Your RFI Questions Answered by Levy Staff

Week Ending Oct. 18, 2019: Q&A 48-53

  • Question 48: On page 4 of 32 of Portland Children's Levy 2019 RFI in After School Programs, you list the Program Area Strategies and possible Service Approaches per Strategy. Later, on page 21 of 32, Section II. Proven Program Design and Effectiveness, Question D. Program Design. (1) Main Program Activities, applicants are asked to complete the table to show the main activities of the program, and to specify up to three service activities most fundamental to the program.

    Do the terms "Program Activity" and "Main Activity" and "Service Activity" all mean the same thing as the term ""Service Approaches"? Please clarify the definition(s) for these terms so I can appropriately complete this Table. Examples would be very helpful to illustrate your preferred distinction between these many terms.

    PCL Response: In the after-school RFI, the Possible Service Approaches are a mix of activities that could be offered in connection with one of the strategies (e.g. tutoring or mindfulness instruction), and approaches for delivering the activities (e.g. a single program that provides sports instruction using a curriculum that focuses on social-emotional skill building). Service and program activities are the same. Main service or program activities refer to the primary activities that comprise the proposed program. For example, a program could offer weekly tutoring with an advocate for academic support and sports activities after tutoring is completed, and both activities could be listed in the chart.

  • Question 49: Are depreciation and other occupancy expenses for agency-owned buildings allowable costs or do they fall under unallowable capital acquisition costs specifically referred to in the RFI? 

    PCL Response: Applicants may include occupancy expenses directly related to the proposed program including depreciation. If these costs are allocated across agency programs, please describe the allocation method used.

  • Question 50: The After School program area RFI states the target age ends at 18. During the summer our staff will continue supporting students who were involved in our after school program through either a Ninth Grade Counts site or a summer program for seniors transitioning to college. However, some of those who just graduated may have just turned 18 or will be turning 18 during the programming. Are they still eligible to participate?

    PCL Response: The RFI allows after-school programming to be provided to children aged 5 through 18 which includes youth who are 18 years old. If a youth is 18 when they enroll in programming, and turns 19 while still enrolled, the program may continue serving the youth through the end of the school year.

  • Question 51: Our preliminary audited financial statements for fiscal year ending June 30, 2019 reported admin at 10% of management/general expenses and at 6% of fund-raising expenses. With supporting service expenses combined, can we budget for an administrative rate of 15% in our PCL grant application?

    PCL Response: Applicants may budget up to 15% of program expenses as administrative expenses for the general operation and management of the agency. The PCL budget form subtotals Personnel, Contractors and Other Program Expenses categories; applicants may budget up to 15% of that subtotal toward administrative expenses. These expenses are typically defined on the IRS form 990 as "Management and General Expenses". Fundraising expenses are prohibited and cannot be included as part of administrative expenses.

  • Question 52: If a proposed program strategy needed materials only available in English translated into Spanish or another language, are translation fees an allowable expense? What about instructional design or website fees?

    PCL Response: Translation is an allowable expense, as is interpretation. In RFI Section III. Program Budget and Budget Justification, you can find a listing of typical allowable expenses for each of the 4 budget categories. PCL funds must be used for direct services to children and families (see RFI Instructions Part 2.C). An applicant's budget justification should explain the cost calculations for the program budget and explain why each cost is necessary to the proposed program. Any proposed costs for instructional design or websites should be justified in the budget section of the application.

  • Question 53: What is the definition of "closed fiscal year?" Does the prior fiscal year budget, on which we calculate the maximum we are permitted in the budget, have to have completed its annual audit? Our FY19 fiscal year ended Sept. 30, 2019, but the audited financials won't be available until after the application is due. Should we instead use the year before (FY18) as the "prior closed year?"

    PCL Response: The budget you are asked to submit for the organization's last "closed fiscal year" refers to the most recent fiscal year that has ended by the time you submit the application. For example, if the organization's fiscal year runs July through June, the applicant should submit the budget from the 2018-19 fiscal year since that fiscal year has ended by the time the application is due.

Pre-Application Conferences: Q&A 18-47

  • Question 18: Does PCL require that the site at which services are delivered be in the City of Portland?

