Instructions for executing a memorandum of understanding (MOU) for grant funding

Follow these steps for executing an MOU for your department or agency to receive grant funding

Close-up of woman's hand signing a document


  1. Identify Partnership Agencies: Before drafting the MoU, identify all agencies involved in the partnership for grant funding. Ensure clarity on their roles, responsibilities, and contributions towards the project.
  2. Understand Grant Application Requirements: Review the grant application guidelines thoroughly to understand the specific requirements regarding MoUs. Some applications may specify the type of MoU required, while others may leave it to the discretion of the partnering agencies.
  3. Choose the Appropriate Type of MoU:
    • Written Memorandum of Understanding (MoU): This type of MoU is non-binding and is used to document the general understanding of the partnership. It’s suitable for expressing commitment and outlining basic terms and conditions.
    • Service Agreement MoU: If the partnership involves the provision of specific services, consider drafting a service agreement MoU. This document outlines the services to be provided in a non-binding manner, useful during preliminary negotiations.
    • Business Relationship MoU: For partnerships that involve broader collaboration beyond service provision, such as joint projects or ventures, a business relationship MoU is appropriate. This document details contributions, timelines, collaboration terms, payments, and other relevant conditions.
  4. Draft the MoU: Create a draft MoU based on the chosen type that includes:
    • Names and details of the partnering agencies.
    • Purpose and objectives of the partnership.
    • Roles and responsibilities of each party.
    • Duration of the partnership.
    • General terms and conditions.
    • Signatories and date fields.
  5. Consult with Legal Experts if Necessary: Depending on the complexity of the partnership and the grant requirements, it may be prudent to consult legal experts to ensure compliance and clarity in the MoU.
  6. Sign the MoU: Once the draft MoU is finalized and approved by all partnering agencies, arrange for signatures. Ensure that authorized representatives of each agency sign the document.
  7. Submit with Grant Application: Include the signed MoU as part of the grant application package. Follow the application instructions regarding submission deadlines and format.
  8. Prepare Detailed Agreements (if applicable): If time constraints necessitated the use of a basic MoU for initial grant application, plan to develop detailed agreements, such as service contracts or comprehensive business relationship agreements, if the grant is awarded. These documents should provide more in-depth terms and conditions for the partnership.
  9. Maintain Records: Keep copies of all signed MoUs and related documents for record-keeping and future reference.
  10. Review and Update as Needed: Periodically review and update the MoU as the partnership progresses or if there are any changes in circumstances or requirements.

By following these instructions, the partnering agencies can effectively navigate the process of signing a MoU for grant funding, ensuring clarity, commitment, and compliance with grant application guidelines.

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