Final Application Instructions - 2022-2023 AmeriCorps State Formula

Date: 
01/12/2022
Document Text Version

FINAL APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
2022-2023 IOWA AMERICORPS STATE GRANTS
FINAL APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS
2022-2023 IOWA AMERICORPS STATE GRANTS
TABLE OF CONTENTS
IMPORTANT NOTICE .............................................................................................................................................. 2
APPLICATION RESOURCES ............................................................................................................................................ 3
NEW OR RECOMPETING APPLICANTS .......................................................................................................................... 4
CONTINUATION REQUESTS ......................................................................................................................................... 13 ATTACHMENT A: Performance Measures Instructions ...................................................................................... 18
ATTACHMENT B: Detailed Budget Instructions for Cost Reimbursement Grants .................................................... 22
ATTACHMENT C: Budget Template for Cost Reimbursement Grants ...................................................................... 29
ATTACHMENT D: Detailed Budget Instructions for Fixed Amount Grants ............................................................... 33
ATTACHMENT E: Budget Template for Fixed Amount Grants .................................................................................. 35
ATTACHMENT F: Budget Checklist ............................................................................................................................. 36
ATTACHMENT G: Alternative Match Instructions ..................................................................................................... 39
ATTACHMENT H: Rural-Urban Continuum (Beale) Codes and County-Level Economic Data for Alternative Match Requests 40
ATTACHMENT I: eGrants Indirect Cost Rate (IDCR) User Instructions ..................................................................... 42
(Note- Attachments are Worksheets only. All final application information must be uploaded to IowaGrants or entered in eGrants, as noted in the RFA).
Release Date: 1/10/2022 for FORMULA applications


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IMPORTANT NOTICE
These application instructions conform to the Corporation for National and Community Service’s online grant application system, eGrants and the Volunteer Iowa online system, IowaGrants. All funding announcements by the Corporation for National and Community Service (AMERICORPS) are posted on www.nationalservice.gov and www.grants.gov. AmeriCorps funding announcements by Volunteer Iowa are posted on www.iowagrants.gov and/or www.volunteeriowa.org.
Public Burden Statement: Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 80 hours per submission, including reviewing instructions, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing the form. Comments on the burden or content of this instrument may be sent to the Corporation for National and Community Service, Attn: Arminda Pappas, 250 E Street, SW, Suite 300, Washington, DC 20525. AMERICORPS informs people who may respond to this collection of information that they are not required to respond to the collection of information unless the OMB control number and expiration date displayed on page one are current and valid. (See 5 CFR 1320.5(b)(2)(i).)
Privacy Act Notice: The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C § 552a) requires that the following notice be provided to you: The information requested on the AmeriCorps Application Instructions is collected pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 12581 - 12585 of the National and Community Service Act of 1990 as amended, and 42 U.S.C. § 4953 of the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 as amended. Purposes and Uses - The information requested is collected for the purposes of reviewing grant applications and granting funding requests. Routine Uses - Routine uses may include disclosure of the information to federal, state, or local agencies pursuant to lawfully authorized requests. In some programs, the information may also be provided to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to determine the existence of any prior criminal convictions. The information may also be provided to appropriate federal agencies and Department contractors that have a need to know the information for the purpose of assisting the Department’s efforts to respond to a suspected or confirmed breach of the security or confidentiality or information maintained in this system of records, and the information disclosed is relevant and unnecessary for the assistance. Executive Summaries of all compliant applications received and applications of successful applicants will be published on the AmeriCorps website as part of ongoing efforts to increase transparency in grantmaking. This is described in more detail in the Notice of Federal Funding Opportunity. The information will not otherwise be disclosed to entities outside of AmeriCorps without prior written permission. Effects of Nondisclosure - The information requested is mandatory in order to receive benefits.
Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act: Grant recipients will be required to report at www.FSRS.gov on all subawards over $25,000 and may be required to report on executive compensation for recipients and subrecipients. Recipients must have the necessary systems in place to collect and report this information. See 2 C.F.R. Part 170 for more information and to determine how these requirements apply.
