About CDC Funding

Acquisition vs. Assistance

Contracts acquire supplies and services for the agency, while grants assist recipients in accomplishing a public purpose.

CDC provides two types of funding: acquisition and assistance.

Acquisition refers to purchasing supplies and services for CDC. These mechanisms typically include contracts, purchase orders, and Inter-Agency Agreements. Often “acquisition” and “contracts” are used interchangeably.

Assistance refers primarily to grants and cooperative agreements. These financial assistance mechanisms help involve and engage public health stakeholders, including state and local governments, in fulfilling CDC’s mission. Grants and cooperative agreements provide the means to transfer federal monies, resources, technical assistance, and / or expertise to these stakeholders in exchange for their contributions or to ensure their alignment with federal goals and objectives. Often “assistance” and “grants” are used interchangeably. In practice, there are significant differences between the two. Cooperative agreements are used when CDC has substantial involvement in the activities being funded, while grants are used when CDC has no need for substantial involvement.

Acquisition vs. Assistance
Type Mechanism Principal purpose Primary beneficiary Is there a deliverable?
Acquisition Contracts, Purchase Orders, and Inter-Agency Agreements Acquisition for the direct benefit or use of the federal government Federal Government Yes
Assistance Grants and Cooperative Agreements Transfer of money, property, services, or anything of value to accomplish a public purpose of support The recipient (as a proxy for “the public”) No; however, grantees submit progress and final reports
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