NOTE: This notice is for AmeriCorps New Hampshire Planning Grant Programs, which are AmeriCorps State Formula Grants. These grants are awarded to organizations to prepare for operating an AmeriCorps program that will place AmeriCorps members in service in New Hampshire. No AmeriCorps members are included in the planning grant. Successful applicants are expected to submit a full AmeriCorps NH application.
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 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.
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.
Applicants to the State Formula Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) must comply with the Application Instructions, Budget Intructions, and Performance Measure Instructions in addition to following the Volunteer NH timeline. Volunteer NH supports service categories which will serve as CNCS funding priority areas for the grant process and priorities identified in the NH Unified State Service Plan.
Volunteer NH is accepting applications for 2018-2019 planning grants. Applicants may apply for up to a maximum of $75,000.
The project period for these grants is one year (12 months). The project start date is proposed by the applicant and may not occur prior to the date Volunteer NH awards the grant. Volunteer NH will only allow applicants to request a start date of September 1, 2018. Requests for alternate start dates may be submitted to Volunteer NH and will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
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. 200.55)
- Local governments (2 C.F.R. 200.64)
- Nonprofit organizations (2 C.F.R. 200.70)
- States (2 C.F.R. 200.90)
Previously receiving funds from CNCS or another federal agency is not a prerequisite to apply to 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.
Additional Volunteer NH Eligibility Requirements
Applicants must meet all the stated requirements in each of the following categories in order to be eligible and evaluated for funding. Any application that fails to meet one or more of these requirements will not be eligible for funding:
- 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
- Environment- 21st Century Service Corps
- Healthy Futures
- Veterans and Military Families
- Healthy Futures
Designated NH Priority Areas:
- Education (Skill Development, Mentoring, and Afterschool Programing)
- Substance Misuse and Mental/Emotional Health
- Transportation (Veterans, Individuals with Disabilities, and Older Adults)
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.
Application and Submission Information
- Content and Form of Application Submission
What are the steps that organizations need to take to apply?
- Ensure that the legal application organization has a DUNS number and confirm registration in
- Establish an eGrants
- Write a high quality application responsive to the
- Provide required supplemental materials via email by the deadline, 5:00 PM on May 30, 2018.
- Submit the application via eGrants by the deadline, 5:00 PM on May 30,
Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management
Applications must include a DUNS number and an Employer Identification Number. The DUNS number does not replace an Employer Identification Number. DUNS numbers may be obtained at no cost by calling the DUNS number request line at (866) 705-5711 or by applying online: http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. The website indicates a 48-hour e-mail turnaround time on requests for DUNS numbers; however, CNCS suggests registering at least 30 days in advance of the application due date. After obtaining a DUNS number, all applicants must be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM) at https://www.sam.gov/portal/public/SAM/.
SAM collects, validates, stores, and disseminates data in support of Federal agency contracts, grant awards, cooperative agreements, and other forms of federal assistance. All grant recipients are required to maintain a valid SAM registration, which must be renewed annually. Applicants that are not already registered with SAM are urged to begin the registration process immediately in order to avoid any delays in submitting applications. Applicants must have a DUNS number in order to register with SAM.
How to Submit an Application in eGrants
Applicants must submit their applications electronically via the CNCS web-based system, eGrants. Because it is a unique system, it is recommended that applicants create an eGrants account and begin the application creation process at least three weeks before the deadline. Applicants should draft the application as a word document and copy and paste the document into the appropriate eGrants fields no later than 10 days before the deadline. Please note the length of a document in a word processing software may be different than what will print out in eGrants.
Contact the National Service Hotline at 800-942-2677 or http://questions.nationalservice.gov/app/ask if a problem arises while creating an account or while preparing or submitting an application in eGrants.
National Service Hotline hours are Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET. If you contact the Hotline, be prepared to provide the application ID, organization name, and the Notice to which your organization is applying.
If technical issues prevent an applicant from submitting an application on time, please contact the National Service Hotline prior to the deadline to explain the technical issue and receive a ticket number. If the issue cannot be resolved by the deadline, the applicant must continue working with the National Service Hotline to submit via eGrants.
An application is only complete if it includes all required documentation and is received by the application due date, 5:00 PM on May 30, 2018. Incomplete applications will not be considered. All additional required documents should include the application organization name and Application ID number at the top of the page and are due by the application deadline, May 30, 2018 to email@example.com. Emails should include in the Subject line, the applicant organization name and Application ID number.
Application Fields and Page Limits
In eGrants, applicants will enter text in the following fields:
- Executive Summary
- Program Design
- Organizational Capability
- Cost Effectiveness and Budget Adequacy
Applications may not exceed 8 pages for the Narratives, including the Executive Summary and the SF-424 Face sheet, as the pages print out from eGrants. Volunteer NH strongly encourages applicants to print out the application from the “Review and Submit” page prior to submission to check that the application does not exceed the page limit. This limit does not include the narrative portion of the evaluation plan or the logic model, budget, performance measures, or the supplementary materials.