Indirect Cost Rates: AMERICORPS allows applicants to include indirect costs in application budgets. Based on qualifying factors, applicants have the option of using a federally approved indirect cost rate, a 10% de minimis rate of modified total direct costs, or may claim certain costs directly as outlined in 2 CFR § 200.413 Direct costs. Applicants who hold a federal negotiated indirect cost rate must use that rate in lieu of the AmeriCorps 5/10% allocation of administrative costs.
Applicants who hold a state or federal negotiated indirect cost rate or will be using the 10% de minimis rate must enter that information in the Organization section in eGrants (See Attachment J).
Those applicants who receive state funding from Volunteer Iowa that is awarded to be used as match to the federal AmeriCorps funds may have a portion of those state funds (up to 10%) retained by Volunteer Iowa for the commission’s administrative costs. So, while the full amount of these state funds should be reflected in the AmeriCorps budget the program should be aware of the amount that may be designated to the commission.
Universal Identifier: Applicants must include a Dun and Bradstreet Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number and/or a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) depending on which field(s) are required in eGrants at the time of submission. Applicants must obtain their UEI and register their entity through the System for Award Management (SAM.gov). All grant recipients are required to maintain a valid registration, which must be renewed annually.
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APPLICATION RESOURCES
Please use these application instructions if you are an applicant for Iowa AmeriCorps State funding. If you are a new or recompeting applicant your New or Recompeting Applicant instructions are listed first, and if you are submitting a request for continuation funding, please see the Continuation Instructions later in this document.
Use these instructions in conjunction with the Volunteer Iowa Request for Applications (RFA) and its appendices, the AmeriCorps Regulations, 45 CFR §§ 2520–2550, and the other AMERICORPS supporting materials. The RFA includes deadlines, eligibility requirements, submission requirements, maximum amount of funding per Member Service Year (MSY),1 and other information that is specific to the grant competition.
The 2022-2023 Iowa AmeriCorps State RFA and other application materials can be found on the Volunteer Iowa AmeriCorps State Grants page at AmeriCorps State Grants | Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (volunteeriowa.org).
The AmeriCorps regulations include pertinent information (see Table 1, below). The full regulations are available online at:
https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/browse/collectionCfr.action?collectionCode=CFR
Table 1: Requirements in the AmeriCorps Regulations
Topics
Citation in the AmeriCorps Regulations
Member Service Activities
§2520.20 - §2520.55
Prohibited Activities
§2520.65
Tutoring Programs
§2522.900-2522.950
Matching Funds
§2521.35-2521.90
Member Benefits
§2522.240-2522.250
Calculating Cost Per Member Service Year (MSY)
§2522.485
Performance Measures
§2522.500-2522.650
Evaluation
§2522.500-2522.540 and §2522.700-2522.740
Selection Criteria and Selection Process
§2522.400-2522.475
If there is any inconsistency between the AmeriCorps regulations, the RFA, and the Application Instructions, the order of precedence is as follows:
1. AmeriCorps regulations 45 CFR §§ 2520–2550 take precedence over the
2. Volunteer Iowa Request for Applications (based on the AMERICORPS Notice of Federal Funding Opportunity/Notice of Federal Funding Availability), which takes precedence over the
3. Volunteer Iowa Application Instructions (based on the AMERICORPS Application Instructions)
1 One MSY is equivalent to at least 1700 service hours, a full-time AmeriCorps position. The AMERICORPS/CNCS cost per MSY is determined by dividing the AMERICORPS/CNCS share of budgeted grant costs by the number of MSYs requested in the application. It does not include childcare or the cost of the education award.
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NEW OR RECOMPETING APPLICANTS
Submitting Your Final Application in eGrants and IowaGrants
eGrants Final Application
New applicants need to establish an eGrants account by accessing this link: https://egrants.cns.gov/espan/main/login.jsp and selecting “Don’t have an eGrants account? Create an account.” Note: Anyone within your organization who will be entering information in the application at any point during application preparation and submission in the eGrants system must have their own eGrants account.
In eGrants, before Starting Section I you will need to:
• Start a new Grant Application
• Select a Program Area (AmeriCorps)
• Select a NOFA (see the Volunteer Iowa website for a list of the relevant NOFAs for Iowa)
Your final application in eGrants consists of the following components. Make sure to complete each section.
