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 Grants.govExternal; 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

  • Give feedback to CDC project officers, CDC’s Center for State, Tribal, Local, and Territorial Support, and others about your jurisdiction’s needs, how the federal government can improve NOFOs, future strategies, and so on.
  • Tell your story—describe how past and current funding has benefited and continues to benefit your community.
Page last reviewed: October 4, 2018