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Non-Disaster Grants Management System Frequently Asked Questions

This section of the Non-Disaster Grants (ND Grants) Management System site addresses Frequently Asked Questions for Grantees.

Registration and Login

Do I need to attend ND Grants Training to register for and use the system?

Though attaining access to ND Grants does not depend on attending training, it's highly recommended that you receive training prior to using the system.

How do I register in the ND Grants system?

Only direct recipients (i.e. State Administrative Agencies, Port or Transit Authorities, Fiduciary Agents, etc.) need to register in the ND Grants system.  The registration process involves creating an account at the Department of Homelanf Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) Enterprise Identity Management System (FEIMS), then logging into the ND Grants system. Please follow the step-by-step guide below to complete the ND Grants Registration.

  1. Go to the Department of Homeland Security Integrated Security and Access Control System (DHS ISAACS) login page at https://portal.fema.gov. Click the "New User?" button in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  2. For security purposes, an Image Verification Screen will be displayed.  Enter the characters appearing above the entry box. Click the "Submit" button.
  3. A Personal Information Screen will be displayed. Enter the requested information. After you finish entering the details on the Personal Information Screen, click the "Submit" button. 
  4. The Create Password screen will be displayed. Create and confirm your password according to the outlined password requirements. Click the "Submit" button.
  5. The Congratulations screen will be displayed. Click the "Click here to request new privileges" button.
  6. The Request Access Screen will be displayed. Scroll down the screen and find the ND Grants icon. 
  7. The Access ID Screen will be displayed. Enter the access code (available via email from the ND Grants Help Desk at NDGrants@fema.dhs.gov).  Click the "Submit" button. Please note that the access code is for FEMA direct recipients and is not to be shared with any pass-through recipients.
  8. Your Grantee Homepage screen will be displayed indicating that you have successfully logged into ND Grants.

If I'm already registered in the Payment and Reporting System (PARS), do I have to re-register for ND Grants?

Yes.  User accounts will not be migrated to ND Grants.  New user accounts will need to be established in ND Grants. To access ND Grants you will need to ensure that you have an account with DHS ISAACS. 

Can there be more than one person assigned to a user ID in ND Grants?

No. Each ND Grants System user must have an individual user ID and password.

What is the Access ID for FEMA direct recipients?

The Access ID is a four-digit number that allows the user to complete registration for the ND Grants System. The user will be asked for this number after they have entered their Personal Information into the Department of Homeland Security Integrated Security and Access Control System. To obtain the Access ID, please contact the Systems Branch at NDGrants@fema.dhs.gov.

If I registered last year, will I need to enter the Access ID again?

No.  Registered system users with access to ND Grants do not need to enter the Access ID every time they enter ND Grants.

How can I recover forgotten user ID?

Go to https://portal.fema.gov and select "Forgot ID".

Organization

What is an organization?

An organization is created within ND Grants to provide an appropriate accountable entity to which grants are made, grantee points of contacts are established, and vendor information is designated. Grants can only be made to organizations created and approved within the ND Grants system.

Do I need to belong to an organization in order to perform work on an award or application?

Yes, only users associated with an organization can work on awards and applications submitted by that organization.

How can I request access to an organization?

Click the Administration dropdown, select the Request Organization Access link.  Click the Select an Organization dropdown and type in the organization name in the search box.  Select the checkbox next to the desired roles and click Save then  Submit. For further explanation, please see Module 2: Lesson 4 of the Grant Recipient User Guide.

How do I approve an access request?

In order to approve an access request, you will have to be an Organization Administrator.  To approve the request, log into NDGrants System and click on the Administration dropdown, then click the Review Organizations Access Requests link.  Locate the person you want to review, click on the icon under the Action column. Scroll down, select and approve roles for the organization member. Select an outcome then complete the notification email. For further explanation, please see Module 2: Lesson 6 of the Grant Recipient User Guide.

How do we designate user roles within our organization?

The designation of user roles is left to the discretion of the grantee creating the Organization/Organization Administrator. Here are some things to keep in mind when designating the following roles:

  • Signing Authority:
    • Is authorized to enter into a grant agreement with the federal government on behalf of the organization. 
    • Does not have to be a system user.
      • For example, the Signing Authority could be considered the governor of a state, depending on how your organization is structured.  Although the governor is considered the authority that can accept a grant, he or she may not necessarily be an ND Grants systems user.    
  • Authorizing Official:
    • Must be an ND Grants system user.
    • Is given the authority by the Signing Authority to complete, sign, and submit applications. 
    • Can accept award packages and complete and submit amendments.
      • The Authorizing Official acts on behalf of the Signing Authority.
      • There can be multiple authorizing officials designated within an organization.

For further explanation, please see Module 2: Lesson 6 of the Grant Recipient User Guide.

How can I update user roles?

Click the Administration dropdown and select the Organization link. Find the organization and click the icon under the Action column Scroll to the Users section and locate the user whose profile you want to update and click Edit User Roles icon next to the user. Change the role selection, then click Ok.  Click the Save button. Please see Module 2: Lesson 8 of the Grant Recipient User Guide for further instruction on how to update user roles

Who has the rights to update the organization's information?

