Why You Need a DUNS Number

What is a DUNS number?
 
The Data Universal Numbering System, or DUNS, is an online database run by the company Dun & Bradstreet. It maintains up-to-date information on more than 300 million universally recognized businesses, which it identifies using unique nine-digit codes known as DUNS numbers. These numbers are a requirement for the great majority of grant applications. So, if your financial plans as a nonprofit include seeking grants or any other kind of financial support, you’re going to need one sooner rather than later. 
 
How is a DUNS score used? 
Like a credit score, your DUNS number will often be referenced by lenders and potential business partners to help predict the reliability and financial stability of your organization. Using this number, grant providers can request and gain access to your Dun & Bradstreet credit file, which might include firmographic data, corporate family relationships, scores, ratings, and various other indicators of your organization’s financial health. This information will help to verify your legitimacy and determine whether you are eligible for financial assistance. It goes without saying, therefore, that having a DUNS number is sort of a big deal. It’s not something you should set aside for a rainy day. 

Okay, so how do I get a DUNS number?
Fortunately, obtaining a DUNS number is fairly simple. Better yet, it’s free! First, you’ll need to visit the Dun & Bradstreet website or call their toll free number at 1-866-705-5711. Once you’ve chosen a method of applying, you’ll be asked to provide quite a bit of information. Make sure you’re ready to give them: 
    • your legal name, 
    • the name of the organization’s headquarters
    • an address and telephone number where your headquarters can be reached
    • your total number of employees. 
If you decide to use the website form, a representative from D & B will contact you to help you through the process. Once your request has been accepted, your organization should receive a DUNS number within 30 days. Good to go!
One final thing-and this is SO important- As you complete your request, make sure the address you put down for your organization is the same one you use when requesting a determination letter and registering with SAM.  If not, you will create a VERY big mess for yourself and your organization…We don’t even wanna talk about that here. Good luck! 
If you’re still unsure exactly what a DUNS number is and how it can benefit your organization, please contact us today. Our staff at MPS Grants will be more than happy to assist you! 
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