Administration for Children and Families
 
 
Office of Community Services
 
Assets for Independence Demonstration Program
HHS-2011-ACF-OCS-EI-0137
Due Date for Applications:

6/07/2013

 

Assets for Independence Demonstration Program
HHS-2011-ACF-OCS-EI-0137
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Overview
Executive Summary
Section I. Funding Opportunity Description
Section II. Award Information
Section III. Eligibility Information
  1. Eligible Applicants
  2. Cost Sharing or Matching
  3. Other - (if applicable)
Section IV. Application and Submission Information
  1. Address to Request Application Package
  2. Content and Form of Application Submission
  3. Submission Dates and Times
  4. Intergovernmental Review
  5. Funding Restrictions
  6. Other Submission Requirements
Section V. Application Review Information
  1. Criteria
  2. Review and Selection Process
  3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates
Section VI. Award Administration Information
  1. Award Notices
  2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
  3. Reporting
Section VII. Agency Contact(s)
Section VIII. Other Information
Assets for Independence Demonstration Program
HHS-2011-ACF-OCS-EI-0137
ANNOUNCEMENT MODIFICATION | VALIDATE & APPROVE
 
Department of Health & Human Services
Administration for Children and Families
 
Program Office:Office of Community Services
Funding Opportunity Title:Assets for Independence Demonstration Program
Announcement Type:Modification
Funding Opportunity Number:HHS-2011-ACF-OCS-EI-0137
Primary CFDA Number: 93.602
 
Due Date for Applications:

6/07/2013

 

Notices:

  • On January 1, 2012, the Administration for Children and Families implemented required electronic application submission via www.Grants.gov for discretionary grant applications. Please see Section III.3. Disqualification Factors, Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission and Application Submission Options, and Section IV.3. Explanation of Due Dates and Times for information on electronic application submission and the availability of exemptions allowing applicants to submit applications in paper format.

 

 

 
Executive Summary:

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) requests applications for grants to administer projects for the national Assets for Independence (AFI) demonstration of Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) and related services.  IDAs are matched savings accounts.  The goal of the demonstration is to develop knowledge about the extent to which this approach enables individuals and families with low incomes to become and remain more financially stable over the long term.

Grantees use the AFI grants to administer projects that provide IDAs and related services to individuals and families with low incomes.  Participants open an IDA and save earned income in the account regularly with the goal of accumulating savings to acquire an economic asset that will appreciate over time.  Specifically, participants use their IDA savings to purchase a home, capitalize or expand a business for self-employment, or attend higher education or training.  Participants also receive training and other supports such as financial education training and coaching, and guidance on issues including family budgeting, consumer issues, debt and credit counseling, using mainstream financial products, accessing refundable tax credits, and accessing other benefits and services.

AFI manages on-going research about the administration of the AFI projects and the impacts of the combination of an IDA and related services.  Grant recipients provide information to ACF and its researchers on such topics as project features, participant demographics, services provided, amounts participants save in their IDA, and types of purchases made with IDA savings.

ACF awards AFI grants to three categories of entities: non-profit organizations; State, local or Tribal government entities; and certain categories of credit unions and community development financial institutions.  In addition to awarding the AFI grants, ACF provides substantial training and technical assistance to the grantees on implementing effective projects that feature IDAs and related services.

Grant recipients finance their AFI projects with a combination of the Federal AFI grant and cash from non-Federal sources.  The amount of cash from non-Federal sources must be at least equal to the Federal AFI grant amount.

Applications for Federal AFI grants will be evaluated according to requirements and criteria in this announcement. Unsuccessful applicants may submit new applications in succeeding application cycles.

This is a standing announcement.  It will be effective until cancelled or changed by the Director of the Office of Community Services (OCS). This announcement supersedes the announcement published on the Administration for Children and Families funding opportunities website on December 11, 2007, HHS-2008-ACF-OCS-EI-0053.

This announcement is modified. 

In Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times, the due date for applications has been changed to 6/07/2013.

 

 

I. Funding Opportunity Description

Statutory Authority

The Assets for Independence Act (Title IV of the Community Opportunities, Accountability, and Training and Educational Services Act of 1998, as amended, Pub. L. 105-285, 42 U.S.C. 604 note) authorizes the Department of Health and Human Services to award grants to support Assets for Independence (AFI) projects and to research and evaluate the effectiveness of the AFI program and Individual Development Accounts (IDAs).

Description

A. BACKGROUND

ACF is implementing the national AFI demonstration to test, demonstrate, and develop knowledge about the impact of IDAs and related services.   ACF uses knowledge and information developed through the demonstration to advise the President and Congress on future uses of IDAs and related services for supporting families with low incomes in becoming more financially stable over the long term.

Services Provided by Grantees.  Each project funded through the AFI demonstration provides IDAs and related services to individuals and families with low incomes.  IDAs are matched savings accounts.  Participants open an IDA and save earned income in the account regularly with the goal of accumulating savings to acquire an economic asset that will appreciate over time.  Specifically, participants use their IDA savings to purchase a first home, to capitalize or expand a business for self-employment, or to attend higher education or training.  Participants use their IDAs for periods ranging from six months to up to four or more years.  As part of the demonstration, project participants receive training and other supports such as financial education training and coaching, as well as guidance on issues such as family budgeting, consumer issues, debt and credit counseling, using mainstream financial products, accessing refundable tax credits and accessing other benefits and services.  Grantees often partner with numerous other entities to provide participants with the training and supports throughout the time they are saving in their IDA.

Grantee Entities.  ACF is authorized to award AFI grants to three categories of entities: non-profit organizations that are certified under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code; State, local, and Tribal government entities; and certain financial institutions.  Eligible financial institutions are credit unions designated by the National Credit Union Association as "low-income credit unions" and financial institutions certified by the U.S. Treasury as community development financial institutions.  Grant recipients are required to finance their projects with a combination of the Federal AFI grant and cash from non-Federal sources.  The amount of cash provided by non-Federal sources must be at least equal to the Federal AFI grant amount.

Training and Technical Assistance for Applicants and Grantee Entities.  ACF provides a substantial amount of training and technical assistance to applicants and grantees about administering IDA projects and providing related supportive services for project participants. 

Performance Framework.  AFI grant recipients use a program-wide performance framework in planning and implementing their projects.  The framework includes two core performance measures: the amount of IDA savings participants use for an asset purchase, and the number of participants who withdraw funds from their IDA for an asset purchase.  ACF continues to collaborate with other funders and with AFI grant recipients to refine and update the program performance framework and the performance measures.  ACF may introduce additional performance measures as needed.

Outcomes and Research.  The demonstration was authorized by the Assets for Independence Act of 1998.  Since 1999, OCS has awarded AFI grants to more than 400 non-profit organization and government entities.   As of the end of FY 2010, more than 78,000 families with very low incomes have used IDAs and received training on financial matters, family budgeting and related matters.  More than 33,000 participants have used their IDA savings to purchase economic assets and have joined the economic mainstream.

ACF also supports third-party organizations to study how grantees administer their projects and the impacts of the IDAs and related services on participants.   The first phase evaluation results indicate that the demonstration sites do have a positive influence on participants' abilities to save earned income, manage their resources, and purchase an economic asset.

B.  APPLICANT ENTITIES  

ACF is eager to expand the national AFI demonstration to more sites throughout the nation that will design, administer, and implement innovative and successful IDA projects.  ACF is interested in awarding AFI grants to many types of national, statewide, tribal, regional, and community-based organizations, as illustrated by the following list.  (Note:  Applicants must meet specific eligibility criteria listed in Section III. Eligibility Information of this announcement.)

Asset building Coalitions and related groups, such as America Saves entities; Bank-on coalitions; Local and State asset building coalitions; Refundable tax coalitions; and Tax credit campaigns. 

Associations of Organizations, such as National, State, and local associations. 

Community-Based Organizations, such as community action agencies; community development corporations; faith-based organizations; other community-based organizations; service and fraternal organizations; and United Ways. 

Community Financial Institutions, such as credit unions and community development financial institutions.

Institutions of higher education, such as Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian serving institutions; colleges; community colleges; Hispanic-serving institutions; historically Black colleges and universities; Tribally controlled colleges and universities; and other universities.

Service Providers, such as business development agencies and providers; child support enforcement agencies and related entities; child welfare agencies and related entities; consumer protection agencies; credit counseling agencies; disability service providers and related organizations; domestic violence prevention organizations and those that provide shelter and supports to survivors of domestic violence; early childhood organizations such as Head Start providers, child care research and referral entities, and related organizations; employment and training providers; entities that manage or assist with the local Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program; entrepreneurship agencies and providers; foster care agencies; health care providers such as community health centers; housing authorities; housing developers and providers; Native American service providers; refugee service providers; social services agencies; and workforce development agencies and providers; and so forth.

Other entities, such as entities that serve communities and groups that are less represented among the current AFI projects and entities involving area employers that provide services as a benefit for their employees. This type may include agencies that seek to provide an IDA benefit for their employees.

C.  INFORMATION FOR APPLICANTS AND THEIR PROJECT PARTNERS

Applicants and grantees must comply with the Assets for Independence Act (Title IV of the Community Opportunities, Accountability, and Training and Educational Services Act of 1998, as amended, Pub. L. 105-285, 42 U.S.C. 604 note) and the HHS regulation for the Assets for Independence program at 45 C.F.R. Part 1000.

The Assets for Independence program website at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/assetbuilding  provides information about the program.  The AFI Resource Center website at http://www.IDAresources.org contains additional information, tips, tools, and other materials on planning and implementing IDA projects and related services. Entities interested in learning more should contact the AFI Resource Center at 1-866-778-6037 or via email at info@IDAresources.org for more information. 

ACF sponsors in-person meetings, webinars, and conference calls throughout the year for organizations that are interested in applying for a grant from the AFI program.  Information about these events are posted on the ACF webpage at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/assetbuilding and on the AFI Resource Center website at http://www.IDAresources.org.

 

II. Award Information
Funding Instrument Type: Grant
Estimated Total Funding: $15,000,000
Expected Number of Awards: 50
Award Ceiling: $1,000,000 Per Project Period
Award Floor: $5,000 Per Project Period
Average Projected Award Amount: $350,000 Per Project Period

Length of Project Periods:

Other

The project period for AFI grants is 5 years (60 months).  The budget period for AFI grants is also 5 years (60 months).

