Office of Partnerships and Grant Services

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General FAQ

1.  What District Agency is responsible for making available the government’s surplus, vacant, and underutilized public school and other public properties?

The DC Department of General Services is responsible for transferring the government’s surplus, vacant, and underutilized properties to the public via the Request for Offer (RFO) process.  Please visit www.dgs.dc.gov for more details.

2.  How can my nonprofit find surplus equipment and other properties that are available at the District and Federal governments’ warehouse?

The DC Office of Contracts and Procurement’s Surplus Property Division is responsible for administering requests for District and Federal surplus property assistance for eligible D.C. nonprofit 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organizations.  For more details please call 202-576-6472 or email [email protected]

3.  How do I register to become a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit charitable organization and a registered District nonprofit?  

To register to become a 501 (c) (3) nonprofit charitable organization visit the IRS website.  To register as a District nonprofit organization visit Starting a Nonprofit in DC.

4.  Does the Office of Partnerships and Grant Services (OPGS) provide services to individuals and organization outside of the District of Columbia?  

OPGS located in the Executive Office of the Mayor is established by the Mayor to serve District of Columbia residents and stakeholders.  Thus, please direct state and federal government matters to the respective Federal of State government agency official.  For federal grant information, please go to www.grants.gov or contact your state official. 

Grants FAQ

1.  Does OPGS make grants or sub-grants to local nonprofit grant seekers?  

OPGS serves as a clearinghouse of the District’s competitive grants and provides other grant development services.  However, it does not have grant making authority to award grants or sub-grants.  Please see OPGS’ website to learn about federal, foundation, and DC government competitive grant opportunities. 

2.  Does OPGS maintain a District government/agency database on grants and sub-grants awarded to nonprofits and other recipients?

OPGS does not maintain a database on grants made by the government.  However the Office of the City Administrator (OCA) may have some data on this issue.  Please call OCA at (202) 478-9200 or email [email protected] or contact the respective District Agency grant manager for more details about the government’s grant and sub-grant activities. 

3.  Who is the District’s State Single Point of Contact and how does one comply with this Federal grant application requirement?

The Office of Partnerships and Grant Services serves as the District of Columbia’s State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) pursuant to Executive Order 12372 also called “Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs.”  For more information about the District’s SPOC process, please go to OPGS SPOC Information.

4.  Who should make an appointment to use the Grants Information Research Center (GIRC)? 

GIRC appointments are for District government, community and faith-based organizations, and nonprofit grant seekers interested in finding federal, foundation, and district government competitive grant opportunities.  GIRC does not have information on business, home improvement, and individual loans, or educational scholarships.  Please note that the District no longer maintains the Escheated Estates Grants Program.  Please call 202-727-8900 to schedule an appointment or register online here.

5.  How can my nonprofit locate and select grant writers to prepare District, Federal, and Foundation grant proposals?

OPGS may not pre-select or endorse external grant writing consultant services for non-district government entities.   However the office does have a list of referrals that you may contact and use at your own discretion.  The following organizations the Association of Fundraising Professionals Washington DC Metropolitan Area Chapter, the Foundation Center Washington DC, or the Center for Nonprofit Advancement might be of assistance to your organization in locating and selecting a grantwriter.  Please see the When You Need A Grant Writer section.  

6.  How can I find and apply for small business development grants?

Grants for business development activities are very limited as most foundations and governments typically award grants to nonprofit 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt organizations and community and faith-based organizations.  However, inquiries about small business funds should be forwarded to the District’s Department of Small and Local Business Development (DSLBD) at www.DSLBD.dc.gov or the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).  

7.  Where can I find information about the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers’ Common Grant Application?

Please visit the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers  website for more details.

8.  How can I find information about competitive grant opportunities offered by the Federal government? 

Grants.gov is the Federal government’s central clearinghouse of its agencies’ competitive grant opportunities.  It is the single access point for over 1000 grant programs offered by all federal grant making agencies.  Please visit www.grants.gov for more details.

Donation FAQs

1. Do donated funds have to come in the form of a check?

No, in addition to checks, donated funds may be received in the form of a money order, wire transfer, or securities.  However, cash donations will not be accepted.

2. Who should a donor make its checks payable to?

Checks should be made payable to the DC Treasurer.

3.   Are donations to the District government tax-deductible?

In accordance to section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code, gifts to the District of Columbia for use in carrying out its governmental functions are deductible as charitable contributions for income tax purposes.  The amount of the deduction is subject to the same rules as are generally applicable to charitable contributions.  Please consult your tax advisor for more information.

4.   How long does it take for OPGS to notify an agency whether its application to solicit a donation has been approved?

An agency will receive notification within 5 to 10 business days of submission of a completed application packet.

5.   How long does it take for OPGS to sign a donation agreement?

After the donation agreement has been signed by both the donor and the authorize representative of the agency and submitted to OPGS, the donation agreement will be executed within 5 days of submission.

6.   What is the minimum donation amount that requires approval by OPGS?

All donations regardless of the amount must be submitted to and approved by OPGS. 

7.   What is the difference between a grant and a donation?

A grant is an award of funds or other resources from a public or private entity, such as the federal government or a non-profit foundation.   In order to receive a grant, an agency generally must submit a proposal that has specific objectives and outcomes; in addition, there are generally various terms and conditions in the award agreement.  Authority to expend grant funds must be included in an agency’s approved budget. The term “donation” is broadly defined to include the voluntary contribution of funds, services, and property.

8.   What is a legal sufficiency review?

A legal sufficiency review is a thorough examination by the Office of the Attorney General (OAG) to determine whether the agency has authority to use the donation in accordance with laws governing the agency and whether there are any other legal impediments to soliciting and accepting the donation.  If there is no authority to use a donation, the donation cannot be accepted.