CDFI Fund Impact Blog

 

 

Getting Ready to Apply for CDFI Fund Grant Assistance in Four Stepshttps://www.cdfifund.gov/impact/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=48Getting Ready to Apply for CDFI Fund Grant Assistance in Four Steps<div class="ExternalClass875EC7D3F94E453DA8E99516BE68D58C"><p><i>This post was originally published on April 27, 2018, and was updated on June 4, 2018 to clarify that both new and existing SAM.gov accounts are affected by recent registration policy changes. </i></p><p>If your organization is contemplating submitting an application to a future or upcoming funding round for one of the CDFI Fund’s programs, there are things you can start doing now in order to ensure a smooth application process. Organizations interested in applying to the Bank Enterprise Award Program (BEA Program), Capital Magnet Fund, Community Development Financial Institutions Program (CDFI Program), Native American CDFI Assistance Program (NACA Program), or CDFI Bond Guarantee Program (BGP) may find the following information helpful in getting started.</p><p> To successfully submit a CDFI Fund program 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 for the program you are interested in applying to, opens. </p><p>Completing the following will ensure that you will be able to access required forms and information in SAM.gov, Grants.gov, and the CDFI Fund’s Awards Management Information System (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.<br></p><div><h3>Step 1: Obtain your DUNS and EIN Numbers</h3><p> 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 an application in the Grants.gov system.</p><div><div><ul><li><p> <strong>Estimated time: One week or more.*</strong> Please allow sufficient time for Dun and Bradstreet to respond to inquiries and/or requests for DUNS numbers.</p></li><li><p> <a href="https://www.dandb.com/product/companyupdate/companyupdateLogin?execution=e1s1">Learn more about how to obtain a DUNS number here</a>.</p></li></ul></div></div><p> Applicants must also have an Employer Identification Number <strong>(</strong><strong>EIN</strong><strong>)</strong> to register in SAM.gov, which is a prerequisite to submit a funding application via Grants.gov. Applicants that do not have an EIN number must apply to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to obtain the number.<br></p></div><div><div><ul><li><p> <strong>Estimated time: Two weeks or more.*</strong></p></li><li><p> <a href="https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/apply-for-an-employer-identification-number-ein-online">To obtain an EIN, please visit the IRS.gov page here</a>.<br></p></li></ul></div></div><h3>Step 2: Create or Update Your SAM.gov Account</h3><p>The System for Award Management (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.</p><div><p> Registration in SAM is <strong>required</strong> as part of the Grants.gov registration process and for all Qualified Issuer and Guarantee Applications submitted for the CDFI Bond Guarantee Program.</p><p> Applicants that have previously registered with SAM must verify their accounts are current and active, as they need to be renewed annually. If your SAM.gov account is not active, you will be unable to submit the Grants.gov portion of your application. Additionally, if your application is successful, 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.</p><div><div><ul><li><p> <strong>Estimated time</strong><strong>:</strong> Due to recent procedural changes, <a href="https://www.sam.gov/portal/SAM/#1">found here</a>, this process may take more than one <strong>month</strong> for both new applicants and applicants that need to re-activate an existing SAM.gov account.<strong>*</strong></p></li> <li><p> <a href="https://www.sam.gov/portal/SAM/?navigationalstate=JBPNS_rO0ABXdcACJqYXZheC5mYWNlcy5wb3J0bGV0YnJpZGdlLlNUQVRFX0lEAAAAAQApdmlldzo3YWFiZTBiOC0xNzIwLTQ2NTctOWU4Ni1iYjU2YWQwOTk4YzIAB19fRU9GX18%2a&portal:componentId=8c36e6ab-299f-4618-9947-8d7e71dd6130&interactionstate=JBPNS_rO0ABXc5ABBfanNmQnJpZGdlVmlld0lkAAAAAQAYL2pzZi9oZWxwL3NhbUhlbHBOYXYuanNwAAdfX0VPRl9f&portal:type=action#1">Here’s a useful link on how to register a new entity with SAM.gov</a>.<br></p></li></ul></div><h3>Step 3: Create or Update Your Grants.gov Account</h3><p> Applicants must have a Grants.gov account and submit the appropriate Standard Form (SF)-424 by the deadline listed in the applicable program Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA) published in the Federal Register.</p><p> The appropriate SF-424 must be completed and submitted electronically via Grants.gov before the application materials are due in the CDFI Fund’s Awards Management Information System (AMIS). You will not be able to submit the SF-424 to the CDFI Fund directly. If you upload the SF-424 to your AMIS account, it will not be reviewed. An SF-424 must submitted separately for each program applied to on an annual basis, in accordance with each program’s NOFA.