NY-16 Federal Grants Support

Congressman Bowman is dedicated to helping ensure local entities have the federal support needed to best serve the constituents of New York’s 16th Congressional District. 

To sign up for Congressman Bowman’s monthly grants newsletters where our office shares information about federal grant opportunities relevant to our district’s most pressing needs, you can visit our NY-16 Grants Intake Form. 

If you have any further questions after reading the information on this page, we encourage you to reach out to our office at bowman.grants@mail.house.gov.

 

How to Find Federal Grants Information  

The main clearinghouse for federal grant opportunities is grants.gov

Federal assistance and contractor listings can also be found at http://www.sam.gov.

To sign up to receive notifications about federal agency grants, visit the grants.gov subscriptions link. For the general listserv of federal grants go to this link.

To sign up for Congressman Bowman’s monthly grants newsletters where our office shares information about federal grant opportunities relevant to our district’s most pressing needs, you can visit our NY-16 Grants Intake Form.

A complete list of grant-making agencies can be found at this link

Resources on How to Apply for Grants

 

What to Look for When Applying for Grants

Two of the most important pieces of information in a NOFO are the goals of the grant or granting agency/organization and the eligibility requirements. Below are other important points to make sure you are aware of with each call for proposals.

Eligibility: Use this information to determine whether your organization is eligible. If the organization or project does not conform to all of the requirements listed in the announcement or NOFO, you may need to find a different grant. In some cases, local entities might be eligible as a “sub-applicant,” with a state or county government as the primary applicant. In these cases, our office also recommends  checking the primary applicant website for details about sub-application opportunities. 

Request for Information: Check to see if there is an official Request for Information that is due prior to the grant proposal. Within the grant proposal, check to see what specific pieces of information are required. 

Grant Life Cycle: Make note of the opening date, closing date, time, and time zone. Most grantmakers will not consider a grant proposal that is submitted after the given deadline. If the grant is a subgrant through a state or local government agency, be sure to check those deadlines as they may be earlier than the federal deadline. 

Grant Application Requirements: Make sure you include the exact sections that are required. Will you need letters of support, budget justification, a summary, and/or anything else in addition to the description of the problem and project? Is a detailed budget with justification required? Some proposals require that you name the vendor and include bids; others just require an estimate. In the case of multi-year grants, you may also need to create a separate budget with justification for each year (calendar or fiscal) of the proposed project.

Cost-share or Matching Funds: Check to see if the grant opportunity requires matching funds. If so, you will need to identify other funding resources. 

Supporting Documents: Grant proposals often require supporting documentation, such as data and letters of support. Be sure to determine this well ahead of the deadline.

Getting Help: Check to see whether the agency has other documents to help you write the proposal. As mentioned above, you can contact the agency using the given contact information to ask clarifying questions about the process. 

How the Office of Congressman Bowman can Support

The Office of Congressman has set up an “NY-16 Grants Intake Form,” any NY-16 entities interested in receiving information about federal grant opportunities. We encourage your organization/entity to fill out this form so they are included in our regular grants communications and we have the information needed to support. Our office provides regular communications about federal grant opportunities that will support the well-being of our constituents and the NY-16 community.

In certain cases, Congressman Bowman can provide a letter of introduction for a federal grant proposal in our district that urges a full and fair consideration of your proposal. If you are interested in requesting a letter from the Congressman, please email bowman.grants@mail.house.gov with the following information: 

  •  Name of grant and grantmaking agency
  •  Amount of funding being requested
  •  Project purpose and description, including how this proposal will support residents in New York’s 16th Congressional District
  • Who to address the letter of support to (typically the head of relevant agency)
  • Due date for letter

In addition, during the grant application process, we recognize that applicants in our district might have questions about the status of their application or clarifying questions about grant requirements. In these cases, the Office of Congressman Bowman can reach out to agencies asking for a status update or for clarification.


Please note: per House Ethics guidelines, Congressional offices cannot help entities with their grant application materials. 

Overview of Federal Grantmaking

There are 26 granting agencies in the federal government that offer grants to  state and local governments; universities; research labs; law enforcement; non-profit organizations; and businesses. In 2019, federal grant funding to state and local governments was expected to total $750 billion.  

Through legislation, Congress can authorize new funding streams that federal agencies disseminate, and can increase or decrease the amount of authorized funds within pre-existing programs.  

The below chart outlines the federal grant funding process.

  

Types of Grants

The federal government awards grants to organizations to benefit communities or specific groups. Federal grants are usually written with the following entities in mind:

  • State and local governments
  • Universities
  • Research labs
  • Law enforcement
  • Non-profit organizations
  • Businesses

There are several different categories for grant types, including:

  • Formula or Mandatory Grants: Formula grants are non-competitive grants that are awarded if the organization or individual meets certain conditions, such as financial need. These comprise the majority of federal and state grant funding and generally require an application and proof that the applicant meets the requirements. Pell grants for college students, for example, are formula grants to college students who demonstrate exceptional need. Formula grants may also be awarded to organizations, institutions, or businesses.
  • Discretionary or Competitive Grants: Grant-makers often offer discretionary grant opportunities in which organizations or entities compete through a grant-writing process. In this case, the applicants propose a particular project based on a perceived need in a defined community.
  • Congressionally Directed Awards: During certain times in the legislative calendar, Congress can direct funds to be spent on specific, designated projects, commonly called Member-Designated or Member-Directed Projects.

The federal granting process typically goes through four stages (outlined below). 

  

Grant Vocabulary and Acronyms

 

Vocab/Acronym

Description

Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA/NOFO)

Notice of Funding Availability refers to an announcement of a grant or other funding opportunity by a federal agency. This is synonymous with NOFO, which is Notice of Funding Opportunity. Announcements of grants and other funding opportunities. These announcements provide detailed information about the intended purpose of the grant, eligibility, and how to apply for funding.

Request for Information

This is information that the granting agency, or grantmaker, requests from the group planning to apply for the grant.

Request for Proposals

When agencies solicit proposals and bids for work. Here it refers to the announcement for a grant that requests the program or planning proposal, as opposed to a LOI. The RFP provides the guidelines and goals of the grant program.

Letter of Intent or Letter of Inquiry (LOI)

Some NOFOs will request a Letter of Intent/Inquiry; this is essentially a pre-proposal to let the granting agency know the broad scope of your intended proposal. Agencies and organizations will often solicit an LOI to determine whether you should submit a full proposal. 

Planning Grant

In a planning grant, the outcome of the grant will be a plan of action. Projects may benefit from this type of funding that allows planning before designing the project or program. These are especially useful for projects in which community partners and residents need to be consulted before designing a solution or project. 

Program Grant

Program grants fund the implementation of a project or program.