I. Applicant Info
II. Application Info
III. Narratives
IV. Logic Model
V. Performance Measures
VI. Program Information
VII. Documents
VIII. Budget
IX. Funding/Demographics
X. Review
XI. Authorize, and Submit
I. Applicant Info
Information entered in the Applicant Info, Application Info, and Budget sections will populate the SF 424 Facesheet.
• If you are applying for the first time, have only received formula funding in the past, or are a former grantee (non-formula) whose last AmeriCorps grant was received more than five years ago, select New. (Note: previous competitive funding history for the same project, even if more than five years ago, may still affect some application requirements; see the Notice of Funding Opportunity for more details)
• If you are a current planning grantee applying for an implementation grant, select New.
• If you are recompeting (in the final year of a competitive funding cycle and applying for a new grant cycle), select Continuation/Renewal.
• If you are not a current grantee, but received a competitive AmeriCorps grant for the same project in the past five years, select Continuation/Renewal .
Enter or update the requested information in the fields that appear. The contact person needs to be the person who can answer questions about the application. The authorized representative needs to be the person who will submit and who meets the requirements listed in the RFA. You must include “AmeriCorps” (for operational grants) or “AmeriCorps Planning” (for planning grants) in the Project Title
II. Application Info
In the Application Info Section enter:
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• Areas affected by your proposed program. Please include the two-letter abbreviation with both letters capitalized for each state where you plan to operate. Separate each two-letter state abbreviation with a comma. For city or county information, please follow each one with the two-letter capitalized state abbreviation.
• Requested project period start and end dates. The length of the project period is specified in the RFA.
• The Application is Subject to Review by State Executive Order 12372 Process: This is pre-filled as “No, this is not applicable.”
• Indicate Yes or No if you are delinquent on any federal debt. If yes, provide an explanation.
• State Application Identifier: Enter N/A.
III. Narratives
The narrative section of the application is your opportunity to convince reviewers that your project meets the selection criteria as outlined in the RFA. Below are some general recommendations to help you present your project in a way the reviewers will find compelling and persuasive.
• Lead from your program strengths and be explicit. Do not make the mistake of trying to stretch your proposed program description to fit each funding priority and special consideration articulated in the regulations or the RFA.
• Be clear and succinct. Do not use jargon, boilerplate, rhetoric, or exaggeration. Describe clearly what you intend to do and how your project responds to the selection criteria.
• Avoid circular reasoning. The problem you describe should not be defined as the lack of the solution you are proposing.
• Explain how. Avoid simply stating that the criteria will be met. Explicitly describe how the proposed project will meet the criteria.
• Don’t make assumptions. Even if you have received funding from AMERICORPS in the past, do not assume your reviewers know anything about you, your proposed program, your partners, or your beneficiaries. Avoid overuse of acronyms.
• Use an impartial proofreader. Before you submit your application, let someone who is completely unfamiliar with your project read and critique the project narrative.
• Follow the instructions and discuss each criterion in the order presented in the instructions. Use headings to differentiate narrative sections by criterion.
In eGrants, you will enter text for
• Executive Summary.
• Rationale and Approach (Program Design).
• Organizational Capability.
• Cost Effectiveness and Budget Adequacy.
Note: The Narratives Section also includes fields for Evaluation Summary or Plan, Clarification Summary, Amendment Justification, and Continuation Changes. Please enter N/A in these fields. The latter three fields will be used at a later date to enter information for clarification following review, to request amendments once a grant is awarded, and to enter changes in the narrative in continuation requests.
Reviewers will assess your application against the selection criteria. To best respond to the criteria listed in the RFA and Application Instructions, we suggest that you include a brief discussion of each bullet if it pertains to your application.
A. Executive Summary
Please complete the executive summary per the guidance in the RFA.
B. Selection Criteria
Each application must clearly describe a project that will effectively deploy AmeriCorps members to solve a significant community problem. Specifics about the selection criteria are published in the RFA.
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1. Program Design (50 percent)
In assessing Rationale and Approach/ Program Design, reviewers will examine the degree to which the applicant demonstrates how AmeriCorps members and the proposed intervention are particularly well-suited to addressing the identified community problem.
