Resources for Grant Applicants

Publication Date: May 3, 2018

When putting together an application for a grant, your best source of information is the grant’s notice of funding opportunity (NOFO). The NOFO will provide specific details regarding eligibility, disqualification factors, required federal forms, content and formatting requirements, submission instructions, review criteria, and more. See if there are any current OCSE grant opportunities.

Below are resources that grant applicants may find useful. These resources are not specific to OCSE; the sources are noted in parentheses. Since OCSE is within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), HHS and ACF requirements are most relevant to OCSE grants.

Where Can I Find General Information on Applying for Grants?

Grants 101 Visit disclaimer page ( A short overview of federal grants, including information on the grant lifecycle and related grantor and applicant actions.

How To Apply For A Grant (ACF): Walks through the process of applying for ACF grants, including those offered by OCSE.

FAQs on the ACF Application Process (ACF): Answers common ACF application process questions.

Form Repository Visit disclaimer page ( Contains copies of federal forms commonly used in grant applications.

Where Can I Find Advice on Preparing My Application?

Grant Application Checklist (ACF): Lists steps for applying for federal grants.

Grant Application Tips Visit disclaimer page (Administration for Community Living): Provides general tips for applying for federal grants.

Budget Detail Guidance (PDF) Visit disclaimer page (Environmental Protection Agency): A PDF document that discusses federal grant application budgets and narratives.

Budget Form SF-424a Online Tutorial (Family and Youth Services Bureau): An overview of the non-construction budget information form used in OCSE grant applications.

What Happens During the Grant Application Review Process?

Understand the Review Process (ACF): Information on the review process for ACF competitive grants, including those offered by OCSE.

FAQs on the ACF Review Process (ACF): Answers common questions about the application review process for all offices under ACF, including OCSE.

What Are the Requirements if my Application is Funded?

Post-Award Requirements (ACF): Information on requirements for ACF discretionary grants (including OSCE grants), such as terms and conditions and reporting requirements.

Managing Federal Grants Tip Sheet (Family and Youth Services Bureau): An overview of key actions and requirements for ACF grants, including carrying over unobligated balances and closing out grants.

Managing a Grant Visit disclaimer page (Administration for Community Living): Information on managing HHS grants, including explaining continuation awards.

Where Can I Learn about Creating a Logic Model?

How to Create a Logic Model Visit disclaimer page  (The Pell Institute): Breaks down the steps necessary to create a comprehensive logic model. Part of the Evaluation Toolkit.

Logic Model Workbook (PDF) Visit disclaimer page  (The Innovation Network): A comprehensive introduction to logic models, discussing their purpose, role in evaluation, and components. (25-page PDF)

Logic Model Development Guide Visit disclaimer page (W.K. Kellogg Foundation): A PDF guide developed for nonprofits as an orientation to logic model principles and how they can be used for program planning, implementation, and dissemination activities. [Must provide name and email address to download.]

Where Can I Learn about Grant Evaluation?

Common Framework for Research and Evaluation (ACF): Outlines roles of various types of research and evaluation for ACF and describes justifications for and evidence expected from each type of study.

Evaluation Handbook Visit disclaimer page  (W.K. Kellogg Foundation): Step-by-step guide (PDF) to evaluation for nonprofits and community leaders. [Must provide name and email address to download.]

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