Frequently Asked Questions for the Assets for Independence - ANA Joint Funding Opportunity Announcement
Q: Can ANA funds be used to fund IDAs for people that are not eligible for an AFI-funded IDA? Also, can ANA funds be used to fund IDAs for purposes not allowed by AFI?
A: The FOA has no language preventing applicants from designing a project in this manner. Applicants should ensure they meet the purpose of the initiative (see FOA Section 1: Purpose, page 1-3).
Q: Will grantees be disqualified if they submit an application for a project where the grant is less than the minimum amount (the floor)?
A: No. The FOA lists four disqualification factors (see FOA Section III.3 Other). Applications that come in below the floor will not be disqualified. Also, the FOA has no evaluation criteria asking reviewers to consider the floor.
Q: Do applicants need to submit two Budget Forms (424a) and how do they do this on grants.gov?
A: Yes, applicants need to submit two separate 424a forms – one for the AFI grant and one for the SEDS grant (see FOA Section IV.2, General Instructions for Preparing an Application, Budget and Budget Justification). Grants.gov only requires one 424a form, but the applicant should submit the second 424a under the supporting documents. The new FOA states the ANA budget forms should be uploaded as part of the budgeting forms package, and the AFI forms should be uploaded as supporting documentation. It does not matter which of the two 424a forms is submitted under supporting documents. An applicant that does not submit the second 424a form will not be disqualified from review (see Section III.3 Other, Disqualification Factors).
Q: Is there a preference on the ratio of funds between the AFI grant and the SEDS grant? Meaning is it a problem if a grantee requests significantly more funds from ANA than from AFI?
A: The FOA details no preference on the ratio of funds between the programs.
Q: Could an applicant use 100% of the AFI funds for IDAs?
A: The law authorizing AFI states that at least 2% of the AFI grant must be used for reporting and data collection. So, a grantee could use 98% of the budget for the IDAs and 2% for the AFI-funded evaluation (see FOA Section III.3 Other).
Q: Can a grantee provide training (financial education, etc) to non-Native populations?
A: Yes. The funded organization must be Native (see FOA Section III: Eligibility Information), but the FOA provides no restrictions on non-Native populations attending and participating in the project. The application will be reviewed to ensure it meets the purpose of the FOA – to increase access to and awareness of asset building opportunities in Native American communities.
Q: Should an applicant have one objective for each of the AFI allowed asset purchases (home purchase, business, education?)
A: No. The FOA provides guidance on the development of the objectives (see FOA Section IV.2, Project Description, Objective Work Plan). The guidance states the first objective should be establishing the IDA accounts. Other objectives can be related to other asset building strategies.
Q: Does the CDFI need to be certified?
A: Yes. If applying as a CDFI, an applicant must be designated by the Secretary of the Treasury as a CDFI. If an applicant is not yet certified as a CDFI, the applicant may apply as a non-profit if it has 501(c)(3) status in the IRS code. The applicant could also partner with a non-profit that meets the eligibility requirements (see FOA Section III.1 – Eligibility)
Q: How will the AFI awards and SEDS awards be distributed?
A: AFI awards will be awarded with a 60 month project period and a 60 month budget period. The project period for the SEDS award is 60 months with five budget periods. SEDS awards will be made through non-competing continuation grants each year (see FOA Section II: Award Information). This means AFI funds for the entire project period will be available at the beginning of the project (provided the grantee has the required match). The SEDS funds will be available on a yearly basis.
Q: Can grant funds be used to assist paying off debt as part of credit repair?
A: No. Organizations funded under this program may use grant funds to provide credit repair classes and counseling, but grant funds may not be used for paying off debt (see Section I. Funding Opportunity Description, Purpose).