    PCL Response: No. People served must be residents of the City of Portland and applicants must be able to track residence data. See PCL response to Question 5 in Q/A digest.

  • Question 19: Do programs need to serve all ages?

    PCL Response: No. Programs may serve the full range of ages or a sub-set of the age range.

  • Question 20: In the demographic information, how much emphasis will be placed on the integrity of the data? If we want to explain demographic data, where would that go in the application? If we have different methods for collecting the different pieces of data, is that ok? If we have methods for estimating demographic information in Table I and/or Table II, do we explain them?

    PCL Response: In Section I, H there is space to talk about the integrity and challenges of the demographic data on the organization's clients, staff, and board members. That part asks applicants to discuss their methods for arriving at the data in Table I; the scoring criteria reflect points for data collected directly from clients, staff, and board members. PCL understands that different funding sources and requirements, and other factors, impact how organizations collect demographic information. Applicants can explain the variation in their data collection and their methods for completing Table I. Similarly, Section II.B.2 asks applicants to explain how they arrived at the demographic data on the proposed program population to be served as shown in Tables I and II. If you can estimate the data requested in the application and have confidence in your methods, then you may estimate and explain your methods. If you're missing data, then depending on the data you're missing, it may be best to simply indicate it as missing and explain why. In all cases, do your best to complete the data and explain it so that reviewers and PCL staff understand your figures and methods.

  • Question 21: How should we represent sub-activities in the Program Activity table?

    PCL Response: The program activity table asks you to list the main program activities. You will need to choose which program activities are the most central to your model and include these in the table. If other activities not included in the table are relevant to responding to any of the other RFI questions, you can include that information in the narrative response.

  • Question 22: Can we use data about a program delivered in the past to show that it is a proven program even if the program is not currently being delivered?

    PCL Response: Yes. You can use any data or experience you have to support your application.

  • Question 23: In the Hunger Relief RFI page 21 in the staffing table, what is meant by the adult to child ratio and caseload parts of the table?

    PCL Response: Programs that offer classes or groups activities to youth may have adult to child ratios. If those parts of the table are not applicable to your program design, you can respond "not applicable."

  • Question 24: For the after-school program area, can we request funding for a program that takes place during school hours?

    PCL Response: See responses to Question 6 and 11 in the Q&A digest.

  • Question 25: In the staffing table in Section II of the RFI, should we include all staff of the program in that table, even if we are not including them in the budget for our PCL grant request?

    PCL Response: If the staff are integral to the program delivery, include them in the staffing table in Section II, even if they are not in the grant budget. Volunteer reviewers scoring applications need to understand the full program design, including staffing. If the budget you request will only be used to support some staff positions of the program, use the budget narrative in Section III to justify the personnel costs you want PCL to cover.

  • Question 26: We are applying as a lead in a collaborative. In our program, the subcontractors will have staff providing direct service, but the lead organization will not. Should we include program direct service staff from our subcontracting partners in the staffing table?

    PCL Response: Yes, include all the staff needed for proposed program in the staffing table. It is important that reviewers and PCL staff understand who will provide the direct service. You may discuss the staffing in your responses to Section II. E Explanation of Program Design and F.3. Staff Development and Supervision.

  • Question 27: How should agencies applying in partnership represent the partnership in the proposed budget? How are the revenue and annual grant amount calculated for purposes of determining compliance with the rule limiting funding to 30% of organizational revenues?

    PCL Response: PCL requires that any collaboration applying in partnership select a lead agency as the applicant who will enter into the contract with PCL and be responsible for reporting and invoicing. The lead agency should include any staff of their agency that will work in the program in the personnel section of the budget. Services delivered by partner agencies should be listed in the Contracted Program Services budget category. Justification for the contractor line items should be detailed in the budget narrative in Section III. Be sure to explain what services the partner will provide, what they cost, and why they are necessary to deliver the program. PCL will look at the revenue and total grant requests of the applicant (lead) agency for purposes of complying with the rule limiting funding to 30% of organizational revenues in the last closed fiscal year. It is up to the partnership or collaboration of agencies to select a lead agency to apply for the funds.

