How much funding will be available for this round of Coordinated Funding Program Operations? The Funders project there will be approximately $4.2 million available annually for Program Operations in FY 2018-20.
Are there any limits on how much can be asked for a proposed program? There are no prescribed floors or ceilings for application funding requests.
Will the Coordinated Funders support Indirect Cost Rates? While programmatic administrative and operational costs may be included in Coordinated Funding program operations grant requests, organizations utilizing an Indirect Cost Rate (e.g. programs housed at higher education institutions) may not use Coordinated Funding Grant funds for that purpose. If additional documentation is needed from the Coordinated Funders regarding this policy, please contact Caitlin Nagler, firstname.lastname@example.org
How do the Coordinated Funders arrive at funding decisions? Inter-agency volunteer committees—comprised of volunteers from United Way of Washtenaw County, the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, Saint Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor, and the Office of Community and Economic Development—are convened to evaluate proposals and make funding recommendations. Funding decisions are approved by respective boards of the Washtenaw Coordinated Funders. Washtenaw Coordinated Funding staff do not make any independent funding award determinations; they do facilitate the volunteer proposal review, evaluation and determination process.
New this cycle, the Funders have also crafted a Funding Rationale. Read more in Appendix A, beginning on page 5.
Is submitting an application to Foundant cover the requirement to submit to County Purchasing? Yes
Is an RFP Info session mandatory? Attending one (1) RFP session is mandatory, register online here.
How are grants invested across the Washtenaw Coordinated Funders portfolio? Washtenaw Coordinated Funders are committed to allocating their investments to support programs across priority areas and priority populations. Grantees are encouraged to review the funding rationale and priority populations outlined in Appendix A, acknowledge the communities they are currently serving and share how Coordinated funds will help programs achieve their goal.
What is the goal of highlighting priority populations? Washtenaw Coordinated Funders utilized previous program reporting from current grantees to identify the priority populations. In addition, the Funders have prioritized their investments to support programming to assist these populations. The Funders allocations to these priority populations is also be dependent on the number of applications that are received from agencies.
The priority populations target percentage allocation does not seem to equal 100%? Funders recognize that programs are boundary spanning and are aware there may be overlap of services based on the population and priority areas served. Funders are aware that the boundary spanning areas listed in the funding rationale will not add up to 100% (this excludes the ranges provided in the prevention services programs and crisis intervention program sections). In addition, Funders want to be responsive to the proposals that come in and want to invest in programs that are working to move the needle. This target percentage allocation baseline were developed based on 3 prior grant cycles of reported grantee data.
RFP SUBMISSION DETAILS
*NOTE: Foundant’s auto save may not work if a user’s browser is out of date. All users are encouraged to update their browsers to the newest version, and do regular manual saves within their applications. Users could also consider using the Word document version of the RFP for drafts*
When we send RFP questions via email, should agencies to place anything specific in the subject line? Applications can place “RFP inquiry” in the Subject Line.
Can agencies speak with someone over the phone if we have further questions about the application or need technical assistance? Yes, please email your question and indicate that you would like to speak with someone.
What if I have technical difficulties?
- To avoid last minute technical issues, plan to submit early.
- Please contact Kimson Johnson with any content or technical questions, email@example.com.
Will we receive a confirmation that our submission was received? Yes, the Foundant system will send an automated email. If you do not receive this email (check your Spam folder), contact Kimson Johnson immediately, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do we need to complete the Vendor Application through Washtenaw County Purchasing? No.
Do we need to submit W-9’s to the Washtenaw County Purchasing Department? Not at this time.
General Application Questions
If we find that the questions don’t fully allow our agency to explain our programming, is there a space where we can expound on our agency program? Section 12 of the application provides a space for applicants to include any additional information for consideration to the grant reviewers. If you’re still having trouble where to express your idea, please reach out to speak with staff member who can suggest within what question(s) those program details would fit.
Why has the character count for some of the questions have decreased from last cycle? The decrease in word count provides an opportunity for agencies to provide a clearer and more concise link in the narrative of the program strategies the agencies are seeking to share. In addition, the larger word count provided some difficulty for volunteer reviewers to move through the content.
Do the question character limits include spaces between words? Yes.
How do I reference citations within the application? Citation placement should support the proposal’s overall clarity of being complete, concise, consistent, accurate and clear. In-text citations written as “(Author last name(s), Article Date)” are acceptable. Full citations are not required.
Can you combine programs into one application? No. Discrete programs must be applied for separately.
If you have three different programs, would you submit three different applications? Yes, submit one application PER program.
Is there a way to reduce the number of applications an agency has to submit? Agencies are encouraged to review their programs and their alignment with outcome indicators in Appendix A (Program Strategies and Outcomes Summary)
Does it need to be a program currently in operation right now, or can it be one that is planned for the near future? It need not be a current program at all and can definitely be a future planned program. In most cases, questions are phrased to reflect both options for applicants, but if you encounter something that refers to existing programs, you can answer N/A or 0 or what your proposed program plans to do, depending on the question.
Collaborations and Systems Participation Questions
For question 1-8, is it considered a collaborative application if none of the other agencies are requesting Coordinating Funding? If any of the other agencies will be requesting funds through the application, this would be considered a collaborative application.
