Notice of Funding Opportunity: AmeriCorps State Formula Grants 2017-2018

This notice is for AmeriCorps New Hampshire Formula Grant Programs. These grants are awarded to organizations to operate an AmeriCorps program that will place AmeriCorps members in service in New Hampshire.

Overview

Volunteer NH is a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote the tradition of service in New Hampshire. Building on that strong volunteer spirit, we support and sponsor national service initiatives and provide training, recognition, and a central site for volunteers and volunteer programs to help them strengthen their communities.   Volunteer NH is the National Service Commission and is the Governor-designated National Service Commission in New Hampshire and administers the AmeriCorps State grant programs. The Governor-appointed Board members oversee the legal and policy governance of the AmeriCorps New Hampshire program portfolio. Volunteer NH connects partners and resources to build a stronger nonprofit sector in NH.

AmeriCorps provides support to nonprofits, faith-based and community organizations, and public agencies committed to meeting critical needs in education, disaster services, economic opportunity, healthy futures, veterans and military families and environmental stewardship.  AmeriCorps is a federal program overseen by Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).The mission of the Corporation for National and Community Service (the Corporation) is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering.

CNCS – through AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, the Social Innovation Fund, and the Volunteer Generation Fund – has helped to engage millions of citizens in meeting community and national challenges through service and volunteer action.

Through all its programs, CNCS seeks to expand economic opportunity – helping Americans acquire the skills, education, and training they need for productive employment. By helping more Americans graduate, pursue higher education, and find work, national service can provide immediate and long term benefits by expanding individual opportunity, building family stability, and creating more sustainable, resilient communities.

Publication of this Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity (Notice) does not obligate Volunteer NH to award any specific number of grants or to obligate the entire amount of funding available.

AmeriCorps grants are awarded to eligible organizations to recruit, train and manage AmeriCorps members who address unmet community needs. Members are individuals who engage in community service and may receive a living allowance during their term of service. Upon successful completion of their service, members receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award from the National Service Trust.

 

Eligibility Information

The following entities are eligible to apply: public or private nonprofit organizations, including faith-based and other community organizations; institutions of higher education; government entities within states or territories (e.g. cities, counties); labor organizations; partnerships and consortia; and Indian Tribes. Receiving funding previously from CNCS or another Federal agency is not a prerequisite to applying under this Notice.

Organizations that have been convicted of a federal crime are disqualified from receiving the assistance described in this Notice. Pursuant to the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, an organization described in Section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue code of 1986, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(4), that engages in lobbying activities is not eligible to apply.

Additionally, an eligible application is required to meet all items under sections A-B in these sections. Applications that do not meet all items in these sections will be considered ineligible and will not be reviewed for this funding opportunity.

 

Designated Focus Area

Eligible programs will be those that propose activities with the primary goal of addressing CNCS priority areas or those that address the critical areas of need identified in the Volunteer NH Unified State Service Plan. These include:

  • Disaster Services
  • Economic Opportunity- especially opportunity youth
  • Education  -improving student  academic performance including STEM
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Healthy Futures
  • Veterans and Military Families

(For more information on CNCS Focus areas visit: http://www.nationalservice.gov/focus-areas)

In addition to the CNCS priority areas, special consideration may be given to programs that address the critical areas of need identified in the Volunteer NH Unified State Service Plan These include:

  • Education (Mentoring, Skill Development, Afterschool Programming)
  • Drug Misuse and Mental/Emotional Health
  • Transportation Services for Veterans, Older Adults, and Individuals with Disabilities

 

Capacity Building:

In addition to the focus areas described above, grants also will provide support for capacity building activities provided by national service participants. As a general rule, CNCS considers capacity building activities to be indirect services that enable CNCS-supported organizations to provide more, better, and sustained direct services in CNCS’ six focus areas. Capacity building activities cannot be solely intended to support the administration or operations of the organization. Examples of capacity building activities include:

  • Recruiting and/or managing community volunteers.
  • Implementing effective volunteer management practices.
  • Completing community assessments that identify goals and recommendations.
  • Developing new systems and business processes (technology, performance management, training, etc.) or enhancing existing systems and business processes.

