E-Business Point of Contact listed, then your institution has not yet registered with Grants.gov, as they are required to identify such a person during the registration process.

You may also call the Grants.gov help desk at 1-800-518-4726 or write them at support@grants.gov to ask if your institution has registered with Grants.gov.  If possible, please supply your institution’s DUNS number.

9.  How Does a Nonprofit Agency Apply for a Grant?


To apply for grants as a nonprofit organization, it is important to hold a 501(c)(3) nonprofit status from the Internal Revenue Service. This is done by following the seven required steps to becoming a nonprofit organization as outlined by the IRS.

Once approved, your organization must maintain meeting minutes and other records to keep your nonprofit status on an annual basis.

10.  What happens if my organization applies for a federal grant, but is turned down?

There is no guarantee you will receive a grant if you apply.  However, if you do not receive a grant, you should try to find out why you did not receive funding and how you could improve a future application.  You can follow up with the program officer identified in the announcement.  This individual will either be able to provide you with information about your application, or point you to the right person to contact.

11.  What are some of the legal obligations that are part of receiving a federal grant?


Financial Reporting Requirements.  To make sure that grant funds are used properly, organizations that receive federal funds must file regular financial status reports.  These forms should not take long to complete, but they are important.  The basic financial report form is a one-page document called Standard Form 425.  Many agencies have adapted this form to suit their own programs.  Download the Standard Form 425.

Audit.  All agencies/organizations that receive federal funds are subject to basic audit requirements, including community and faith-based groups.  These audits are intended only to examine the federally-funded parts of an organization’s operations and are not designed to identify unrelated problems.  The audits are necessary to make sure that federal dollars have been spent properly on legitimate costs.  It is therefore extremely important for grant recipients to keep accurate records of all transactions conducted with federal funds.

12.  What will happen if we violate any of the grant rules or requirements specified in the grant?


If you violate the requirements specified in your grant or otherwise improperly use the funds you receive, you may be subject to legal action.  Among other things, you may:

  • Lose your grant funds,
  • Be required to repay the funds you received, and
  • Pay any damages that might be awarded through court action.
If an organization uses its funds fraudulently, it could be subject to criminal prosecution.

If you have information regarding a grant fraud specific to VA, please contact the VA Office of the Inspector General (OIG) Fraud Hotline at 1-800-488-8244.

13.  Where can I find additional information about Federal Grants Management?


Additional information and guidance is available from the Office of Management and Budget - Grants Management Circulars website.