The Organization Administrator is responsible for updating the organization's information. The person who originally created the organization will be automatically designated as the Organization Administrator. He or she has the ability to reassign roles and edit the organization's profile.

Will the Authorizing Official come from the ND Grants organization information or will it transfer over from the Authorized Representative role in Grants.gov?

When you submit your application through Grants.gov, you should ensure that your Authorized Representative information is correct and up-to-date. This Authorized Representative information should match the Authorizing Official information you enter in ND Grants when you set up your organization and assign user roles. Ultimately, your application will be completed and submitted through ND Grants, so the individual you enter as the Authorizing Official in ND Grants will be used for your application.

Does the Authorizing Official need to be a system user?

Yes. By nature of the Authorizing Official's role the Authorizing Official needs to be a system user. Please be sure to add the Authorizing Official as a system user before your application is released back to you to update in ND Grants.

Does the Primary Contact need to be a system user?

No.

Does the Secondary Contact need to be a system user?

No.

Does the Signing Authority need to be a System User?

No.

How do I add new Contacts to my organization?

Click the Administration dropdown and select the Organization link. Click the icon under the Action column on the right next to the organization to which the contact belongs. Click the Contacts link in the toolbar on the left.  Click Add Contact.  Complete the requested fields and click OK.  Make sure to Click Save once all the contacts have been added. For further explanation, please see Module 2: Lesson 9 of the Grant Recipient User Guide.

How do I delete a contact?

Click the Administration dropdown and select the Organization link. Click the icon under the Action column on the right next to the organization to which the contact belongs. Click the Contacts link in the toolbar on the left.  Locate the name of the contact you want to update and click the Delete Contact icon under the Action column next to their name.  Click Save.  For further information, please see Module 2: Lesson 10 of the Grant Recipient User Guide.

Can there be multiple Authorizing Officials and Signing Authorities?

There can be multiple Authorizing Officials as well as multiple contacts associated with any one Organization. However, for an application, there can only be one Authorizing Official and one Signing Authority. The Signing Authority role can be granted to any contact or system user.

Does ND Grants have subgrantee functionality?

Currently, ND Grants does not have subgrantee functionality. Initially, only primary grantees will utilize the ND Grants system.

I'm from the Mariana Islands. What number should I use for my Congressional District?

Use Congressional District MI-099.

I am from a U.S. territory (AS, DC, GU, PR, VI, etc.). What number should I use for my Congressional District?

Use Congressional District-098

I am from the District of Columbia? What number should I use for my Congressional District?

Use Congressional District-098.

How do I change an organization's address after the organization's application has been submitted?

If an organization has an application, amendment or progress report currently going through the review process the address will not be available for update.  Pleae review Module 2 Lesson 3 of the Grant Recipient User Guide for further instruction on how to update the organization.

Application

When it is time to apply for a non-disaster grant, do I go to Grants.gov only or should I do both, Grants.gov and ND grants?

Due to a mandate (Public Law 106-107) from the Office of Management and Budget, all Discretionary grant opportunities must begin within Grants.gov. When you submit your Standard Form 424 (SF424) in Grants.gov, the FEMA Program Office will conduct an initial review of the application and release it back to you for further action in ND Grants. All information from your SF424 will be automatically downloaded into ND Grants. When you complete your application in ND Grants such as your budget, adding attachments, and completing the assurances and certifications, it will be submitted to the Program Office to complete the application review process.

How do I apply for a grant on Grants.gov?

Go to Grants.gov and click on Find Grant Opportunities, then search for your desired grant opportunity. Download, complete, and submit the appropriate SF424 through Grants.gov. Once you've submitted your SF424, your application will be automatically downloaded into ND Grants, where it will receive an initial review from your Program Analyst. Your application will then be released back to you to complete in ND Grants. Please see Module 3: Lesson 1 of the Grant Recipient User Guide for further instruction on how to submit the SF424 through Grants.gov

Can I include decimals in my budget amounts when submitting the SF424?

No. Monetary amounts with decimals should be rounded up or down, as appropriate, to the nearest dollar amount.

How long will it take for my SF424 information in Grants.gov to transmit into ND Grants?

Once a grant recipient submits a grant application in Grants.gov, it will take approximately 30 minutes for the submitted application to transfer into ND Grants. In rare cases, it can sometimes take upwards of one business day for the submitted application to be transferred from Grants.gov to ND Grants.

Will I be notified when my SF424 is downloaded into ND Grants?

No, you will not receive an email once your application has been downloaded into ND Grants.

Once I submit my application, how long does the review process usually take?

The length of the review process depends entirely on the Program Office, and can range between a few hours and a few days. 

How will I know when my application is ready to update in ND Grants?

