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Congratulations! If you're engaging in this lesson you have probably been chosen to be an intermediary organization – an organization that has been given a large sum of money in order to make grants to other groups. Many references within this lesson are specific to an intermediary that is leading a Federally-funded subaward program, but most of the content applies to any type of subaward program, publicly funded or not. By the end of this lesson you will be able to identify the key components of a subaward plan, recall outreach strategies, and effectively manage your subaward program.

This lesson will prepare you to design and manage a successful subaward program.

This lesson goes through the steps for creating a subaward plan, which is a written document describing the steps you will take to implement your program. A written plan may or may not be required by your program office before you begin implementing your program. However, by following the steps required to write a subaward plan you will design an effective and thoughtful subaward program that is likely to reach its stated goals.

Let’s begin with some key definitions.

Intermediary Organization: An intermediary organization is responsible for distributing a sum of money, or an award, to other organizations in the form of grants, or subawards. An intermediary is usually larger and more experienced than the organizations receiving the subawards.

Subaward: The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Code of Federal Regulations (45 CFR Part 74) defines a subaward as “an award of financial assistance in the form of money, or property in lieu of money, made under an award by a recipient [or intermediary organization] to an eligible sub-recipient.”

Sub-Recipient or subawardee: The same section of the Code of Federal Regulations (45 CFR Part 74) defines a sub-recipient as “the legal entity to which a subaward is made and which is accountable to the recipient [or intermediary organization] for the use of the funds provided.” In this guide we will use the term “Subawardee” to refer to the organizations that have received subawards.

Program Officer: A program officer is the representative of a funding source responsible for monitoring the compliance and success of a set of grants. Federal programs might use the titles “Federal Project Officer,” “Federal Program Officer,” or “Federal Program Specialist” to refer to this person. In this guide we often use the term “program officer” to refer to the representative of your funding source – whether it is a Federal, state or local government, or private entity.

Program: We use this term to refer to your subaward program.

Project: This term refers to the set of activities that your subawardees will carry out using their subaward.