General CSBG Frequently Asked Questions

 GENERAL CSBG FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

What is a block grant?

A block grant refers to an annual sum of money that is awarded by the federal government to state governments or other jurisdictions according to a standard formula to fund a range of allowable services or activities. The formula-based funding method of the block grant provides grantees the flexibility to tailor their programs to particular services in their communities within a set of legal requirements.
 

What is the Community Services Block Grant (CSBG)?

The CSBG is a federally-funded block grant that provides funds to states, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, U.S. Territories and federally- and state-recognized tribes and tribal organizations. These recipients in turn fund Community Action Agencies (CAAs) also known as eligible entities, which are organizations that support and provide services and strategies to address the needs of low-income individuals, families, and communities based upon local needs determined by the CAA.
 

What is the purpose of the CSBG?

The purpose of the CSBG is to provide assistance to states, territories, tribes, and local communities, working through a network of community action agencies and other neighborhood-based organizations, for the reduction of poverty, the revitalization of low-income communities, and the empowerment of low-income families and individuals in rural and urban areas to become fully self-sufficient. (Sec. 672 and 42 USC 9901)
 

Who is eligible to apply for CSBG funds?

The 50 states, the District of Columbia, territories, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and federally- and state-recognized tribes and tribal organizations are eligible to apply for CSBG funds.
 

What are Community Action Agencies (CAAs)?

CAAs, also known as eligible entities, are local private non-profit organizations and public organizations. These agencies are controlled by local boards (Tripartite Boards) that govern the use of CSBG funds, including making decisions on how best to meet the needs of low-income people within their communities. As mandated in Section 675C(a)(1) of the CSBG Act, at least 90% of the CSBG funds awarded to a state must be allocated to the eligible entities within that state.
 

What is the purpose of CAAs?

CAAs or eligible entities, provide assistance to states and local communities for the reduction of poverty, the revitalization of low-income communities, and the empowerment of low-income families and individuals in rural and urban areas to become fully self-sufficient. They provide services and strategies that have measurable impact on the causes and conditions of poverty in the community.
 

How is CAA/eligible entity status designated?

State governments explicitly designate a CAA or eligible entity status for CSBG. The CAA or eligible entity may have received its original designation from the local government under the provisions of the Economic Opportunity Act of 1964, or subsequently from the state under the CSBG Act of 1981. Although recognized as an eligible entity as defined by the CSBG Act, not all eligible entities are CAAs. Other eligible entities include limited purpose agencies.
 

What is a Tripartite Board?

Private nonprofit entities and public organizations administer their CSBG program through tripartite boards. The boards fully participate in the development, planning, implementation, and evaluation of the program. The members of the board are selected by the entity. At least one-third of the board members must be low-income community representatives. Another one-third of the members must be elected public officials or their designees. The remaining members may be leaders of business, industry, labor, religious, social welfare and private groups of the community. Tripartite Board structure is fundamental to the CAA concept and allows the participation of the entire community. Please see IM 82 and IM 116 for additional information.
 

What tribes or tribal organizations are eligible to receive direct CSBG funding?

Only state-recognized tribes, as evidenced by a formal statement to that effect by the Governor, or tribes formally recognized by the Secretary of the Interior (federally-recognized) under the procedure for such recognition in 25 CFR. 54, are eligible to receive direct CSBG funds. Information for tribes that are interested in applying for CSBG is available in Information Memorandum 130 (IM 130).
 

How do states apply for CSBG funds?

States apply for CSBG funds through the submission of an electronic application and state plan to OCS.
 

How do tribes or tribal organizations apply for CSBG funds?

Tribes and tribal organizations apply for CSBG funds through the submission of an electronic application and plan to OCS.
 

What and when is the federal fiscal year?

The Federal Fiscal Year (FFY) defines the U.S. Government’s budget. It runs from October 1 of the budget’s prior year through September 30 of the year being described. For example, FFY 2019 began on October 1, 2018 and ended on September 30, 2019.