 

Encore Programs:

Congress set a goal that 10 percent of AmeriCorps funding should support encore service programs that engage a significant number of participants age 55 or older. CNCS seeks to meet that 10 percent target in this competition and encourages encore programs to apply.

 

National Performance Measures:

The SAA emphasizes measuring the impact of service and focusing on a core set of issue areas. CNCS’ five-year Strategic Plan establishes an ambitious set of objectives that support the mission and goals to implement the SAA. These strategic goals guided the development of sixteen agency-wide Priority Measures. National Performance Measures allow CNCS to demonstrate aggregated impact of all its national service programs, including AmeriCorps State and National. They are divided in two categories: Priority Measures and Complementary Program Measures. For more information, please refer to the National Performance Measure Instructions: https://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2017%20Performance%20Measures%20Instructions_edited8-29-16.pdf

 

Operating Grants

VNH funds operating grants that support fully-developed plans to establish a New Hampshire AmeriCorps program or to support, expand, or replicate an existing program. Grant awards are renewed annually for a total of two years subject to annual review and availability of federal appropriations.

 

Program Size

Applicants must apply for a minimum of 20 members full or part-time positions.  AmeriCorps programs should be large enough to make a significant difference in communities.

 

Minimum Organizational Capacity

The applicant organization will have a Single Audit or an Independent Financial Audit. The applicant organization will also certify that they have experience in managing state and/or federal grant funds.

 

Administrative fee

VNH maintains a fee of 2% for all Formula grants. This fee must be included in the budget.

 

Statewide member training conference

Programs need to include in the budget $55 per member and $65 for at least one staff for attendance to the Annual Governor’s Conference on Volunteerism.

 

Project Period

The project start date is proposed by the applicant is one year (12 months).

 

Award Period

Unless otherwise specified, the Formula grant covers a two year project period contingent on CNCS appropriated funds. Continuation funding is not guaranteed, factors considered in award continuation may include and are not limited to, satisfactory performance, demonstrated capacity to manage the grant, compliance with the grant requirements, match requirements and agency priorities.

 

Intent to Apply

Notify VNH of your organization’s intent to apply for AmeriCorps 2017 Formula funding email Andrea@volunteernh.org by April 28, 2017.

Note: Mandatory technical assistance call for brand new applicants will be April 28, 2017 at 1PM.

Additionally if you’re a brand new applicant (never received AmeriCorps funds from Volunteer NH) you will be required to complete an organizational capacity assessment form returned to Andrea@voulnteernh.org.

 

Application Instructions

All applications will be entered into e-Grants. Please refer to the 2017 AmeriCorps State and National Application instructions in conjunction with the Volunteer NH NOFO.

 

2017 CNCS Announcement of Federal Funding Opportunity:

 https://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2017%20ASN%20Notice_0.pdf

 

Application Instructions:

https://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2017%20ASN%20Application%20Instructions.pdf

 

Resources: 

Performance Measure Instructions

https://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2017%20Performance%20Measures%20Instructions_edited8-29-16.pdf

 

AmeriCorps Regulations:

The full regulations are available at www.ecfr.gov  45 CFR §§ 2520-2550.

 

Application Timeline

April 28, 2017 – Mandatory Technical Assistance Call at 1pm and Intent to Apply due to Andrea@volunteernh.org

May 22, 2017 – Applications due in eGrants by 5 pm.

May 24, 2017 – Applications are delivered to a committee to review

June 2, 2017 – Committee meets to discuss applications

June 5, 2017 – Feedbacks and clarifications delivered to applicants

June 19, 2017 – Final applications due to VNH by 5pm.

June 26, 2017 – Final applications due to CNCS