Benefits of Grants.gov to EPA and the Public
Grants.gov provides significant quantitative and qualitative benefits to the grants community and federal grant-making agencies. The Grants.gov system solution serves as a trusted broker between applicants and agencies, allowing applicants to do business with all agencies with a single registration on Grants.gov, thus alleviating the inefficiency associated with many independent and disjointed lines of communication. Grants.gov's find and apply mechanisms were developed and deployed as a government-wide solution to eliminate the need for each federal agency to develop similar systems. By using the most effective combinations of existing technology the system is designed to be cheaper, faster and easier to use than older methods.
Government/Federal Agency Benefits:
- Avoiding agency system development and operations costs. By utilizing the Grants.gov system, agencies do not incur the costs associated with developing and maintaining agency system(s) to publish funding opportunities and applications packages, and the costs of a system to receive electronic grant applications from applicant organizations. A conservative estimate of these avoided costs is $5M per system for development and $2M for annual operations.
- Eliminates federal register posting requirements. Grants.gov's find serves as the common site for the federal government to publish grant opportunities and information, thereby eliminating the time and expense required to post notices in the Federal Register.
- Increased data accuracy and integrity of grant applications. The Grants.gov system's business rules and edits helps to ensure that application packages contain complete and accurate information upon receipt by agencies, thereby reducing the time and resources required to obtain correct information.
- Customer Support. Grants.gov provides extensive customer support, to include a state-of-the-art help desk weekdays from 7:00 am - 9:00 pm, EST. System users can also take advantage of the extensive online customer support tools available via the Grants.gov site.
- Allows grant programs to reach a broader, more diverse applicant/grantee pool. Grants.gov receives over 1 million hits per week from state, local and Tribal governments, non-profit organizations, education and research institutions, public housing authorities, and for-profit organizations, ensuring broad exposure for grant competitions to potential applicants.
- Outreach / marketing / training to agencies and grants community. Staff from the Grants.gov program management office attends agency and industry conferences, workshops, and other speaking engagements to promote awareness of the Grants.gov initiative and assist agencies and applicants in preparing to use the Grants.gov system. As a result, agencies are reducing resources associated with reaching and training system users.
- Eliminates the need for agency forms clearance. Grants.gov staff obtains clearance and maintains the repository of government-wide grant application forms. The use of government-wide grant forms eliminates agencies' need to struggle through the time-consuming forms clearance process. The forms clearance process takes approximately 120 days, multiple federal register notices, and response to public comments.
- Creating Opportunity to Consolidate Agency Vendor File(s). Grants.gov utilizes the government-wide Central Contractor Registration (CCR) system as part of the registration process for applicants. CCR collects, validates, stores, refreshes, and disseminates vendor organizational data.
- Supports Agencies' Compliance with the President's Management Agenda and Public Law 106-107 Requirements for a Common Electronic Grants System. In support of the President's Management Agenda, the Grants.gov system allows applicants for federal grants to apply for grant funds online through a common web site. The Grants.gov system is the common application system that streamlines and simplifies application procedures and uses a common set of applications (i.e., government-wide data standards) called for in Public Law 106-107.
Grant Applicant Benefits:
Grants.gov is the single source to find and apply for federal government-wide competitive grant opportunities. Grants.gov is making it faster, easier and more cost effective for grant applicants to electronically interact with federal grant making agencies by providing six key benefits, among many others, to the grant community.
1. Helping the grant community learn more about available opportunities
- Centralizing more than 900 different grant programs across all 26 federal grant-making agencies awarding over $360 billion annually
- Standardizing grant information, application packages and processes for finding and applying for federal grants
2. Facilitating interaction with the federal government
- Streamlining the federal grants process by eliminating the need to navigate federal register postings and hundreds of agency websites to find and apply for federal grants
- Registering once to apply to as many federal agencies and grant programs as needed with just one secure login
3. Simplifying the grant application process to save applicants costs, time and hassle
- Eliminating the need to expend resources, time, postage and reproduction costs associated with traditional paper-based grant applications
- Reducing training costs related to learning multiple disparate grant application systems, forms and data requirements
4. Making it easier to research and find federal grant opportunities
- Conducting grant opportunity research with improved search capabilities-from a simple key word search to advanced searches over numerous grant opportunity categories including agency and grant category
- Having grant opportunities sent directly to grant applicant desktops-through custom search profiles, potential applicants can be notified via email of future grant opportunities as they are posted by federal agencies
5. Making electronic grant application processing easier
- Simplifying the grant application process and reducing paperwork
- Increasing the ease-of-use through enhanced features common to the web, such as downloaded and fillable forms, auto-populated data, error checks and email notifications
- Facilitating applicant use of electronic grant applications by providing built-in data quality checks, online support functionality and a dedicated customer support team to help complete and submit applications
6. Providing a secure and reliable source to apply for federal grants
- Validating grant applicants via a 3-Step registration process which includes authenticating every user through a credential provider
- Allowing completion and uploading of grant applications by authenticated and authorized users
- Ensuring website stability and security thought Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology to encrypt transactional data and communications over the internet
- Monitoring network traffic to identify unauthorized usage