AFI Grantee Handbook-AFI Resource Center
2. AFI Resource Center
2.1 AFI Resource Center: Summary of Services
The AFI Resource Center provides training and technical assistance to AFI Projects. The Center is managed by the Office of Community Services, with contract support from leading organizations in the asset-building field and other relevant partners.
AFI Training and Technical Assistance
An important part of the AFI Resource Center is the diverse array of training and technical assistance opportunities available to AFI Projects. These services include the following:
AFI Project Academies. Intensive, two-day effective practices training events for teams from AFI Projects and partners.
Topical conference calls and Web-based seminars. Facilitated conference calls or small group discussions on asset-building issues and AFI Project administrative matters.
Customized technical assistance:
- Telephone or in-person assistance. One-on-one technical assistance on administrative or programmatic issues such as recruiting participants, providing financial literacy education, building partnerships, and closing out grants.
- Intensive workshops. Intensive topical sessions for AFI Project representatives on administrative and policy issues.
- Facilitated peer-to-peer exchanges. Opportunities for representatives of AFI Projects to learn firsthand from other AFI Projects.
- Other assistance in keeping with the needs of AFI Projects. This includes effective-practice articles, success stories, and templates for project operations.
To keep up with Resource Center events and conference calls, you can check the AFI Events Calendar, which lists dates of AFI Project Academies, conference calls, and other activities of interest to grantees. You can access the Events Calendar by going to the AFI Asset-Building Web site . Select the heading "For Grantees" and then click on the Events Calendar.
The AFI ListServ is a tool that the AFI Resource Center and OCS use to share program-related information quickly and easily with AFI grantees. In addition, ListServ members may also post questions and share information about their AFI Projects. To subscribe, please send an email with your name, email address, phone number, AFI grantee organization, and grant year to firstname.lastname@example.org. Or you may fax the ListServ registration form included in this Handbook.
AFI Grantee Handbook
AFI Projects receive an AFI Grantee Handbook , a special binder containing useful AFI-specific information. This expandable and flexible resource book may be used as a reference for the duration of an AFI Project to organize and update tools and information about AFI, including policy memos, OCS contact information, project management tips, AFI Resource Center information, and even individual progress and financial reports. To request a copy, contact the AFI Resource Center at email@example.com or call 202-402-4626.
Guide For Grant Applicants
The AFI Project Builder: A Guide to Planning an Assets for Independence Project is a primer on designing an AFI Project. The guide provides information about AFI, ranging from identifying potential participants to delivering services. Grantees who already manage AFI Projects will also find its tips and resources, based on actual experience in AFI implementation, very helpful. The Project Builder can be downloaded in either PDF or HTML formats from the AFI Asset-Building Web site . Look under the heading "Apply for Funding" and click on "Project Builder." The Project Builder is in two parts: a narrative and a set of appendices. Be sure to download both parts.
For more information, please contact the AFI Resource Center:
Assets for Independence Program
Office of Community Services
370 L'Enfant promenade, S.W., Suite 500 West
Washington DC 20447
Web site: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/ocs/programs/afi
2.2 Using the AFI Resource Center
The AFI Resource Center ensures that all AFI grantees have quick access to the assistance they need for designing and administering effective projects-and ensures that participants succeed in becoming long-term asset owners. The Resource Center strives to be highly responsive to grantees' requests for assistance and flexible in providing assistance, advice, and other support. Please do not hesitate to contact the Resource Center with questions and requests about your AFI Project!
Here are just a few examples of how the AFI Resource Center can help your AFI Project:
- Consult with AFI Program staff in developing policies and procedures for your AFI Project.
- Help your staff analyze current approaches for recruiting participants, spotting strengths and weaknesses, and, if needed, developing new strategies for approaching new target markets.
- Provide "outside" expert opinions about your project's overall design, including key features such as savings period, savings match rate, and asset purchase procedures.
- Advise on steps for building strong relationships with financial partners, such as developing a plan for negotiating with banks or credit unions to hold the Project Reserve Account and participant Individual Development Accounts (IDAs).
- Review staffing and resource issues, including any stumbling blocks, and help to create a long-term strategy for developing an organization's overall capacity to manage the AFI Project.
- Facilitate vital meetings with program partners-including the financial partners, funders, and others.
- Assist with using the AFI 2 Program Management Tool effectively to lower overall costs of managing your AFI Project.
- Advise project staff on procedures to track information efficiently for the annual data collection and for reporting and overall project management.
- Provide assistance on programmatic topics such as cost allocation.
- Help present the AFI Program vision to board members, key partners, and funders.
2.3 AFI Asset-Building Web Site
The Assets for Independence Asset-Building Web site provides information about the AFI Program, funding opportunities, and resources for grantees and others interested in asset building. Check the page regularly for new information on effective practices from the field, updates on policies, and details on special events. The Web site includes links to all AFI program information and services, and to many other resources for project implementation.
2.4 AFI ListServ Registration Form
The AFI Resource Center maintains a ListServ for representatives of AFI Program grantees and other interested individuals. The ListServ is OCS's primary tool for alerting grantees about important programmatic information and upcoming events, such as new application dates, trainings, and conference calls. We strongly encourage all key contacts to sign up for this ListServ. Please use this form to register.
Agency name _________________________________________________________________
AFI Project name ______________________________________________________________
Project grant number: 90EI_______________________________________________________
Main contact name for follow-up __________________________________________________
Contact phone _________________Fax _________________ Email______________________
List all team members who should receive the ListServ messages. (Please list name and email address.)
Please fax this form to the AFI Resource Center at 202-401-5718. If you are using the electronic form, you may send it as an attachment to firstname.lastname@example.org