How to Apply

Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act

New for the 2016 NMBCA grant cycle

  • The Fiscal Year 2016 application deadline has passed. Please check this page again in August 2016 for next year's deadline.
  • Several sections of the application instructions have been changed to clarify various items; please review all sections carefully.
  • Applicants with phased projects must evaluate their progress towards long-term goals with measurable indicators and provide those measures to justify continued funding (see Proposal Narrative: Section 9).
  • The program’s Fiscal Year 2016 funding may not be appropriated by Congress before your proposal is submitted; therefore any grant selections are contingent on the availability of funds..


All applicants (except offices of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service) must apply through, which provides an online form that you must fill out completely and correctly. However, before you begin filling out the online form, you should familiarize yourself with the guidance on this page. If you understand the guidance before you begin, the application process will likely be easier. In addition, you should review the management and reporting pages as well as the following grant administration standards to understand your commitments before writing a proposal; if you are selected and accept an award, you will agree to comply with these standards.

Your application will consist of five parts: a proposal narrative, Partner Contribution Statements, a Standard Form 424 (“Application for Federal Assistance”), a second Standard Form (either 424b or 424d, “Assurances”) and a GIS shapefile (or Google Earth .kmz file) of your project area. Each is described in the steps below and further detailed in the links given below.


  1. Register in You should start this very early in the process! Registering in requires several preliminary steps. First your organization must have a current Dun and Bradstreet number (DUNS). (To obtain a DUNS number or to check the status of your number, see  Dun and Bradstreet Guidance (19.4KB).) After acquiring a DUNS number, you will then need to register in the System for Award Management (SAM) or update your previous registration. You must have an active System for Award Management (SAM) registration to apply through, to receive an award, and to be able to receive funds. (We recommend that you read the steps to register an organization in We strongly encourage applicants to initiate this process at least 6 weeks before our deadline, because it can be a complex process.
    1. If your organization is based outside the USA, you will need to go through additional steps in SAM, which could take many additional weeks. Only then can you register in (Click here to see a more detailed overview of the application process and SAM.)
    2. If you are an office of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service you do not need to apply through; follow the instructions for the proposal narrative and submit your proposal narrative to
    3. If you encounter problems with SAM, DUNS or GRANTS.GOV, read  Troubloshooting, DUNS, SAM, and (437.3KB).
  2. Your application will consist of a proposal narrative (12 pages), Partner Contribution Statements, a Standard Form 424 (“Application for Federal Assistance”), another Standard Form (either the SF-424B or D “Assurances”) and a project area shapefile or .kmz file. Each is described below.
  3. Write the proposal narrative, as described below. If you are applying through the IMPACT Program, you also need to follow the instructions in the second pdf, “Applying for a NMBCA IMPACT Program Grant”, to include additional IMPACT Program proposal information. You will be attaching the proposal narrative to your application.
  4. Obtain signed Partner Contribution Statements. You will be attaching these to your application.
  5. Make your project area shapefile using a GIS or create a .kmz file using Google Earth. For instructions, go here: Instructions for Submitting Data via Google Earth (613.2KB)
  6. Start your online application in and fill out all required fields. Go to Search. In the “Search by CFDA Number” insert “15.635”. This is the CFDA number for the Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act. Your application is the equivalent of Standard Form (SF) 424. If there is a system outage on the application deadline, you must submit your complete application, including a SF-424 with assurances (SF-424 B or D) to us via an email to before the deadline.
  7. If you are unable to complete the Assurances via, fill out the SF-424 Assurances separately by going to either Assurances Non-construction Programs: SF-424B or Assurances Construction Programs: SF-424D.
  8. In box 15 of your application package, use the “Add Attachments” button to upload your 12-page proposal narrative, your signed Partner Contribution Statements, your SF-424 Assurances if not digitally signed (either Assurances Non-construction Programs: SF-424B or Assurances Construction Programs: SF-424D) and your project area shapefile or .kmz files.
  9. We recommend that you also submit all application materials as one single PDF file (except the Project Area GIS Shapefile/Google Earth .kmz, which should be attached separately) to: Please include the complete proposal title (identical to that in your application) in the subject line of this email. Your official application, however, is the package submitted through
  10. Applications must be submitted to, and emailed to, no later than November 5, 2015.

Details on each of the steps above are provided in the following links

Last Updated: November 6, 2015