Notice of Federal Funding Opportunity
For: Applications to Volunteer NH for AmeriCorps State Grants FY 2019
AmeriCorps 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 the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).The mission of CNCS is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic engagement through service and volunteering.
AmeriCorps grants are awarded to eligible organizations (see Eligible Applicants section) proposing to engage AmeriCorps members in evidence-based or evidence-informed interventions to strengthen communities. An AmeriCorps member is an individual who engages in community service through an approved national service position. Members may receive a living allowance and other benefits while serving. Upon successful completion of their service, members earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award from the National Service Trust that members can use to pay for higher education expenses or apply to qualified student loans.
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 administers AmeriCorps State Programs for New Hampshire and is the designated State Commission for CNCS.
Organizations that propose to operate in only one state must apply through the Governor-appointed State Commission (Volunteer NH). Volunteer NH administers its own selection process and submits the applications it selects to compete for funding directly to CNCS. Single-State applicants must contact Volunteer NH to learn about processes and deadlines which may be significantly earlier than the CNCS deadlines and may have additional requirements. A Single-State application from a State or Territory with a Commission that is submitted directly to CNCS by the applicant rather than the Commission will be considered noncompliant and will not be reviewed
Applicants to the State Competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) must comply with CNCS 2019 NOFO, Application Instructions, and Performance Measure Instructions in addition to following the Volunteer NH-specific requirements as listed in the Volunteer NH NOFO. Volunteer NH supports service categories which will serve as CNCS funding priority areas for the grant process. The areas and goals associated with each are as follows:
CNCS Focus Areas
The National and Community Service Act of 1990, as amended by the Serve America Act, emphasizes measuring the impact of service and focusing on a core set of issue areas. In order to carry out Congress’ intent and to maximize the impact of investment in national service, CNCS has the following focus areas:
- Disaster Services
- Economic Opportunity
- Environmental Stewardship
- Healthy Futures
- Veterans and Military Families
AmeriCorps Funding Priorities
CNCS seeks to prioritize the investment of national service resources in the following areas:
- Economic Opportunity – increasing economic opportunities for communities by engaging opportunity youth to prepare them for the workforce
- Education – selection of one of the evidence-based interventions in three categories: School Readiness (three evidence-based interventions), K-12 success (nine evidence-based interventions), and Post-Secondary Support (one evidence-based intervention). In order to qualify for this priority, the applicants must be assessed as having Moderate or Strong evidence by the reviewers.
- Healthy Futures – reducing and/or preventing prescription drug and opioid abuse
- Veterans and Military Families – positively impacting the quality of life of veterans and improving military family strength
- Rural intermediaries – organizations that demonstrate measureable impact and primarily serve communities with limited resources and organizational infrastructure
- Safer communities – programs that focus on public safety and/or partnerships between law enforcement and the community
- Faith-based organizations
In order to receive priority consideration for submitting an application within (a) Notice priority(ies), applicants must demonstrate that the priority area is a significant part of the program focus and intended outcomes and must include a high quality program design. Responses that propose programs for the purpose of receiving priority consideration are not guaranteed funding. Please review the Mandatory Supplemental Guidance for further information about some of the priorities
To be considered for New Competitive funding, a Legal Applicant Organization must have successfully administered an AmeriCorps State grant or Planning Grant through Volunteer NH for at least one year, or Legal Applicant Organization must have successfully administered an AmeriCorps State or National grant from another state and grant Volunteer NH access to any requested compliance and reporting documentation. Additionally, the Legal Applicant Organization must meet all eligibility criteria as outlined in the Eligibility Information section of this Notice. An applicant that is being considered for Competitive funding will also be considered for Formula funding if they are unsuccessful in the National competition for Competitive funding.
National Performance Measures
All applications must include at least one aligned performance measure (output and outcome) that corresponds to the proposed primary intervention. This may be a National Performance Measure or an applicant-determined measure. Additional performance measures, including output-only National Performance Measures, may also be included if desired; however, all performance measures must be consistent with the program’s Theory of Change and represent significant program activities. CNCS does not expect applicants to select performance measures to correspond to each and every potential member activity or community impact. CNCS values the quality of performance measures over the quantity of performance measures.
CNCS expects applicants to use National Performance Measures as part of their comprehensive performance measurement strategy if the National Performance Measures are part of the applicant’s theory of change. Applicants should use both performance and evaluation data to learn from their work as well as make tactical and strategic adjustments to achieve their goals. For more information, please refer to the National Performance Measure Instructions.
