Glossary of Terms

Allowable Cost
A cost for which an institution or agency may be reimbursed under a grant.

Application Control Center
Established by federal or state agencies to coordinate receipt of grant proposals. The U.S. Department of Education maintains an Application Control Center.

Legislation that establishes an activity and the amount of money to be available for that activity.

Award Letter
Formal written notification from funding agency or organization that a proposal is to be funded, start- and end dates, and the amount.

Block Grant
An unrestricted federal grant that groups many categories into a greater functional area.

A plan for the coordination of income and expenditures for a given time period and purpose.

Budget Justification/Narrative
A detailed description of the budget items, justifying the costs by showing their relationship to the project activities.

Cash Match
The amount of cash contributions provided by the institution toward the total overall budget of a grant project.

Competitive Funds
Funds available on a limited basis. Proposals are selected for award based on how successfully they have met the criteria of the funding agency.

A group formed to share in the finances and/or administration of a grant project to collectively accomplish what no one member could accomplish alone.

Cost Reimbursement Contract
Issued based on estimated costs of performing specific tasks or services. Contractor is paid for actual costs incurred up to a previously negotiated ceiling with the funding agency.

Demonstration Grant
Usually a relatively short-term grant - seeks to test the feasibility of an idea, approach or program.

Direct Costs
Those costs that are specific to the operation of a project as allowable under the grant, such as salaries, fringe benefits, travel, supplies, etc.

Individuals who, because of physical, emotional, economic or other reasons, are unable to adequately compete within the context of an educational institution.

Fiscal Year
The 12-month period for financial operations of an organization. Hudson Valley's fiscal year is 9/1 - 8/31.

Formative or Process Evaluation
The methods used to identify areas for improvement or change during the course of developing or implementing a project. Compares the plan in the proposal to the actual activities and administration of the project by collecting information from various sources such as surveys, interviews, and other data.

Formula Grants
Funds distributed by the federal government (primarily to state agencies) for use in specified projects. Funds are non-competitive and are awarded on the basis of demographic and economic data from which a formula has been computed.

Fringe Benefits (or Employee Benefits)
Compensation such as life and health insurance, retirement, unemployment, etc. that is paid in addition to a salary. Benefit costs change annually. The current Benefits rate for Hudson Valley is available on the College Facts and Statistics page.

FTE: Full Time Equivalent
The amount of time spent or required in an activity or position that is calculated as a percentage of a full time position on an annual basis. A person hired for a 12 month period to work 20 hours/week if a full week is 40 hours would be considered to be 0.5 FTE.

A flexible, irrevocable award (of money, equipment, or other property) provided by a donor with few or no conditions specified (such as contractual requirements, specification of a period of performance, or formal financial accounting).

An award made on the basis of a proposal that typically sets out a series of conditions, such as specific objectives, work plan, timetable, formal financial accounting, and reporting obligations.

Individual or organization that receives and administers a grant project.

Individual, agency or organization that awards funds to carry out a grant project - also known as a funder.

Indirect Costs
Costs that are incurred for several purposes necessary to the operation of the institution and therefore cannot be specifically identified with a particular project or activity. At educational institutions these costs would include general administration and general expenses, operation and maintenance expenses, library expenses, departmental administration expenses, and student administration and services. Most government grants and some private foundations specify a rate for charging indirect costs to a grant budget. Some agencies do not allow indirect costs. If there is no stipulation, the proposing institution applies its own indirect cost rate, based on a specific formula for calculation. (See College Facts and Statistics).

In-kind Contribution
The monetary value of services, equipment, space, staff time, etc. contributed to the total cost of the project by the grantee.

Local Educational Agency - generally refers to a state education department or local school district.

An evaluation design frequently used on surveys to measure opinion, satisfaction/dissatisfaction, etc. An example would be a rated response to this statement: "The project's organizational structure accommodates the effective distribution of duties and responsibilities."
(1) Strongly disagree --through to- (5) Strongly agree

Matching Funds
Cash or "in-kind" funds contributed to the total project cost by the grantee. Some programs, both public and private, require that a percentage of the total budget be in matching funds provided by the grantee.

Needs Assessment
Often referred to as the Statement of Need or Problem Statement, it is the part of your proposal that must convince a potential grantor of the critical need for your project. It must relate to the goals and purpose of the grantor and should utilize statistical evidence and expert statements or testimony.

Noncompetitive Grant
Federal or state monies allocated based on a set formula prescribed by the legislation that authorized the funds. Recipients may or may not be required to submit proposals. The Carl D. Perkins, "Perkins III", grant administered by the state is an example of a noncompetitive grant.

A nonprofit organization is a philanthropic organization in which the staff are all volunteer.

A not-for-profit organization is a philanthropic organization that employs a paid staff.

In a proposal, the objectives are statements of anticipated outcomes. Objectives are stated in measurable terms and tell the grantor who will do what, when, how much, and how it will be measured. For example: "At the conclusion of the six-week summer computer camp, at least 90% of the students in the program will demonstrate a pre-to-post skills level improvement of 85% or more in at least 3 software programs."

Pass-through Funds
Funds received by an agency or organization for a specific purpose who then conducts its own grant process for awarding those funds to other organizations. Examples would be scholarship programs, Perkins III, and block grants to states and counties.

Performance-based Contract
A contract in which specific units of service have specific costs and the grantee is reimbursed for funds expended on the number of units performed within a certain time period.

Preliminary screening process to identify potentially fundable projects. Some government agencies and some private funding organizations utilize this process. The US Dept. of Education's Fund for the Improvement of Post-secondary Education (FIPSE) program is an example.

Principal Investigator
The primary person responsible for the design, scientific/technical conduct, administration, and reporting of a sponsored research project.

Program/Project Officer
A staff member of the grantee agency or organization who is responsible for the overall administration and monitoring of the grant project and for ensuring that the project is carried out in accordance with the grant contract.

Project Director
Usually refers to the head of a training or service project (as opposed to a research project); has the same responsibilities as a principal investigator

Request for Proposal/Request for Application: An announcement by a funding agency that it will accept proposals to accomplish a specific purpose which is outlined in the Request guidelines. This competitive process results in the award of a contract or grant.

A contract between a primary grant recipient (lead agency) and a third party to provide all or a specified part of the services or materials required in the original contract. The lead agency pays the third party with grant funds received from the funding agency. Generally, a subcontractor on a grant proposal is not required to submit a sub-proposal. However, a detailed budget is usually required.

Summative Evaluation
Methods used to determine the extent to which a project met its stated goals and objectives and the extent to which the project's accomplishments are the result of the services/activities provided. May require the use of control groups or other statistical analysis.

The "Ask"
The amount of funding that you are requesting in your proposal. This amount is most often first stated in the Project Abstract or Executive Summary of the proposal.

Unsolicited Proposal
A proposal that is submitted without any prior contact or invitation to submit from the funding agency.

Contact Information

Grants Development

Cheryl Beauchamp
Director of Grants
Fitzgibbons Health Technologies Center, Room 136
Fax: (518) 629-8070