Program 101

What does this program do?

The primary objective of the SDGG program is to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups through cooperatives and Cooperative Development Centers. Each fiscal year, applications are requested through a Notice published in the Federal Register and an announcement posted on Grants.gov.

Program Status: Application Date TBD
Program Funding: $3 million
Maximum Grant Amount: $175,000
Matching Funds Requirement: None

Who may apply for this program?

Cooperatives and Cooperative Development Centers are eligible to apply for this program.

How may funds be used?
Grant funds must be used to provide technical assistance to socially-disadvantaged groups in rural areas.  Examples of technical assistance are:

  • Feasibility studies
  • Business plans
  • Strategic planning
  • Leadership training

Note that the cooperative or Center can be located in any area, but the groups assisted must be located in an eligible rural area.

How do I get started?

Before you apply:

  • Request a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number if your organization does not already have one.  It should not take more than a few business days to get your number.  However, you should plan on requesting it at least a month before the application deadline because you’ll need that number for the next pre-application step (see below).
  • Register your organization with the System for Award Management (SAM) if you are not already registered.  The registration is free, but you need to complete several steps.  It’s a good idea to start the registration process at least a month before any application deadline.  Before you start the registration process, we suggest reading through the HELP materials available on the SAM website.  Then, you’ll need to create an account.  After you create your account by setting up a user id and password, you can register your organization.  Remember, you’ll need your DUNS number to complete your registration.  Also, make a note of your CAGE code and expiration date because you’ll need those for your application.

Additional requirements:

You need to read the Federal Register notice for the details on what is needed for an application.  Make sure you start putting together the required information at least a month before the application deadline because you may need to provide letters of commitment or support from other organizations, a work plan and budget, and other information that will take you some time to look up or write.  You may also need to fill out forms.  You can get copies of the forms from your nearest Rural Development Office as well as the SDGG 2015 Application Template and suggested formats for required information.

Who can answer questions?

If you have questions, you can contact your nearest Rural Development Office.

Will I Need to Send Any Reports if I Receive a Grant?

If you receive a grant, you will need to send regular financial and performance reports.  Your grant agreement will tell you how often you need to send the reports, what forms you need to use, and what information you need to put in the reports.

Where Can I Get More Information about the Program?

This program does not have its own regulation, so all of the details about the program are published in a Federal Register notice each year.  If the notice has not been published yet for this year, you can contact your nearest Rural Development office to get a copy of last year’s notice to get an idea of how the application process works.  However, there may be changes each year to the application process, so make sure you read the most current notice before you apply.  You can also view a list of previous recipients.

NOTE: Because citations and other information may be subject to change please always consult the program instructions listed in the section above titled "What Law Governs this Program?" You may also contact your local office for assistance.

Forms & Resources

NOTE: Please contact your local State Office and speak to a Business Programs Specialist before attempting to fill out any forms or applications. This will save you valuable time in your application.

Preliminary Actions Required

To complete an application for this program, you must be pre-registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) and also have a Data Universal Number System (DUNS) number. Neither of these applications cost money, but they can take time so be sure to get this taken care of right away. If you are already registered with these systems, you do not need to do it again.