Additional Information on Awards:

Awards made under this announcement are subject to the availability of federal funds.

Applications requesting an award amount that exceeds the Award Ceiling per budget period or per project period, as stated in this section, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. This disqualification applies only to the Award Ceiling listed for the first 12-month budget period for projects with multiple budget periods. If the project and budget period are the same, the disqualification applies to the Award Ceiling listed for the project period. Please see Section III.3. Application Disqualification Factors.

Note: For those programs that require matching or cost sharing, grantees will be held accountable for projected commitments of non-federal resources in their application budgets and budget justifications by budget period or by project period for fully funded awards, even if the projected commitment exceeds the required amount of match or cost share. A grantee’s failure to provide the required matching amount may result in the disallowance of federal funds.

Applicants must provide one 5-year (60 months) budget for the entire project and budget period.

The award floor amount is set for planning purposes and is not enforced. The applicant may request any amount up to, and including, the stated award ceiling.

Please see Section IV.5 Funding Restrictions for limitations on the use of federal funds awarded under this announcement.

III. Eligibility Information
III.1. Eligible Applicants

1. Eligible Applicants:

AFI is authorized to award AFI grants to three categories of entities:

  • Non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) status;
  • State, local, and Tribal government agencies;
  • Financial institutions that are credit unions designated as a low-income credit unions or entities designated as community development financial institutions. 

As noted in Section I. Funding Opportunity Description, ACF is eager to award grants to many types of eligible entities.  Section I includes a list of many suggested types of entities that may be eligible to apply.  

Additional eligibility rules.

Non-profits.  Non-profit entities that do not have 501(c)(3) status may be a collaborating partner in an application from an entity that does have 501(c)(3) status. In this instance, the 501(c)(3) status would be the applicant who is responsible for the grant.  The required Standard Form (SF) 424, Application for Federal Assistance must be signed by the authorized representative of the 501(c)(3) organization.

Government entities.  The AFI Act specifies that government entities are eligible to apply for an AFI grant only if they submit an application jointly with a non-profit organization that has a 501(c)(3) status. (See AFI Act, Section 404(7)(A)(ii).)

Joint applicants.  Entities that submit an application jointly must include in their application materials a SF 424. Application for Federal Assistance signed by the authorized representative of the entity that will be responsible for AFI grant administration and AFI project implementation.  In the situation where a government entity submits an application jointly with a non-profit organization, either the government entity or the non-profit organization may be the responsible entity for the grant. 

Credit Unions Designated as Low-Income Credit Unions.  Applications submitted by credit unions designated as a low-income credit union must include documentation of the designation from the National Credit Union Administration.  Such credit unions may be a subsidiary of or otherwise affiliated with a State, local, or Tribal government, or any non-profit or for-profit organization.  Applications submitted by such credit unions must demonstrate a strong collaborative relationship with one or more community-based organization(s) that seek to address poverty and the economic needs of community residents. The community-based organizations may be philanthropic foundations, community foundations, for-profit organizations, a non-profit organization, or another form of entity. The organization is not required to have 501(c)(3) status.  For information about low-income credit unions, see http://www.ncua.gov

Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI).  Applications submitted by entities designated as a CDFI must include documentation of the designation from the U.S. Department of the Treasury.  A CDFI may be a subsidiary of or otherwise affiliated with a State, local, or Tribal government, or any non-profit or for-profit organization.  Applications submitted by a CDFI must demonstrate a strong collaborative relationship with one or more community-based organization(s) that seek to address poverty and the economic needs of community residents. The community-based organizations may be philanthropic foundations, community foundations, for-profit organizations, a non-profit organization, or another form of entity. The organization is not required to have 501(c)(3) status.  For information about CDFIs, go to http://www.cdfifund.gov.

Entities that Have Received AFI Grants Previously.  Entities that have received AFI grants previously may submit applications for an additional AFI grant.  Such applications will be reviewed competitively with all other applications.   

 

Individuals, foreign entities, and sole proprietorship organizations are not eligible to compete for, or receive, awards under this announcement. See Section III.3. Other.

Faith-based and community organizations that meet eligibility requirements are eligible to receive awards under this funding opportunity announcement.
See "Legal Status of Applicant Entity" in Section IV.2 for documentation required to support eligibility.
 
III.2. Cost Sharing or Matching
Cost Sharing / Matching Requirement: Yes
Grantees are required to meet a non-federal share of the project cost, in accordance with The Assets for Independence Act (Title IV of the Community Opportunities, Accountability, and Training and Educational Services Act of 1998, as amended, Pub. L. 105-285, 42 U.S.C. 604 note).

Grant recipients are required to fund their projects with a combination of the Federal AFI grant and cash from one or more non-Federal source(s).  The Federal AFI grant must comprise no more than 50 percent of the total project budget.  The total budget for the project is the sum of the Federal AFI grant and cash funding provided by one or more other source(s).  Therefore, for example, a grantee that receives $300,000 in Federal AFI grant funds must provide at least $300,000 in cash from one or more other source(s).  The grantee may also provide in-kind support in addition to the required cash.

Grant recipients may use other Federal grant funds to meet the AFI cash requirement only if the program that administers the other Federal grant explicitly allows its grant recipients to use its Federal grant funds to meet matching requirements of other Federal grant programs.  Examples of Federal programs with authorizing legislation that allows grantees to use grant funds in this way include: 

  • Community Development Block Grant
  • Indian Community Development Block Grant
  • Native American Housing and Self Determination Act (NAHASDA) funding
  • Indian Self-Determination and Educational Assistance Act funding

Applicants are not required to present documentation that they have the cash contribution from a non-Federal source on hand at the time of application.  However, applicants must provide documentation of a commitment that the cash funds will be available to meet the cash requirement when needed to support their AFI project.  The availability or commitment of required cash contribution from a non-Federal source (or cash from a Federal source such as those listed above) is an important aspect of the "Organizational Profile" evaluation criterion.  Another important aspect is the extent to which the required contribution from a non-Federal source are planned to be from private sector sources.  (See Section V.1.  Application Review Information, Criteria).

 

Matching requirements (including in-kind contributions) of less than $200,000 (up to $199,999) are waived under grants made to the governments of American Samoa, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (other than those consolidated under other provisions of 48 U.S.C. 1469) pursuant to 48 U.S.C. 1469a(d). This waiver applies whether the matching required under the grant equals or exceeds $200,000.
Non-federal resources will be evaluated under criteria found in Section V.1. of this announcement.
 
III.3. Other

DUNS Number and System for Award Management Eligibility Requirements (SAM.gov)


All applicants must have a DUNS number (www.dnb.com) and be registered with the System for Award Management (SAM, www.sam.gov) and maintain an active SAM registration until the application process is complete, and should a grant be made, throughout the life of the award. Finalize a new, or renew an existing, registration at least two weeks before the application deadline. This action should allow you time to resolve any issues that may arise. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in your inability to submit your application or receive an award. Maintain documentation (with dates) of your efforts to register or renew at least two weeks before the deadline. See the SAM Quick Guide for Grantees at: https:// www.sam.gov /sam /transcript /SAM_Quick_Guide_Grants_Registrations-v1.6.pdf.

HHS requires all entities that plan to apply for, and ultimately receive, federal grant funds from any HHS Agency, or receive subawards directly from recipients of those grant funds to:   

  • Be registered in the SAM prior to submitting an application or plan;
  • Maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active award or an application or plan under consideration by an OPDIV; and
  • Provide its active DUNS number in each application or plan it submits to the OPDIV.

ACF is prohibited from making an award until an applicant has complied with these requirements.  At the time an award is ready to be made, if the intended recipient has not complied with these requirements, ACF:   

  • May determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award; and
  • May use that determination as a basis for making an award to another applicant.

Federal Rules for Determining Eligibility of Individuals to Participate in AFI-funded Projects.

The Assets for Independence Act limits eligibility for participation in AFI-funded projects to individuals and families with the following characteristics:  1) Individuals who are members of households that are eligible to receive support under the Federal Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program;  2) Individuals whose adjusted gross household income is less than twice the Federal poverty line, taking into consideration the number of household members, and whose household net worth as of the end of the prior calendar year was less than $10,000; and 3) Individuals whose adjusted gross household income enables them to qualify for the Federal Earned Income Tax Credit, taking into consideration the number of household members, and whose household net worth as of the end of the prior calendar year was less than $10,000.  When determining the net worth of the household, a household's assets shall not be considered to include the primary dwelling unit and one motor vehicle owned by a member of the household.

Application Disqualification Factors

Applications from individuals, foreign entities, or sole proprietorship organizations will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement.

Award Ceiling Disqualification

Applications that request an award amount exceeding the Award Ceiling per budget period, or per project period, as stated in Section II. Award Information, will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. This disqualification applies only to the Award Ceiling listed for first 12-month budget period for projects with multiple budget periods. If the project and budget period are the same, the disqualification applies to the Award Ceiling listed for the project period.

Application Submission Disqualifications

Beginning January 1, 2012, ACF requires electronic submission of applications at www.Grants.gov.  Applicants that do not have an Internet connection or sufficient computing capacity to upload large documents to the Internet may contact ACF for an exemption. Information on requesting an exemption from electronic application submission is found in Section IV.2. Application Submission Options.

The deadline for electronic application submission is 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date listed in the Overview and Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times. Electronic applications submitted to www.Grants.gov after 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date, as indicated by a date and time stamped email from www.Grants.gov, disqualified from the current competitive review and held over for the next scheduled competition under this announcement. That is, applications submitted to www.Grants.gov, on or after 12:00 a.m., ET, on the day after the due date or later will be held over for the next scheduled competition.

Please Note: Applications submitted to www.Grants.gov at any time during the open application period, and prior to the due date and time that fail the Grants.gov validation check, will not be received at ACF. These applications will not be acknowledged. Applications that fail the Grants.gov validation check are not transmitted to ACF though they may have been submitted on time.

Each time an application is submitted via www.Grants.gov, the application will receive a new date and time stamp. Only those applications with on-time date and time stamps that result in a validated application and are transmitted to ACF will be acknowledged.

