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> County Administration Grant Terms

Glossary of Grant Terminology 

 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z





Applicant- the agency or organization seeking funds.


Assurances- legally-binding statements signed by the applicant which state the applicant will do or refrain from doing certain things; when assurances are required by the grantor, assurance forms are usually included in the grant application package.




Budget period- periods of time (usually 12 months) into which a project is divided for budget and reporting purposes; for multi-year projects, a continuation proposal is usually required each year the project continues.




Cash match- cash contributions made to a project by the grantee or another party, usually at the requirement of the grantor.


Competitive Grant (also called project or discretionary grants)- A competitive or discretionary grant awards funds on the basis of a competitive process. The funder reviews applications through a formal review process, in light of the legislative and regulatory requirements and published selection criteria established for a program. The review process gives the funder discretion to determine which applications best address the program requirements and are, therefore, most worthy of funding.


Consortium- the joining together of several agencies or organizations for the purpose of submitting a single project application.


Cost-sharing- a requirement that a portion of the project costs be assumed by the grantee; also known as matching.




Direct costs- total costs directly attributable to carrying out a grant project, including salaries, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, services, etc.


Discretionary grants- competitive grant programs in which the applicant designs the proposal, and the funding agency ranks the proposals received and determines which will receive grant awards; also called competitive grants or project grants.




Evaluation- an assessment of the project's success in meeting its intended outcomes; usually includes a formative evaluation and summative evaluation (see formative and summative evaluation).




Federal Register- A daily compilation of federal proposed and final regulations, legal notices, presidential proclamations and executive orders, federal agency documents having general applicability and legal effect, documents required to be published by an act of Congress, and other federal agency documents of public interest.


Fiscal year- a twelve month period for which an organization plans the use of its funds; for the federal government, the fiscal years runs from October 1 through September 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends.


Formative evaluation- conducted during the operation of a project, generally for the purpose of providing immediate feedback to the grantee about the status of project activities and so that project revisions may be made.


Formula grants- funds made available to the grantee based on a formula prescribed in legislation, regulations, or policies of the agency; formula grants are NON-competitive.


Fringe benefits- amount paid by the employer for employee benefits such as retirement, health insurance, unemployment insurance, etc.; salary plus fringe benefits equals the total personnel costs.


Funding priorities- Priorities focus a competition on areas of current concern or emphasis by the secretary of education. Priorities take the form of specific kinds of activities that applicants are asked to include in an application or certain conditions that must exist for applicants to be eligible. There are Absolute Priorities, which the applicant must address in order to be considered for funding; Competitive Priorities, which the applicant has the option of choosing whether or not to address and for which they may receive additional points or preference; and Invitational Priorities, which the applicant is encouraged but not required to address. Applications addressing invitational priorities receive no competitive or absolute preference over applications that do not meet the priority. 




Grant- financial assistance in the form of money, property or technical assistance in lieu of money, awarded by a government agency or private organization (foundation or corporation) to an eligible applicant to accomplish some public purpose. Grants obligate grantee to meet specified objectives and hold the grantee financially liable if funds are not spent in accordance with applicable laws, rules and regulations of the funding agency.


Grant/performance period - the period of time specified in the grant award notice or contract during which costs may be charged against the grant or contact.


Grantee- the legal entity to which a grant is awarded and which is accountable to the funding agency for the use of funds provided.


Grantor- (also known as funder or funding agency) any legal entity, public or private, that awards grants. Grantors include local, state, or federal government agencies, private foundations, private or public non-profit organizations, and corporations.


Guidelines- set of general principles used in judging proposals.




Indirect costs- overhead; costs incurred in the overall functioning of the institution; costs not readily identified as direct project expenditures (i.e. accounting services, space, utilities).


In-kind or in-kind contribution- dollar value of non-cash contributions to a project by the grantee or another party other than the funder which directly benefits a grant (i.e. volunteer services, equipment use, facilities, staff time already allocated in the budget).




Matching- grantee's cash or in-kind contribution to a project, usually a percent of the total budget; see also cash match, in-kind.




Outcome objective - refers to the measurable change (increase or decrease) in conditions or behaviors as a result of the project's implementation


Organizational capability- the previous experience, productive capacity, personnel, and other resources which indicate that the applying organization can carry out a proposal.




Performance measure- A characteristic or metric that can be used to assess the performance aspects of a program or project.


Performance report- A report of the specific activities the recipient of a discretionary grant or cooperative agreement has performed during the budget or project period.


Process/product objective- a major project activity/milestone and timeline for its accomplishment; helps project staff to monitor the project activities and management plan (i.e. By the end of the second month, the inservice workshops will be scheduled); can also refer to a concrete item to be produced by the project, such as a manual or a film


Project/program director- individual designated by the grantee to be responsible for the administration of a project including project management, submission of all required

documents, communicating with the grantor and other appropriate agencies, and carrying out project activities.


Project/program officer- the official at the grantor agency who is responsible for the grant program (i.e. supervises technical and program aspects of grants); may also be responsible for administrative and fiscal aspects.


Program announcement- press release, booklet, catalog, form or notice telling of an opportunity to apply for a grant or contract.


Proposal- formal written document that provides detailed information to a funder on the components and cost of a proposed project in response to some substantiate need or problem; represents a plan for change rather than a request for money!




Request for proposal (RFP)- the funder's request that includes the guidelines (instructions) and forms necessary for the applicant to submit a proposal for funding.




Solicited proposal- a proposal that has been invited by a sponsoring agency, usually through a program announcement or RFP.


Summative evaluation- reporting or measurement of final program results.




Target audience/group- a specified group or category of persons which the project will serve or impact.


Time-line- a management tool which details the schedule of project tasks to be accomplished, by whom, and over what period of time.




Unsolicited proposal- proposals submitted by the applicant without formal invitation from the grantor agency. Many grantors will not accept a proposal unless the grantee was solicited by the agency, division, department, or foundation that is providing the funding.



**Adopted from Osceola Florida School District Grant Management Center**


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