Grant Applicants - Program Guidelines


Many IMLS-funded projects involve collaboration. The successful completion of project activities often requires organizations to work together. These partnerships or collaborations can take many forms, both informal and formal. Sometimes partners provide cost share toward a project; sometimes the grantee provides federal grant funds to a partner. Below are some frequently asked questions about partnerships within IMLS grants.

In projects that involve partnerships, what are the responsibilities of the lead applicant and its partners?

The lead applicant organization in a project that involves one or more partners is the grantee. It is legally responsible for the use of all grant funds and for ensuring that the project is carried out by the partner(s) in accordance with the terms of the grant and all applicable federal laws, regulations, and requirements. The grantee must be the fiscal agent but may provide federal grant funds to its partners for specific activities or services. Each partner is legally responsible for carrying out the activities that it agrees to perform and for complying with the terms of the grant and all applicable federal laws, regulations, and requirements.

We encourage the lead applicant to include a letter of commitment from each partner, detailing the activities that the partner plans to perform and indicating that the partner agrees to comply with the terms of the grant and all applicable federal laws, regulations, and requirements. Letters of commitment should be signed by a person authorized to sign on behalf of the partner organization.

New government-wide grants regulations, 2CFR Chapter II Part 200 – Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, provide new rules for situations where federal funds are provided by the grantee to its partner, whether through a contract or a subaward. Click here to find these regulations. These regulations are anticipated to become effective for IMLS awards that are made after December 26, 2014.

Are partnerships with federal agencies permitted?

You may partner with federal agencies when appropriate. However, no IMLS grant funds may be provided to the federal agency partner. In addition, it is important to remember that federally appropriated funds, whether they are disbursed directly to you by a federal agency or indirectly through another organization, do not count toward your cost share. Click here for more information about cost share.

Are international partnerships permitted?

While we do not make grants to non-U.S. entities, such entities may partner with eligible U.S. organizations on IMLS-funded projects, subject to applicable law. Applicants and grantees must ensure that the non-U.S. entities are not on the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS), which has been incorporated into, or otherwise not eligible to receive federal funds. Click here to view the Excluded Parties List System.