Do all partners of a collaborative submit responses to the RFP or just the fiduciary partner? Only the fiduciary partner needs to respond to the RFP if multiple agencies intend to apply for program funds collaboratively.
My organization has an informal collaborative process and currently does not have a formal contract, memorandum of understanding or funding commitment from other organizations. Should I include that information in Q7-3 Collaborative Relationships: (Describe one or more key organizational or institutional partners, their primary roles and responsibilities, and how this partnership contributes to participant success in the proposed program.) Funders encourage agencies to discuss both formal and informal collaboratives. It is important to note that formal collaborative applicants will be required to submit an MOU or MOA at the time of contracting.
What is the difference between a network and system? A network is embedded within (WACY, for example) a system in which you are working. Examples of systems would be: K-12 school system, justice system, food system, continuum of care supporting housing services, local government, transportation. Examples of networks would be sector leader groups, or other groups outside of the sector leadership framework. These questions are meant to acknowledge and capture that some applicants are engaging with systems work outside of the Coordinated Funding Sector Leaders.
For Q7-4 Affirmation Statement, will agencies need to upload a copy of a MOU or letters of support? No, we ask that applicants select yes or n/a.
Where can I receive more assistance with answering question Q2-5 (Is your organization using an equity lens to inform this program’s services?) in the RFP #7454? Applicants are encouraged to reference Appendix B (Key DEI Definitions) to assistant them with answering this question.
Our agency plans to apply for programs that will now span separate program strategies and outcomes for the FY 2018-2020 Program Operations grant cycle. Is our current program considered an existing Coordinated Funding Program? Yes.
How will the outcome indicators be measured? This outcome indicators measures can be found in Appendix A (Program Strategies and Outcomes Summary).
Will there be mid-year reporting for this FY 2018-2020 grantees? No, there will be no mid-year reporting. Funders have sent out communication about opportunities to engage with Funders if they choose, prior to year-end reporting.
It is hard to for agencies that support housing and homelessness efforts to answer the questions about zip codes. As individuals may have been rehoused and may not accurately reflect what zip code they may have resided in previously. The Funders are aware of the difficulties agencies have with ascertaining this information and staff are willing to support agencies who have questions when completing the application.
Who is eligible for block grants? Agencies that are eligible for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) funds supported by the Washtenaw Urban County have to meet certain criteria that is reviewed as a part of the application process.
How are the Funders planning to address the changes in the MIChild program due to the new changes in the program? Funders recognize that the program is in flux and subject to change and the intent of the word selection was in efforts to capture various elements of the priority population.
Questions about Budget
Can you explain the living wage ordinance that is present in the budget template? This information is important to be aware of in the budget section as agencies that receive Coordinated Funding investments must adhere to living wage ordinances. The current living wage ordinance is $13.13 per hour with benefits and $14.65 per hour without benefits.
Where do I input the expenses for staff that are responsible for data entry, reporting and evaluation? Expenses for Staff members that are responsible for these tasks can be included in the Salaries, benefits and payroll taxes section and this information can be shared in the explanation section. The Funders expect to see evaluation costs as a part of the program operations budget.
Are we providing a one year budget for the application? Yes, agencies should include a one year budget. There is a contract amendment process during the second year of the grant, where agencies will be required to update their budget. The Funders recognize that it is possible that the program budget will remain the same. During the contracting process agencies may be asked to provide an itemized budget to the Funders.
Can my budget reflect that the funding request is to primarily support a staff position? If the agency believes that the support of a staff position is integral to success of the program. Agencies are encouraged to include this in the budget submitted.
How do you articulate matching funds, in the budget? The Funders are looking for agencies to list cash based funds in their budget.
How do you address in-kind contributions, in the budget? The Funders are looking for agencies to list cash based funds in their budget.
Is there a match requirement, in the budget? The Funders do not have a match requirement threshold. In addition, Funders like to see diversified funding that can provide additional financial support to a program
How do our agencies address a pending grant, in the budget? Agencies should upload a projected budget for a July 1, 2018 start date and include a note about pending funds wherever appropriate. The Funders understand that this budget is a snapshot in time and things can shift between now and funding year start.
How can funding from corporate foundations be shown in our program budget? These funding investments should be included in the corporate grant section. Please provide additional information in the narrative to explain corporate sponsorship.
SCORING & REVIEW PROCESS
Review the scoring matrix for more information about scoring of proposals.
For Section 13, how is historical performance determined? For current grantees, staff will review whether your agency met grant performance standards (e.g. timely submission of annual reports, program outcome achievement), and if not, whether there was reasonable explanation regarding why those standards were not met.
When will the Scoring Matrix to be available? The Scoring Matrix is now available on the RFP page. (It was posted on 1/10/18.)
If I write multiple applications, will it be the same team reviewing them all, or might it be a separate group reviewing each one? Review teams are divided up based on community outcome, so it’ll depend upon which priority areas you for which you submit applications.
