Update February 11, 2021: The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) staff will hold an informational pre-application webinar for the CDFI Rapid Response Program on Thursday, February 18, 2021. Topics covered will include setting up your critical SAM.gov and Grants.gov accounts, adjusting your organizational profile in the Awards Management Information System (AMIS), and other ways your organization can prepare in advance for the FY 2021 application round.
CDFI Rapid Response Program Pre-Application Webinar
Advance registration is not required to participate in the webinar. Please access the webinar, using the link provided below, at least five minutes prior to the beginning of the webinar. Requests for reasonable accommodations under section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act should be directed to Jay Santiago at the CDFI Fund at 202-653-0300.
Viewing this webinar requires the use of WebEx. To download the Webex Meetings Desktop Application, please see the instructions on the WebEx Downloads webpage.
Date: Thursday, February 18, 2021
Time: 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm Eastern Time (ET)
Call-In: 1 (888) 468-5127
Webinar Access: https://www.mymeetings.com/nc/join/
Conference Number: RWXW2008039
Audience Passcode: 2558301
Please read on below for additional important information about preparing to apply (originally published January 14, 2021).
The Coronavirus Response and Relief Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2021 (the Act, P.L. 116-260) specifically targets $1.25 billion for Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to help their communities respond to the economic hardships created by the COVID-19 pandemic. The legislation requires that the CDFI Fund publish the funding notice for this new program within 60 days of enactment, or no later than February 25, 2021. The CDFI Fund will award these funds through a new program called the CDFI Rapid Response Program (CDFI RRP).
More details about the program application and how to apply will be released as soon as possible. In the meantime, please note that only Certified CDFIs who achieve Certification prior to the release date of the NOFA will be eligible to apply for the CDFI Rapid Response Program. Uncertified organizations that are planning to apply for the CDFI Rapid Response Program, but have not yet submitted a CDFI Certification Application, will not receive a Certification determination in time to be eligible to apply for this program. CDFI Certification determinations take up to 90 days from the date that a complete CDFI Certification Application has been received by the CDFI Fund. Depending on the level of analysis and review required, the time needed to provide a Certification determination can take longer.
Certified CDFIs interested in applying for these funds should start their preparations now by following the “Getting Ready to Apply” steps outlined below. The short timeline required by the Act does not leave a lot of time for you to complete these administrative steps before the application round opens.
Prepare Now: Initial “Getting Ready to Apply” Steps
The below information has been previously released for other CDFI Fund program application rounds. As always, the CDFI Fund encourages you to thoroughly review the information provided on SAM.gov and Grants.gov in advance, as the CDFI Fund is not responsible for maintaining those systems and processes may change.
To successfully submit a CDFI Rapid Response Program funding application, your organization will need to have key information on hand and account access for several different federal government websites. You should act now to speed things up for your organization when the application period opens for the CDFI Rapid Response Program. Note that due to the urgency of deploying the CDFI Rapid Response Program funds, there will not be sufficient time to start creating these accounts after the NOFA is published and still meet the Application submission deadline.
Completing the following will ensure that you will be able to access required forms and information in SAM.gov, Grants.gov, and AMIS. Please note that while we have done our best to compile useful links to help you, the CDFI Fund is not responsible for maintaining links or the accuracy of the information on other organizations' websites.
Step 1: Obtain your DUNS and EIN Numbers
Each applicant must provide, as part of its application submission, a Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. Applicants without a DUNS number will not be able to register in SAM.gov and Grants.gov, nor submit a Standard Form (SF)-424 Mandatory in the Grants.gov system. Further, the DUNS number in your SAM.gov, Grants.gov, and AMIS accounts must all match and must be the correct DUNS number of the Applicant. Be careful not to enter the DUNS number of an affiliate or parent organization. Doing so will cause your Application to be deemed ineligible.
- Please allow sufficient time for Dun and Bradstreet to respond to inquiries and/or requests for DUNS numbers. This process may take one week or longer to complete.*
- Learn more about how to obtain a DUNS number here.
Applicants must also have an Employer Identification Number (EIN) to register in SAM.gov, which is a prerequisite to submit a SF-424 Mandatory via Grants.gov. Applicants that do not have an EIN number must apply to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain the number. Further, the EIN number in your SAM.gov and AMIS accounts must match and must be the correct EIN number of the applicant. Be careful not to enter the EIN of an affiliate or parent organization. Doing so will cause your Application to be deemed ineligible.
- Please allow sufficient time to obtain your organization's EIN. This process may take two weeks or longer to complete.*
- To obtain an EIN, please visit the IRS.gov page here.
Step 2: Create or Update Your SAM.gov Account
SAM is an official website of the U.S. government that collects, validates, stores, and disseminates business information about the federal government's trading partners in support of the contract awards, grants, and electronic payment processes. You must have an active registration in SAM.gov to do business with the federal government.
Registration in SAM is required as part of the Grants.gov registration process and for all applications submitted for the CDFI Rapid Response Program.
Applicants that have previously registered with SAM must verify their accounts are current and active, as they need to be renewed annually. Even if your organization has registered with SAM previously, you should not assume that your account is still active. Also, the process to reactivate your SAM account may take longer than you anticipate. If your SAM.gov account is not active, you will be unable to submit the Grants.gov portion of your application. Additionally, if your organization is selected to receive a CDFI Rapid Response Program award, the funds from your award will be paid to the bank account you have on file with SAM.gov. Therefore, it is important to have accurate bank information in the system.
- SAM.gov requires the public to have a Login.gov account to use SAM.gov. Here's more information about how to use Login.gov to access SAM.gov.
- Here’s a useful link on how to register a new entity with SAM.gov.
- This process may take three weeks or longer for both new applicants and applicants that need to re-activate an existing SAM.gov account.*
Step 3: Create or Update Your Grants.gov Account
Applicants must have a Grants.gov account and submit the appropriate SF-424 Mandatory by the deadline listed in the applicable program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) published in the Federal Register.
The appropriate SF-424 Mandatory must be completed and submitted electronically via Grants.gov before the application materials are due in your AMIS account. You will not be able to submit the SF-424 to the CDFI Fund directly. If you upload the SF-424 Mandatory to your AMIS account, it will not be reviewed. An SF-424 Mandatory must be submitted separately for each program applied to on an annual basis, in accordance with each program's NOFA.
- Please allow sufficient time to register for a Grants.gov account. This process may take one week or longer to complete. *
- Here's a useful link on how to register for a Grants.gov account.
Step 4: Create or Update Your AMIS Account
Make sure your AMIS account is up-to-date: verify the contacts for your organization are current and assign them the proper permissions. Only a user designated as an Authorized Representative in AMIS can sign the CDFI Rapid Response Program application. Make sure that the person signing the application as the "Authorized Representative" has authority to sign legal documents on behalf of your organization. Consultants working on behalf of your organization cannot be designated as Authorized Representatives. Be sure to include e-mail addresses and phone numbers for each contact. Also, make sure that your organization's mailing address is correct.
In addition, your organization must have an EIN/Tax ID and DUNs number recorded in AMIS in order to submit your application when the applicable funding round is opened. These numbers should reflect those recorded in the SF-424 Mandatory.
- Please allow 1-2 business days to create or update an AMIS account.*
- Learn how to establish an AMIS account here.
*Applicants are advised that the stated durations are estimates only and represent minimum timeframes. Actual timeframes may take longer.