After you submit your SF424 through Grants.gov, it will receive an initial review from the FEMA Program Office to ensure that you are eligible to apply for the grant. Your application will then be released back to you to complete in ND Grants. When your application is released back to you, you will be notified in two ways:

  1. Via email letting you know that your application has been released to you to complete. The email will also include the resubmission deadline.
  2. When you log into ND Grants, you will see the application under Pending Submission status under the application dropdown.

I submitted an Application via Grants.gov. Why am I being asked to create my Organization?

If the Organization entered in the SF424 application does not exist in ND Grants, one will need to be created in ND Grants before a Grantee can update the application. The Primary Contact will be sent an email requesting that he or she creates their Organization in ND Grants.

The budget amount listed in my SF424 is only an estimate – can I adjust this number in my ND Grants application?

When your program manager releases your application back to you to update in ND Grants, you will be able to adjust your budget amount. However, make sure you explain the reason for the change in the budget in the comment box of your application.

How do I know which forms I need to attach to my application and what format to put them in?

The Program Guidance, available at www.Grants.gov, outlines which forms to attach to an application and will specify if there is a particular format applicants need to follow. All attachments can be added in the Attachments application area within ND Grants.

Where do I find the Investment Justification template to complete and attach to my application?

If your program requires an Investment Justification template, you can search by program in Grants.gov and click on 'Full Announcement' to view and print the template. Your program manager should also be able to provide you with the proper template if it is not available in Grants.gov.

Who has the authority to submit application?

In order to submit an application, an organization member must have the Authorizing Official role in the system and must be marked as the Authorizing Official in the Contact Information section of the application.

Does the electronic signature take the place of signing and faxing in multiple forms?

Yes, the electronic signature takes the place of written signatures within the application process.

Will I receive an email notification if my application is denied?

If your application is not chosen for award, you will receive an Application Turndown Notice in your ND Grants Mailbox. The Primary and Secondary contacts will also receive email notification through their provided email address.

Grants Management

How will I know if my application has been chosen for award?

The primary and secondary contact will receive email notification that your application has been chosen for award. Once you've received this email, the Signatory Authority must log into ND Grants to Accept or Decline the award.  Please print a copy of your award for your records. For further instruction on how to accept or decline an award, please refer to the ND Grants Grant Recipient User Guide Module 4: Lesson 1. 

After accepting the award, will I have to fax or email the signed documents in for final acceptance?

The digital signature function within ND Grants will allow final acceptance to occur within ND Grants. Faxing or email scanned and signed documents will no longer be necessary.

Is there a need to submit a SF1199A (Direct Deposit Sign-up Form) when creating a new application if it is already on-file for your Organization from a prior fiscal year application/award?

The standard form 1199A will allow your organization to sign up for direct deposit of funds to your organization's designated financial institution. After you accept an award, we ask that you submit a recent (current fiscal year) SF1199A so that your organization's financial information is up-to-date. If one organization has multiple awards during one fiscal year, only one SF1199A is necessary. 

Will the ND Grants system be able to communicate with the financial systems (e.g. PARS)?

ND Grants does currently interact with IFMIS (Integrated Financial Management and Information System). PARS and ND Grants do not interface, but PARS and IFMIS do communicate between systems.

Is it possible to see all applications submitted by an agency?

System users who are added to an organization will be able see award applications submitted by that organization.

Will I be submitting performance reports? If so, how frequently?

Yes, ND Grants will be used to submit performance reports. Frequency of performance report submission will depend on the program guidance. The frequency of which performance reports need to be submitted will be noted in the Notice of Funding Opportunity.

Will I get email reminders from ND Grants regarding tardy performance reports?

No. If a performance report is not submitted within the required time period, you may receive notification from your program manager, but the system will not send you any form of notification.  The Notice of Funding Opportunity will specify when performance reports are due.

Will Amendments replace Grant Adjustment Notices (GAN)?

Amendments will take place of application and award adjustments formerly known as GANs (Grant Adjustment Notice) and will be made electronically through ND Grants. Amendments are used to request the following:

  • Period of Performance (POP) changes
  • Cost changes
  • Scope of Work changes
  • Authorizing Official changes
  • Signing Authority
  • Contact changes
  • Terms and Condition changes
  • Other applicable changes that do not fall into the above categories

Is it possible to request multiple types of amendments at one time (i.e. period of performance change with a cost change)?

It is possible to request multiple types of amendments at one time.  

What are the restrictions on submitting an amendment?

Amendments cannot be created if there is an amendment already in progress under FEMA review. If there is a deobligation under progress, then neither Scope of Work nor Cost changes can be submitted.

If there is an outstanding deobligation for an award, will I be able to create an amendment?

Amendments cannot be created if an outstanding deobligation is present.

Are formal signatures required to be attached to amendments?

This action is performed digitally within ND Grants when grant recipients enter their username and password, and is considered a formal signature.

Will Federal Financial Reports (FFR)/SF425 forms be accessed through the ND Grants site or will we have to use other sites to locate them?

ND Grants is being implemented using a phased approach, and enhanced reporting capabilities will be added in future releases. Please contact your Program Analyst to obtain the FFR/SF425 forms.

Last Updated: 
05/21/2018 - 09:28