CNCS’s legal authority to award these grants is found in the National and Community Service Act of 1990, as amended, (NCSA) (42 U.S.C. 12501 et seq.)
Federal Award Information
Estimated Available Funds & Award Amounts
CNCS expects a highly competitive AmeriCorps FY 2019 grant competition. CNCS reserves the right to prioritize providing funding to existing awards over making new awards. The actual level of funding will be subject to the availability of annual appropriations. Grant awards have two components: operating funds and AmeriCorps member positions. Grant award amounts vary – both in the level of operating funds and in the type and amount of AmeriCorps member positions.
Unless otherwise specified, the grant generally covers a three-year project period. In approving a multi-year project period, CNCS generally makes an initial award for the first year of operation. In most cases, the application is submitted with a one-year budget. Continuation funding is not guaranteed. Factors considered in awarding continuation grants include satisfactory performance, demonstrated capacity to manage the grant, compliance with grant requirements, agency priorities, and the availability of appropriated funds. CNCS reserves the right to adjust the amount of a grant or elect not to continue funding for subsequent years.
The project start date is generally one year with a start date proposed by the applicant but not to be before July 1st. The project start date may not occur prior to the date CNCS awards the grant. AmeriCorps members may not enroll prior to the start date of the award. AmeriCorps members may not begin service prior to the beginning of the member enrollment period as designated in the grant award. A program may not certify any hours a member performs prior to the beginning of the member enrollment period.
The following Non-Federal entities (as defined in 2 C.F.R. §200.69) who have DUNS numbers and are registered in System for Award Management (SAM) are eligible to apply:
Indian Tribes (2 C.F.R. §200.54)
Institutions of higher education (2 C. F.R. §200.54)
Local governments (2 C.F.R. §200.64)
Nonprofit organizations (2 C.F.R. §200.70)
States (2 C.F.R. §200.90)
New applicants are eligible to apply for Cost Reimbursement and Education Award Program (EAP) grants but are not eligible to apply for Full Time Fixed Amount grants. Existing subgrantees/operating sites of Fixed Amount and Cost Reimbursement grantees who can demonstrate a successful history and current capacity to manage a Fixed Amount grant are considered to have AmeriCorps experience and therefore can apply for Fixed Amount grants. See Mandatory Supplemental Guidance on the CNCS website for more information.
Organizations that are currently in their final year of a competitive funding cycle and wish to apply for a new grant cycle are known as “ new recompete applicants.” Recompete applicants must submit a “Continuation/Renewal” application in eGrants. Please consult the 2019 Application Instructions for more information and requirements.
Organizations that are currently in their first or second year of their three-year grant cycle, must submit an application in order to be eligible to receive funding for the following year. Requests by existing continuation applicants for increases in the level of funding or number of positions will be assessed using the criteria under this Notice. Please note that for FY 2019, applicants must revise their budgets to include $54 plus the cost of the state check for criminal history checks for each covered position in the CNCS share of the budget. Continuation applicants may apply for expansions – dollars, MSY, and/or members. Consult the 2019 Application Instructions for more information and requirements.
All applications MUST abide by the following:
- Programmatic Requirements:
- Submission of Additional Documents. Applicants are required to submit additional documents by the submission deadline:
- All Applicants:
- Evaluation briefs, reports, studies. Please refer to the Evidence Base section and Mandatory Supplemental Guidance for detailed instructions by evidence tier.
- Recompeting Applicants:
- Evaluation report, if required. Please see the Evidence Tiers definitions in the Mandatory Supplemental Guidance and Section E. Evaluation Plan for further information.
- Labor union concurrence (if applicable)
- Federal debt delinquency (if applicable)
- Rural Intermediaries (New and recompeting)
- Letters of support from the consortium members
- New and Recompeting applications
- Financial Management Survey (FMS) and supporting documents located on the CNCS website. Selected Financial Survey under the Application Certification Form section.
- All Applicants:
- Submission of Additional Documents. Applicants are required to submit additional documents by the submission deadline:
Additional Documents must be emailed to AdditionalDocuments@cns.gov with the labels outlined below. Emails should include the following information:
- Subject line: [Legal Applicant Name]– [Application ID number]
- Body of the email should identify:
- The legal applicant name and its point of contact information
- The application ID number
- A list of documents that should be attached to the email
- Attachments to emails should include
- Individually saved files that are clearly labeled
- Each file should also include a header or title within the body of each additional document to include the legal applicant name and application ID number.
Do not submit other items not requested in this Notice or Application Instructions. CNCS will not review or return them.
