Neotropical Migratory Bird Conservation Act: Annual Reporting Obligations

I. Annual and final reports
II. Quarterly financial reports
III. Subrecipient reports
IV. Publicize your success
How to fill out the SF-425

General Requirements

Each grant recipient is required to submit annual and final financial reports and annual and final performance reports that briefly describe the success of meeting all objectives in the proposal and that explain any differences between proposed activities and actual achievements. Please describe the accomplishments under each objective separately. Recipients who choose to be eligible to receive payment advances must also submit quarterly financial reports, and recipients who provide subawards of USD$25,000 or more must also report on subawards.

Additional requirements may apply to specific projects; please contact your Grant Officer if you are not sure what additional documentation is needed.

You must demonstrate that you accomplished everything you proposed to do, with both match and grant funds, whether in kind or cash.

We will check that you did not make any major budget or scope changes (unless you obtained prior approval, which you should state in your report).

Extensive reports are not necessary if project activities were fully completed; when appropriate, a note stating that "this activity was accomplished 100%" could be sufficient.. Attach documentation of all outputs and products.

Report on time and with care. Your reports are the official document showing that you spent the award as agreed.

On-time submission of all required reports and documentation is an important performance component. NMBCA proposal reviewers will take into consideration an applicant's prior performance in past and current projects.

I. Annual and Final Reports

To determine when your annual (interim) and final reports are due, check your grant award and cover letter ("Notice of Award").

Each annual and final report must include the following (details on each item are described below):

  1. A concise narrative showing accomplishments under each objective. List each objective and evaluation criterion from your proposal, briefly describe the accomplishments under each objective, and state that this objective was 100% accomplished or, if not 100%, why not. (See A, below.)
  2. A comparison of budgeted (proposed) vs. actual (expended) line items. We suggest that you copy the budget table from your proposal and insert columns for "actual grant expenditures" and "actual match contributed". If possible, please format it so that it prints well on a standard U.S. letter page (i.e., not wider than about 20 cm or 8 inches ). (See B, below.)
  3. A signed and dated SF-425. (See C, below.)
  4. Any relevant attachments (e.g., real estate documentation, GIS shapefiles, photos, project products, equipment inventory for any equipment over $5,000). Please review the grant guidelines to determine what documentation you need to include in your report.

Does your report include the following required items?

  • Narrative
  • Budget comparison
  • Signed and dated SF-425
  • Relevant attachments

A. Progress (narrative) report

  1. Consider structuring your progress report similarly to your proposal, i.e., the same order of objectives/activities/outcomes for the narrative portion and the same budget table. You may also submit a table of objectives compared to accomplishments, if the arrangement of objectives is parallel to that in the proposal. Example 1
  2. Your final report (and second annual report, if you have obtained an extension) must be cumulative from the beginning of your grant period to the end of the year that you are reporting on and must include a summary of the accomplishments and expenses that you already reported in your previous report.
  3. Email attachments are preferred over hard copies of these documents. Please reference the project or award number in the email subject line.
  4. If you will need additional time to complete your report, please contact your USFWS DBHC grant administrator at least one day before the due date. Extensions are limited to 30 days from the due date.
  5. You may submit your reports in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.
    Preferred format for the narrative report
    1. Title, project number, and award number of NMBCA grant
    2. Name of your Project Officer, Name of Organization that received the grant
    3. Grant period: begins x/x/xxxx and ends z/z/zzzz [see box 17 of your Assistance Award document]
    4. "Annual Report for period ending y/y/yyyy" or "Final report"
    5. Accomplishments Under Each and All Objectives Given in the Proposal
      1. Table
      2. Narrative
      3. List of attachments that include the documentation for each outcome and product
  6. You must include all objectives and outputs funded with match. All reporting and documentation requirements also apply to all match-funded activities. For example, if you propose to provide a 1,000-acre tract as in-kind match, you must send copies of all required property documentation (deed, settlement statement or payment verification if the price and purchase date are not on the deed, appraisal, map, shapefile). You must send this no later than with your next report.
  7. Give measurable accomplishments. List all products and outcomes from your project, and attach electronic copies of the products. Remember that you must include all objectives and outputs, including those funded with match. If you do not accomplish an objective, you may be asked to return grant funds. Show how the project enhanced the conservation of Neotropical migratory bird species.
  8. If your project included research and monitoring, describe how the information was used for conservation, and by whom. Describe how your data generated through this project was made available to the conservation community, and how it contributed to greater understanding of Neotropical migratory bird conservation.
  9. Describe the mechanisms included to ensure adequate local public participation in project implementation.
  10. Note any consultation with relevant wildlife management authorities and other appropriate government officials with jurisdiction over the resources addressed by the project. Describe how your activities were coordinated with or communicated to decisionmakers and management authorities.
  11. Explain how the organizations involved are continuing project-related activities after the NMBCA funding ends.
  12. List the outcomes, products or deliverables that resulted from your project (both grant and match funded activities) and were completed by the end of the grant period. Evaluate each objective and determine the impact of your activities on Neotropical migratory birds. Show the quality and quantity of success through performance indicators that helped you determine whether your project was successful. Compare your pre-project assessment to to your outcomes. Describe metric and baseline (or target) that you identified for each objective, and give the final numbers and percentages. For example: 500 hectares/133%, 400 children taught/150%, 2000 trees planted/100%, 2 guards employed/100%). As a rule, 100% achievements are expected; only in exceptional circumstances will an incomplete achievement be accepted. If an objective was not accomplished in full, please detail the obstacles you encountered that prevented 100 % achievement of the modified objective (i.e., what caused the reduction in accomplishment, how you overcame it and compensated for it, and/or what lessons you learned that will help you improve in the future.
  13. Equipment is tangible, non-expendable, personal property having a useful life of more than one year and an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit. Read the grant guidelines carefully if you buy equipment with match or grant funds. Recipients must take a physical inventory of equipment acquired with grant or match funds or received as a matching in-kind contribution and submit that inventory with the final report. If you have equipment valued at more than $5,000 that was purchased with grant or match funds, please include the following information in your final report:
    • whether there is a continuing need for the equipment for ongoing management of the project;
    • whether there is a need for the equipment in another project or program sponsored by the USFWS;
    • whether there is a need for the equipment in another project or program sponsored by another Federal agency; and
    • a request for disposition instructions for all equipment with a current per-unit fair market value greater than $5,000.
  14. Use equipment in the project for which it was acquired as long as needed, whether or not the project continues to be supported by Federal funds. When no longer needed for the original project, the recipient must use the equipment in connection with its other Federally sponsored activities. Disposing of project-related equipment is complicated and must be allowed by FWS; ask your Grant Administrator for instructions at least one month before you plan to dispose of it. If building construction was authorized, explain how the building will be an ongoing contribution to Neotropical migratory bird conservation.