The deadline for receipt of paper applications is 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date listed in Overview and Section IV.3. Submissions Dates and Times. Paper applications received after 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date will be disqualified from the current competitive review and held over for the next scheduled competition under this announcement.

Paper applications received from applicants that have not requested an exemption from required electronic submission will be disqualified from competitive review and from funding under this announcement. See "Request an Exemption from Electronic Application Submission" in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission.

Applications that are disqualified under any of these circumstances will receive written notification by letter or by email.

Read the formatting instructions for all application submissions in Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission.

 

IV. Application and Submission Information

IV.1. Address to Request Application Package

J. Janelle George
Office of Community Services
ATTN: Assets for Independence Program
370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW.
Aerospace Building, 5th Floor West
Washington, DC 20447
Phone: 1-866-778-6037
Fax: (202) 401-5648
Email: info@IDAresources.org
URL: www.IDAresources.org


Electronic Application Submission:
The electronic application submission package is available at www.Grants.gov.

Applications in Paper Format:
For applicants that have received an exemption to submit applications in paper format, Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available at the ACF Funding Opportunities Forms webpage at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants-forms. See Section IV.2.Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission if applicants do not have an Internet connection or sufficient computing capacity to upload large documents (files) to www.Grants.gov.

Standard Forms that are compliant with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act (29 U.S.C. § 794d): Available at the Grants.gov Forms Repository website and at http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_forms.

Federal Relay Service:
Hearing-impaired and speech-impaired callers may contact the Federal Relay Service for assistance at 1-800-877-8339 (TTY - Text Telephone or ASCII - American Standard Code For Information Interchange).

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Section IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

FORMATTING ACF APPLICATIONS

 For All Applications:

Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR)
Each applicant must designate an Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR). An AOR is named by the applicant, and is authorized to act for the applicant, to assume the obligations imposed by the Federal laws, regulations, requirements, and conditions that apply to the grant application or awards.

AOR Authorization is part of the registration process at www.Grants.gov where the AOR will create a short profile and obtain a username and password from the Grants.gov Credential Provider.  AORs will only be authorized for the DUNS number registered in the Central Contractor Registration (CCR).

Point of Contact
In addition to the AOR, a point of contact on matters involving the application must also be identified. The point of contact, known as the Project Director or Principal Investigator, should not be identical to the person identified as the AOR. The point of contact must be available to answer any questions pertaining to the application.

Application Checklist
Applicants may refer to Section VIII. Other Information for a checklist of application requirements that may be used in developing and organizing application materials.  Details concerning acknowledgment of received applications are available in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times of this announcement.

Follow the instructions provided in the formatting section to ensure that your application can be printed efficiently and consistently for the competitive review.   

Observe page limitations.
All applicants must follow the instructions provided in this section. Be sure to print out all attachments (components) on paper and count the number of pages before submission.  Keep the print out as a hard copy of your application for your files.

FORMATTING FOR ELECTRONIC APPLICATIONS SUBMITTED VIA www.Grants.gov:
 
Notice: The Administration for Children and Families has implemented required electronic application submission via www.Grants.gov.  Applicants are now required to submit their applications electronically unless they have requested and received an exemption that will allow submission in paper format.  See Section IV.2. Application Submission Options.

Electronic applications will only be accepted via www.Grants.gov. ACF will not accept applications submitted via email or via facsimile.  Only applications, which pass the Grants.gov validation check, will be acknowledged.

Please read this section carefully before beginning application submission. It is mandatory to follow the instructions provided in this section to ensure that your application can be printed efficiently and consistently for review.

Copies Required
Applicants must submit one complete copy of the application package electronically. Applicants submitting electronic applications need not provide additional copies of their application package.


NOTE:
Applications submitted via www.Grants.gov will undergo a validation check. See Section IV.2. Application Submission Options and Section IV.3. Application Due Dates and Times, Explanation of Due Dates. The validation check can affect whether the application is accepted for review. Applications that fail the www.Grants.gov validation check will not be transmitted to ACF. If the application fails the validation check and is re-submitted after 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date, it will be disqualified from the current competition. Applications received after 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date will be held over for the next competition under this announcement.


Follow the AOR Authorization and E-Biz POC  instructions provided at www.Grants.gov.

OMB-Approved and Standard Forms (SFs)
www.Grants.gov  provides its own protocols for the submission of OMB-approved and Standard Forms (SFs) such as the SF-424 application and budget forms and the SF-P/PSL, Project/Performance Site Location form.  See Section IV.2. Forms, Assurances, and Certifications for required OMB-approved Standard Forms and required assurances and certifications.

Applications must be divided into the sections listed in the table. It is important that each component is submitted a separate electronic file. Page limitations may only apply to the Project Description document and the Appendices and the following:

  • The Project Summary/Abstract is limited to one single-spaced page.
  • The Budget Justification should be no more than 10 single-spaced pages.

Application Package Components

Page Limitations

Project Summary/Abstract

Limited to one single-spaced page

Project Description

Page Limitations and included items are listed later in this section

Budget Justification

No more than 10 single-spaced pages

Required Assurances and Certifications

No page limitations

Proof of Legal Status

No page limitations

Appendices

Page Limitations and included items are listed later in this section


The required content of the Project Description and any Appendices, and their page limits, are listed later in this section.

Carefully observe the file naming conventions required by www.Grants.gov.
Limit file names to 50 characters and do not use special characters (example: &,-,*,%,/,#) including periods (.), blank spaces, and accent marks, within application form fields and file attachment names. An underscore (_) may be used to separate a file name.

Only use File Formats supported by ACF
It is critical that applicants only submit application requirements using the supported file formats listed here. Documents in file formats that are not supported by ACF will be removed from the application and will not be used in the competitive review. This will make the application incomplete and ACF will not make any awards based on an incomplete application.

ACF supports the following file formats:

  • Adobe PDF – Portable Document Format (.pdf)
  • Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx)
  • Microsoft Excel (.xls or .xlsx)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint (.ppt)
  • Corel WordPerfect (.wpd)
  • Image Formats (.JPG, .GIF, .TIFF, or .BMP only)

Do not encrypt or password protect the electronic application files.
If ACF cannot access  submitted electronic files because they have been encrypted or are password protected, the affected file will be removed from the application and will not be used in the competitive review. This will make the application incomplete and ACF will not make any awards based on an incomplete application.

FORMATTING FOR PAPER FORMAT APPLICATIONS (An Exemption is required for submission):

The following requirements are only applicable to applications submitted in paper format. Applicants must receive an exemption to continue submitting applications in paper format. See "Request an Exemption from Electronic Application Submission" later in this section.

Copies Required
Applicants must provide one original and two copies of all application materials when submitting paper format. See the instructions for applicants that are not able to submit applications electronically under Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission later in Section IV.2.

Signatures
An original signature of the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) is required only on the original copy of hard copy application submissions. A point of contact on matters involving the application must also be identified on the SF-424 at item 8f.  The point of contact, known as the Project Director or Principal Investigator, should not be identical to the person identified as the AOR.

Format Requirements
All application materials must be submitted on 8 ½" x 11" white paper with 1-inch margins.  All pages of the paper application submission must be sequentially numbered.  Applicants must follow the instructions provided in this section and ensure that they print out all attachments on paper and count the number of pages before submission.

All elements of the application submission, with the exception of the one-page Project Summary/Abstract, the Budget Justification, required Assurances and Certifications, and proof of legal status/non-profit status, must be in double-spaced format in 12-point font. The Project Summary/Abstract is required to be one single-spaced page in 12-point font.  The Budget Justification may be single-spaced page in 12-point font and should be no more than 10 pages.

All copies of a mailed or hand delivered paper application must be submitted in a single package. A separate package must be submitted for application under a single funding opportunity. The package must be clearly labeled for the specific funding opportunity it is addressing.

Because each application will be duplicated, do not use or include separate covers, binders, clips, tabs, plastic inserts, maps, brochures, or any other items that cannot be processed easily on a photocopy machine with an automatic feed. Do not bind, clip, staple, or fasten in any way separate subsections of the application, including supporting documentation. Use a clip (not a staple) to securely bind the application together. Applicants are advised that the copies of the application submitted, not the original, will be reproduced by the Federal government for review. Application materials must be one-sided for duplication purposes.

Instructions on the order of assembly for paper application submissions are available under this formatting section.

Page Limitations for Paper Format Application Submissions
Information on page limitations for paper applications appear later in this formatting section.

Page limitations do not include OMB-approved Standard Forms (SFs), proof of legal status, and required Assurances and Certifications.

If an application exceeds the cited page limitation for double-spaced pages in the application narrative or the double-spaced page limitation cited for the Appendices, the extra pages will be removed and will not be reviewed. In addition, if an application narrative is single-spaced and/or one-and-a-half spaced (in whole or in part) the total number of these lines will be doubled. This adjustment may result in an increased total number of pages, which will be removed so that the application conforms to the cited double-spaced page limitation.

The Project Summary/Abstract is limited to one single-spaced page with 12-point font. Any pages over the one-page limit will be removed.

See Section IV.6. Other Submission Requirements for addresses for paper application submissions.

There is no strict page limitation for AFI applications. The Project Description includes a table of contents, project summary, and approach. The Appendices include resumes, proof of non-profit status, and proof of the commitment of non-federal resources.

Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications

Applicants seeking grant or cooperative agreement awards under this announcement must submit the listed Standard Forms (SFs), assurances, and certifications with the application. All required Standard Forms, assurances, and certifications are available at ACF Funding Opportunities Forms or at the Grants.gov Forms Repository unless specified otherwise.

 
Forms / Assurances / Certifications Submission Requirement Notes / Description

Certification Regarding Lobbying

Submission required of all applicants with the application package.  If it is not submitted with the application package, it may also be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Submission of this Certification is required for all applications.

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

If applicable, submission of this form is due at the time of application. 

If any funds have been paid or will be paid to any person for influencing or attempting to influence an officer or employee of any agency, a Member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a Member of Congress in connection with this commitment providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan, the applicant shall complete and submit the SF-LLL, "Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying," in accordance with its instructions.

Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants

Submission is voluntary. Submission may be made with the application by the application due date listed in the Overview and Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.  Or, it may be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Non-profit private organizations (not including private universities) are encouraged to submit the survey with their applications.  Submission of the survey is voluntary.   Applicants applying electronically may submit the survey along with the application as part of an appendix or as a separate document.  Hard copy submissions should include the survey in a separate envelope.

