Getting Ready to Apply for CDFI Fund Grant Assistance in Four Steps
If your organization is contemplating submitting an application to a future or upcoming funding round for one of the CDFI Fund’s programs, there are things you can start doing now in order to ensure a smooth application process. Organizations interested in applying to the Bank Enterprise Award Program (BEA Program), Capital Magnet Fund, Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program), Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program), or CDFI Bond Guarantee Program (BGP) may find the following information helpful in getting started.
To successfully submit a CDFI Fund program funding application, your organization will need to have key information on hand and account access for several different federal government websites. You can act now to speed things up for your organization when the application period for the program you are interested in applying to, opens.
Completing the following will ensure that you will be able to access required forms and information in SAM.gov, Grants.gov, and the CDFI Fund’s Awards Management Information System (AMIS). Please note that while we have done our best to compile useful links to help you, the CDFI Fund is not responsible for maintaining links or the accuracy of the information on other organizations’ websites.
STEP 1: OBTAIN YOUR DUNS AND EIN NUMBERS
Each applicant must provide, as part of its application submission, a Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. Applicants without a DUNS number will not be able to register in SAM.gov and Grants.gov, nor submit an application in the Grants.gov system.
- Estimated time: One week or more.* Please allow sufficient time for Dun and Bradstreet to respond to inquiries and/or requests for DUNS numbers.
- Learn more about how to obtain a DUNS number here.
Applicants must also have an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to register in SAM.gov, which is a prerequisite to submit a funding application via Grants.gov. Applicants that do not have an EIN number must apply to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain the number.
- Estimated time: Two weeks or more.*
- To obtain an EIN, please visit the IRS.gov page here.
STEP 2: CREATE OR UPDATE YOUR SAM.GOV ACCOUNT
The System for Award Management (SAM) is an official website of the U.S. government that collects, validates, stores, and disseminates business information about the federal government’s trading partners in support of the contract awards, grants, and electronic payment processes. You must have an active registration in SAM.gov to do business with the federal government.
Registration in SAM is required as part of the Grants.gov registration process and for all Qualified Issuer and Guarantee Applications submitted for the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program.
Applicants that have previously registered with SAM must verify their accounts are current and active, as they need to be renewed annually. If your SAM.gov account is not active, you will be unable to submit the Grants.gov portion of your application. Additionally, if your application is successful, the funds from your award will be paid to the bank account you have on file with SAM.gov. Therefore, it is important to have accurate bank information in the system.
- Estimated time: Due to recent procedural changes, found here, this process may take more than one month.*
- Here’s a useful link on how to register a new entity with SAM.gov.
STEP 3: CREATE OR UPDATE YOUR GRANTS.GOV ACCOUNT
Applicants must have a Grants.gov account and submit the appropriate Standard Form (SF)-424 by the deadline listed in the applicable program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) published in the Federal Register.
The appropriate SF-424 must be completed and submitted electronically via Grants.gov before the application materials are due in the CDFI Fund’s Awards Management Information System (AMIS). You will not be able to submit the SF-424 to the CDFI Fund directly. If you upload the SF-424 to your AMIS account, it will not be reviewed. An SF-424 must submitted separately for each program applied to on an annual basis, in accordance with each program’s NOFA.
- Estimated Time: One week or more, assuming an existing SAM.Gov account.*
- Here’s a useful link on how to register for a Grants.gov account.
STEP 4: CREATE OR UPDATE YOUR AMIS ACCOUNT
Make sure your AMIS account is up-to-date: verify the contacts for your organization are current and assign them the proper permissions. Only a user designated as an Authorized Representative in AMIS can submit an application. Make sure that the person with the “Authorized Representative” permission is allowed to sign legal documents on behalf of your organization. Consultants working on behalf of your organization cannot be designated as Authorized Representatives. Be sure to include e-mail addresses and phone numbers for each contact. Also, make sure that your organization’s mailing address is correct.
In addition, your organization must have an EIN/Tax ID number recorded in AMIS in order to submit your application when the applicable funding round is opened.
- Estimated Time: 1-2 business days.*
- Learn how to establish an AMIS account here.
*Applicants are advised that the stated durations are estimates only and represent minimum timeframes. Actual timeframes may take longer.