  • Question 28: Please clarify how to calculate the maximum grant amount that an organization may request.

    PCL Response: Please see PCL Response to Question 10 in Q&A digest.

  • Question 29: Is the $675,000 maximum grant amount the maximum annual amount that can be requested? Can annual amounts differ for the 3 years of the initial grant?

    PCL Response: The $675,000 maximum annual grant means that the maximum an applicant can request for 3 years is $2,025,000. Applicants can distribute the maximum total funding among the three years however they choose. Applicants must request at least $65,000 per year which means that the minimum 3-year request is $195,000. While applicants can request the same funding level for each grant year, PCL staff advises building in budget increases each year to account for inflation and other cost increases.

  • Question 30: If our agency's 2019 fiscal year audit is not yet complete, should we submit the previous year's audit?

    PCL Response: Yes. Submit the most recent complete audit for the organization.

  • Question 31: Can the cost of an audit for agencies with revenues less than $1 million in the last closed fiscal year be included in the proposed budget?

    PCL Response: Yes. See Part 3.B of RFI Instructions.

  • Question 32: Can applicants expect cost of living adjustments if grants are renewed after the first 3 years?

    PCL Response: The availability of COLAs depends on revenues and expenses over time. If funds are available, PCL has provided COLAs at the time of renewal in the past. The COLA rate is based on the City of Portland annual COLA.

  • Question 33: If we want to include funds for program evaluation in our proposal, is that considered an administrative expense?

    PCL Response: Refer to the Program Budget section of the RFI for a definition of typical administrative expenses. Program evaluation is not an administrative expense. You can include expenses related to program evaluation in any relevant budget category (e.g. program personnel, contracted program services, other program expenses).

  • Question 34: Do you have recommendations for personnel costs as a percent of the grant request?

    PCL Response: It varies by program model and design, and it depends on whether the program has other funding sources supporting program staffing. PCL has no recommendation.

  • Question 35: Are reviewers collaborating with one another or working independently? What training is provided for the volunteer reviewers?

    PCL Response: Reviewers complete a sign-up form to be a reviewer which includes questions on experience and knowledge in the areas of equity, diversity and inclusion, and in the program areas funded by the Levy. They will meet in early December to receive training from PCL staff, including practice scoring. Reviewers will score applications independently and will not meet to discuss applications. PCL staff will check-in with each reviewer mid-way through the review process to provide support and guidance as needed and will meet individually with each reviewer at the end of January to review score forms to assure all information has been completed.

  • Question 36: Is there a stipend for reviewers?

    PCL Response: Volunteer reviewers may request a stipend of $25 per application scored if application review will be done outside paid work hours.

  • Question 37: Do reviewers read the whole application? Should we repeat information in our application in case they read only parts.

    PCL Response: Yes, reviewers read the entire application and are not assigned to read only parts. You do not have to repeat yourself. However, to help reviewers, you may choose to repeat information or refer reviewers to the section or page where the information appeared earlier in the application.

  • Question 38: What other role(s) does/do volunteer reviewers play in the funding process?

    PCL Response: Reviewers' only role is to score the applications based on the scoring criteria included in the RFI. They do not rank the pool of applications in a program area. Staff uses the reviewer scores and the criteria listed in the RFI to formulate recommendations to the Allocation Committee. Staff also read every application. Staff considers the whole program area and the individual applications when making recommendations to the Committee. See Part 4 D of RFI Instructions for staff recommendation criteria.

  • Question 39: How do you determine whether a reviewer has a conflict of interest?

    PCL Response: We use the same conflict of interest standard that the City of Portland procurement services uses. Reviewers may not have any conflict as a result of any financial or other interest (individual, immediate family or partners) in applicant organizations applying in the program area in which the reviewer is scoring. Reviewers also may not be employed with any applicant organization in the program area in which the reviewer is scoring. Click here to see PCL's Conflict of Interest form.

  • Question 40: Will reviewers include DHS staff, foster parents, or birth parents in the foster care program area?