DUNS Number (Universal Identifier) and Systems for Award Management (SAM) registration. 

A DUNS number is required of all applicants. To obtain a DUNS number, go to http://fedgov.dnb.com/webform. Active registration at the Systems Award Management (SAM) website must be maintained throughout the application and project award period. SAM registration is available at http://www.sam.gov.

A DUNS number and SAM registration are eligibility requirements for all applicants. See Section III.3. Other for information on obtaining a DUNS number and registration at http://www.sam.gov.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

and

SF-P/PSL - Project/Performance Site Location(s)

Submission is required for all applicants by the application due date.

Required for all applications.

SF-424A  Budget Information - Non-Construction Programs / SF-424B  Assurances - Non-Construction Programs

and

SF-424C - Budget Information Construction Programs / SF-424D - Assurances Construction Programs

Submission is required for all applicants when applying for non-construction and construction activities under the proposed project. Standard Forms must be used. Standard Forms must be submitted by the application due date.

Required for all applications when applying for non-construction and/or construction activities under the proposed project.  Please see special instructions in the Checklist in Section VIII. Other Information in this announcement.

  • Projects that are solely for non-construction activities must submit the SF-424A and SF-424B, along with the SF-424 and SF-P/PSL.
  • Projects that are solely for construction activities must submit the SF-424C and SF424D, along with the SF-424 and SF-P/PSL.
  • Projects that include non-construction and construction activities must submit the SF-424A, B, C, and D, along with the SF-424 and SF-P/PSL.

By signing and submitting the SF-424B and/or SF-424D, applicants are making the appropriate certification of their compliance with all Federal statutes relating to nondiscrimination.


Non-Federal Reviewers

Since ACF will be using non-federal reviewers in the review process, applicants have the option of omitting from the application copies (not the original) specific salary rates or amounts for individuals specified in the application budget as well as Social Security Numbers, if otherwise required for individuals. The copies may include summary salary information.If applicants are submitting their application electronically, ACF will omit the same specific salary rate information from copies made for use during the review and selection process.
IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission (contd.)

The Project Description

The Project Description Overview

The project description provides the majority of information by which an application is evaluated and ranked in competition with other applications for available assistance. The project description should be concise and complete. It should address the activity for which federal funds are being requested. Supporting documents should be included where they can present information clearly and succinctly. In preparing the project description, information that is responsive to each of the requested evaluation criteria must be provided. Awarding offices use this and other information in making their funding recommendations. It is important, therefore, that this information be included in the application in a manner that is clear and complete.

General Expectations and Instructions

Applicants should develop project descriptions that focus on outcomes and convey strategies for achieving intended performance. Project descriptions are evaluated on the basis of substance and measurable outcomes, not length. Extensive exhibits are not required. Cross-referencing should be used rather than repetition. Supporting information concerning activities that will not be directly funded by the grant or information that does not directly pertain to an integral part of the grant-funded activity should be placed in an appendix.

General Instructions for Preparing a Full Project Description

Introduction

Applicants that are required to submit a full project description shall prepare the project description statement in accordance with the following instructions while being aware of the specified evaluation criteria. The topics listed in this section provide a broad overview of what the project description should include while the Criteria in Section V.1. identify the measures that will be used to evaluate applications.

Table of Contents

List the contents of the application including corresponding page numbers.

Project Summary/Abstract

Provide a summary of the application's project description.  The summary must be clear, accurate, concise, and without reference to other parts of the application.  The abstract must include a brief description of the proposed grant project including the needs to be addressed, the proposed services, and the population group(s) to be served. 

Please place the following at the top of the abstract: 

  • Project Title
  • Applicant Name
  • Address
  • Contact Phone Numbers (Voice, Fax)
  • E-Mail Address
  • Web Site Address, if applicable

 The project abstract must be single-spaced and limited to one page in length.

Approach

Outline a plan of action that describes the scope and detail of how the proposed work will be accomplished.  Account for all functions or activities identified in the application.  Cite factors that might accelerate or decelerate the work and state your reason for taking the proposed approach rather than other approaches. Describe any unusual features of the project such as design or technological innovations, reductions in cost or time, or extraordinary social and community involvement.

Provide quantitative monthly or quarterly projections of the outcomes to be achieved for each function or activity in such terms as the number of people to be served and the number of activities accomplished.  Data may be organized and presented as project tasks and subtasks with their corresponding timelines during the project period. For example, each project task could be assigned to a row in the first column of a grid. Then, a unit of time could be assigned to each subsequent column, beginning with the first unit (i.e., week, month, quarter) of the project and ending with the last.  Shading, arrows, or other markings could be used across the applicable grid boxes or cells, representing units of time, to indicate the approximate duration and/or frequency of each task and its start and end dates within the project period.

When accomplishments cannot be quantified by activity or function, list them in chronological order to show the schedule of accomplishments and their target dates.

Provide a list of organizations, cooperating entities, consultants, or other key individuals who will work on the project, along with a short description of the nature of their effort or contribution.

Strong applications for AFI grants will include complete information about the applicant's proposed approach for implementing the IDA project.  The information will align with the review criteria described in Section V of this announcement and detailed here:

1) Project Summary / Abstract.  See above for a description of the requirements for the one-page Project Summary / Abstract.

2) Organizational capacity and staffing.  See below for a description of the requirements for information about the applicant's organizational capacity and staffing.  Applicants must demonstrate experience in administering programs or partnering with organizations that focus on first-time home purchase, post-secondary education, and business capitalization. Strong applications will include information that the applicant will secure cash contribution(s) from one or more non-Federal source(s) and other resources, as needed, to support the proposed project.  The budget for every AFI-funded IDA project must include a non-Federal cash contribution amount at least equal to the AFI grant amount.  Strong applications will include documentation such as letters from funders, commitments from the applicant to provide the required cash contribution, and so forth.  Note:  Grant recipients may use other Federal grant funds to meet the AFI cash requirement only if the program that administers the other Federal grant explicitly allows its grant recipients to use its Federal grant funds to meet matching requirements of other Federal grant programs. 

3) Work plan and a timeline for five-year project and budget periods.  Strong work plans will include detailed information on the applicant's planned approach for addressing each of the following factors:

  • Selecting, training, and maintaining qualified and experienced staff; 
  • Developing and maintaining collaborations with key government agencies, and non-profit and for-profit organizations that will support the overall asset-building strategy; 
  • Establishing and maintaining the AFI Project Reserve Fund including a system for allocating interest income for project administration and to project participants; 
  • Establishing effective working relationships with one or more Federally insured financial institution(s) that will participate in the project (if there are no Federally insured financial institutions in the area, the institution may be a State insured institution); 
  • Reaching out to community residents, employers, and other key institutions about asset-building strategies in general and IDAs in particular; 
  • Recruiting, screening, and selecting participants;
  • Determining the unique needs of each participant or group of participants, including their needs for financial literacy education and coaching, credit repair, asset-specific information, and other assistance, as well as determining their particular strengths; 
  • Providing financial literacy education, credit repair, asset-specific information, and other training and coaching or supportive services to participants; 
  • Developing savings plans with participants and working with them to implement the plans; 
  • Establishing and maintaining IDAs for each participant including specific arrangements with financial institutions concerning the IDAs; 
  • Assisting participants who have difficulty completing the financial literacy education or abiding with the terms of their savings plan;
  • Ensuring that participants use IDAs only as appropriate, including for emergency expenses; 
  • Ensuring that participants purchase an eligible, appreciable long-term asset within the program time frames; 
  • Providing follow-up assistance to participants, if needed; 
  • Providing required financial, programmatic, and data reports to OCS; 
  • Participating actively in the national evaluation of the AFI demonstration program, including providing data and other information as requested; and 
  • Managing periodic internal program reviews concerning staffing, participant successes, and other issues to be addressed. 

3a) Provision of tax services.  Strong applications will provide clear and thorough plans for providing project participants with tax preparation assistance and assistance with claiming refundable tax credits, such as the Earned Income Tax Credit.

3b) IDA design features.  Strong applications will present a clear explanation of key IDA project features, such as the requirements for participants to attend financial education and asset-specific training; descriptions of the components of savings plan agreements to be used with participants; rationales for the proposed IDA matching rates; and clear descriptions of maximum savings allowed and minimum monthly savings expected.

3c) Project partners and collaborators.  Strong applications will present a clear vision for how the applicant will collaborate with public and private entities in administering the IDA project.  Strong applications will include information about a collaborative arrangement with one or more insured financial institution(s) where the AFI grant funds and participant IDAs will be maintained.

3d) Information on AFI Network project features.  Strong applications for funding of AFI Network projects will clearly describe the applicant's capacity and experience in managing multi-agency projects.

3e) Providing information for ACF-funded research about the AFI program and IDAs.  Strong applications will include a clear statement by the applicant that it will use an electronic data system for project management.  The applications will include a statement certifying that the applicant will provide information as requested to ACF and organizations implementing research about the AFI demonstration for ACF.

3f) Project participants.  Strong applications will clearly describe the target population and community(ies) or neighborhood(s), in terms of potential participant income and other compelling information such as demographics, savings/assets acquisition, and other factors.

3g) Project management.  Strong applications will include a clear statement of the applicant's commitment to use the AFI performance management framework for managing its IDA project, including the AFI program performance outcomes, indicators, indicator targets, and outcome measures.

Legal Status of Applicant Entity
Proof of Non-Profit Status
Non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations applying for funding are required to submit proof of their non-profit status. Proof of 501(c)(3) non-profit status is any one of the following:
  • A reference to the applicant organization's listing in the IRS's most recent list of tax-exempt 501(c)(3) organizations described in the IRS Code.
  • A copy of a currently valid IRS 501(c)(3) tax-exemption certificate.

Organizational Capacity

  • Contact persons and telephone numbers
  • Documentation of experience in the program area
  • Any other pertinent information the applicant deems relevant.

Provide a biographical sketch or resume for each key person appointed. Resumes should be no more than two pages in length. Job descriptions for each vacant key position should be included as well. As new key staff are appointed, biographical sketches or resumes will also be required.

