Frequently Asked Questions about Our Services, Awards & Grant Funding


Common Questions and Answers

Q: What is the process of obtaining a grant?

A: There are three main phases of the grant process:
1. Pre-Award Phase: This step includes the collection of important information on the
client’s organization and project. The grant application is prepared and submitted to the
awarding agency.
2. Award Phase: The awarding agency will review the submitted applications and ask any
follow up questions. Advocacy in the form of letters of support or discussion with the
awarding agency (where appropriate) can be very beneficial during this phase.
3. Post-Award Phase: This phase is initiated when the grant funding is awarded. Grantees
are responsible for implementation of the project, compliance with grant guidelines, and
reporting to the awarding agency.

Q: How does Aspire charge for their services?

A: Aspire’s clients are serviced through a monthly retainer contract, or an hourly rate, depending
upon the project and client needs. We are often asked if we will work on a commission-only
basis. However, paying a grant writer only commission based on whether or not the grant is won
is generally seen as unethical, and in some cases, illegal.

Q: Can I match by state funding through another state grant?

A: Match is traditionally done through either cash, private Foundations or federal funding. The
same can be said with a Federal grant, only state grants would be the matching component.
This however is dependent upon each grant program. However, the rule generally implies you
cannot match state to state or federal to federal. This would be analyzed by each funding

Q: How long does it take to receive funding once a grant is awarded?

A: Drawdown of grant funding can be a very lengthy process, depending on the grant program.
Most state funding programs are reimbursement based, so you will need to incur all or some of
your project costs prior to receiving any grant money. On the other hand, some private
foundation grants are paid in full soon after award. Aspire will assist with the process of post-
award management and grant drawdown every step of the way!

Q: What is a SAM Registration

A: A SAM Registration (System for Award Management) is required to complete all federal grants. This is a free service and recommended that all potential clients complete this registration before contracting with Aspire. Stay away from any sites claiming there is a fee. This can take a few weeks to be approved and prior registration allows us to get grants completed

faster. You will need your banking routing and account number, DUNS number, and Tax Identification Number (TIN) or Employment Identification Number (EIN). You are then required to complete a notarized letter to accompany your application. The links for these registrations are below.

GSA Guide to Registering with the U.S. System for Award Management (SAM)

DUNS Registration:
SAM Registration:
Notarized Letter:

Q: What are the steps to apply for a federal grant?

A: Unlike state and private foundations, federal grants require more steps. These specifically
Step 1 – Obtain a DUNS Number
Step 2 – Register with SAM
Step 3 – Register on
A good breakdown on all these steps and further information can be found here:

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