    PCL Response: Our goal is to have at least one DHS staff reviewing each application in the foster care program area and in the Child Abuse Prevention & Intervention program areas. Foster parents and birth parents, as well as people who have worked with children, youth and parents involved in the child welfare system could all serve as reviewers if they meet the qualifications outlined in the Grant Reviewer position description. We also want reviewers with experience and knowledge of organizational management, particularly with equity, diversity, and inclusion. We are currently recruiting reviewers through our website. We need approximately 80 volunteers.

  • Question 41: How will the video testimony from applicants be done by PCL- in what locations?

    PCL Response: PCL staff will arrange and record video testimony. In February, PCL will notify applicants of times and locations for video recording. Applicants interested in providing video testimony will need to sign-up for a time slot. Assuming that PCL receives 125-150 applications, PCL anticipates limiting video testimony to 3 minutes or less per applicant (i.e for all people speaking on behalf of the applicant) to assure that Allocation Committee members have time to review it. Only PCL-recorded testimony is permitted to assure that production quality is the same for all applicants. We plan to have multiple locations and times available to applicants to give video testimony. Applicants may have whomever they choose testify. If people providing testimony require interpretation, PCL will provide interpreters and additional time for the testimony.

  • Question 42: Do you forecast more proposals this year than in the past?

    PCL Response: We have no way to know. We always learn of new organizations each time we offer funding. We are projected to have more revenues available on an annual basis than are currently granted in FY 2019-20. We have consistently had a ratio of $3 requested for every $1 we have available. The number of applications submitted in the past varies by program area and amount of funds available in the program areas. Page 3 of each RFI provides a few key data on the competition for funds in PCL's 2014 grantmaking.

  • Question 43: Should the narrative be single or double spaced?

    PCL Response: Single spaced. The preformatted application form (Exhibit A) has double-spacing between the lettered and/or numbered parts in each of the 3 sections, and it has page breaks between the 3 sections. This spacing format helps reviewers more easily read each application.

  • Question 44: What is the last day to submit RFI questions to PCL staff?

    PCL Response: The last day to submit questions is at 5 pm on November 18. Responses will be posted on the PCL web site on November 19.

  • Question 45: Does PCL staff recommend submitting applications before the Nov. 20 deadline?

    PCL Response: PCL staff has no recommendation on timing of application submission. You may submit early, but late applications won't be considered. You will receive verification of our receipt of the application within 2 business days of your submission. Remember to call the number in the RFI if you don't receive verification within 2 business days.

  • Question 46: How will grant renewal be affected by the need for voters to reauthorize the Levy?

    PCL Response: PCL plans to offer 2-year renewals conditioned on voter renewal of the Levy. As always, grants are conditioned on the availability of revenues.

  • Question 47: Is there an update on the small grants program?

    PCL Response: Interviews for the small grants manager position will begin the week of October 14th and we hope to have completed hiring by November. The small grants fund parameters and process has not yet been designed and will likely not roll out until this competitive funding round has concluded.

Week Ending Oct. 11, 2019: Q&A 11-17

  • Question 11: It looks like I wasn't clear in my initial inquiry [Q6]. This statement accurately reflects the Oregon MESA program: "If the program provides programming in the after-school hours, and in addition provides school-day services/staffing, the program is eligible to seek PCL after-school funding and request some portion of funds be used for school-day activities (e.g. programs that provide after-school academic support where program staff also provide supports during the school day such as advocating for youth with school staff)."

    Is this correct: MESA could receive funding for its entire STEM program which is predominantly an after-school program but also provides training and support for a limited number of schools to provide the same service during the school day.

    If the District pays the teachers' salaries for school-day activities, but MESA also provides paid classroom mentors during that time (as they do for the predominant after school sessions), would the school-day mentor expense be eligible?

    PCL Response: The primary purpose of after-school grants is to fund programming for children in the hours after the school day ends, both to engage youth in positive activities during these hours, and to provide child supervision while parents and caregivers may be working. All after-school programs funded must primarily provide programming during these hours at all sites served. If an after-school program also provides access to school-day services and summer program services at the same site, PCL will contribute to funding those school-day and summer services as extensions of the support provided in the after-school programming. In the situation described previously in Question 6 and clarified above, PCL would not fund school-day services (the classroom mentors) because the program does not offer after-school services at the site.