 

The Project Budget and Budget Justification

All applicants are required to submit a project budget and budget justification with their application. The project budget is input on the Budget Information Standard Form, either SF-424A or SF-424C. The budget justification is a line-item detail that includes detailed calculations for "object class categories" identified on the Budget Information Standard Form. Calculations must include estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated. If matching or cost sharing is a requirement, applicants must include a detailed listing of any funding sources identified in Block 18 of the SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance).

Project budget calculations must include estimation methods, quantities, unit costs, and other similar quantitative detail sufficient for the calculation to be duplicated. If matching or cost sharing is a requirement, applicants must include a detailed listing of any funding sources identified in Block 18 of the SF-424 (Application for Federal Assistance). See the table in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications listing the appropriate budget forms to use in this application.

Special Note: The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (Pub.L. 112-74), enacted December 23, 2011, limits the salary amount that may be awarded and charged to ACF grants and cooperative agreements. Award funds issued under this announcement may not be used to pay the salary, or any percentage of salary, to an individual at a rate in excess of Executive Level II. The Executive Level II salary of the Federal Executive Pay scale is $179,700 (http://www.opm.gov/oca/12tables/html/ex.asp). This amount reflects an individual’s base salary exclusive of fringe benefits and any income that an individual may be permitted to earn outside of the duties to the applicant organization.  This salary limitation also applies to subawards/subcontracts under a ACF grant or cooperative agreement.

Provide a narrative budget justification for the proposed project that is being fully funded (the budget period and project period are the same). The narrative budget justification should describe how the categorical costs are derived. Discuss the necessity, reasonableness, and allocation of the proposed costs.

The narrative budget justification must provide a breakdown for the 15% administrative costs for the entire project period (i.e. 5 years).  Activities that may be funded by AFI monies (beyond the minimum 85% for IDA savings match) include:

  • Financial education and related costs for participants opening an AFI-funded IDA;
  • General program administrative costs (not more than 7.5% of AFI grant budget); and
  • Data Collection for OCS-AFI administered evaluations (at least 2% of AFI grant budget).
General

Use the following guidelines for preparing the budget and budget justification.  Both federal and non-federal resources (when required) shall be detailed and justified in the budget and budget narrative justification.   "federal resources" refers only to the ACF grant funds for which you are applying. "Non-federal resources" are all other non-ACF federal and non-federal resources.  It is suggested that budget amounts and computations be presented in a columnar format:  first column, object class categories; second column, federal budget; next column(s), non-federal budget(s); and last column, total budget. The budget justification should be in a narrative form.

Other

Description:  Enter the total of all other costs.  Such costs, where applicable and appropriate, may include but are not limited to:  local travel; insurance; food; medical and dental costs (noncontractual); professional services costs; space and equipment rentals; printing and publication; computer use; training costs, such as tuition and stipends; staff development costs; and administrative costs.

Justification:  Provide computations, a narrative description and a justification for each cost under this category.

Commitment of Non-Federal Resources

Description:  Amounts of non-federal resources that will be used to support the project as identified in Block 18 of the SF-424.

Justification: If an applicant is relying on match from a third party, then a firm commitment of these resources (letter(s) or other documentation) is required to be submitted with the application. Detailed budget information must be provided for every funding source identified in Item18. "Estimated Funding ($)" on the SF-424.

Note:
Applicants are required to fully identify and document in their applications the specific costs or contributions they propose in order to meet a matching or cost-sharing requirement. Applicants are also required to provide documentation in their applications on the sources of funding or contribution(s) and, for in-kind contributions, a justification of how the stated valuation was determined.  Matching or cost sharing must be documented by budget period or by project period for fully funded awards. A grantee’s failure to provide the required matching amount may result in the disallowance of federal funds. Lack of supporting documentation at the time of application submission will not disqualify the application from competitive review; however, it may impact an application’s scoring under the evaluation criteria in Section V.1. of this announcement.

Paperwork Reduction Disclaimer

As required by the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. §§ 3501-3521, the public reporting burden for the Project Description is estimated to average 40 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and reviewing the collection information. The Project Description information collection is approved under OMB control number 0970-0139, which expires 11/30/2012. An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a currently valid OMB control number.

IV.2. Content and Form of Application Submission

Application Submission Options

Electronic Submission via www.Grants.gov

  • Additional guidance on the submission of electronic applications can be found at http://www.grants.gov/applicants/get_registered.jsp.
  • If applicants encounter any technical difficulties in using www.Grants.gov, contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at: 1-800-518-4726, or by email at support@grants.gov, to report the problem and obtain assistance. Hours of Operation: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The Grants.gov Contact Center is closed on federal holidays.
  • Applicants should always retain Grants.gov Contact Center service ticket number(s) as they may be needed for future reference.
  • Contact with the Grants.gov Contact Center prior to the listed application due date and time does not ensure acceptance of an application. If difficulties are encountered, the Grants Management Officer listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts will determine whether the submission issues are due to Grants.gov system errors or user error.

Application Validation at www.Grants.gov

After an application has been successfully submitted to www.Grants.gov, it still must pass a series of validation checks.  After an application is submitted, Grants.gov generates a submission receipt via email and also sets the application status to "Received." This receipt verifies that the application has been successfully delivered to the Grants.gov system.

Next, Grants.gov verifies the submission is valid by ensuring it does not contain viruses, the opportunity is still open, and the applicant login and applicant DUNS number match. If the submission is valid, Grants.gov generates a submission validation receipt via email and sets the application status to "Validated."

If the application is not validated, the application status is set to "Rejected." The system sends a rejection email notification to the applicant and the applicant must re-submit the application package. See "What to Expect After Submitting" at www.Grants.gov for more information.

Each time an application is submitted, or resubmitted, via www.Grants.gov, the application will receive a new date and time stamp. Only those applications with on-time date and time stamps that result in a validated application, which are transmitted to ACF, will be acknowledged.

Applicants will be provided with an acknowledgement from Grants.gov that the submitted application package has passed, or failed, a series of checks and validations. Applications that are submitted on time that fail the validation check will not be transmitted to ACF and will not be acknowledged.

Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission

ACF recognizes that some applicants may have limited or no Internet access, and/or limited computer capacity, which may prohibit them from uploading large files at www.Grants.gov. To accommodate such applicants, ACF offers an exemption from required electronic submission. The exemption will allow applicants to submit hard copy, paper applications by hand-delivery, applicant courier, overnight/express mail couriers, or by other representatives of the applicant.

To receive an exemption from required electronic application submission, applicants must submit a written request to ACF that must state that the applicant qualifies for the exemption for one of the two following reasons:

  • Lack of Internet access or Internet connection, or
  • Limited computer capacity that prevents the uploading of large documents (files) at www.Grants.gov.

Applicants may request and receive the exemption from required electronic application submission by either:

  • Submitting an email request to electronicappexemption@acf.hhs.gov, or
  • Sending a written request to the Office of Grants Management Contact listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts in this announcement.

Requests for exemption from required electronic application submission will be acknowledged with an approval or disapproval.

Requests that do not state one of the two listed reasons will not be approved.

An exemption is applicable to all applications submitted by the applicant organization during the Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) in which it is received. Applicants need only request an exemption once in a FFY.  Applicants must request a new exemption from required electronic submission for any succeeding FFY.

Please Note: electronicappexemption@acf.hhs.gov may only be used to request an exemption from required electronic submission. All other inquiries must be directed to the appropriate Agency Contact listed in Section VII. of this announcement. Queries or requests submitted to this email address for any reason other than a request for an exemption from electronic application submission will not be acknowledged or answered.

All exemption requests must include the following information:

  • Funding Opportunity Announcement Title,
  • Funding Opportunity Number (FON),
  • The listed Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) number,
  • Name of Applicant Organization and DUNS Number,
  • AOR name and contact information,
  • Name and contact information of person to be contacted on matters involving the application (i.e., the Point of Contact), and
  • The reason for which the applicant is requesting an exemption from electronic application submission. The request for exemption must state one of the following two reasons: 1) lack of Internet access or Internet connection; or 2) lack of computer capacity that prevents uploading large documents (files) to the Internet.

Exemption requests must be received by ACF no later than two weeks before the application due date, that is, 14 calendar days prior to the application due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times. If the fourteenth calendar day falls on a weekend or federal holiday, the due date for receipt of an exemption request will move to the next federal business day that follows the weekend or federal holiday.

Applicants may refer to Section VIII. Other Information for a checklist of application requirements that may be used in developing and organizing application materials. Details concerning acknowledgment of received applications are available in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times of this announcement.

Paper Format Application Submission

An exemption is now required for the submission of paper applications. See the preceding section on "Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission."

Applicants with exemptions that submit their applications in paper format, by mail or delivery, must submit one original and two copies of the complete application with all attachments. The original and each of the two copies must include all required forms, certifications, assurances, and appendices, be signed by the AOR, and be unbound.  The original copy of the application must have original signature(s). See Section IV.6. of this announcement for address information for paper format application submissions.


Applicants may refer to Section VIII. Other Information for a checklist of application requirements that may be used in developing and organizing application materials.  Details concerning acknowledgment of received applications are available in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times in this announcement.

IV.3. Submission Dates and Times

IV.3. Submission Dates and Times

Due Date for Applications:

6/07/2013

Explanation of Due Dates

There are multiple annual application reviews available under this announcement.  Due dates for applications, listed in the Overview and in this section of the announcement, refer to the last day that an application may be received for consideration under the next scheduled review. 

The due date for receipt of applications is listed in the Overview section and in this section.  See Section III.3. Application Disqualification Factors.

Electronic Applications

The deadline for submission of electronic applications via www.Grants.gov is 11:59 p.m., ET, on the due date. Electronic applications submitted at 12:00 a.m., ET, on the day after the due date will be held over for the next scheduled competition under this announcement.

Applicants are required to submit their applications electronically via www.Grants.gov unless they received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission. 

ACF does not accommodate transmission of applications by email or facsimile.

Instructions for electronic submission via www.Grants.gov are available at http://www.grants.gov/applicants/apply_for_grants.jsp.

Please note:

Applications submitted to www.Grants.gov at any time during the open application period, and prior to the due date and time, that fail the Grants.gov validation check, will not be received at ACF. These applications will not be acknowledged. Applications that fail the Grants.gov validation check are not transmitted to ACF though they may have been submitted on time.

