The holiday season is frequently cited as a good excuse for house cleaning and getting everything in order for the upcoming New Year. It also is a great time to check if your organization’s mandatory government accounts are all set up and ready for when the CDFI Fund’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 application rounds open!
If your organization is contemplating submitting an application to the upcoming FY 2019 funding round for the Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program) and Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program), you may find the following information helpful in getting started. The CDFI Fund is tentatively planning to open the FY 2019 CDFI Program and NACA Program application round in the first quarter of calendar year 2019.
The below information has been previously released and updated to reflect additional information regarding the System for Award Management (SAM or SAM.gov). As always, the CDFI Fund encourages you to thoroughly review the information provided on SAM.gov and Grants.gov in advance, as the CDFI Fund is not responsible for maintaining those systems and processes may change.
To successfully submit a CDFI Program or NACA 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 opens for the CDFI Program and the NACA Program.
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. Further, the DUNS number in your SAM.gov, Grants.gov, and AMIS accounts must all match and must be the correct DUNS number of the Applicant.
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. Further, the EIN number in your SAM.gov, Grants.gov, and AMIS accounts must all match and must be the correct EIN number of the Applicant.
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
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 Applications submitted for the CDFI Program and the NACA Program.
Applicants that have previously registered with SAM must verify their accounts are current and active, as they need to be renewed annually. Even if your organization has registered with SAM previously, you should not assume that your account is still active. Also, the process to reactivate your SAM account may take longer than you anticipate. 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.
SAM.gov requires the submission of an Entity Administrator notarized letter as part of the registration process. Please review the instructions carefully.
Estimated time: Due to recent procedural changes, found here, this process may take more than one month for both new applicants and applicants that need to re-activate an existing SAM.gov account.*
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 your AMIS account. 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 be 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 sign an application. Make sure that the person signing the application as the “Authorized Representative” has authority 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 and DUNs 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.