  • Question 12: Page 28 of the RFI includes one point for "51% or more of direct service staff identify as a person of color." If an organization provided all direct services through volunteers and/or contractors, and had no direct service staff, does that mean they would automatically lose the point because they had no direct service employees? Even if the volunteers were predominantly people of color?

    PCL Response: Yes; an organization that has no direct service staff will not earn a point for the racial/ethnic identification of those staff. You can discuss the racial/ethnic identification of volunteers providing direct services in other parts of the application as described in the response to Question 8.

  • Question 13: Exhibit B provides demographics on clients, staff, and the board. However, it does not include volunteer or contracted service providers. Certainly, we would highlight those demographics in the text, again, if an organization delivered all services via volunteers and/or contractors, does that mean they would lose points because direct service staff would show up on the form as zero?

    PCL Response: You can earn the points in Section I, Question H that relate to the demographics of the population served, management staff and board of directors, and for gathering demographic data directly from people. You will not be able to earn the point in Question H that relates to direct service staff if you do not employ direct service staff.

  • Question 14: Do program directors and program managers count as direct service? Or is direct service only the line-level staff who interact directly with youth and families?

    PCL Response: Direct service staff are defined in Section H of the RFI as staff “that work directly with clients,” which in the case of an after-school program means those who work directly with children or youth and their families to provide program services.

  • Question 15: I have another question regarding the CEO signature on the cover sheet, since we are instructed to submit the Exhibit A as a Word file. Can we create a separate page for the cover sheet, have our CEO sign, scan and submit this single page as a separate pdf? Or do you advise another solution? I am reluctant to include a digital image of the CEO signature on a Word document that is sent externally, which could potentially be inserted into other documents if electronic files were ever compromised.

    PCL Response: Applicants can either insert the signature as a picture in the Word document (see MS Word Help menu for information on inserting signatures as pictures and using digital signatures), or submit the cover sheet ONLY as a PDF with the CEO’s signature. Please remember that your responses to the RFI questions which comprise the remainder of Exhibit A should be submitted in Word format.

  • Question 16: It has been said (in the past) that sending in two PCL applications in different program areas would “sort-of” be competing against yourself. My understanding is that that is not correct- grant reviews are separate and funding decisions (both amount available and amount allocated) are separated by program area. Is my understanding correct? The kids served are non-overlapping between the two applications.

    PCL Response: Applications are reviewed, and funding decisions made by program area. Applications in one program area do not compete, per se, with applications in another program area. Many organizations submit applications and receive grants in more than one program area. Keep in mind that resources for each program area listed in the RFIs are approximate and could change before or during funding decisions. Total resources in a program area may change due to revenue forecast adjustments or Committee decisions to move resources between program areas after applications are received. Also, be sure to check that the total amount of funding your organization is requesting, divided by 3, is not more than 30% of the organization’s revenues in your last closed fiscal year.

  • Question 17: Thank you for informational session today. For our proposed project, if we have one school that we are talking about adding a classroom to, would you want to see the demographics for the school in column B or the district in column B? Column J is a new, smaller population being added to the school that we would serve. So in other words, if we put district-wide demographics in column B, that is going to be further removed from column J than if we were putting in school-wide demographics in column B. The school in question has more diverse demographics than the district as a whole.

    PCL Response: The demographics for the district belong in column B because the district is the organization applying to operate the program. This helps PCL understand how the demographics of the population to be served compare to demographics of the district population overall. You may refer to and discuss demographic data on the school specifically in Section II.B.2. Estimated Demographics of the Population to be Served, and/or E. Explanation of the Program Design.

Week Ending Oct. 4, 2019: Q&A 1-10

  • Question 1:  Our school district is considering applying for the grant opportunity due in November.  If we may ask now, we have some preliminary questions before the webinar in October.  Would PCL consider applications that used Year 1 as more of a planning year to develop programming that would be implemented in subsequent years?  For example, hire an Administrator/Director who would work within the community to conduct activities such as needs assessments and partnership development that would lead to actual programming for children and families in Years 2 and on?