Each time an application is submitted via www.Grants.gov, the application will receive a new date and time stamp.  

Mailed Paper Format Applications

The deadline for mailed paper applications is 4:30 p.m., ET, on the due date. Mailed paper applications received after the due date and deadline time will be will be held over for the next scheduled competition under this announcement.

Paper format application submissions will be disqualified if the applicant organization has not received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission. No appeals will be considered for these applicants.

Hand-Delivered Paper Format Applications

Applications that are hand-delivered by applicants, applicant couriers, by overnight/express mail couriers, or other representatives of the applicant must be received on, or before, the due date listed in the Overview and in this section. These applications must be delivered between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., ET, Monday through Friday (excluding Federal holidays). Applications should be delivered to the address provided in Section IV.6.Other Submission Requirements.

Hand-delivered paper applications received after the due date and deadline time will be will be held over for the next scheduled competition under this announcement.

Paper format application submissions will be disqualified if the applicant organization has not received an exemption through the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission. No appeals will be considered for these applicants.

Extensions and/or Waiving Due Date and Receipt Time Requirements

ACF may extend an application due date and receipt time when circumstances make it impossible for applicants to submit their applications on time. These events include natural disasters (floods, hurricanes, tornados, etc.), or when there are widespread disruptions of electrical service, or mail service, or in other rare cases. The determination to extend or waive due date and/or receipt time requirements rests with the Grants Management Officer listed as the Office of Grants Management Contact in Section VII. Agency Contacts.

Acknowledgement from www.Grants.gov

Applicants will receive an initial email upon submission of their application to www.Grants.gov. This email will provide a Grants.gov Tracking Number. Applicants should refer to this tracking number in all communication with Grants.gov. The email will also provide a date and time stamp, which serves as the official record of application's submission. Receipt of this email does not indicate that the application is accepted or that is has passed the validation check.

Applicants will be provided with an acknowledgement from www.Grants.gov that the submitted application package has passed, or failed, a series of checks and validations. Applications that are submitted on time that fail the validation check will not be transmitted to ACF and will not be acknowledged.

See "What to Expect After Submitting" at www.Grants.gov for more information.

Acknowledgement from ACF of an electronic application's submission:

Applicants will be sent additional email(s) from ACF acknowledging that the application has been retrieved from www.Grants.gov by ACF. Receipt of these emails is not an indication that the application is accepted for competition.

Acknowledgement from ACF of receipt of a paper format application

ACF will not provide acknowledgement of receipt of hard copy application packages submitted via mail or courier services.

IV.4. Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs (SPOC)

IV.4. Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs

This program is covered under Executive Order (E.O.) 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," and 45 CFR Part 100, "Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities." Under the Executive Order, States may design their own processes for reviewing and commenting on proposed Federal assistance under covered programs.

Applicants should go to the following URL for the official list of the jurisdictions that have elected to participate in E.O. 12372 http://www.whitehouse.gov/omb/grants_spoc/.
Applicants from participating jurisdictions should contact their SPOC, as soon as possible, to alert them of their prospective applications and to receive instructions on their jurisdiction's procedures. Applicants must submit all required application materials to the SPOC and indicate the date of submission on the Standard Form (SF) 424 at item 19.

Under 45 CFR 100.8(a)(2), a SPOC has 60 days from the application due date to comment on proposed new awards.

SPOC comments may be submitted directly to ACF to: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Grants Management, Division of Discretionary Grants, 370 L''Enfant Promenade SW., 6th Floor East, Washington, DC 20447.

Entities that meet the eligibility requirements of this announcement are still eligible to apply for a grant even if a State, Territory or Commonwealth, etc., does not have a SPOC or has chosen not to participate in the process. Applicants from non-participating jurisdictions need take no action with regard to E.O. 12372. Applications from Federally-recognized Indian Tribal governments are not subject to E.O. 12372.
IV.5. Funding Restrictions

IV.5. Funding Restrictions

Costs of organized fund raising, including financial campaigns, endowment drives, solicitation of gifts and bequests, and similar expenses incurred solely to raise capital or obtain contributions, are considered unallowable costs under grants or cooperative agreements awarded under this funding opportunity announcement.

Note: Costs incurred for grant application preparation are not considered allowable costs under an award and may not be included in the project budget or budget justification.

Grant awards will not allow reimbursement of pre-award costs.
Purchase of real property is not an allowable activity or expenditure under this grant award.

The AFI Act imposes the following limitations on uses of AFI grant funds:  Entities that receive AFI grants must reserve at least 85% of the Federal AFI grant amount for matching participants' IDA savings.  The grantee entities may use no more than 15% of the Federal AFI grant amount for all other costs such as administering the project, reporting, and recruiting and enrolling participants; training participants in such areas as financial education, economic literacy, budgeting, and credit; providing supports that assist participants to achieve economic self-sufficiency; and providing information to organizations evaluating the AFI demonstration.

IV.6. Other Submission Requirements

IV.6. Other Submission Requirements

Submit paper applications to one of the following addresses. See Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.

Submission By Mail

Administration for Children and Families
Office of Community Services Grant Operations Center
Assets for Independence Program
1400 Key Blvd.
Suite 910
Arlington, VA 22209

Hand Delivery

Administration for Children and Families
Office of Community Services Grant Operations Center
Assets for Independence Program
1400 Key Blvd.
Suite 910
Arlington, VA 22209

Electronic Submission

See Section IV.2 for application requirements and for guidance when submitting applications electronically via http://www.Grants.gov.

For all submissions, see Section IV.3 for information on due dates and times.

V. Application Review Information

V.1. Criteria

Please note: Reviewers will not access, or review, any materials that are not part of the application documents.  This includes information accessible on websites via hyperlinks that are referenced, or embedded, in the application.  Though an application may include web links, or embedded hyperlinks, reviewers will not review this information as it is not considered to be part of the application documents.  Nor will the information on websites be taken into consideration in scoring of evaluation criteria presented in this section. Reviewers will evaluate and score an application based on the documents that are presented in the application and will not refer to, or access, external links during the objective review.

Each application will be evaluated on the extent to which it addresses four criteria:  Project Abstract / Summary; Organizational Capacity; Approach; and Budget and Budget Justification.  Reviewers will assign a point value to each application, reflecting the review panel's objective judgment of the extent to which the application successfully addresses each criterion.  Each application will also be evaluated on the extent to which it addresses the criteria for bonus points. Applicants must provide responses to each criterion and the bonus point section.

 
Project Abstract / Summary Maximum Points: 5

a) Summary (3 Points): Does the applicant provide a clear and concise description of the proposed project, including needs to be addressed, proposed services, and the population group(s) to be served?

b) Format (2 Points): Does the applicant provide information in the required format?

 

ORGANIZATIONAL CAPACITY Maximum Points: 30

a) Capacity (10 points): Does the applicant describe in detail the organization's capacity to administer successful projects that address the causes and effects of poverty.  If sub-contractors are proposed, does the applicant document the commitment and capacity of the subcontracting organization(s) to participate as described?

b) Knowledge and Experience (5 points): Does the applicant describe the organization’s relevant knowledge and experience in administering programs or partnering with organizations that focus on first-time home purchase, post-secondary education, and business capitalization.  If applicable, information provided by the applicant may also address the related achievements and competence of each cooperating or sponsoring organization?

c) Staff (5 points): Does the applicant describe the experience and skills of the proposed project director and primary staff members and demonstrate the specific qualifications and professional experiences that are relevant to the successful implementation of the proposed project (for example, IDAs, other matched savings strategies, outreach for refundable tax credits, and so forth)? Evidence of staff capacity may include documents such as resumes, biographical sketches, and so forth.

d) Non-Federal contribution (10 points): Does the applicant provide documentation that the project budget will be supported with funding from a non-Federal source or funding from a Federal program that allows grantees to use Federal grant funds to match other Federal grants (in an amount no less than the amount of the requested Federal AFI grant amount)? Evidence of the non-Federal cash contributions may include documents, such as letters from funders, commitments from the applicant to provide the required cash, and so forth.

APPROACH Maximum Points: 50

a) Work Plan and Timeline (20 points):  How thorough is the work plan in terms of all key elements for a successful AFI-funded IDA project?  How complete is the timeline?  Are the work plan and timeline consistent and feasible?

b) Tax Services (5 points):  Will the applicant provide tax preparation assistance and assistance for claiming refundable tax credits, such as Federal and State Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit, as part of the overall project?

c) IDA Design Features (5 points):  Are the fundamental features of the proposed AFI project appropriate and complete (for example, the financial education and asset-specific training; savings plan agreements; IDA savings match rates; maximum savings allowed; and minimum monthly savings expected)?

d) Partners/Collaborations (5 points):  Will the applicant be successful in collaborating with public and private organizations to administer the project? Will the applicant collaborate with one or more insured financial institution(s) where AFI grant funds and participant IDAs will be maintained?
If the applicant proposes to become the lead organization of an AFI network project or other form of collaborative effort, does the applicant have the capacity and experience in managing multi-agency projects?   

e) Providing Information for the AFI Evaluation and Research (5 points):  Will the applicant use an electronic data system for project management and data collection?   Will the applicant provide information to ACF and it researchers for research on the AFI program and IDAs?

f) Description of Expected Participants (5 points): Will the proposed project address the particular needs of the applicant's target population and community(ies) or neighborhood(s), in terms of potential income, demographics, savings/assets acquisition rates, or other factors? 

g) Statement of expected outcomes (5 points):  Will the applicant use the AFI performance management framework for managing the project, and will it use AFI-wide performance outcomes, project-level indicators, indicator targets, and outcome measures? 

BUDGET AND BUDGET JUSTIFICATION Maximum Points: 10

a) Resources (5 points): Does the applicant demonstrate that the resources requested are reasonable and adequate to accomplish the project?

b) Spending Guidelines (4 Points): Does the applicant describe a clear budget justification (i.e. narrative) that aligns with proposed project activities and complies with AFI funding limitations, to include a breakdown for the 15% administrative costs for the entire project period (i.e. 5 years)? (The grantee must use at least 85% of the Federal AFI grant amount for matching participants' IDA savings. Activities that may be funded  by AFI funds (beyond the minimum 85% for IDA savings match): 

  • Financial education and related costs for participants opening an AFI-funded IDA;
  • General program administrative costs (not more than 7.5% of AFI grant budget); and
  • Data Collection for OCS-AFI administered evaluations (at least 2% of AFI grant budget).

c) Budget Form (1 point): Does the applicant provide information on the budget forms that is consistent with the details provided in the budget justification (i.e. narrative)?

