Have you ever wondered how grants become grants? There are a lot of moving parts to the process, but you can boil it down to seven steps:
(1) Congress passes a bill containing the grant program. Once the President signs the bill into law, the grant is authorized to move forward.
(2) Congress appropriates funds for the grant program. They either appropriate full funding, partial funding or no funding (it’s rare but it can happen).
(3) After Congress appropriates the funds, the Office of Management and Budget apportions the funds to the appropriate department or agency.
(4) The federal department/agency allots funds to the program.
(5) This is the stage when the agency issues an RFP, solicits applications from organizations and selects recipients through a competitive process.
(6) Once the successful applicants are chosen, the agency obligates funds to support each project. Depending on the amount of funding the agency received, they might fund projects at 100% or they might grant less than the applicants requested.
And, (7) The recipient implements their project and starts spending grant dollars in accordance with their proposal and the terms and conditions of the grant award.