    PCL Response: No. The grant funds are for direct services. PCL suggests that agencies that need a planning year to develop their services should seek other funders to support that work and consider applying for PCL funding in the future. PCL will only accept applications for services that address at least one strategy outlined in the RFIs. PCL note: PCL does not plan to have a webinar in October. We have 2 pre-application conferences happening that interested applicants can attend in person: Oct 9, 1pm – 2pm at Midland Library (805 SE 122nd) and Oct 10, 10am -11am at Portland Water Bureau Auditorium (664 N Tillamook).

  • Question 2:  Given the planning strategy above, is it allowable to submit a budget for Year 1 that would ultimately be less than what is needed for Year 2 and on?  For example, Year 1 might include some FTE, consultation services, travel, etc. but by Year 2 we would be adding actual service delivery (Administrator plus teachers, professional development, other contracted services, etc.)  How do we show that our trajectory of spending increases after Year 1?  Should we simply include our estimated costs in the Year 1 budget to ensure we get the amount needed to implement programming in Year 2?  I'm thinking of an example such as a federal grant for an after-school program where we ask for $500,000 in year 1 and that amount remains the same throughout the life of the multi-year grant.  Is that how PCL funding works?

    PCL Response: Because PCL funds direct services, the RFI does not include an option for budgeting for planning. You can propose services that vary in size and scope over the 3 years and adjust your total request to reflect different service levels or types in Years 2 and 3. For example, if you want to expand program sites over time, you could propose to add service sites in each of the 3 grant years. The budget form should reflect Year 1 costs only. Use the budget narrative, Question A on total program costs, to explain the projected difference in costs for Years 2 and 3 (e.g. each additional site will increase costs by X; additional service activities added in year 3 will cost X). The Program Summary requested in Section II.A should include reference to any additional sites or activities planned for Years 2 and 3. The remaining questions in Section II specifically request information for Year 1 (2020-21).

  • Question 3:  It seems that some capital expenditures are not allowed per page 25 of the RFI. I am assuming playground equipment is not allowed, but can you confirm?  Also within this capital expenditure context, are one-time costs such as furniture for classrooms allowed?  And finally, while we are not looking to buy a building, would we be able to use funds to retrofit an existing space to make it conform to early learning standards?  E.g. change things such as plumbing, walls, kitchen space, etc.?

    PCL Response: PCL will allow one-time equipment costs for the proposed program such as computers and phones for staff, program furniture and minor program equipment (e.g. classroom desks/chairs, playground balls or mat, sand/water table, and toys and materials for learning activities). PCL funds may not be used to build an entirely new playground, or to purchase major equipment (e.g. climbing structure, vehicle, buildings), or to retrofit an existing facility to conform to early learning standards. Minor repairs for health and safety are allowable but facility renovations related to plumbing, walls, kitchen space are not allowable.

  • Question 4:  Is it possible to submit letters of support from community leaders or partners as part of the RFI application?

    PCL Response: No. Only the required materials will be read and scored by reviewers and considered by PCL staff and Allocation Committee. Please refer to the RFI Instructions, Part 3. Application Components and Submission for a list of the required materials. Applicants can discuss partnerships and relationships with other community organizations in response to Question F in Section I of the RFI and/or in response to questions in Section II regarding program design as applicable.

  • Question 5:  Our service area is Washington and Clackamas counties. Though there are parts of Washington County in Portland, is the RFI process restricted to Multnomah County applicants?

    PCL Response: No. Geographic limitations apply to the eligibility of the service population. All children and families to be served with PCL funding must be residents of the City of Portland. For children and youth in foster care, the residency eligibility criteria is met if the child is living in a foster care home within city limits or if the child’s birth parent(s) live in city limits. Eligible applicants include non-profit corporations (501(c)(3), local education agencies, community colleges and universities who provide services to those who meet the residency eligibility requirements.

  • Question 6:  Oregon MESA is predominantly an after-school program. However, a handful of schools have moved MESA programming to the school day. In the city of Portland, the schools with school-day MESA programs are Fabian and George Middle School. They get the full MESA experience with college and career field trips, family nights, statewide competition, etc. This approach makes it possible to bring MESA to schools where after-school is a challenge for the students or the schools, and it helps a school like George MS bring the program to far more students. MESA funding includes mentors in the classroom, teacher training, offsite activities for students, etc. In addition to our after-school programs are these school-day programs also eligible for grant funding?