BONUS POINT SECTION Maximum Points: 5

Application reviewers will consider the following factors when assigning bonus points to applications: 

a) Will the applicant collaborate closely with entities that are implementing projects that meet ACF priorities, including entities that are serving families with young children; families in the child support system; children and families in the foster care system; people with disabilities; refugees; Native Americans; survivors of domestic or intimate violence; and so forth?

b) Will the applicant collaborate closely with entities that are implementing projects that are components of comprehensive neighborhood change projects, such as Promise Neighborhoods; Choice Neighborhoods; Empowerment Zones; Enterprise Communities; Renewal Communities; and Weed and Seed projects?

c) Will the applicant collaborate with State, local, or Tribal agencies that administer the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program or that administer workforce development programs?

d) Does the applicant propose to fund the AFI project with proportionally greater amount of funds committed from private sector sources?

e) Does the applicant propose to implement an AFI Network project? 

V.2. & V.3. Review and Selection Process
V.2. Review and Selection Process

No grant award will be made under this announcement on the basis of an incomplete application.    No grant award will be made to an applicant that does not have active CCR registration (www.ccr.gov or 1-866-606-8220).

Initial ACF Screening

Each application will be screened to determine whether it meets one of the following disqualification criteria: 

  • Applications that are submitted in paper format without prior approval of an exemption under the process described in Section IV.2. Request an Exemption from Required Electronic Application Submission.
  • Applications with requested amounts that exceed the award ceiling, stated in Section II. Award Information.

For thos applications that have disqualified under the initial ACF screening, notice will be provided of the determination by postal mail.  See Section IV.3. for information on the acknowledgment of received applications.

Objective Review and Results

Applications competing for financial assistance will be reviewed and evaluated by objective review panels using the criteria described in Section V.1 of this announcement.  Each panel is composed of experts with knowledge and experience in the area under review. Generally, review panels include three reviewers and one chairperson.

Results of the competitive objective review are taken into consideration by ACF in the selection of projects for funding; however, objective review scores and rankings are not binding and are one element of the decision-making process.

ACF may elect to not fund applicants with management or financial problems that would indicate an inability to successfully complete the proposed project. Applications may be funded in whole or in part.  Successful applicants may be funded at an amount lower than that requested.  ACF reserves the right to consider a preference to fund organizations serving emerging, unserved, or under-served populations, including those located in pockets of poverty.  ACF will also consider the geographic distribution of Federal funds in its award decisions.

Please refer to Section IV.2. of this announcement for information on non-federal reviewers in the review process.

Approved but Unfunded Applications

Applications recommended for approval that were not funded under the competition because of the lack of available funds may be held over by ACF and reconsidered in a subsequent review cycle if a future competition under the program area is planned.  These applications will be held over for a period of up to one year and will be re-competed for funding with all other competing applications in the next available review cycle.  For those applications that have been deemed as approved but unfunded, notice will be given of such determination by postal mail.

 
V.3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates

ACF anticipates awarding AFI grants for each funding cycle approximately 90-120 days after the cycle's application due date.

VI. Award Administration Information
VI.1. Award Notices

Successful applicants will be notified through the issuance of a Notice of Award (NOA) that sets forth the amount of funds granted, the terms and conditions of the grant, the effective date of the grant, the budget period for which initial support will be given, the non-federal share to be provided (if applicable), and the total project period for which support is contemplated. The NOA will be signed by the Grants Officer and transmitted via postal mail or email. Following the finalization of funding decisions, organizations whose applications will not be funded will be notified by letter signed by the cognizant Program Office head. Any other correspondence that announces to a Principal Investigator, or a Project Director, that an application was selected is not an authorization to begin performance. 

Project costs that are incurred prior to the receipt of the NoA are at the recipient's risk and may be reimbursed only to the extent that they are considered allowable as approved pre-award costs. Information on allowable pre-award costs and the time period under which they may be incurred is available in Section IV.5. Funding Restrictions.

 
VI.2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements

Awards issued under this announcement are subject to the uniform administrative requirements and cost principles of 45 CFR Part 74 (Awards And Subawards To Institutions Of Higher Education, Hospitals, Other Nonprofit Organizations, And Commercial Organizations) or 45 CFR Part 92 (Grants And Cooperative Agreements To State, Local, And Tribal Governments).  The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is available at http://www.gpo.gov.

An application funded with the release of federal funds through a grant award does not constitute, or imply, compliance with federal regulations.  Funded organizations are responsible for ensuring that their activities comply with all applicable federal regulations.

Prohibition Against Profit

Grantees are subject to the limitations set forth in 45 CFR Part 74, Subpart E-Special Provisions for Awards to Commercial Organizations (45 CFR § 74.81_Prohibition against profit), which states that, "... no HHS funds may be paid as profit to any recipient even if the recipient is a commercial organization.  Profit is any amount in excess of allowable direct and indirect costs." 

Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations

Grantees are also subject to the requirements of 45 CFR § 87.1(c), Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations, which says, "Organizations that receive direct financial assistance from the [Health and Human Services] Department under any Department program may not engage in inherently religious activities such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization, as part of the programs or services funded with direct financial assistance from the Department."  Therefore, organizations must take steps to completely separate the presentation of any program with religious content from the presentation of the Federally funded program by time or location in such a way that it is clear that the two programs are separate and distinct. If separating the two programs by time but presenting them in the same location, one program must completely end before the other program begins.

A faith-based organization receiving HHS funds retains its independence from federal, state, and local governments, and may continue to carry out its mission, including the definition, practice, and expression of its religious beliefs. For example, a faith-based organization may use space in its facilities to provide secular programs or services funded with federal funds without removing religious art, icons, scriptures, or other religious symbols. In addition, a faith-based organization that receives federal funds retains its authority over its internal governance, and it may retain religious terms in its organization's name, select its board members on a religious basis, and include religious references in its organization's mission statements and other governing documents in accordance with all program requirements, statutes, and other applicable requirements governing the conduct of HHS-funded activities. 

Regulations pertaining to the Equal Treatment for Faith-Based Organizations, which includes the prohibition against federal funding of inherently religious activities, Understanding the Regulations Related to the Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Initiative" are available at http://www.hhs.gov/ partnerships/about/r egulations/. Additional information, resources, and tools for faith-based organizations is available through The Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships website at http://www.hhs.gov/ partnerships/index.html and at the Capacity BuildingToolkits for Faith-based and Community Organizations.

Award Term and Condition under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000

Awards issued under this announcement are subject to the requirements of Section 106 (g) of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, as amended (22 U.S.C. § 7104).  For the full text of the award term, go to http://www.acf.hhs.gov /grants/ award-term- and-condition-for-trafficking- in-persons.  If you are unable to access this link, please contact the Grants Management Contact identified in Section VII. Agency Contacts of this announcement to obtain a copy of the term.

Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace

The Drug-Free Workplace Act of 1988 (41 U.S.C. §§ 8101-8106) requires that all organizations receiving grants from any federal agency agree to maintain a drug-free workplace. By signing the application, the Authorizing Official agrees that the grantee will provide a drug-free workplace and will comply with the requirement to notify ACF if an employee is convicted of violating a criminal drug statute. Failure to comply with these requirements may be cause for debarment. Government-wide requirements for Drug-Free Workplace for Financial Assistance are found in 2 CFR part 182; HHS implementing regulations are set forth in 2 CFR § 382.400. All recipients of ACF grant funds must comply with the requirements in Subpart B - Requirements for Recipients Other Than Individuals, 2 CFR § 382.225. The rule is available at Requirements for Drug-Free Workplace.

Debarment and Suspension

HHS regulations published in 2 CFR Part 376 implement the governmentwide debarment and suspension system guidance (2 CFR Part 180) for HHS' non-procurement programs and activities. "Non-procurement transactions" include, among other things, grants, cooperative agreements, scholarships, fellowships, and loans. ACF implements the HHS Debarment and Suspension regulations as a term and condition of award. Grantees may decide the method and frequency by which this determination is made and may check the Excluded Parties List System (EPLS) located at https://www.sam.gov/, although checking the EPLS is not required. More information is available at  https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ grants-forms.

Pro-Children Act

The Pro-Children Act of 2001, 20 U.S.C. §§ 7181 through 7184, imposes restrictions on smoking in facilities where federally funded children's services are provided. HHS grants are subject to these requirements only if they meet the Act's specified coverage.  The Act specifies that smoking is prohibited in any indoor facility (owned, leased, or contracted for) used for the routine or regular provision of kindergarten, elementary, or secondary education or library services to children under the age of 18.  In addition, smoking is prohibited in any indoor facility or portion of a facility (owned, leased, or contracted for) used for the routine or regular provision of federally funded health care, day care, or early childhood development, including Head Start services to children under the age of 18.  The statutory prohibition also applies if such facilities are constructed, operated, or maintained with federal funds.  The statute does not apply to children's services provided in private residences, facilities funded solely by Medicare or Medicaid funds, portions of facilities used for inpatient drug or alcohol treatment, or facilities where WIC coupons are redeemed.  Failure to comply with the provisions of the law may result in the imposition of a civil monetary penalty of up to $1,000 per violation and/or the imposition of an administrative compliance order on the responsible entity.

HHS Grants Policy Statement

The HHS Grants Policy Statement (HHS GPS) is the Department of Health and Human Services' single policy guide for discretionary grants and cooperative agreements.  ACF grant awards are subject to the requirements of the HHS GPS, which covers basic grants processes, standard terms and conditions, and points of contact, as well as important agency-specific requirements.  Appendices to the HHS GPS include a glossary of terms and a list of standard abbreviations for ease of reference.  The general terms and conditions in the HHS GPS will apply as indicated unless there are statutory, regulatory, or award-specific requirements to the contrary that are specified in the Notice of Award (NoA). The HHS GPS is available at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ grants/ discretionary-competitive-grants

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

Applications funded by federal grant programs are subject to disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), 5 U.S.C. § 552, and are frequently requested under the FOIA.  In accordance with the FOIA requirement to proactively disclose frequently requested materials at 5 U.S.C. § 552(a)(2)(D), and as part of on-going efforts to promote openness in government programs, ACF will post some of the top-ranked applications funded under this FOA in its online FOIA Reading Room at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/ e-reading-room. As required under the FOIA, each of the top-ranked applications will receive appropriate redaction of specific information to protect personal privacy and competitively sensitive commercial information. Applications chosen for posting to the FOIA Reading Room will be placed on the internet website without further notice to the applicants.