Objective: The specific result you expect to achieve through the project (e.g., increase restored habitat in the project area by 10 percent).

Output/product: For example, the number of acres restored.

Outcome: Desired goal of the objective (e.g, more Neotropical migratory birds using the restored habitat).

Summary Table
You may want to include a table summarizing your achievements. This is not required, but if you like the idea, here is one example of an accomplishments table.

Objective(as listed in proposal)Expected Output (as listed in proposal)Description of activities completed during project periodStatus of the objectives (0-100 % completion)Description of problems encountered; or issues that need to be addressed; or decisions or actions to be taken; or additional outputs
Objective 1: Migratory Bird Habitat Management    
1.a. increase bird monitoring capacity1.a. 22 rangers trained in bird bandingheld 4 training workshops in surrounding communities100%Will training additional 10 rangers next year, with funding from the park foundation.

Prior approval to replace the training coordinator was received on 1 February 2011.

Objective 2. Migratory Bird Habitat Restoration    
Objective 3. Migratory Bird Monitoring    

Special obligations if you acquired land or easements:

  1. In the next report after you complete an acquisition, submit copies of legal and other documentation (settlement statements, appraisals, deeds, maps, and GIS shapefiles) showing that all acquisitions are complete. Submit similar documentation for any land acquisition provided as match, even if it was donated and the acquisition occurred before the beginning of the project period.
  2. If your objectives included maintenance, management, protection, or restoration of bird habitat, list the number of hectares or acres directly impacted by each of these four sub-activities, and clearly show whether any are counted more than once. For example: "1,000 Ha easement donated to the provincial government as match (tract 1), 500 Ha tract acquired by the grantee with grant funds (tract 2), 200 Ha (in tract 2) fenced, 100 Ha (in tract 1) reforested.
  3. If your project includes land acquisition or restoration (including reforestation), list the number of hectares or acres acquired or restored (explaining how many of those hectares are counted under both categories) and provide a map under item 11.
  4. If you are acquiring conservation easements, please describe the terms of each proposed easement. Describe the rights that will be protected or activities that will be prohibited by the easement; the length of time during which the easements will be in place; the kind of organization that will hold the easement; and the type of compensation the landowner will receive. If there are laws or policies that regulate easements in the country, provide a link or name the legislation. Finally, please describe how you will monitor compliance with the terms of the easement over its lifetime.
  5. If your project includes land acquisition or restoration (including reforestation), show on a map the polygons of each specific area (tract) that were acquired or restored.
  6. Geographic information systems software (GIS) shapefiles are now required as an attachment to final reports. Submit complete shapefiles in geospatial vector data format for GIS that describe all interests in real property that you or your partner organization purchased, restored or enhanced with grant or match dollars or that you accepted as in-kind matching contributions as part of the project. If you do not have access to GIS software you may create digital project area maps using the FWS NAWCA on-line mapping tool.
  7. Provide proof (e.g., correspondence in the form of an email or letter) that you have communicated your intention to acquire land during this project to the appropriate government agency in the country.

