"GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR GRANT PROPOSALS"
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR GRANT PROPOSALS PREPARATION OF GRANT PROPOSALS All proposals must include the following required elements. These areas will be evaluated completely in the review process along with overall project design. Proposals omitting required elements or failing to adhere to the prescribed format will be disqualified. 1. Abstract - A one (1) page Abstract that succinctly states the goals, objectives and activities contained in the proposed project and the outcomes expected from the project. At the top of the Abstract page, please provide: a. title of the project b. name and address of the applicant organization c. amount of DD grant funds requested d. brief narrative listing goals, objectives, activities and expected outcomes of the project 2. Coversheet – This form must be completed and signed by the Authorized Official of the applicant organization. This signature on the proposal coversheet certifies that the applicant, if awarded a grant, will comply with all federal, state and agency regulations, policies and procedures. The Authorized Official also certifies that the organization has the legal authority to apply for federal funds and has the institutional, managerial and financial capability (including funds sufficient to pay the non-Federal matching share of project costs) to ensure proper planning, management and completion of the project as described in the approved proposal. The Project Coordinator identified on the coversheet will be responsible for the day-to-day activities of the grant project. The Project Coordinator is also responsible for ensuring the timely and accurate submission of all required grant documents, such as the quarterly program reports, collection and reporting of data, and financial reporting. This person will be the main contact for the organization. In instances where the applicant is a small organization, the Authorized Official and Project Coordinator may be the same person. 3. Budget Form – All sections of the Budget Form must be completed and signed by the Authorized Official of the applicant organization. Complete one set of forms for the entire grant period. Please ensure you have reviewed the Grants Manual for allowable and unallowable budget items. The following Expenditure Categories should be completed: Grants Management/Grants Manual/2007/General Guidelines for Grant Proposals Page 1 PERSONNEL: List each position by job title, annual salary (or wages) and % of time spent on project. Fringe benefits for personnel have a separate line item in this category. VOLUNTEER COSTS AND CONSULTANTS: Show each type of expense related to volunteers or subcontracts with consultants and show the rate or unit of pay. TRAVEL: List all travel related expenses for personnel, volunteers, consultants or clients including the rate or unit of reimbursement for those expenses. All travel expenses must adhere to Va. State Travel Regulations. RENTAL SPACE OR EQUIPMENT: List all equipment or space rental fees for specific grant activities. CONSUMABLE MATERIALS AND SUPPLIES: List all consumable materials and supplies. OTHER COSTS: Anything not included in above categories, such as indirect costs for match. Match Requirement All grantees are required to contribute a minimum matching share of 25% of the Total Project Costs. Matching funds may be in-kind or cash and must be non-federal funds, such as state, local or private funds. The Board will fund up to 75% of the Total Project Costs. To determine the Total Project Costs, divide the grant funds requested by 75%. For example, if you are requesting $100,000 in grant funds: $100,000 divided by 75% = $133,333.33 Total Project Costs $133,333.33 100% Less Grant Funds $100,000.00 75% Equals Matching Funds $ 33,333.33 25% Exception to Requirement: If the project exclusively serves a Designated Poverty Area (see Appendix D in Grants Manual), the Board will fund 90% of the Total Project Costs and requires a minimum matching share of 10% of the Total Project Costs. (Divide grant amount requested by 90% to determine Total Project Costs and Matching Funds.) Grants Management/Grants Manual/2007/General Guidelines for Grant Proposals Page 2 4. Budget Justification – This narrative must accompany the Budget Form and include a description of each line item for the Total Project Costs. (Please distinguish between grant and matching funds.) 5. Quarterly Activity Timeline & Expenditure Projections – The quarterly timetable should list all project activities and grant expenditure projections by quarter for the grant period. 6. Proposal Narrative – The Proposal Narrative must be succinct, may not exceed 15 double- spaced pages and should appear in standard type size and margins. All pages must be numbered. The following elements are required, unless specifically stated otherwise in a particular RFP: a. Applicant Profile – A brief overview of the structure and function of the applicant organization. Describe experience conducting similar programs and demonstrate why the applicant is uniquely qualified for the program and has the capacity to undertake this initiative. Include a description of the geographic area served and the resources available to persons with developmental disabilities. b. Background and Need of the Target Population – Describe the target population. Define the target population for the project in terms of the definition of “developmental disabilities.” Identify the age range, cultural background, and number of persons to be served. Identify and explain the specific needs of the target population for the project. Explain past efforts to address these needs, explain how the project will complement these efforts and why grant funding is necessary. c. Goals, Objectives and Activities – Required goals, objectives and the minimum required activities are stated in the individual RFPs. Applicants should include additional activities that will achieve the required goals and objectives. Restate the goals and objectives for the project. For each objective include: a list all activities (specific tasks) planned to achieve the objective; an explanation of how the activities will be accomplished; realistic start and end dates for accomplishing each activity; and the primary personnel who will carry out the activity. d. Performance Measures – The Board is required by the federal Administration on Developmental Disabilities to report data on Performance Measures. Each RFP identifies the minimum required Performance Measure(s) by Objective, however, applicants should include any other Performance Measures that will achieve the required goals and objectives. For each Performance Measure, state the expected target (number), how you will reach the target and how you will collect and report the data accurately to the Board. It is important that you review Appendix B in the Grants Manual for an introduction to and list of all federal Performance Measures and Areas of Emphasis. Grants Management/Grants Manual/2007/General Guidelines for Grant Proposals Page 3 e. Project Deliverables/Products – Describe all project