Interested in applying to the upcoming fiscal year (FY) 2022 funding round for the CDFI Equitable Recovery Program (CDFI ERP)? The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) is tentatively planning to open the fiscal year (FY) 2022 CDFI ERP application round later this spring. Now is a great time for organizations to begin to prepare to apply for a CDFI ERP award.
Enacted in December 2020, the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021 (Pub. L. 116-260) provided $1.75 billion to the CDFI Fund to provide grants to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) to respond to the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The CDFI ERP is designed to: 1) provide funding to CDFIs to expand lending, grant making and investment activities in low- to moderate-income communities and to borrowers with significant unmet capital and financial services needs that have experienced disproportionate economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic, and 2) catalyze growth in the financial and organizational capacity of CDFIs for the purpose of carrying out equitable recovery activities.
Organizations eligible to apply for a CDFI ERP award will be limited to Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) that:
- have been Certified, by the CDFI Fund, as CDFIs as of the date that the Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) is published in the Federal Register—the NOFA serves as official notice that organizations can formally submit an application for a CDFI ERP award;
- have a track record of serving CDFI ERP eligible geographies (which will be detailed in the NOFA) and can provide data demonstrating such track record as part of the application process;
- are in compliance with all outstanding CDFI Fund awards, allocations, or CDFI Bond Guarantee Program requirements; and
- meet benchmarks for programmatic/financial safety and soundness, minimum thresholds of financial health and financial capacity, including audited financial statements.
Learn more about CDFI ERP on the CDFI Fund website, here.
Below are some basic application steps that all potential applicants, but especially organizations that are new to applying to CDFI Fund programs, should review.
Prepare Now: Initial “Getting Ready to Apply” Steps
The below information has been previously released and updated for the FY 2022 application round. 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 ERP funding application, your organization will need to have key information on hand and account access for several different federal government websites. You can act now to speed things up for your organization when the application period opens for the program.
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: Create or Update Your SAM.gov Account
SAM.gov 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 ERP.
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 FY 2022 CDFI ERP 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 2: Obtain your UEI and EIN Numbers
All entities wishing to do business with the federal government must have a unique entity identifier (UEI). Each application submission for a federal award must include a UEI. Applicants without a UEI will not be able to register in Grants.gov, nor submit a Standard Form (SF)-424 Mandatory in the Grants.gov system. Further, the UEI in your SAM.gov, Grants.gov, and AMIS accounts must all match and must be the correct UEI for the organization submitting a CDFI ERP application. Learn more about how to obtain a UEI 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.
- Please allow sufficient time to obtain your organization's EIN.
- To obtain an EIN, please visit the IRS.gov page here.
*As of April 4, 2022, the U.S. federal government no longer requires organizations to obtain a DUNS Number to register in SAM.gov. If you are registered in SAM.gov now, you have already been assigned a UEI (by SAM.gov). It is viewable on your entity registration record in SAM.gov. If you need to update or renew your registration, you will still need to ensure your renewal or updates occur on time and as required, but this does not affect whether you have been assigned a UEI. If your registration has expired, go here for instructions on how to renew your entity registration. Learn more about this transition here.
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.
- 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, is identified as active and assign them the proper permissions. Only a user designated as an Authorized Representative in AMIS can sign the FY 2022 CDFI ERP 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/UEI 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.