Welcome! Let's get you GATA pre-qualified so you can receive the state grants you need to better serve the people of Illinois.

For more information, visit the GATA website 
Need assistance? Email OMB.GATA@Illinois.gov

Click Next in the lower right to proceed...

Getting Started

What to expect

Don't worry if it seems intimidating, because we're here to help break it down! It's easy-peasy.

Note that you won' be able to complete the entire process in one day, as some steps are contingent upon others, but you can come back to this guide as often as you need.

But remember: Your grant application cannot be processed until you are pre-qualified, so don't put this off!


  • Use the Next and Back links at the bottom to skim through the steps.
GATA Pre-qualification Flowchart

  1. Register your organization with the State of Illinois
    Turnaround time 2-6 weeks
  2. Obtain a FEIN/EIN number
    Turnaround time: Immediate
  3. Register for a SAM.gov account
    Turnaround time: Up to 6 weeks
  4. Sign up for an Illinois.gov account
    Turnaround time: Immediate
  5. Link your GATA account with your Illinois.gov account
    Turnaround time: Immediate
  6. Create an organization profile on the Grantee Portal
    Turnaround time: 1-3 days
  7. Complete the Internal Controls Questionnaire
    Complete this step before the award is granted.


Step 1. Register your organization with the State of Illinois

First, you'll need to register your organization with the Illinois Secretary of State.

Turnaround time: 2-6 weeks

There is no need to purchase the Certificate of Good Standing. The Grantee Portal automatically links to the Secretary of State Website to validate that the organization is in good standing.


  • You must maintain Good Standing annually, so make sure you revisit the registration every year.

Step 2. Obtain a FEIN/EIN

Next, you'll need to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN/EIN) from the IRS if you don't already have one.

Turnaround time: Immediate


  • Make sure you use the exact same organization name that was approved by the State of Illinois in the previous step.

Step 3. Register for a SAM.gov account / Obtain UEI

Once you have your FEIN, you can register for a SAM.gov account. You will also need your organization's legal name, address, entity type, and bank information to set up electronic funds transfer (EFT). As part of your registration, you will obtain a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) that you enter into the Grantee Portal (Step 6).

Turnaround time: Up to 6 weeks


  • For points of contact in your organization, you can put the same person for multiple roles (i.e., CEO, CFO).
  • Don't mark your SAM.gov account "private", the GATA connection to SAM.gov checks an account periodically, as the status can change at any time. A grantee must maintain an active registration at SAM.gov at all times.
  • Allow up to 10 days for your account to be activated in SAM and another 24 hours to be available in other systems.
  • You must re-register for your SAM.gov account annually.

Step 4. Sign up for an Illinois.gov account

If you already have an Illinois.gov account, you may not need to create another one.

Turnaround time: Immediate

After you register, you will need to verify your account by clicking the link in the email message that was sent to you from IdentityManagement@Illinois.gov


  • Illinois.gov accounts are not transferable, please make sure you use your personal or business email that is specific to you when registering. 

Step 5. Link your GATA account with your Illinois.gov account

Turnaround time: Immediate


  • You will need your organization's 12-digit UEI number.

Step 6. Create an organization profile on the Grantee Portal

Turnaround time: 1-3 days


  • This information should match the information used for your EIN, UEI, and SAM.gov account.
  • Your fiscal year in the "IMPORTANT" box must match the fiscal year in SAM.gov.

Great job!

You've finished all the steps to get GATA pre-qualified! Now sit tight while the State of Illinois reviews your application.

Estimated turnaround time: 1 day

Check the grantee portal to see if each status requirement has been approved ("Good") or is "Pending" and/or requires action. Make sure you check the email you registered with for notifications about these changes.

Once you have been approved, you can start applying to state grants. Before you are awarded a grant, make sure you complete step 7.


Step 7. Complete the Internal Controls Questionnaire (ICQ)

Before your grant can be awarded, you must complete the ICQ, which consists of about 41 questions, in 4 sections. You will need to enter the names of the Executive Director and Chief Financial Officer (or equivalents) to complete the form.


  • The ICQ must be completed every state fiscal year, which begins in July.



You are now GATA pre-qualified and you've completed the pre-award requirements. We're excited to see the change you'll bring to the state of Illinois.

If you are applying for IDHS grants, see How to Sign Up for CSA and CRV.

Questions? Email OMB.GATA@Illinois.gov