Tips for Applying for a CDC Notice of Funding Opportunity

The tips below can help when applying for a CDC Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).

  • Register your agency at; update info as needed.
  • Get alerts about current and projected funding opportunities.
  • Make connections—before it’s time to partner (including about grant writing assistance).
  • Consider partnering on development and implementation of the proposal. Strong partnerships strengthen proposals, especially within the community and between other sectors.
  • Ask the NOFO contacts questions as needed.
  • Attend any funding agency-provided pre-application information conference calls about NOFOs.
  • Work the proposal backwards from what you want to achieve and what you can measure (the required logic model for all CDC applications will help).
  • Use available health statistics (e.g., National Center for Health Statistics and Data & Statistics) and national reports/strategies (e.g., National Health Initiatives, Strategies & Action Plans and CDC Stacks) to support need, justify approach, and provide basis for measuring impact of proposed activities.
  • Innovation is encouraged as well, especially in terms of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the health system.
  • Describe your past successes in the same arena as much as possible.
  • Outcomes are preferred over outputs.
  • If desired, propose that some of the funding will be used to prepare for and sustain public health accreditation (instructions are in CDC NOFOs).
  • If desired, propose the use of Direct Assistance. If approved, CDC will provide staff to work on the grant and subtract the costs from the award.


  • Did you address all of the criteria that will be rated?
  • Are your strategies, activities, staffing, measurement plan, and other parts of the project plan in alignment? Will they achieve the NOFO goals in a measurable way?
  • Did you create a checklist for all supporting documentation to make sure you submit a complete package?
  • Did you use spellcheck?

For Future NOFOs