2. Organizational Capability (25 percent)
Reviewers will assess the extent to which the applicant demonstrates organizational background and staffing and structures, including compliance and accountability, to support the proposed program.
3. Cost Effectiveness and Budget Adequacy (25 percent)
In assessing Cost Effectiveness and Budget Adequacy, reviewers will examine the degree to which the budget is cost effective and appropriate for the program being proposed. Enter N/A in the narrative as the assessment will be of the budget.
C. Evaluation Summary or Plan
Enter N/A. If you have previously received three or more years of competitive funding for the same project proposed in your application (see the Mandatory Supplemental Information for the AmeriCorps definition of “same project”), you must submit an evaluation plan as an attachment. Please use the evaluation plan template available on the Volunteer Iowa AmeriCorps State Grants webpage.
D. Amendment Justification
Enter N/A. This field will be used if you are awarded a grant and need to amend it.
E. Clarification Information
Enter N/A. This field will be used to enter information that requires clarification in the post-review period. Please clearly label new information added during clarification with the date.
F. Continuation Changes
Enter N/A. This field will be used to enter changes in your narratives in your continuation requests.
IV. Logic Model
Complete the logic model using the instructions provided in the RFA.
To begin entering your logic model, from your eGrants application page select “Logic Model” in the left side navigation menu.
In the first blank row of the logic model, click “edit.” Clicking this link will open a pop-up screen with fields for each column of the logic model. Complete any fields that are applicable; there are no required fields in this screen. When you are finished click “save and close.”
You may add an unlimited number of rows to the logic model by clicking “add a new row.” However, please be mindful of any page limits specified elsewhere in the Application Instructions or RFA.
You may edit or delete an existing row by clicking “edit” or “delete” in the last column of the logic model.
V. Performance Measures
All applicants must submit performance measures with their application. See Attachments for instructions for entering performance measures, and see the RFA and AMERICORPS National Performance Measures Instructions posted to the Iowa AmeriCorps State Grants page for details about the number and type of performance measures required.
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VI. Program Information
In the Program Information Section, applicants must check the relevant boxes in order to be considered for AMERICORPS’ assessment of the strategic considerations and Special Initiatives. Applicants should only check the boxes for those characteristics that represent a significant part of the program.
AmeriCorps Funding Priorities
Check any priority area(s) that apply to the proposed program. Only select Priorities that represent a significant part of the program focus and intended outcomes.
Grant Characteristics
Check any grant characteristics that are a significant part of the proposed program.
VII. Documents
In addition to the application submitted in eGrants, you are required to provide your evaluation, labor union concurrence (if necessary – see B., below), other required documents listed in the RFA (if applicable), and an explanation of federal debt delinquency (if applicable), as part of your application by submitting these items in IowaGrants. After you have uploaded the documents to IowaGrants via the guidance in the RFA, change the status in eGrants from the default “Not Sent” to the applicable status: “Sent (i.e. uploaded to IowaGrants),” “Not Applicable,” or “Already on File at AMERICORPS.”
A. Evaluation
Submit any completed evaluation report as described in F., below. Select Evaluation and select “Sent” once you have submitted a completed evaluation report. If an evaluation report is required, you must submit a copy at the time of application even if you think Volunteer Iowa and/or AMERICORPS may already have it on file. Note that competitive applicants have a later due date for evaluation plans and reports than for other documents.
B. Labor Union Concurrence
1) If a program applicant:
a) Proposes to serve as the placement site for AmeriCorps members; and
b) Has employees engaged in the same or substantially similar work as that proposed to be carried out by AmeriCorps members; and
c) Those employees are represented by a local labor organization,
-then the application must include the written concurrence of the local labor organization representing those employees. Written concurrence can be in the form of a letter or e-mail from the local union leadership.
2) If a program applicant:
a) Proposes to place AmeriCorps members at sites where they will be engaged in the same or substantially similar work as employees represented by a local labor organization, then the applicant must submit a written description of how it will ensure that:
i) AmeriCorps members will not be placed in positions that were recently occupied by paid staff.
ii) No AmeriCorps member will be placed into a position for which a recently resigned or discharged employee has recall rights as a result of a collective bargaining agreement, from which a recently resigned or discharged employee was removed as a result of a reduction in force, or from which a recently resigned/discharged employee is on leave or strike.
