To read a PDF of the NOFO, click here: 2020 Volunteer NH Competitive NOFO
Notice of Funding Opportunity
AmeriCorps State Competitive Program Grants
IMPORTANT DUE DATES
- Friday, September 27, 2019 – AmeriCorps grant writing and budget training (REQUIRED for all new non-recompete applicants) 2pm-4 pm at Volunteer NH
- Registration required: RSVP to attend the training to firstname.lastname@example.org with your name and organization by September 25, 2019
- Friday, October 4, 2019
- Intent to apply due by 5 pm (link: https://forms.gle/scSLkaSRjHtyN7ZLA)
- AmeriCorps Readiness Self-Assessment (if required) due to VNH (link: https://forms.gle/QsyFXGT84hTousVXA
- Financial Management Survey (if required) due to VNH (Link: https://www.nationalservice.gov/node/108566). Email to email@example.com
- Tuesday, October 15, 2019 – Continuation applications due in eGrants by 5 pm
- Thursday, October 31, 2019 – New and recompete applications due in eGrants to Volunteer NH by 5 pm
- Friday, November 22, 2019 – Feedback delivered to applicants as denial or approval of the application for submission to Competitive competition with or without clarifications
- Friday, December 15, 2019 – Final application due in eGrants by 5 pm
- February-April 2020 – Clarification requests (if necessary) from CNCS (Tentative)
- Friday, May 1 2020 – Volunteer NH notified of grant awards
**All questions should be sent to Andrea@volunteernh.org**
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 2020 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 – evidence-based interventions on the CNCS Evidence Exchange. In order to qualify for this priority, the applicant must be assessed as having Moderate or Strong evidence by the reviewers. https://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/evidenceexchange/CNCS_Economic_Opportunity_Evidence_Brief_2019_508.pdf
- OR increasing economic opportunities for communities by preparing people for the workforce.
- Education – evidence-based interventions on the CNCS Evidence Exchange. In order to qualify for this priority, the applicant must be assessed as having Moderate or Strong evidence by the reviewers. https://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/evidenceexchange/CNCS_Education_Evidence_Brief_112318_508.pdf
- Veterans and Military Families – positively impacting the quality of life of veterans and improving military family strength.
- Rural intermediaries – organizations that demonstrate measurable impact and primarily serve rural communities with limited resources and organizational infrastructure.
- Faith-based organizations.Healthy Futures – evidence-based interventions on the CNCS Evidence Exchange. In order to qualify for this priority, the applicant must be assessed as having Moderate or Strong evidence by the reviewers. https://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/evidenceexchange/HF_Evidence_Brief_FINAL_v2_508.pdf
- OR reducing and/or preventing prescription drug and opioid abuse.
To receive priority consideration, applicants must show that the priority area is a significant part of the program focus and intended outcomes, and must include a high-quality program design.
Proposing programs that receive priority consideration does not guarantee 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. VNH and CNCS do not expect applicants to select performance measures to correspond to each and every potential member activity or community impact. VNH and CNCS value the quality of performance measures over the quantity of performance measures.
VNH and CNCS expect applicants to use National Performance Measures as part of their comprehensive performance management 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 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. Award amounts will vary, as determined by the scope of the projects.
CNCS anticipates making three-year grants. CNCS generally makes an initial award for the first year of operation, based on a one-year project period. Continuation awards for subsequent years are not guaranteed; they depend upon availability of appropriations and satisfactory performance.
The project start date may not occur prior to the date CNCS awards the grant. VNH generally requests that applicants not have a program that begins before July 1. Applicants may request a different start date. 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)
Intent to Apply
New applicants are REQUIRED to submit an Intent to Apply to Volunteer NH for AmeriCorps funding; continuations for existing programs are not required to.
The Intent to Apply link can be found here: https://forms.gle/scSLkaSRjHtyN7ZLA
Failure to submit a Notice of Intent to Apply for New applications will render an applicant ineligible to apply.
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 2020 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 2020, applicants must revise their budgets to include the increased living allowance and the increased cost of the criminal history checks for Truescreen and Fieldprint (Volunteer NH mandates the use of these two vendors for conducting National Service Criminal History Checks). Continuation applicants may apply for expansions – dollars, MSY, and/or members. Consult the 2020 Application Instructions for more information and requirements.
All applications MUST abide by the following:
- Programmatic Requirements:
- Submission of Additional Documents. The following documents should be submitted (as required by your applicant type):
|Document||Required for:||Send To:||When Required:||Notes:|
|Financial Management Survey||New and recompete applicants (with exceptions – please see the New Applicants section)||Lesley@volunteernh.org||With submission of Intent to Apply||Link to access Financial Management Survey: https://www.nationalservice.gov/node/108566|
|AmeriCorps Readiness Self- Assessment||New applicants (with exceptions – please see the New Applicants section)||N/A – This document is a Google Form||With submission of Intent to Apply||Link to access the Assessment: https://forms.gle/QsyFXGT84hTousVXA|
|Evaluation Briefs, Reports, studies||All Applicants||Andrea@volunteernh.org||With submission of application||Refer to Evidence Base section/Mandatory Supplemental Guidance for more information.|
|Evaluation Report||Recompete applications (if required)||Andrea@volunteernh.org||With submission of application||Please see the Evidence Tiers definitions in the Mandatory Supplemental Guidance and Section E. Evaluation Plan for further information.|
|Labor Union Concurrence||New & Recompete applicants (if applicable)||firstname.lastname@example.org||With submission of application|
|Federal Debt Delinquency||New & recompete applicants (if applicable)||Lesley@volunteernh.org||With submission of application|
|Letters of Support for Consortium Members||Rural Intermediary applicants (new and recompete)||email@example.com||With submission of application|
After review by Volunteer NH, all 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 and VNH will not review or return them.
Applicants can email Andrea@volunteernh.org with any questions about which documents should be submitted.
- 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.
- 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 National Service Program Staff Training Conference under “staff training” in the Budget Section
- 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 2020 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 $15,479. For Education Award Only Programs the maximum cost per MSY is $800. (Please review the 2020 CNCS NOFO for more information)
- Maximum Living Allowance
- For full-time (1700 hour) members, the minimum living allowance is $14,279 and the maximum amount is $28,558. Please review the 2020 CNCS NOFO for more information regarding living allowances.
- Criminal History Check Requirements
- Programs must budget at least $81 + the cost of the state of residence check per covered individual (staff and members) on the CNCS share of the budget. Note in the calculation description if the budget is reduced for staff/members previously checked in a prior budget period.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for a National Direct Consultation form.
All applicants are required to read the following documents that accompany this NOFO:
- 2020 CNCS NOFO: https://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/FY20%20ASN%20NOFO_508.v2.pdf
- 2020 Application Instructions (including Budget Instructions): https://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2020%20ASN%20Application%20Instructions%20FINAL.508.pdf
- 2020 Mandatory Supplemental Guidance: https://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2020%20MSG%20FINAL.508.pdf
- 2020 Performance Measure Instructions: https://www.nationalservice.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2020%20Performance%20Measures%20Instructions%20FINAL.508.pdf
All of the above documents can be found on the “AmeriCorps State and National Grants FY 2020” page on the CNCS website: https://www.nationalservice.gov/build-your-capacity/grants/funding-opportunities/2020/americorps-state-and-national-grants-fy-2020