</p><div><div><ul><li><p> <strong>Estimated Time:</strong> One week or more, assuming an existing SAM.Gov account.*</p></li><li><p> <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1-ik--nrIg">Here’s a useful link on how to register for a Grants.gov account.</a><br></p></li></ul></div><h3>Step 4: Create or Update Your AMIS Account</h3><p> 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 submit an application. Make sure that the person with the “Authorized Representative” permission is allowed 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.</p><p> In addition, your organization must have an EIN/Tax ID number recorded in AMIS in order to submit your application when the applicable funding round is opened.</p><div><div><ul><li><p> <strong>Estimated Time:</strong> 1-2 business days.*</p></li><li><p> <a href="https://amis.cdfifund.gov/s/CDFIFundAMIS-TrainingManual-AE101.pdf?v=5">Learn how to establish an AMIS account here.</a><br></p></li></ul></div><p> Please note: </p><p>*Applicants are advised that the stated durations are estimates only and represent minimum timeframes. Actual timeframes may take longer.</p></div></div></div></div></div>2018-06-04T14:00:00ZPrograms and Initiatives48GP0|#a52ce078-0bf5-4ef8-aa4b-0b66902683da;L0|#0a52ce078-0bf5-4ef8-aa4b-0b66902683da|Capital Magnet Fund;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532;GP0|#0760f5d5-6360-4d45-ba32-761ff5345cd1;L0|#00760f5d5-6360-4d45-ba32-761ff5345cd1|CDFI Program;GP0|#c890ec6f-810e-4c92-a8a0-1af04abbffc9;L0|#0c890ec6f-810e-4c92-a8a0-1af04abbffc9|Native Initiatives;GP0|#e5ca169a-3210-4374-8024-08bc93cb9c65;L0|#0e5ca169a-3210-4374-8024-08bc93cb9c65|CDFI Bond Guarantee Program;GP0|#6977010d-91c8-405e-8f44-4df9b1fb4ec9;L0|#06977010d-91c8-405e-8f44-4df9b1fb4ec9|Bank Enterprise Award Program
Medina Creative Housing Develops Opportunities for Adults with Disabilitieshttps://www.cdfifund.gov/impact/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=52Medina Creative Housing Develops Opportunities for Adults with Disabilities<div class="ExternalClass31CD3A1AD41948DEB55DE4B44852E5B5"><p>Medina Creative Housing (MCH) helps individuals with disabilities successfully integrate into their communities. MCH assists students, ages 18 to 30, who have completed high school and wish to enroll at Cuyahoga Community College’s Brunswick campus through their unique project, Medina Creative Transitions. This program links a supportive residential environment with the opportunity to succeed in college.</p><p>To read the full story, <a href="/Documents/Finance%20Fund%20Transitions%20Impact%20Story%20052918%20v2.pdf" target="_blank">click here</a>.</p></div>2018-05-29T16:00:00ZLocal Impact52GP0|#99ec84f3-7c11-406b-8f7b-bbf01835428a;L0|#099ec84f3-7c11-406b-8f7b-bbf01835428a|Ohio;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532;GP0|#c8a5d5bc-32cc-47a9-88a8-702f1f974786;L0|#0c8a5d5bc-32cc-47a9-88a8-702f1f974786|CDFI Certification;GP0|#0760f5d5-6360-4d45-ba32-761ff5345cd1;L0|#00760f5d5-6360-4d45-ba32-761ff5345cd1|CDFI Program
Supporting CDFI and CDE Success through Certification, Compliance Monitoring and Evaluationhttps://www.cdfifund.gov/impact/Lists/Posts/ViewPost.aspx?ID=51Supporting CDFI and CDE Success through Certification, Compliance Monitoring and Evaluation<div class="ExternalClassD9C4C40996704F75B43DF3F05DC88104"><p>I was pleased to attend the recent CDFI Coalition Institute here in Washington, DC. In addition to participating on a panel discussing the latest developments at the CDFI Fund, I along with other members of the Certification, Compliance Monitoring and Evaluation (CCME) team, held “office hours” to provide one-on-one assistance to a number of CDFIs.  It was time well spent for me and my teammates.  In this blog, I want to share these same updates and plans with the larger CDFI and CDE community.</p><div>For 2018, the CDFI Fund is focused on easing the customer experience.  CCME’s objective is to ensure that CDFIs and CDEs spend more time and effort on deploying resources and less on reports and compliance activities. </div><div><br></div><div>Here are some of the steps we are currently taken along this path.