For the purposes of this section, “program applicant” includes any applicant to AMERICORPS or a State Commission, as well as any entity applying for assistance or approved national service positions through a AMERICORPS grantee or subgrantee.
C. Federally-Approved Indirect Cost Agreement
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Applicants that include a federally approved indirect cost rate amount in their budget must submit the current approved indirect cost rate agreement documentation into IowaGrants and enter the current approved indirect cost rate into eGrants at the same time they submit their application. See Attachment J, eGrants Indirect Cost Rate User Instructions
D. Other Documents
Provide other required documents listed in the RFA (if applicable) via IowaGrants, as part of your final application.
E. Delinquent on Federal Debt
Any applicant that checks Yes to the question on federal debt delinquency must submit a complete explanation at the same time they submit their application. This may be uploaded as an “other” document in IowaGrants.
F. Submission Instructions for Evaluations, Labor Union Concurrence, Indirect Cost Rate Agreements, Other Required Documents, and Explanation of Federal Debt Delinquency, as applicable.
Please submit the required documents in IowaGrants as instructed in the RFA using the naming convention and other instructions found there. These materials must be submitted by the deadline in the RFA.
VIII. Budget Instructions
For Fixed-Amount grants, including EAPs: Use the Budget Instructions for Fixed-Amount Applicants and the Budget Worksheet for Fixed-Amount Grants to prepare your budget (see Attachments).
A. Match Requirements
Program requirements, including requirements on match, are located in the AmeriCorps regulations and summarized below.
Table 2: Match Requirements in the AmeriCorps Regulations
Grant Type
Match Requirement
Cost Reimbursement including States and Territories without Commissions, Indian Tribes and Planning Grants
Minimum grantee share is 24% of program costs for the first three years. Overall grantee share of total program costs increases gradually beginning in Year 4 to 50% by the tenth year of funding and any year thereafter.
EAP Fixed-Amount Grants
There are no specific match requirements for fixed-amount grants. Grantees pay all program costs over the cost in the RFA provided by AMERICORPS.
Professional Corps Fixed-Amount Grants
There are no specific match requirements for fixed-amount grants. Grantees pay all program costs over the cost in the RFA provided by AMERICORPS.
Stipended Fixed-Amount Grants
There are no specific match requirements for full-cost fixed-amount grants. Grantees pay all program costs over the maximum cost in the RFA provided by AMERICORPS.
• Grantees are required to meet an overall matching rate that increases over time. You have the flexibility to meet the overall match requirements in any of the three budget areas, as long as the minimum match of 24% for the first three years, and the increasing minimums in years thereafter, are maintained. See 45 CFR §§ 2521.35–2521.90 for the specific regulations.
• If you are applying for the first time, you must match with cash or in-kind contributions at least 24% of the project’s total Operating Costs (Section I) plus Member Costs (Section II) plus Administrative Costs (Section III). If you are recompeting, please see 45 CFR §§ 2521.40-2521.95 for the match schedule.
• The acceptable sources of matching funds are federal, state, local, and/or private sector funds in accordance with applicable AmeriCorps requirements.
• In the “Source of Funds” field that appears at the end of Budget Section III, enter a brief description of the match. Identify each match source separately. Identify if the match is secured or proposed. Include dollar
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amount, the match classification (cash or in-kind), and the source type (Private, State/Local, or Federal) for your entire match. (The total amount in the Source of Funds field should match the total amount in the budget narrative exactly.) Define all acronyms the first time they are used. See Attachment G for instructions for applying for the Alternative Match Schedule.
Note: AMERICORPS legislation permits the use of non-AMERICORPS federal funds as match for the grantee share of the budget. Please discuss your intention of using federal funds to match an AmeriCorps grant with the other agency prior to submitting your application. Section 121(e)(5) of the National Community Service Act requires that grantees that use other federal funds as match for an AmeriCorps grant report the amount and source of these funds to AMERICORPS. If you use other federal funds as match, you must ensure you can meet the requirements and purpose of both grants. Grantees that use federal funds as match will be required to report the sources and amounts on the Federal Financial Report (FFR).