VI.3. Reporting

Grantees under this funding opportunity announcement will be required to submit performance progress and financial reports periodically throughout the project period. The frequency of required reporting is listed later in this section.  Final reports may be submitted in hard copy to the Grants Management Office Contact listed in Section VII. Agency Contacts of this announcement.  Instructions on submission of reports electronically will be provided with award documents.

Performance Progress Reports (PPR)

Notice of Award documents will inform grantees of the appropriate performance progress report form or format to use.  Grantees should consult their Notice of Award documents to determine the appropriate performance progress report format required under their award.  Performance progress reports are due 30 days after the end of the reporting period.

Final program performance reports are due 90 days after the close of the project period.  For awards that implement the use of the SF-PPR, that form may be found under "Reporting" at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ grants-forms.

Federal Financial Reports (FFR)

As of February 1, 2011, HHS began the transition from use of the SF-269, Financial Status Report (Short Form or Long Form) to the use of the SF-425 Federal Financial Report for expenditure reporting. SF-269s will no longer be accepted for expenditure reports due after that date. If an SF-269 is submitted, the ACF will return it and require the recipient to complete the SF-425.

The transition strategy is allowing individual HHS Operating Divisions to select--from a limited number of options--the approach that best fits their programs and business process. This transition does not affect completion or submission of the cash reporting to the HHS Division of Payment Management's Payment Management System (PMS). The primary features of this transition for recipients are that OPDIVs that previously required electronic submission of the SF-269 will receive the SF-425 expenditure reports electronically and, until further notice, OPDIVs that have been receiving expenditure reports in hard copy will continue to do so.

All expenditure reports will be due on one of the standard due dates by which cash reporting is required to be submitted to PMS or at the end of a calendar quarter as determined by the Operating Division. As a result, a recipient that receives awards from more than one OPDIV may be subject to more than one approach, but will not be required to change its current means of submission or be subjected to more than eight standard due dates.

Beginning with budget periods which end from January 1 - March 31, 2011, and for all budget periods thereafter, all affected ACF grantees will be required to submit an SF-425 report as frequently as is required in the terms and conditions of their award using due dates for reports to PMS.
 

For budget periods ending in the months of:

The FFR (SF-425) is due to ACF on:

January 01 through March 31

April 30

April 01 through June 30

July 30

July 01 through September 30

October 30

October 01 through December 31

January 30


Fillable versions of the SF-425 form in Adobe PDF and MS-Excel formats, along with instructions, are available at http://www.whitehouse.gov/ omb/ grants_forms, www.forms.gov, and on at https://www.acf.hhs.gov/ grants-forms. Further instructions will be provided, as necessary, with award terms and conditions that will address specific reporting periods and due dates on an award-by-award basis.

For planning purposes, ACF reporting periods for awards made under this announcement are as follows:

 
Program Progress Reports: Semi-Annually
Financial Reports: Semi-Annually

Awards issued as a result of this funding opportunity may be subject to the Transparency Act subaward and executive compensation reporting requirements of 2 CFR Part 170.  See ACF's Award Term for Federal Financial Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA) Subaward and Executive Compensation Reporting Requirement implementing this requirement and additional award applicability information at https:// www.acf.hhs.gov/ grants/ discretionary-competitive-grants.

Grantees are required to submit AFI Performance Reports, which are the basis for ACF's annual Reports to Congress on the status of the AFI demonstration.  The AFI Performance Reports include such information as project design features; participant demographic information; participant status; reserve fund status; grantee performance plans and performance targets.

VII. Agency Contacts

Program Office Contact

J. Janelle George
Administration of Children and Families
Office of Community Services
Aerospace Building
370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., 5th Floor West
Washington, DC 20447
Phone: (866) 778-6037
Fax: (202) 401-5648
Email: info@IDAresources.org
URL: www.IDAresources.org
 

Office of Grants Management Contact

Katrina Morgan
Administration of Children and Families
Office of Grants Management
Division of Discretionary Grants
Aerospace Building
370 L'Enfant Promenade, SW., 6th Floor East
Washington, DC 20447
Phone: (800) 281-9519
Email: ocsgrants@acf.hhs.gov
 

Federal Relay Service:

Hearing-impaired and speech-impaired callers may contact the Federal Relay Service for assistance at 1-800-877-8339 (TTY - Text Telephone or ASCII - American Standard Code For Information Interchange).

VIII. Other Information

Reference Websites


U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on the Internet http:// www.hhs.gov/.

Administration for Children and Families (ACF) on the Internet http:// www.acf.hhs.gov/.

Administration for Children and Families - GRANTS homepage https:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants.           

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) https:// www.cfda.gov/.

Code of Federal Regulations (CFR)  http:// www.gpo.gov.  

United States Code (U.S.C.)  http:// www.gpoaccess.gov /uscode/ .

All required Standard Forms (SF), assurances, and certifications are available on the ACF Grants-Forms page at https:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants -forms.

Grants.gov Forms Repository webpage at http://www.grants.gov /agencies / aforms_repository_information .jsp.

Versions of other Standard Forms (SF) are available on the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Grants Management Forms web site at

http:// www. whitehouse.gov /omb /grants_forms/.

For information regarding accessibility issues, visit the Grants.gov Accessibility Compliance Page at http:// www07.grants.gov /aboutgrants / accessibility_compliance.jsp.

Sign up to receive notification of ACF Funding Opportunities at www.Grants.gov

http:// www.grants.gov / applicants /email_subscription.jsp.

 

Application Checklist

The following table lists required elements of all AFI grant applications.  The elements are listed in the preferred order.  Applicants may use the table as a checklist when they compile the application package.

 
What to Submit Where Found When to Submit

DUNS Number (Universal Identifier) and Systems for Award Management (SAM) registration..

Referenced in Section III.3. Other in the announcement. To obtain a DUNS number, go to
http:// fedgov. dnb.com/ webform.

To register at SAM, go to 

http:// www.sam. gov.

A DUNS number and registration at SAM.gov are required for
all applicants. Active registration
at SAM must be maintained throughout the application and
project award period.

SF-424 - Application for Federal Assistance

and

SF-P/PSL - Project/Performance Site Location(s)

Referenced in Section IV.2.Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications. Found at 

http://www.acf.hhs.gov/ grants-forms

and at the Grants.gov Forms Repository at

http://www.grants.gov/ agencies/ aforms_repository_information.jsp.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

Certification Regarding Lobbying

Referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications. Found at

http:// www.acf.hhs.gov /grants-forms

Submission is due with the application package. If it is not submitted
with the application package, it may also be submitted prior to the
award of a grant.

SF-LLL - Disclosure of Lobbying Activities

"Disclosure Form to Report Lobbying" is referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications. Found at
http://www. acf.hhs.gov /grants-forms
.

If applicable, submission of this form is required if any funds have been paid, or will be paid, to any person for influencing, or attempting to influence, an officer or employee of any agency, a member of Congress, an officer or employee of Congress, or an employee of a member of Congress in connection with this commitment providing for the United States to insure or guarantee a loan.

If applicable, submission of this form is applicable,
it is due prior at the time of application.  It may also be
submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Survey on Ensuring Equal Opportunity for Applicants

Non-profit private organizations (not including private universities) are encouraged to submit the survey with their applications. Applicants applying electronically, may submit this survey along with the application as part of the appendix or as a separate document. Applicants submitting in paper, please place the completed survey in an envelope labeled "Applicant Survey." Seal the envelope and include it along with the application package.

The survey is referenced in Section IV.2. The survey may be found at
https://www .acf.hhs.gov /grants-forms
.

The survey will not count in the page limitations.

Submission is voluntary.
Submission may be made with the application by the application due date listed in the Overview
and Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.  Or, it may be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Project Summary/Abstract

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description. The Project Summary/Abstract is limited to one single-spaced page.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

The Project Description

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description.  This is the title for the project narrative that describes the applicant's plan for the project.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

SF-424A  Budget Information - Non-Construction Programs / SF-424B  Assurances - Non-Construction Programs

and

SF-424C - Budget Information Construction Programs / SF-424D - Assurances Construction Programs

Referenced in Section IV.2. Required Forms, Assurances, and Certifications. Available at http://www.acf.hhs.gov/grants-forms.

For electronic application submission, these forms are available on the FOA's Grants.gov "Download Opportunity Instructions and Application" page under "Download Application Package" in the section entitled, "Optional Documents."

These forms are required for applications under this FOA:

  • Projects that include non-construction and construction activities must submit the SF-424A, B, C, and D, along with the SF-424 and SF-P/PSL.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

The Project Budget and Budget Justification

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Budget and Budget Justification of the announcement.

Submission of the Project Budget is required on the appropriate Standard Form (424A or 424C) is due by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

Proof of Non-Profit Status

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description, Legal Status of Applicant Entity

Proof of non-profit status should be submitted with the application package by the due date listed in the Overview and Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.  If it is not available at the time of application submission, it must be submitted prior to the award of a grant.

Commitment of Non-Federal Resources

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Budget and Budget Justification.

Submission is due by the application due date found in the Overview and Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

Executive Order 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs," 

and

45 CFR Part 100, "Intergovernmental Review of Department of Health and Human Services Programs and Activities" 

Applicants should go to the following URL for the official list of the jurisdictions that have elected to participate in E.O. 12372

http://www. whitehouse.gov /omb /grants_spoc/

as indicated in Section IV.4. Intergovernmental Review of this announcement.  The Executive Order and CFR require that applicants submit all required application materials to their State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) and indicate the date of submission on the SF-424 at item 19.

Submission of application materials is due to SPOC by the application due date listed in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.

Table of Contents

Referenced in Section IV.2. The Project Description

Submission is due as part of the Project Description by the application due date found in the Overview and in Section IV.3. Submission Dates and Times.