    PCL Response: No. Programs that only provide school-day services are not eligible for PCL after-school grant funding. If the program provides programming in the after-school hours, and in addition provides school-day services/staffing, the program is eligible to seek PCL after-school funding and request some portion of funds be used for school-day activities (e.g. programs that provide after-school academic support where program staff also provide supports during the school day such as advocating for youth with school staff).

  • Question 7:  Are the project description and budget for year one of three only? If so can you provide any guidance on developing the total three-year ask amount (e.g. would it just be the same amount increasing 3% per year, or would we factor in other factors like increasing or decreasing growth)?

    PCL Response: You can propose services that vary in size and scope over the 3 years, and adjust your total request to reflect different service levels or types in Years 2 and 3. For example, if you want to expand program sites over time, you could propose to add service sites in each of the 3 grant years. The budget form should reflect Year 1 costs only. Use the budget narrative, Question A on total program costs, to explain the projected difference in costs for Years 2 and 3 (e.g. each additional site will increase costs by X; additional service components added in year 3 will cost X). The Program Summary requested in Section II.A should include reference to additional sites or activities planned for Years 2 and 3. The remaining questions in Section II specifically request information for Year 1 (2020-21).

  • Question 8:  For direct service providers and other support providers (such as family liaisons who lead MESA's regional advisory councils), there is a mix of contractors, MESA employees, and third party (e.g. Mt. Hood Community College) employees. The teachers who lead the chapters are all contracted, but the mentors may be student employees of PSU, student employees of another university, contracted, etc. MESA staff oversee programs in partnership with staff from partners with a portion of their hours paid by MESA. When calculating demographics, should we just include everyone who is genuinely performing the services regardless of employment status? Or is this something we should discuss in more detail?

    PCL Response: Staff of the organization refers to employees of the organization applying for the grant and does not include contractors and staff of partner organizations. You can discuss contractors and partners in response to other questions in Section 1 of the RFI as applicable (e.g. Question E asks about service user voice and influence; Question F asks for information on how the organization engages and collaborates with partners; Question G asks for achievements related to equity, diversity and inclusion). You can also discuss characteristics of people who are delivering program services in response to Section 2 questions (e.g. Questions E.1 and E.2 ask for explanation of program design elements including staffing and family voice; Question F.3 asks for information on program staffing and supervision).

  • Question 9:  As we're developing our scope of work for our new RFI and the budget needed to support it, I'm looking at ways to ensure that funds go as much towards service implementation as possible.  Our understanding is that one of the ways to demonstrate the complexity of the work and level of organizational commitment to a body of work is through inclusion of the staff time that will be spent supporting the work paid for in a proposal. As such, our past proposals have included funding for the 1-5% of FTE that staff who support PCL-funded work dedicate to doing so.  Does including these staff help illustrate organizational commitment to the body of work we are asking PCL to fund, or could this commitment and complexity of work be otherwise demonstrated if the funds paying those small amounts of staff time could be instead used for direct service? 

    PCL Response: It is up to applicants to decide how much funding to request, and which activities and staff you want PCL funds to support. Some applicants have multiple funding sources for a program and request PCL fund a portion of program costs; other applicants request that PCL fund all program activities and costs. Either way, applicants should demonstrate that there are sufficient staff and resources to carry out the program as proposed. The narrative budget justification in Section III should clearly explain how the costs were calculated and justify the amount you are requesting from PCL.

  • Question 10:  I understand from Section II of the RFI that applicants “must demonstrate that total PCL funding requests, in all program areas, would comprise no more than 30% of the applicant organization’s revenues for its last closed fiscal year.” Does this mean that organizations can request no more than this 30% figure PER YEAR, over the course of the 3-year grant? Or does this mean the total (the sum total of the request for all 3 years) must be no more than 30% of the applicant organization’s revenues for its last closed fiscal year?

    PCL Response: The average annual request (total request divided by 3) can be no more than 30% of the applicant organization’s revenues in the last closed fiscal year. This requirement promotes fiscal health and stability, and prevents organizations’ overreliance on PCL funding.