- Program Size
- All applicants must request a minimum of 10 members. AmeriCorps programs should be large enough to make a significant difference in communities. New applicants may not request more than twenty members.
- Organizational Readiness Assessment
- All new applicants must complete the Volunteer NH Organizational Readiness Assessment (please see the “New Applicants” section in this NOFO for more details)
- Budgetary Requirements:
- Statewide Member Training Conference
- Programs must include $60 per member for attendance to the Annual Governor’s Conference on Volunteerism under “member training” in the Budget Section.
- Statewide Member Training Conference
- Program Staff Training Conference
- Programs are expected to budget $150 per appropriate staff member to attend a one day National Service Program Staff Training Conference.
- Indirect Costs
- Volunteer NH will elect to retain a share of the 5% of federal funds allocated to indirect costs available to programs. Volunteer NH will retain 2% from all subrecipients, computed from each month’s periodic expense report (PER). Please consult the 2019 Application Instructions for more information and instructions.
- Maximum Cost Per Member Service Year (MSYs)
- For individual Competitive State/Territory cost reimbursement programs as well as full-time fixed amount grants, the maximum cost per MSY is $15,192. For Education Award Only programs the maximum cost per MSY is $800. (Please review the 2019 CNCS NOFO for more information)
- Maximum Living Allowance
- For full-time (1700 hour) members, the minimum living allowance is $13,992 and the maximum amount is $27,984. Please review the 2019 CNCS NOFO for more information regarding living allowances.
- Criminal History Check Requirements
- Programs must budget at least $54+ the cost of the state check per covered individual (staff and members) on the CNCS share of the budget.
Type of Applicants
Organizations that propose to operate in only one state must apply through the Governor-appointed State or Territory Commissions (Volunteer NH).
National Direct Applicants
Multi-state: Organizations that propose to operate AmeriCorps programs in more than one state or territory apply directly to CNCS. CNCS expects State Commissions and National Direct applicants to consult and coordinate activities at the local level, as specified in Section 131 of the NCSA (42 U.S.C. § 12583). This consultation is designed to ensure the most effective use of national service resources and lead to enhanced coordination. Please email email@example.com for a National Direct Consultation form.
Intent to Apply
New and Recompete applicants are REQUIRED to submit intent to apply to Volunteer NH for AmeriCorps funding; continuations for existing programs are not required to. Include the following information in an email:
- The name of the applicant organization
- Contact person
- E-mail address
- Phone number
- Type of grant intended to be applied for (i.e. cost reimbursement, EAP, etc.)
- Anticipated focus area
New, non recompete applicants are required to complete the Volunteer NH Organization Readiness Assessment document. Send to firstname.lastname@example.org by October 19, 2018. Failure to submit a Notice of Intent to Apply for New non recompete applications will render an applicant ineligible to apply.
All applicants are required to read the following documents that accompany this NOFO:
- 2019 CNCS NOFO: Click Here
- 2019 Application Instructions (including Budget Instructions): Click Here
- 2019 Mandatory Supplemental Guidance: Click Here
- 2019 Performance Measure Instructions: Click Here
All of the above documents can be found on the “AmeriCorps State and National Grants FY 2019” page on the CNCS website (https://www.nationalservice.gov/build-your-capacity/grants/funding-opportunities/2019/americorps-state-and-national-grants-fy-2019)
VOLUNTEER NH APPLICATION TIMELINE
- Wednesday, October 10, 2018 – Non-mandatory Info & Technical Assistance conference call at 2 pm (registration required, email email@example.com with your name, organization, phone number and email address by October 8, 2018)
- Wednesday, October 17, 2018 – AmeriCorps training and technical assistance meeting REQUIRED for all new non recompete applicants, 10am-12 pm at Volunteer NH (registration required, email firstname.lastname@example.org with your name, organization, phone number and email address by October 14, 2018)
- Friday, October 19, 2018 – Intent to apply due by email to email@example.com, by 5 pm
- Friday, November 2, 2018 – Continuation applications due in eGrants by 5 pm
- Friday, November 30, 2018 – New and recompete applications due in eGrants to Volunteer NH by 5 pm
- Wednesday, December 19, 2018 – Feedback delivered to applicants as denial or approval of the application for submission to Competitive competition with or without clarifications
- Tuesday, January 15, 2019 – Final application due in eGrants by 5 pm
- February-March 2019 – Clarification requests (if necessary) from CNCS (Tentative)
- Monday, April 1 2019 (tentative) – Volunteer NH notified of grant awards
**For questions or more information, please contact Volunteer NH Program Officer Andrea Johnston at firstname.lastname@example.org 603.271.7201