B. Budget-Expenditure comparison

  1. We suggest that you copy your itemized budget table from the proposal, and then insert one column for NMBCA expenditures and an additional column for each partner's contribution ("match"). Check that all subtotals add up correctly and use US dollars. Example
  2. Distinguish between cash and in-kind expenditures. Remember that all activities taking place in the United States and Canada must be matched entirely in cash.
  3. Contributions already used as match in other projects with funding from U.S. Federal sources are not eligible as match.
  4. Personnel salary costs, including those contributed as match, and volunteer hours should be well documented, e.g., by a volunteer hours log.
  5. List each partner that contributed match, with their total contribution amount, including that from your own organization (the grantee). You will be asked to return a portion of grant funds if you show insufficient partner contributions.
  6. If your organization has an officially negotiated indirect cost rate agreement with a U.S. Federal agency (your "cognizant" agency), attach a copy of your agreement.
  7. You can use this comparison table to fill out the SF-425.

C. SF-425 Federal Financial Report (FFR):

  1. 1.All grant recipients must report financial progress annually to our office via the SF-425 Federal Financial Report (FFR) form. (These instructions do not apply to the quarterly reports that you may be required to submit.)
  2. Submit the SF 425 with each annual and final report by the dates shown on the table above.
  3. Do not report multiple awards on one form. (Although the SF-425 can accommodate reporting on multiple awards, we will only accept SF-425 Financial Reports for a single grant.)
  4. Complete items 1 - 9 on the form, then lines 10 d - k, skipping lines 10 a - c. If you have earned any income because of project activity (e.g., lease income on grant or match tracts), enter that information on lines 10 l - o. Line 10i should be the entire match amount committed, as it appears in box 13 of your Assistance Award. Line 10j should be the match funds already expended. (If your organization has a NICRA ("negotiated indirect cost rate") and indirect costs were included in your proposal budget, complete line 11.
  5. Certify the form by filling out section 13, scan it and send it as an email attachment, or mail the form with the original signature to your USFWS DBHC G rant Officer (Guy Foulks or Andrea Grosse, USFWS-DBHC, 5275 Leesburg Pike, MS:MB, Falls Church, VA 22041, USA)

Always remember what your commitment is (proposed objectives) and what your accomplishments (achieved objectives) and deliverables (documents, reports, products) must be at the end of the grant period.

Refer to the grant agreement and our grant standards regularly, but especially before your annual/final reporting and before each major expenditure or match contribution.

II. If You Signed you to Receive Advance Payments: Quarterly Financial Reports

If you chose the option to receive advance payment of Federal funds, you must submit quarterly financial reports on the SF-425 (Federal Financial Report) form during the entire project period, even if you do not exercise this option and even if you have not expended any grant funds during that quarter. Federal Cash Transactions must be reported quarterly and e-mailed to your grant officer. You must use a separate SF-425 form for each grant, but provide different information on it for annual and quarterly reports. To submit a quarterly report, fill out sections 1-9 on the SF-425, then section 10 a-c, and certify in section 13. If you have any grant funds you have drawn down but not expended, explain how long you have had the funds on hand and why in section 12. Quarterly financial reports are due on the following dates:

Reporting QuarterQuarterly SF-425 due date
January 1 - March 31April 30
April 1 - June 30July 30
July 1 - September 30October 30
October 1 - December 31January 30

III. Subrecipient Reports

Recipients of awards that include any funds obligated after January 2012 are required--under the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA)--to report executive compensation and subaward information. Information must be reported via the FFATA Subaward Reporting System at The information you enter into that system is subsequently published on More information is available at

You must report on qualifying subawards by the end of the month following the month in which the subaward was issued. Recipients must report the following information:

  1. for the recipient DUNS number and the DUNS number of their sub-awardee(s), the names and total compensation of the five most highly compensated officers of the entity if the entity in the preceding fiscal year received 80 percent or more of its annual gross revenues in Federal awards; and $25,000,000 or more in annual gross revenues from Federal awards; and the public does not have access to this information about the compensation of the senior executives of the entity through periodic reports filed under section 13(a) or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (15 U.S.C. ?? 78m(a), 78o(d)) or section 6104 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. See FFATA ? 2(b)(1).

In addition, recipients must report the following information related to each subaward if the Federal award amount is equal to or over $25,000 at any time during the project period:

  1. name of the entity receiving the award;
  2. amount of the award;
  3. information on the award including transaction type, funding agency, Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance number, program source, and award title descriptive of the purpose of each funding action;
  4. location of the entity receiving the award and primary location of performance under the award, including city, State, congressional district, and country; and
  5. unique identifier of the entity receiving the award and the parent entity of the recipient, should the entity be owned by another entity.

Recipients must report executive compensation and subaward information by the end of the month after the subaward was made. For example, if a subaward was made on December 18, the information must be entered by January 31.

IV. Optional: Publicize your Success!

We encourage you to add, as an annex to your final report, a story that tells about the achievements that resulted from your actions, and what that means for birds and people. You should describe the threats that the birds are facing and the species and habitats that benefited from your work. Back up your story with statistics and anecdotes. Quantitative data like the number of acres protected or number of students reached through environmental education are important, but qualitative examples resonate even more. Use stories from the local people or from your own staff about something uplifting they accomplished, even if it was just one nest or bird saved. The story should be no more than 500 words long. Our communications staff may pick up your story and share it in a Facebook post, a publication, or other venue that can reach larger audience.