B. Preparing Your Budget
Your proposed budget should be sufficient to allow you to perform the tasks described in your narrative. Reviewers will consider the information you provide in this section in their assessment of the Cost-Effectiveness and Budget Adequacy selection criterion.
Follow the appropriate, detailed budget instructions in the Attachments to prepare your budget. We recommend that you prepare your budget in the same order as indicated in the Budget Worksheets in the Attachments. An Excel Budget Narrative Worksheet is provided by Volunteer Iowa (Appendix 3) for the purposes of drafting your budget outside of the eGrants system. We recommend you work on your budget in this tool and enter into eGrants when finalized.
As you enter your detailed budget information, eGrants will automatically populate a budget summary and budget narrative report. Prior to submission be sure to review the budget checklist (Attachment F) to ensure your budget is compliant. In addition, eGrants will perform a limited compliance check to validate the budget. If eGrants finds any compliance issues you will receive a warning and/or error messages. You must resolve all errors before you can submit your budget. Note that the system also applies some warnings that relate only to competitive submission thresholds (such as the competitive cost/MSY limit) but not to formula grantees.
As you prepare your budget:
• All the amounts you request must be defined for a particular purpose. Do not include miscellaneous, contingency, or other undefined budget amounts.
• Itemize each cost and present the basis for all calculations in the form of an equation.
• Do not include unallowable expenses, e.g., entertainment costs (which include food and beverage costs) unless they are justified as an essential component of an activity.
• Do not include fractional amounts (cents).
Volunteer Iowa Guidance: Applicants for AmeriCorps State Cost Reimbursement grants must prepare detailed budgets and meet program matching requirements. AmeriCorps Full-Time Fixed Amount and Education Award Only program applicants submit only simplified budgets, so the detailed budget instructions in Attachment B do not apply to them. However, though these fixed amount applicants need not include grantee match in their submitted application, they will also incur many or all of these costs and must indicate in the Source of Funds and Other Revenue Funds section all non-AMERICORPS/CNCS funding they intend to secure to support the full costs of the program. Applicants should pay special attention to the amount of federal funding they request per full time AmeriCorps member, known as the cost per MSY. Applicants should note that, if awarded three-year competitive national funding, they may be expected to maintain their cost per MSY over the course of the grant, even if other program costs go up.
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• Please add the cost of the NSOPW, state check, and/or FBI check for criminal history checks for each covered position in the budget. If funds are not budgeted, an explanation for how the costs will be covered must be noted in the budget.
Programs must comply with all applicable federal laws, regulations, and the requirements of the Uniform Guidance. Please refer to the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (2 CFR Part 200) for allowable, allocable, and reasonable cost information, as well as audit requirements, including the need to provide audits to the Clearinghouse if expending over $750,000 in federal funds as required in the OmniCircular. The OMB Uniform Guidance can be found on-line at https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-idx?tpl=/ecfrbrowse/Title02/2cfr200_main_02.tpl.
IX. Funding/Demographics
In the Funding/Demographics Section enter the information requested which could include:
• Other Revenue funds. Enter the amount of funds that your organization uses to run the program that are not identified on the application budget as AMERICORPS/CNCS share or grantee share (match). Note: Programs should not enter the total operating budget for their organization unless the entire operating budget supports the AmeriCorps program. Programs that have additional revenue sources not included in the matching funds section of the budget should provide the amount of this additional revenue that supports the program. This amount should not include the AMERICORPS/CNCS or grantee share amounts in the budget. Fixed amount grantees should enter all non-AMERICORPS/CNCS funds that support the program in this field. All fixed grants will have other revenue.
• Number of Volunteers Generated by AmeriCorps members. Please enter the number of volunteers participating in one day service projects or ongoing volunteer commitments that the proposed AmeriCorps members will generate.
X. Operating Sites (for multi-state applicants only)
This section is not applicable to single-state applicants and therefore should not appear for Iowa AmeriCorps State applicants.