Reviewers will not consider submitted material that is over the page limit in the printed report, even if eGrants allows an applicant to enter and submit text over the limit. Do not submit other items not requested in the Notice or Application Instructions, Volunteer NH will not review or return them.
Volunteer NH urges applicants to submit high quality applications that carefully follow the guidance in this Notice and in the Application Instructions. The quality of an application will be an important factor in determining whether an organization will receive funding.
Applicants must check the relevant boxes in the Performance Measures tab in eGrants in order to be considered for Volunteer NH’s assessment of the strategic considerations. Applicants should only check boxes if the strategic consideration is an intentional part of their program design and they have implementation strategies described in the application.
- Executive Summary (Required – 0 percent)
Please fill in the blanks of these sentences to complete the Executive Summary:
“This planning grant will be utilized to develop an AmeriCorps program which will engage AmeriCorps members to [AmeriCorps member activities] in [geographic locations where member activities will take place]. Members will address the needs of [beneficiaries to be served] resulting in [anticipated outcome of project]. Program activities will primarily be in the areas of [identify the relevant CNCS focus areas].”
- Program Design (50 percent)
Reviewers will consider the quality of the application’s response to the criteria below. Do not assume all sub-criteria are of equal value.
- Describe why you are applying for a planning grant and what you hope to achieve during the one year planning period, including but not limited to:
- The problem you plan to solve with your AmeriCorps program
- Evidence that the need exists
- What AmeriCorps members would do to meet the need
- The target communities the program would serve
- a detailed description of your planning process,
- a timeline for planning activities, and
- how you will use the planning period to develop your capacity to effectively manage an AmeriCorps program including, but not limited to:
- Determining the most appropriate AmeriCorps member activities to address the identified community
- Determining the desired characteristics of AmeriCorps members and designing a recruitment
- Developing a performance measurement system to ensure that reliable data is gathered to demonstrate impact on the communities to be
- Creating a process for selecting operating and service sites (if applicable) that will ensure the most appropriate and capable organizations are selected. o Planning orientation and training for operating and service sites (if applicable).
- Planning orientation and training for AmeriCorps
- Ensuring you have the ability to provide or secure effective technical assistance (if applicable).
- Review the National Performance Measures, and indicate which measure(s) your AmeriCorps program would seek to address. You must select at least one aligned output and
- Organizational Capability (25 percent)
Reviewers will consider the quality of the application’s response to the following criteria below. Do not assume all sub-criteria are of equal value
- Identify the primary programmatic and fiscal contacts for the grant application include secondary contacts if applicable. Describe your organization’s ability to successfully plan an AmeriCorps program, including but not limited to:
- Record of
- Prior experience administering federal
- Prior experience in the proposed area of
- The management and staff structure and the role the board of directors, administrators and staff will play in the planning
- Systems and processes for sound programmatic and fiscal oversight or plans to develop thi
- Cost Effectiveness and Budget Adequacy (25 percent)
Reviewers will consider the quality of the applicant’s response to the following criteria below. Do not assume all sub-criteria are of equal value.
- Describe your plans to develop a cost-effective program including how you will develop diverse resources that will support your program implementation and
- Discuss the adequacy of your budget to support the planning process including your match.
- Describe how you will secure any additional commitments you need for the planning grant.
- Evaluation Summary or Plan (0 percent)
Enter N/A. Evaluations and evaluation plans are not required for planning grants.
- Amendment Justification (0 percent)
Enter N/A. This field will be used if you are awarded a grant and need to amend it.
- Clarification Information (0 percent)
Enter N/A. This field will be used to enter information that requires clarification in the post-review period.
- Continuation Changes (0 percent)
- Performance Measures
One performance measure is required of Planning Grants. The performance measure must be entered at the time of application. Follow the detailed performance measure instructions in Appendix A of the Application Instructions.
- Budget Instructions for Planning Grant Applicants
Your proposed budget should be sufficient to allow you to perform the tasks described in your narrative. Reviewers will consider information you provide in this section in their assessment of the Cost-Effectiveness and Budget Adequacy selection criterion.
Applicants may apply for up to a maximum of $75,000. Applicants must provide 24% of the total project costs in match. Match may be cash or in-kind.
Follow the detailed budget instructions in Appendix C of the Application Instructions to prepare your budget. eGrants will create the budget and the budget narrative automatically from the detailed budget information you enter. Once you have entered your budget information in eGrants you will be asked to validate your budget and eGrants will check your submission for errors.
Administrative Fee: VNH maintains a fee of 2% for all Formula grants and this needs to be included in the budget. To calculate this fee, please see the Budget Instructions (pg. 22).
Staff Training Fee: Programs are expected to budget $150 for sending appropriate staff to the one day National Service Program Staff Training Conference. The conference is held in Concord, NH the day before the Annual Governor’s Conference on Volunteerism. This budget item goes under “Staff Training” in your budget.
- Required Supplemental Materials
An application is only complete if it includes all required documentation and is received by the application due date. Incomplete applications will not be considered. All application components are due by the application deadline. In addition to the narrative, budget, performance measures and logic model submitted via eGrants, Volunteer NH requires the submission of the following:
- Organizational Capacity Survey (required)
- Source of Matching Funds Chart (required)
- Federally Approved Indirect Cost Agreement (if applicable)
All Required Supplemental Materials must be submitted to Volunteer NH via email to firstname.lastname@example.org by the submission deadline.
