Preparation Notes

Competition directions.

If the funding competition is for a grant, the directions and submission deadline will appear in two places under "Request for Applications" or RFAs:

Volunteer Maine posts on the grant competitions page of this website.

The Division of Procurement Services RFA page lists all State of Maine active RFAs. The default setting on the page is to sort by RFA number, which can make specific RFAs difficult to locate. The simplest strategy is to click on the Date Posted column heading twice so that the most recent RFAs appear at the top of the list.

All notices about changes in the RFA and answers to submitted questions are also posted in both locations.

Grants of Federal Funds Require SAM Registration 

Applicants to competitions that award federal funds (including AmeriCorps) must register in the federal System for Award Management (SAM) prior to submitting a proposal. There is NO fee to register and any email or notice asking for a fee is not from the government site or part of the process.

SAM is the comprehensive database for federal procurement systems and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. It collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of Federal agency contracts, grant awards, cooperative agreements, and other forms of federal assistance.

All federal grant and contract award recipients must have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) issued through  The UEI is issued with the first registration and can take some time because it requires verification of identities and other critical data that prevents fraud. Use this link to access SAM website.

If the applicant organization is already registered on, the registration must be active and visible to the public. SAM registrations must be renewed annually and information must be current. A grant of federal funds cannot be issued if a registration has expired.

For Applicants in Federally Funded Competitions

Organizations using one of the online submission platforms start by creating an agency/organizational profile. It is very important that the entity names, physical address, and zip code EXACTLY match the information entered in SAM - character for character, capitals, lower case, abbreviations. This matters because the verification process involves a character by character matching between the grant platform and SAM.  For additional guidance, open this link (PDF) -- view additional guidance.

AmeriCorps Law Requires Consultation with the State Commission

AmeriCorps proposals developed by multi-state organizations (e.g., a New England or national nonprofit) must first be discussed and reviewed by each state service commission where the applicant proposes to have members and program activities. This consultation is the basis for state commission advice to the federal agency on whether the proposal is supported or opposed. Consultation must occur prior to the submission deadline and during each year of the grant. FMI, see AmeriCorps National Direct Consultation page on this site (left sidebar).