deliverables and products that will achieve the goals, establish a timeline for anticipated completion of all products and deliverables, and describe dissemination plans. Products may include: a new service; proposed legislation, policies, regulations or standards; conferences, training, curricula, manuals and other materials; planning documents; research findings; and other products suitable for replication and/or dissemination. f. Collaboration – Explain how the project will collaborate with other organizations. Where project success is dependent upon another organization, the applicant must provide written documentation, such as a letter of commitment or memorandum of understanding, of the collaborative arrangement. Documentation should specify what responsibilities the partner organization has agreed to undertake. (Please note: a letter of commitment is not the same as a letter of support.) g. Involvement of Individuals with Disabilities – Include a discussion of individuals with disabilities and family involvement in project development, project implementation and evaluation activities. Explain how the project will collaborate with individuals with disabilities and their families. h. Project Evaluation – Present an evaluation plan for the proposal describing how the applicant will assess attainment of project objectives. The evaluation plan should describe the methodology planned for assessing project activities and products, including establishing baselines, the methods for evaluating project objectives and the systemic impact. i. Sustainability Plan - The sustainability plan should describe how the project will continue after the conclusion of the grant period and what long-term impact can realistically be expected from the project after the end of grant funding. 7. Appendices – The Proposal Appendices must include: a. Letters of commitment or memoranda of understanding, where applicable. b. Letters of support. (Letters of support should demonstrate an organization’s support of the project, a willingness to be involved in the project showing what the organization will commit to the effort, and competency of the applicant.) c. One-page project personnel resumes and position descriptions. d. Copy of most recent audit (or provide a website link to report). e. Copy of Articles of Incorporation, if applicable. f. Copy of IRS determination letter on non-profit, tax-exempt status, if applicable. g. Listing of organization officers or directors. h. Financial documentation and other information and data which directly support the proposed project. TIPS FOR PREPARING YOUR PROPOSAL Be innovative and creative in your approach to project activities. Respond directly to the expectations outlined in the RFP. Grants Management/Grants Manual/2007/General Guidelines for Grant Proposals Page 4 Develop clear and concise language. Applications that are unnecessarily long, too wordy or include too much jargon are difficult to read and may hurt your review score. Be familiar with the Board’s mission, the 2007-11 State Plan and the 2006 Biennial Assessment of the Disability Services System in VA (available on our website under Planning Documents & Reports). Ensure that your proposal has been reviewed by key members of your organization. SUBMITTING A PROPOSAL 1. Address all proposals to: Virginia Board for People with Disabilities Ninth Street Office Building 202 North 9th St., 9th Floor Richmond, Virginia 23219 2. The proposal must be received by 5:00 p.m. on March 9, 2007. Late proposals will not be accepted for any reason. Faxed or emailed proposals will not be accepted. 3. Submit the original and signed proposal along with 10 copies and a computer diskette or CD containing the proposal. Do not staple the entire original proposal. Do not use binders, notebooks or report covers for the proposal. DO NOT append agency annual reports, program manuals or other lengthy publications to the grant proposal. Please note: Failure to adhere to application or submission requirements will result in disqualification of your proposal. PROPOSAL REVIEW & NOTIFICATION Each proposal received by the published deadline will be screened initially to determine if (1) the applicant is an eligible agency/organization and (2) it contains all of the required elements specified in the RFP. Proposals passing the initial screening will be forwarded for full review according to the following five-step process: 1. Staff Review – Staff of the Board will conduct a preliminary review of the proposals to determine compliance with grant application requirements. Staff may wish to verify information contained in the proposals. Staff will forward the proposals to the Board’s Grant Review Teams. 2. Grant Team Review -- A grant review team composed of Board members will review each grant proposal. During the review process, grant review team members may direct staff to contact applicants to obtain additional information, including a request for a Grants Management/Grants Manual/2007/General Guidelines for Grant Proposals Page 5 presentation. The process may also involve written requests to grant applicants for clarification or additional information covering materials presented in their application. Proposals are scored by each reviewer on: Strategies and Activities for Achieving Goals and Objectives Project Timelines, Milestones and Products Project Evaluation, Continuation and Sustainability Applicant Capability, Personnel and Resources Budget 3. Standing Committee Recommendation—Following deliberations, each grant review team makes a recommendation to one of the Board’s standing committees, which will make a funding recommendation to the full Board. 4. Board Review—At the meeting of the full Board, members review the funding recommendation made by the appropriate standing committee. Following any questions the Board may have concerning the Committee’s recommendation, the Board approves/disapproves the funding of the proposal. 5. Applicant Notification—All applicants will receive written notification of the funding determination of the Board. Notification of approval will include the amount of funds awarded, any special conditions under which the grant is made and details on the mandatory orientation workshop. Grant applicants who are denied funding may request in writing a more detailed description of the review team’s evaluation of the strength and weaknesses of the proposal. MANDATORY GRANTEE ORIENTATION All awardees will be notified of an orientation at the Board offices in Richmond. The orientation must be attended by the project coordinator and fiscal coordinator (the person responsible for monitoring expenditures and submission of quarterly financial reports). It will include review of administrative, program and financial requirements, including instructions on completing quarterly “Outcome Status Reports” and “Financial Reports”, final reports and evaluations and project deliverables. Any travel expenses your staff may incur for the training may be included in your grant budget (under “Travel”) and must adhere to Va. State Travel Regulations. Grants Management/Grants Manual/2007/General Guidelines for Grant Proposals Page 6