Definition of a Cooperative Agreement

by Tim Burris; Updated September 26, 2017
Businesswoman Addressing Meeting Around Boardroom Table

A cooperative agreement is a legal agreement between the federal government and any other entity. A cooperative agreement occurs when the federal government transfers something of value, usually money, to a state government, municipality or private company for a public purpose. In a cooperative agreement, substantial interaction goes on between the federal government and the other party.

Grants vs. Cooperative Agreements

The main difference between a grant and a cooperative agreement is that in a grant, not much substantial interaction occurs between the federal government and the awardee. In a cooperative agreement, there is significant involvement by the federal government associated with the stated agreement.

Cooperative Agreements vs. Procurement Contracts

The essential difference between a procurement contract and a cooperative agreement is that in a cooperative agreement, money is awarded to another entity to carry out a public purpose with the involvement of the federal government. In a procurement contract, there is a purchase by the federal government of some product or service from another entity.

Cooperative Agreement Summary

The cooperative agreement is mainly for funding of public projects in which a department of the federal government is an active partner. An example would be a cooperative agreement between the Centers for Disease Control and various state and local organizations that promote disaster preparedness.

About the Author

Tim Burris has over seven years experience writing and editing formal sales proposals and marketing materials. Tim has also worked as a freelance journalist for two news organizations. His cover story in "NUVO Newsweekly," Financial Disclosure, May 5, 2004, won an award from the Indiana Society of Professional Journalists. Tim has a Bachelor of Science degree in business, finance from Indiana University.

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