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>Community Investment Impact System (CIIS</strong><strong>)</strong><strong>:</strong> As I am sure you know by now, the CDFI Fund is transitioning all of our program activities to the Awards Management Information System (AMIS). AMIS will support all CDFI Fund programs through each phase of the program life cycle, including certification and compliance monitoring—the CDFI Certification application will soon be available in AMIS. As part of this process, the Community Investment Impact System (CIIS)—which CDFIs and CDEs utilize to submit Transactional Level Reports (TLRs) and Institutional Level Reports (ILRs)—will be integrated into AMIS. Recipients will be able to use one system to submit reports, which will provide a more user-friendly reporting process. We expect this process to be complete by fall 2018. </div><div><br></div><div><strong>CDFI Certification RF</strong><strong>I</strong><strong>:</strong> In January 2017, the CDFI Fund issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking <a href="/impact/Pages/BlogDetail.aspx?BlogID=21">comments</a> on CDFI certification criteria. This effort is the first examination of CDFI certification guidelines since the CDFI Fund was established in 1994. We embarked on this review to ensure certification tests accurately reflect and assess the evolving nature of the financial services sector and the diversity of CDFIs and the communities they serve. We have taken your comments very seriously and appreciate your effort to provide feedback. The CDFI Fund is in the process of shaping several policy changes as a result of this process. </div><div><br></div><div>Rest assured, the changes we make will be preceded by a transition period to provide ample time for CDFIs to implement any new requirements that may result.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>Noncompliance Score Card (NSC)</strong><strong>:</strong> CCME has been moving to a risk-based approach for compliance monitoring. Annual report submissions are now being evaluated through a Noncompliance Scorecard (NSC), a tool that allows the CDFI Fund to determine the probability that awards/organizations may become noncompliant with assistance agreements.  This process will allow us to provide targeted assistance to organizations that may be at risk of noncompliance.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>Customer Service</strong><strong>:</strong> Providing timely and helpful assistance is a priority for all members of the CCME team. Our goal is to provide awardees, certified CDFIs, and CDEs responsive and pro-active support. CCME holds monthly CDFI certification <a href="/programs-training/certification/cdfi/Pages/default.aspx">conference calls</a> that provide a forum for potential CDFI certification applicants, certified CDFIs and others to ask questions about the certification and compliance reporting process. The CCME team also hosts quarterly webinars to coincide with compliance reporting deadlines to walk awardees through the reporting process and answer any questions related to report submissions.</div><div><br></div><div><strong>Behind-the-Scenes Activities</strong><strong>:</strong> By now, certified CDFIs are aware of the mandatory Annual Certification Report (ACR). The ACR, which is submitted through AMIS, allows the CDFI Fund to annually assess certified CDFIs’ compliance with certification rules. Also through AMIS, CCME sends out automatic 30-day and 15-day reminders to all authorized CDFI representatives notifying them of reports coming due. Expect to see these reminders in connection with the coming July 31, 2018, deadline for ACR submission.</div><div><br></div><div>Recent updates in AMIS have allowed the CDFI Fund to automatically approve most ACRs that meet specific criteria.  When an ACR requires additional review, it is routed to a portfolio manager who can reach out to the CDFI for more information. These automation features saved the CDFI Fund more than 600 man hours since inception; time that was freed up to allow CCME staff to provide hands-on technical assistance and information to CDFIs, CDEs, and other community development finance organizations. </div><div><br></div><div>CCME remains focused on providing service and assistance to ensure CDFI Fund award recipients so that they can maximize their impact in distressed and underserved communities across the nation. Do you have a question for us? Our dedicated team is only an <a href="/pages/contact.aspx">email or phone call away</a>. </div><div><br></div><div><em>Tanya McInnis is Acting Program Manager for Certification, Compliance Monitoring and Evaluation</em></div></div>Tanya McInnis2018-05-18T16:00:00ZPrograms and Initiatives51GP0|#c8a5d5bc-32cc-47a9-88a8-702f1f974786;L0|#0c8a5d5bc-32cc-47a9-88a8-702f1f974786|CDFI Certification;GTSet|#52f34ab0-6f81-4fe6-b393-2715c7089532;GP0|#677f9ba4-605b-4516-807b-920bec1191e3;L0|#0677f9ba4-605b-4516-807b-920bec1191e3|Compliance Monitoring;GP0|#52868bf4-9aa5-4f6a-ac57-8053626d1cc7;L0|#052868bf4-9aa5-4f6a-ac57-8053626d1cc7|CDE Certification