Are the reviewers all community members, and not employees of the Funders or professionals in that particular area? In addition to community members, COFU staff also review and score proposals. As noted in the RFP info sessions, there are sections of the proposal which are only staff scored—e.g. demographics, participant income level, program outcome achievement (for current grantees), and proposal clarity.
Will each review team be reviewing one sector (e.g. safety net health, aging) and not just a single strategy within the sector? In most cases, each review team will be reviewing all of the proposals associated with a community-level outcome. However, we do cap the number of proposals with which an individual reviewer is tasked. For example, last cycle the proposals submitted under the community-level outcome for housing and homelessness were split such that the reviewers read proposals associated with two of the four program strategies under that priority area. This translates to extra time and care being taken in the deliberation sessions to ensure that all reviewers understand all of the proposals submitted under that community-level outcome.
Will any reviewer be on more than one panel (e.g., no reviewer will be on both safety net health and aging)? Historically, volunteer reviewers do not serve on more than one review panel. The exception is staff, who review, score and facilitate the deliberation sessions in more than one priority area.
Will non-scored questions be visible to reviewers? Non-scored questions will not be visible to volunteer reviewers (Q2-5, Equity and Q10-1, Budget), but will be visible to Funder staff. Exceptions to this are basic program & agency information questions that provide important context about your program (Sections 1 and 12). “Staff scored only” questions will be visible to all reviewers.
In Section 13: Additional Evaluation: Proposal Clarity & Historic Performance, is this an opportunity for current grantees to receive additional points? Agencies will not receive bonus points based on past performance as a grantee. As noted on the scoring matrix, 5 more total points are available for current grantees, but these points are not extra points awarded.
Does the scoring matrix address agencies that have previously been funded and those who have not? There are points awarded to current grantees in the scoring matrix, however it is not a large number of percentage points and it is. Funders aim to support current Coordinated Funding program operations grantees.
Is the scoring matrix going to show which sections will be scored by Washtenaw Coordinated Funders staff and volunteer reviewers ? Yes, this information will be noted in the Scoring Matrix.
What if my agency needs more than one login? Please remember these general login/user account tips:
- Do NOT use the “Create New Account” button! If you are applying for the RFP, your agency will already have an account.
- Your agency can have as many user logins as you’d like.
- Remember: Only ONE user can be assigned to (edit) an application at a time. Only funders can re-assign an application. (Available upon request.)
- Options for agencies with multiple users:
- Use one login for all users at your organization.
- Disadvantages: Auto-save mishaps while two users are working on the same application at the same time; not general security best practices.
- Create a login for each person that will need to submit or edit an application.
- Disadvantages: Multiple logins to keep track of; Possibility of needing to request application re-assignment.
- Use one login for all users at your organization.
If your agency requires multiple logins, please contact Amanda Reel, email@example.com.
If I am logged into Foundant and working on my application, can I see if anyone else from my staff is working on the same application? No, you will not be able to see if another staff member is logged in and working on the same document.
Once, I start my program application will it be present on my dashboard? Yes, your application draft(s) will appear on your dashboard.
Can agencies have multiple applications in edit phase in Foundant at the same time, or do they need to be done one at a time? You can have multiple applications going at a time with no problems.
If we have different logins for different staff, is there an audit trail to see who last worked on which application? No, because only one login/applicant can be assigned to/working on an application at a time. Other users can login and view draft applications, but will not be able to edit the application unless the Administrators (the Funders) reassign the application to a different user.
Can multiple users be in Foundant working on the same application at the same time? It is possible for users to share the same login, but we do not recommend it. Foundant’s auto-save feature could save over important changes made by both users.
If you forget to complete a field in the Foundant system, will it tell you that? It will, if the field is marked as a required field. However, some fields are not marked as required, because of the differing requirements for non-traditional applicants. Please review your submission carefully before you submit.
In the question response text box, can the character limit count be exceed by just a few characters? No, it cannot.
Before or after a RFP submission, is there a way to create a draft/report to show your board or other staff what you plan to submit/submitted? Yes. From your Dashboard, you can revisit any submitted or draft applications and click the “Application Packet” button at the top of the application to create a PDF form of your application.
What if I need to stop in the middle and come back to the application? There is a Save button at the bottom of the application.
What if I forget my password? Use the “Forgot your Password?” link on the Logon page.
What if emails from the Foundant system are going to Spam folders? Add firstname.lastname@example.org to your contacts, Safe Senders list or mark as “Not Spam”, depending on your email service. All email from the Foundant system will come from this email address and be labeled as from “Washtenaw Coordinated Funders”.
Which browser do you recommend we use? For the best user experience when using Foundant, we recommend using Google Chrome or Firefox, both updated to the most recent version.
Is the Foundant system mobile friendly? Yes.
How do I delete a file that I’ve uploaded to a form in Foundant? Note that for the Request for Proposal application, the only form to be uploaded is the completed program budget. There are two ways to remove an old file from an application: 1. Once the file has been uploaded a delete button will appear below the file name. Click the Delete button to remove the file. 2. A new file can just be uploaded in its place and it will be automatically deleted.
How do I print a copy of my application? On the “Application Status” page, click “Edit Application”.
Then, on the “Application” page, click on “Application Packet” for a PDF version of the application.