Everything you wanted to know about federal grants!

It’s already February!

Is your 2023 off to the start you were hoping for? Personally, I’m ready for some warmer weather, flowers, and am secretly wondering if it’s too early to start planning a summer vacation. 

In this edition of the newsletter, we’re going to focus on the Federal Grant writing process, something that I think many people wish they understood a bit better. As always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions or for assistance!

There are four types of Federal Grant Funding:

  • Competitive Grants – Based on the Merit of Your Proposed Project
  • Formula Grants – Awardees are Predetermined
  • Continuation Grants – Renewal of an Existing Grant
  • Pass-Through Grants – Issued by a Federal Agency

Obtaining a government grant can be a bit of a challenge. The application process is lengthy and you need to make sure to explain how the funding will help your local community or the general public. Because writing a convincing narrative and completing the proposal is so time consuming, it can be very beneficial to seek expert assistance for these grants in particular. To give you an idea, a typical grant takes Sunflower about 12-15 hours to complete, and a Federal grant takes 75-85 hours to complete.

The first step in getting a Federal grant is to obtain your Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). Without this number, your application cannot be submitted or reviewed. You can get your UEI through SAM.gov. Know that it takes some time to get this number though, so plan ahead! 

You, or your grant writer, will need to do research well before you start writing. The first step is to thoroughly review what you are applying for to ensure you understand the specific criteria that are required. Programs generally have a contact person listed within the description of the application, and a phone call or email to that person is a great idea to confirm the funding availability, deadlines, and any other specifics. Keep in mind that every Federal Grant is unique so you will need to go through this process each time you start a new grant. 

It really helps to have community engagement and support for your proposal. Having a collective network of community backing, support, and promotion in place will go a long way when it comes to encouraging grantors to fund your proposal. Be proactive and reach out to ask for letters of support from organizations or groups that would also benefit if you received this Federal funding. 

Reviewers will use only the information in the application to assess the application. Do not assume that reviewers are familiar with your organization or with your community. Also, keep review criteria in mind when you are writing your application. These can be found in the description of the grant.

I hope these tidbits have been helpful!


American Health Month (grants for healthcare, nurses)

Black History Month (grants for organizations that support African Americans)

February 14 – National Book Giving Day (grants for libraries) 

February 20 – National Love Your Pet Day (grants for pet shelters)


Program/project grants are the most common type of grant that is funded. These specify that funding may only be used to support the program or project that you identify in your proposal and your budget. This fact implies that grants for general operating funding can be harder to get.


Related to our fact! The key to getting general operating support is to always tie it back to programs and projects. What won’t you be able to provide or do without your general operating needs fulfilled? 


After you finish writing your application, send it to someone who doesn’t know anything about your nonprofit or the programs or services that you provide. Does that person understand what you’re trying to accomplish? Does it inspire, engage, or motivate that person to want to support your organization? If so, it is ready to hit submit! 


In the month of February if you secure grant writing services with Sunflower and mention the code SUNFEBFIFTY, you will receive 50% off of your first hour of the grant production process!


Omaha Community Foundation Refugee Community Grant Fund 

The Refugee Community Grant Fund supports initiatives and organizations that benefit this community in Omaha.

Funding Priorities

  • Family stabilization and youth support services/programs
  • Education and culture
  • Physical and mental health
  • Belonging and inclusion

Applications that demonstrate collaboration among multiple organizations are encouraged. Refugee representation (among clients served, management, staff, and board members) is considered during the decision-making process. 

Grants are due March 1. 

The average grant award is between $5,000 to $15,000. 

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More articles from Sunflower Grant Writers

12 responses to “Everything you wanted to know about federal grants!”

  1. Moises Gonzales Avatar

    Hi http://www.sunflowergw.com webmaster, Keep sharing your knowledge!

    1. Katie LeDoux Avatar

      Thank you for the comment! I really enjoy writing the newsletter every month!

  2. Louise Dill Avatar

    Dear http://www.sunflowergw.com owner, You always provide great examples and real-world applications.

    1. Katie LeDoux Avatar

      Thank you so much! Is there something you found especially helpful in this article? Writing the newsletter is something I find truly enjoyable.

  3. Chandra Chapdelaine Avatar

    Hi http://www.sunflowergw.com owner, You always provide clear explanations and step-by-step instructions.

    1. Katie LeDoux Avatar

      Thank you! I am very glad you find the tips and tricks useful to your own work. Is there anything you would like to see more of? I love writing this every month!

  4. Etta Meaux Avatar

    Hi http://www.sunflowergw.com administrator, Your posts are always well-formatted and easy to read.

    1. Katie LeDoux Avatar

      Thank you so much. I think that comes from having an English teacher as a mother :). I so enjoy writing the newsletter and am glad you enjoy it as well!

  5. Renato Lavin Avatar

    Hi http://www.sunflowergw.com administrator, Your posts are always informative.

    1. Katie LeDoux Avatar

      Hi! Thank you so much for leaving a comment! I am so glad you find them informative!

  6. Bernardo Oatley Avatar

    Dear http://www.sunflowergw.com administrator, Your posts are always thought-provoking and inspiring.

    1. Katie LeDoux Avatar

      Thank you so much. Is there anything you would like to see written about in the future? Let me know! And thank you for reading!

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