Home Page
Funding Opportunities
Applying for a Grant
Managing a Grant
Training & Resources
About Us
Terminology Definitions
As you explore the world of grants, you may come across some confusing jargon. Don't fret! Grants lingo is not difficult to follow - all you need are a few definitions. Click the first letter of the word and use the scroll bar to see a list of all terms. Want to see a term added? Give us your feedback!


applicant - the school district, agency, or organization seeking funds. For Broward schools and district departments, the applicant is always: The School Board of Broward County, Florida.

assurances - legally-binding statements signed by the applicant which states the applicant will do or refrain from doing certain things; when assurances are required by the grantor, assurance forms are usually included in the grant application package; the Superintendent is the only person in the district authorized to sign assurances.


budget period - periods of time (usually 12 months) into which a project is divided for budget and reporting purposes; for multi-year projects, a continuation proposal is usually required each year the project continues.


cash match - cash contributions made to a project by the grantee or another party, usually at the requirement of the grantor.

consortium - the joining together of several agencies or organizations for the purpose of submitting a single project application (Broward schools and departments joining together do not constitute a consortium).

cost-sharing - a requirement that a portion of the project costs be assumed by the grantee; also known as matching.


direct costs - total costs directly attributable to carrying out a grant project, including salaries, fringe benefits, travel, equipment, supplies, services, etc.

district grants - those grants awarded to individual schools for which the Broward County School District is the grantor agency. Applications for district grants are submitted by schools directly to a department of the school district. These applications for district funds do not require review by the Grants Administration Department or School Board approval. Examples include Teachers Directed Improvement Fund grants, Title VI mini-grants, Broward Education Foundation mini-grants, and Diana Wasserman Memorial mini-grants.

discretionary grants - competitive grant programs in which the applicant designs the proposal, and the funding agency ranks the proposals received and determines which will receive grant awards; also called competitive grants or project grants.


evaluation - an assessment of the project's success in meeting its intended outcomes; usually includes a formative evaluation and summative evaluation (see formative and summative evaluation).

external grants - those grants for which an entity, other than the Broward County School District, is the grantor agency. All grant applications to external funding agencies must be approved by the School Board, and The School Board of Broward County, Florida is the legal grantee on behalf of schools and departments. Examples of external grants include those submitted to the Florida Department of Education, the South Florida Annenberg Challenge, Inc. or the US Department of Education.


fiscal year - a twelve month period for which an organization plans the use of its funds; for the federal government, the fiscal year runs from October 1 through September 30; for the State of Florida, the fiscal year runs from July 1 through June 30. The fiscal year is designated by the calendar year in which it ends (in the State of Florida, FY 99 runs from July 1, 1998 through June 30, 1999).

formative evaluation - conducted during the operation of a project, generally for the purpose of providing immediate feedback to the grantee about the status of project activities and so that project revisions may be made.

formula grants - funds made available to the school district based on a formula prescribed in legislation, regulations, or policies of the agency; formula grants are non-competitive.

fringe benefits - amount paid by the employer for employee benefits such as retirement, health insurance, unemployment insurance, etc.; salary plus fringe benefits equals the total personnel costs.


grant - financial assistance in the form of money, or property or technical assistance in lieu of money, awarded by a government agency or private organization (foundation or corporation) to an eligible applicant to accomplish some public purpose. Grants obligate the Broward school system to meet specified objectives and hold the system financially liable if funds are not spent in accordance with applicable laws, rules, and regulations of the funding agency.

grant period - the period of time specified in the grant award notice or contract during which costs may be charged against the grant or contract.

grantee - the legal entity to which a grant is awarded and which is accountable to the funding agency for the use of funds provided. The only grantee for the Broward school system is The School Board of Broward County, Florida. Individual schools cannot be grantees even though they may be designated as the recipient.

grantor - (also known as funder or funding agency) any legal entity, public or private, that awards grants to the school district, individual schools, or departments; grantors include local, state, or federal government agencies, private foundations, private or public non-profit organizations, and corporations.

guidelines - set of general principles used in judging proposals.


indirect costs - overhead; costs incurred in the overall functioning of the institution; costs not readily identified as direct project expenditures (i.e., accounting services, space, utilities). In Broward County Public Schools, indirect costs must be requested when funding is from a federal source, unless specifically prohibited by the agency.

in-kind or in-kind contribution - dollar value of non-cash contributions to a project by the grantee or another party other than the funder which directly benefit a grant (examples: volunteer services, equipment use, facilities, staff time already allocated in the budget).


local education agency (LEA) - school district or designated regional educational service agency that will receive and disburse grant funds (Broward County Public Schools is an LEA serving Broward County).


matching - grantee's cash or in-kind contribution to a project, usually a percent of the total budget; see also cash match, in-kind.


outcome objective - refers to the measurable change (increase or decrease) in conditions or behaviors as a result of the project's implementation (i.e., By the end of year one, the average SAT score in mathematics for students participating in the project will increase by 5 percentile points).

organizational capability - the previous experience, productive capacity, personnel, and other resources which indicate that the applying organization can carry out a proposal.


process/product objective - a major project activity/milestone and timeline for its accomplishment; helps project staff to monitor the project activities and management plan (i.e., By the end of the second month, the inservice workshops will be scheduled); can also refer to a concrete item to be produced by the project, such as a manual or a film (i.e., By the end of the sixth month, the curriculum supplement will be completed).

project/program director - individual designated by the grantee to be responsible for the administration of a project including project management, submission of all required documents, communicating with the grantor and other appropriate agencies, and carrying out project activities.

project/program officer - the official at the grantor agency who is responsible for the grant program, i.e., supervises technical and program aspects of grants; may also be responsible for administrative and fiscal aspects.

program announcement - press release, booklet, catalog, form or notice telling of an opportunity to apply for a grant or contract.

proposal - formal written document that provides detailed information to a funder on the components and cost of a proposed project in response to some substantiated need or problem; represents a plan for change rather than a request for money.


request for proposal (RFP) - the funder's request that includes the guidelines (instructions) and forms necessary for the applicant to submit a proposal for funding.


solicited proposal - a proposal that has been invited by a sponsoring agency, usually through a program announcement or RFP.

summative evaluation - reporting or measurement of final program results.


target audience/group - a specified group or category of persons which the project will serve or impact.

time-line - a management tool which details the schedule of project tasks to be accomplished, by whom, and over what period of time.


unsolicited proposal - proposals submitted by the applicant without formal invitation from the grantor agency.