- Submission Dates and Times
Applications are due May 30, 2018 at 5:00 p.m.
Volunteer NH will not consider applications received in whole or in part after the deadline.
Late applications will not be accepted. Volunteer NH does not accept applications submitted via fax or email.
- Funding Restrictions
The purpose of planning grants is to support the development of AmeriCorps programs that will engage AmeriCorps members in evidence-based interventions to solve community problems.
Planning grant recipients are expected to be better prepared to compete for an AmeriCorps program grant in the following grant cycle. Planning grants may not be used to support AmeriCorps members.
Table 1: General Summary Planning Grant
|Maximum Amount of Request||Up to $75,000 may be requested|
|Budget Submission Required||Yes|
|Special Requirements||Only Available to Legal Applicant Organizations for NEW AmeriCorps programs|
|Match Requirements||Yes-24 % cash or in-kind|
|Available to New Applicants||Yes|
Applicant Review Information
The assessment of applications involves a wide range of factors and considerations. VNH staff and community reviewers will apply their experience and expertise in evaluating applications. The review and selection process will produce a diversified set of high-quality programs that represent the priorities and selection factors described in this Notice.
- Review and Selection Process
- Eligibility Review
VNH staff will review all applications submitted to VNH to determine compliance with eligibility, deadline, and completeness requirements.
VNH Staff and reviewers will assess the entire application and additionally submitted documents. Some applicants may receive requests to provide clarifying information and/or make changes to their application including changes to the budget. Applications may be recommended for funding even if they are not asked clarification questions. A request for clarification does not guarantee a
grant award. Failure to respond to requests for additional information in a timely manner may result in the removal of an application from consideration.
- Feedback to Applicants
Each applicant will receive the results of the review pertaining to their application. Feedback will be based on the review of the original application and will not reflect any information that may have been provided in response to clarification questions, if any.
Anticipated Announcement of Federal Award Dates:
Volunteer NH will award grants following the grant selection announcement. Volunteer NH anticipates announcing the results of this competition depending on the availability of appropriations, sometime in July, contingent on timely full year appropriations. Volunteer NH anticipates awarding sub-grants by September 3, 2018, contingent on the availability of a Grant Award from CNCS.
Federal Award Administration Information
- Federal Award Notices
Applicants will be notified via email as to funding decisions. This notification is not an authorization to begin grant activities. The Notice of Grant award is the authorizing document for grant activities.
- Administrative and National Policy Requirements
Documents that Govern the Grant
The Notice of Grant Award incorporates the approved application as part of a binding commitment under the grant as well as the AmeriCorps regulations and grant provisions.
Uniform Grants Guidance for Federal Awards
Grants under this program are subject to 2 CFR 200 and CNCS regulations issued to implement the part.
Use of Material
To ensure that materials generated with CNCS funding are available to the public and readily accessible to grantees and non-grantees, CNCS reserves a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to obtain, use, modify, reproduce, publish, or disseminate publications and materials produced under the award, including data, and to authorize others to do so. 45 CFR § 2543.36; 2541.30.
Volunteer NH also requires that all subgrantees sign a Subgrant Agreement, where the Volunteer NH terms of the subgrant are agreed upon
Planning grantees are required to provide mid-year and end of year progress reports, semi-annual financial reports, and an internal or external evaluation report as required by the AmeriCorps regulations §§2522.500-2522.540 and §§2522.700-2522.740. Subgrantees will also need to register in OnCorps, a fiscal management system.
While applications will not be evaluated on these criteria, grantees will be expected to have data collection and data management policies and practices that provide reasonable assurances that they are providing CNCS with high quality performance measure data. At a minimum, grantees should have policies and practices which address the following five aspects of data quality:
- The data measures what it intends to measure;
- The grantee collects data in a consistent manner;
- The grantee takes steps to correct data errors;
- The grantee ensures that the data reported is complete; and
- The grantee actively reviews data prior to submission
Progress Report Data
In addition to semi-annual reporting outcomes and progress toward the grant approved performance measures, additional data must be reported annually (as applicable).
Program Officer Meetings
Planning grantees will be expected to report periodically through in person meetings, phone conferences and emails throughout the grant award with their VNH Program Officer. Additionally planning grantees may be asked to participate in VNH events and meetings.
IMPORTANT: Application Timeline
To read the Application Instructions, click here
Monday, May 14 – Training/Technical Assistance Call at 2pm. Register with Emily at Emily@volunteernh.org.
Friday, May 18 – Intent to Apply due (email to email@example.com)
Wednesday, May 30 – Applications due in eGrants by 5 pm
Wednesday, June 13 – Feedback delivered to applicants as denial or approval of the application for submission to Formula competition with or without clarification
Friday, June 22– Applicants’ final application due in eGrants by 5 pm
For more information, please contact Volunteer NH Programs Officer Andrea Johnston at firstname.lastname@example.org.