Frequently Asked Questions
I found a grant that meets the needs of my organization. What now?
Some grants have specific cycles during which applications are accepted. Review the grant announcement carefully. Some agencies, especially federal agencies have specific date and time restrictive deadlines for receipt of a completed application in their offices.
If you missed the grant cycle for the current solicitation, mark your calendar to check for the next round of solicitations. In the meantime get all of your materials ready. Check the sponsoring agency's (the agency with the authority to approve or deny the proposal) website for updates or the Federal Register for federal programs. The Federal Register will provide an early alert that the cycle is coming up and include the latest rules governing the grant.
I need clarification about what to submit with the grant application. Who do I contact?
Direct inquiries about a specific grant, its requirements, definitions, and other grant specific items to the contact person listed for the funding or sponsoring agency. Please do not contact the Clearinghouse for programmatic information.
The grant application states that the Clearinghouse should be contacted for more information. However, the answer to the preceding questions states that the Clearinghouse should not be contacted for programmatic information. Explain.
The Maryland State Clearinghouse for Intergovernmental Assistance (e.g. Clearinghouse) is the single point of contact (SPOC) for Maryland. We do not have the authority to address specific questions related to the rules and regulations set up by the approving/sponsoring agency. Therefore, to receive the proper information, please contact the person listed in the solicitation or grant announcement within that agency.
As the SPOC, the Clearinghouse may provide guidance for the following issues:
- Does a grant application need to be submitted to the Clearinghouse to be reviewed for compliance with public policy?
- How do I submit a Grant Proposal/Application?
- How long does a review take?
- What's involved in a review?
- Does the Clearinghouse have deadlines?
- When in the process will the Clearinghouse do its review?
- Why is the Clearinghouse reviewing my project materials?
- Do I need to submit an application to the Clearinghouse when I'm applying to another State agency?
I need to submit my application by a certain deadline. So, when is this Clearinghouse review done? Will it hold up the approval and/or funding of my proposal?
Once you have submitted your application/proposal to the funding/approving agency, you can also submit your application/proposal (CD or PDF) electronically to the Clearinghouse. Make sure that you meet the approving agency's deadline with regards to date and time of receipt restrictions, if any.
As long as you provide the Clearinghouse with the proper contact information including an email address of the approving/funding authority, we will make every effort to include them in any correspondence from this office. While the approving authority is reviewing your proposal for merit, eligibility, etc., the Clearinghouse is taking steps to ensure that the intergovernmental review process proceeds in a timely fashion. Every project/proposal received by the Clearinghouse will receive an acknowledgment letter, including the State Application Identifier (SAI) number assigned to that proposal. Any correspondence or calls about the project should include the SAI number.
What is the Maryland State Clearinghouse for Intergovernmental Assistance?
The official name of the Clearinghouse is State Clearinghouse for Intergovernmental Assistance, a unit within the Maryland Department of Planning. In most grant opportunity announcements from the federal government, they will refer to this unit and respective units in the other states and territories as a SPOC, Single Point of Contact.
What does the Clearinghouse do?
As the SPOC (Single Point of Contact) for the State of Maryland, it is the responsibility of the State Clearinghouse for Intergovernmental Assistance to ensure that any project requesting funds or other assistance from federal or State of Maryland government agencies is consistent with known Maryland laws, regulations, and policies. This is accomplished by distributing notice of a proposed project or proposal to various State agencies, and other appropriate county, municipal, and regional governmental agencies and requesting their comments as relates to compliance with public policy. Those comments are compiled and the applicant is notified of the final determination of consistency. If a problem is identified during the review process, the Clearinghouse will work with the applicant and the agency that identified the potential problem area to resolve any issues.
In addition to reviewing proposals requesting financial assistance, the State Clearinghouse has also been charged with additional intergovernmental review responsibilities through various actions of the State legislature. Our current responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the review of proposals related to State -owned real property use, easements, and declarations of surplus needs, Post Office facilities, Historic Nominations, Facilities Plans, Annexations, School Sites, Environmental Assessments, Senior Centers, etc.
What is meant by intergovernmental review?
The Clearinghouse is charged with the responsibility of coordinating the review of specific applications for federal and State financial assistance, for direct federal development and for certain planning and other activities requiring intergovernmental coordination. The review process provides for the collection and transmittal of the views of State, regional, and local officials in Maryland. It provides a sure and simple means for learning about and commenting on specific federal and state applications.
What does this mean to me?
Any individual, nonprofit or for-profit organization, governmental agency, and organizations located in the State of Maryland that are applying for federal and or State funds for construction, development, or the continuation of a project or program must submit to the clearinghouse a copy of their application/proposal/project in PDF format or on a CD. Any individual, nonprofit or for-profit organization, governmental agency, and organizations located outside of the State of Maryland, that are applying for federal and or State funds for construction, development, or the continuation of a project or program that impacts the State of Maryland must also submit to the clearinghouse a copy of their application/proposal/project in PDF format or on a CD. The PDF version of the application /proposal/project should be e-mailed to email@example.com. (Note: When submitting the proposal, it is not necessary to follow up by mailing a paper copy.)
How did the Clearinghouse get its authority?
The SPOC program is a national program authorized by Presidential Executive Orders 12372 and 12616, with the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB), as the national central contact for all SPOC's. Gubernatorial Executive Order 01.01.1983.17 designated the Clearinghouse as Maryland's Single Point of Contact (SPOC). The review and coordination function for the Clearinghouse is outlined in Code of Maryland Regulations (COMAR), sections 34.02.01.04-.06 and 34.02.02.04-.07.
What is an Executive Order?
An Executive Order is a declaration issued by the President of the United States or a Governor which has the force of law, usually based on existing statutory powers, and requiring no action by the Congress or state legislature.
What kind of application form do I use to apply for a grant?
Specific application forms may be specified in the grant announcement, but generally, the most widely used federal application form series is the SF424. State application forms vary and the specific state agency should be contacted for more information.
Where can I download application forms?