CFDA: What is it and why does it matter?
The federal government’s Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance helps users identify federal assistance programs and improves coordination
CFDA is the federal government’s Catalogue of Federal Domestic Assistance. If you’re reading this article looking for federal program information, you’ve come to the right place. If you’re looking for the Cowboy Fast Draw Association or the Council of Fashion Designers of America, you’re in the wrong part of the internet.
The CFDA is a government-wide listing of all the financial and non-financial assistance programs administered by the federal government. The Government Services Administration (GSA) is responsible for keeping the CFDA current. The CFDA has two main purposes:
- Help users identify programs and obtain general information of federal assistance programs.
- Improve coordination and communication between the federal government and state and local governments.
The GSA defines assistance as “the transfer of money, property, services or anything of value, the principal purpose of which is to accomplish a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by Federal statue.”
The GSA used to print the CFDA and distribute it for free to designated recipients. In fiscal year 2003, GSA printed 10,000 paper copies. GSA now maintains the CFDA on the federal government’s website. The website provides a downloadable PDF version if you prefer to print it out. You can always purchase a printed copy from the GSA.
The CFDA provides a full listing of all federal programs, available to state and local governments, tribal governments, U.S. territories, nonprofits, for-profit businesses, specialized organizations and individuals. The CFDA is a unique number, by agency and program, that follows each program throughout its lifecycle, ensuring funding transparency.
TOP FIVE CFDA AGENCIES
The CFDA contains descriptions of 2,246 federal assistance programs. The top five agencies are:
- Health and Human Services (517 programs)
- Interior (290 programs)
- Agriculture (277 programs)
- Justice (123 programs)
- Housing and Urban Development (116 programs)
A CFDA number has five digits; two digits, a decimal point and then three more digits. The first two digits identify the federal department, agency or organization. The last three digits identify a specific assistance program. Examples of the two-digit agency numbers are:
- Department of Agriculture (10.###)
- Department of Defense (12.###)
- Department of Housing and Urban Development (14.###)
- Department of the Interior (15.###)
- Department of Justice (16.###)
- Department of Transportation (20.###)
- Environmental Protection Agency (66.###)
- Department of Health and Human Services (93.###)
- Department of Homeland Security (97.###)
As examples of complete CFDA numbers, the Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Conservation Program number is 10.054. The Department of Commerce’s Weights and Measures Service number is 11.606.
Four Department of Health and Human Services programs in which you might be interested are:
- Emergency Medical Services for Children (93.127)
- Enhance the Ability of EMS to Transport Patients with HID (93.878)
- Rural Access to Emergency Devices Grant (93.259)
- State Rural Hospital Flexibility Program (93.241)
If you are looking for grant and funding opportunities, you can search using the CFDA number. The CFDA website’s searchable database is surprisingly easy to use.
About the author
Mark is Grant Professional Certified (GPC), through the Grant Professional Certification Institute, and is a member of the Grant Professionals Association. He has been a full-time grant professional since August 2006 and has more than 19 years of experience identifying and securing grant funding. He has been a grant consultant since January 2012.
He has written 160 successful grant proposals, totaling more than $37.7 million and reviewed/edited 15 successful proposals totaling more than $17.03 million. He averages 11 successful grants per year and more than $3.8 million per year in grant funding. He has achieved 61 successful health and health care-focused grants, totaling more than $25.18 million, for hospitals, safety-net clinics, and fire/EMS departments. Contact Mark by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.