Ready to work with USAID?
Want to be a part of USAID’s efforts to build a world that is safer, healthier, and more prosperous? We are here to help.
Prepare my organization
Before you run any race, you need to prepare. This checklist will help you examine and verify your readiness to work with USAID, get connected to the USAID partner ecosystem, and take actions that will accelerate your partner journey.
- Generally speaking, almost any organization is eligible to work with USAID.
- USAID funding comes from the American People and its budget is set by Congress, in negotiation with the Executive Office. Each USAID notice of funding opportunity defines eligibility requirements. Two levels of eligibility exist: (1) “Unrestricted eligibility” has no limitations on eligibility, whereas (2) “restricted eligibility” may be limited by organization type, location, or efficiency. Here’s an example of a notice of funding opportunity (PDF).
- Access steps, helpful resources, and practical guidance to get ready to partner with USAID through the “How to Work with USAID” online training series.
- Become familiar with USAID acronyms with the “Acronym Soup” video (English) (Spanish subtitles) and this quick reference guide (PDF).
- Consider partnering with more experienced implementers to become familiar with USAID requirements for work planning, financial management, and program reporting. For a list of USAID’s top 15 acquisition and assistance partners, please see page 4 of the 2021 progress report (PDF) issued by the USAID Bureau for Management’s Office of Acquisition and Assistance.
- Learn to measure success, monitor your activities, and report on performance. Put in place an Activity Monitoring, Evaluation, and Learning plan before you submit a concept note to USAID.
- For non-U.S. organizations, check the Prospective Offeror’s and Applicant’s Guide (PDF) to determine whether your legal, financial, and operational policies meet USAID requirements. USAID will then assess your capacity to manage an award and comply with U.S. Government regulations.
- Assemble evidence or documentation of your organization’s capacity, past performance, and required certifications. Have these readily available to provide a timely response to a USAID funding solicitation.
- Ensure your organization understands that, depending upon if an award is made under an acquisition versus an assistance mechanism, USAID is given exclusive branding and marking. See USAID’s branding and marking requirements and this related training module.
- Review USAID Mission websites and Country Development Cooperation Strategies to connect your organization’s capabilities with a Mission’s focus areas.
- Watch this video to learn more about the New Partnerships Initiative.
- Register in the WorkwithUSAID.gov Partner Directory to join the network and learn about partners throughout the world already involved in or interested in being involved in USAID projects.
- Participate in USAID co-creation activities (PDF) and develop concept notes to register your interest and share your ideas.
- Access the full breakdown of all New Partnerships Initiative awards.
- USAID wants to connect with you and help you better engage with the Agency. If you have any additional questions that are not listed in the FAQ, please email us at IndustryLiaison@USAID.gov.
- Join the Work with USAID LinkedIn Group and follow us on Twitter @WorkWithUSAID.
- Access USASpending.gov, the official open data source of federal spending information. The site tracks how federal money is spent across the United States and beyond. Connect with others who already have a USAID contract.
- Review the Agency’s Business Forecast.
- Monitor funding and solicitation opportunities on Grants.gov (grants and cooperative agreements), SAM.gov (contract opportunities), and www.usaid.gov/work-usaid/find-a-funding-opportunity.
- USAID determines its priorities based on input from Congress, the Executive Office, and our partner countries. These are outlined in Country Development Cooperation Strategies.
- USAID awards the majority of its funds through a competitive process where organizations submit proposals to USAID and the best and most innovative ideas are funded.
- Review USAID’s strategy and planning process.
- Follow these steps in this order to be eligible:
- A non-U.S.-based organization must obtain a free NATO Commercial and Government Entity (NCAGE) code.
- Register your organization in the System for Award Management (SAM), the official mechanism for potential partners to register to do business with the U.S. Government. A U.S.-based organization needs a free CAGE code. This is generated when you apply for SAM, a process that can take 4+ hours.
- Be sure to use your exact organization name for all three applications. Any variation may cause issues.
- Review USAID Financial Management Principles and Standards (PDF) and Financial Audit Guide (PDF) to determine whether your organization meets Agency requirements.
- Confirm compliance using the Certifications, Assurances, Representations, and Other Statements of the Recipient (PDF) document.