The One Thing You Must Do Before Applying for Federal Grants


The Fund Finder News, by Kurt Bradley, Certified Grants Consultant



Have You Registered for


No matter your industry, field or status, if you want to apply for Federal grants your organization MUST be registered in the System for Award Management ( No registration, no application. No registration, no award. It's that stark and clear, folks. We're going to walk you through what is, and how you can register your department.


SAM registration used to be required only for grant awardees. In the summer of 2013, SAM registration became a requirement for all Federal grant awardees and applicants. In fact, unless you're previously registered with you will not be allowed to submit a grant application at all.


It is also important to be proactive about registering with The full process can take many days to complete, and sometimes there are delays. If you haven't registered with until the last minute—say, when you're up against a looming grant application deadline—your department may not have its registration complete in time to submit your grant, and you could miss the application deadline.


What is SAM? is a next-generation award management system intended to combine Federal procurement systems and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance into a single system.


SAM is being rolled out in phases. The first phase includes functionality from these systems:


  • Central Contractor Registry (CCR)
  • Excluded Parties List System (EPLS)
  • Federal Agency Registration (Fedreg)
  • Online Representations and Certifications Application


Even if you were registered with these systems, you still need to have an active registration in to be able to apply for grants and receive grant awards.


There is no fee or charge to register with Any entity may register for at no cost.


How to register for SAM


From the SAM homepage,, you have 3 main options:


  • Create User Account
  • Register/Update Entity
  • Search Records


Let's look at each of these options in more detail:


Create User Account: If you have a user account from one of the old systems, such as CCR, it will not work with You must either create a new SAM User Account or update your entity records (more on that below). From the homepage, click "Create an Account."


Register/Update Entity: After you have created a User Account above, you now may register your organization to do business with the Federal Government. From the homepage, click "Register/Update Entity."


Search Records: To review an entity's records in SAM, enter a DUNS number, CAGE code or search term (such as an organization name). From the homepage, click "Search Records."


Make Sure Your Data Is Correct


Before you submit your registration information for, be sure to check the following for accuracy:


  • Banking information
  • Employer ID number
  • DUNS number you report


Be certain that you list your agency exactly as it is listed on your DUNS account


If the information does not match what you list in your grant application, your registration may be delayed.


What happens next?


Once you have completed and submitted your registration, there may be a few days of processing time. You will receive a notification that your registration is complete and your account is now active.


No SAM, No Grants


Registering for will take a little time, but it will take far less time than what you'll spend cussing the computer if you don't register, prepare your grant, can't send it in, and then miss the deadline... because you didn't register.


No SAM, no grants, folks. That's the plain and simple of it. Take some time today... no, take some time RIGHT NOW and register for One registration, and your department will be ready to apply for any grant offered by the Federal government.


Need help with SAM and your grants? Contact us today »


Register on »



Photo: Glyn Lowe