Grant Terms Explained


The individual or organization that provides the funding and develops the RFP outlining who can apply and how the money can be used on.


The recipient of a grant award.

RFP/RFA (Request for Proposals/Applications)

The information, instructions and requirements made available by the grantor that serve as an announcement to organizations to apply for their funding. The RFP will include all the information you need to complete an application.

NOFA /NOFO (Notice Of Funding Availability/Opportunity)

Similar to an RFP/RFA but primarily used at the federal level.

FS-10 Form

This is a budget form used by New York State for submission with grant.


This is a budget form used by the federal government for submission with grant applications.

M/WBE (Minority/Women Owned Business Enterprise)

For some New York State grants it is required that 30% (this is the typical amount) of non-personnel expenses be purchased through a state certified M/WBE vendor.

Peer Reviewer

The peer reviewer(s) is/are 3rd party individuals selected by the grantor to read and score applications. The peer reviewers must meet certain requirements in order to be selected. This is usually an unpaid service at the state level although federal peer reviewers usually receive a small stipend.

NOI/LOI (Notice of Intent/Letter of Intent)

This is the notification to the grantor that your organization intends to apply for their grant. It is sometimes required and sometimes not. It is helpful to grantors for potential applicants to respond with an NOI or LOI so they are prepared to review an accurate number of applications.

LEA (Lead Educational Agency)

This pertains to an educational organization, usually a public school district, college/university, charter school, or BOCES who acts as the lead applicant (the one that is programmatically and fiscally responsible for the grant even if other agencies are partnering with them or they apply as part of a consortium).

Consortium/Consortia (plural)

A consortium is a group of eligible organizations who partner together and submit one application. One of the organizations usually is required to be identified as the lead applicant.

MOU/MOA (Memorandum of Understanding/Agreement)

This is a “contract” between the lead applicant and its partnering organizations that defines the roles, responsibilities and expectations of each, and includes an agreement to commit to project implementation if awarded.


When grant funds are requested to replace activities/services currently being funded by the applicant. This IS NOT usually allowable.


When grant funds are requested to add to or enhance activities/services currently being funded by the applicant. This IS allowable (and usually encouraged).

Program Narrative

The written portion of the application that usually includes the organizations need for the proposed project, who it will benefit, how it will be implemented and managed, and how it will be evaluated for success.

Budget Narrative

The written, explanatory, portion of the budget. The budget form will include the numbers but the budget narrative will explain why the requested expenses are necessary and appropriate for the proposed project.

Holly Dickinson Director of Grant Writing
Do you have a question for Via Evaluation’s Grant Writing Department? That’s great! I'm happy to provide you with a quick response; usually within 24 hours (sometimes it may require some research to supply you with the most accurate answer).
Jessica Weitzel Via Evaluation Director of Evaluation
Hi! I'm Jessica, the Director of Evaluation here at Via Evaluation. I'm here to answer your questions regarding everything evaluation. Send me a message and I'll get back to you in one business day.