XI. Review, Authorize, and Submit
Applicants must submit common federal government-wide Representations and Certifications through SAM.gov. Entities creating new registrations in SAM.gov and existing entities completing their annual registration renewals in SAM.gov are required to review financial assistance representations and certifications before their registration can be activated. As entities renew and re-register their accounts, the data collected make SAM.gov the federal repository for the government-wide information.
eGrants requires that you review and verify your entire application before submitting, by completing the following sections in eGrants:
• Review
• Authorize
• Assurances
• Certifications
Volunteer Iowa Guidance: According to current AMERICORPS guidance, programs will be asked to report on Other Revenue Funds for which they have supporting documentation as part of their program progress reports. This is currently only required for Fixed-Amount grantees.
Volunteer Iowa Guidance: According to current AMERICORPS guidance, programs will be asked, as part of their program progress reports, to report on the Number of Volunteers Generated for which they have supporting documentation. All programs are required to generate community volunteers unless they have an approved Volunteer Generation waiver.
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• Verify
• Submit
Read the Authorization, Assurances, and Certifications carefully (https://espan.cns.gov/cnsmisc/ECERTS.HTM, and https://espan.cns.gov/cnsmisc/EASSUR.HTM). The person who authorizes the application must be the applicant’s Authorized Representative or his/her designee and must have an active eGrants account to sign these documents electronically. An Authorized Representative is the person in your organization authorized to accept and commit funds on behalf of the organization. A copy of the governing body’s authorization for this official representative to sign must be on file in the applicant’s office.
Be sure to check your entire application to ensure that there are no errors before submitting it. When you verify the application eGrants will also generate a list of errors and potential errors if there are sections that need to be corrected or reviewed prior to submission. If someone else is acting in the role of the applicant’s Authorized Representative, that person must log into his/her own eGrants account and proceed with Authorize and Submit. After signing off on the Authorization, Assurances, and Certifications, his/her name will override any previous signatory that may appear and show on the application as the Authorized Representative.
Note: Anyone within your organization who will be entering information in the application at any point during application preparation and submission in the eGrants system must have their own eGrants account. Individuals may establish an eGrants account by accessing this link: https://egrants.cns.gov/espan/main/login.jsp and selecting “Don’t have an eGrants account? Create an account.”
IowaGrants Final Application
All applicants must create an IowaGrants account if they do not already have one, selecting the “AmeriCorps” program area. State of Iowa employees or individuals who may have registered for an IowaGrants or Iowa AnA account for other purposes should contact Volunteer Iowa for technical assistance with registration. More information about registering with IowaGrants is available at https://www.iowagrants.gov.
Starting a Final -Application in IowaGrants.
On the IowaGrants home page select Grant Opportunities, or after logging in select Funding Opportunities from your main menu. Click on the AmeriCorps State 2022-2023 funding opportunity.
Click on the button at the top that allows you to Start a New Application (you may need to first login to your account). Do not select to copy an existing application or you will not have the correct components available to you. You will first be directed to the General Information component.
When each IowaGrants component has been completed, you will need to click on the “Mark as Complete” option for that component before the system will allow you to submit the application.
Your final application in IowaGrants consists of the following components. Make sure to complete each section.
I. General Information
II. Minority Impact Statement
III. Final Application Supporting Documentation Attachments
IV. Application Signature (appears after you click “Submit”)
I. General Information
Include “AmeriCorps” (for operational grants) or “AmeriCorps Planning” (for planning grants) in the Project Title. The project title should match the program name in eGrants. If you are connected to more than one organization (as is the case for existing AmeriCorps grantees who also had an IowaGrants timekeeping account), be sure to choose the correct applicant organization. The IowaGrants user who creates the final application will become the
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primary grantee contact (the “registered applicant”) in the system. The registered applicant can add additional contacts from the same organization to allow them access to the final application.
II. Minority Impact Statement
This is a required form for all State of Iowa grants; please complete as directed.
III. Final Application Supporting Documentation Attachments
The following additional documents are part of the final application in IowaGrants. See the RFA for details on supporting documentation to be included with the final application, as many of the attachments are relevant for only certain applicants. On the attachment page, click the name of the required attachment. You can then choose the file to upload. A description is required by the system in order to accept the file. In order to ensure that state reviewers see the final version of your application materials from eGrants, you should first submit your eGrants application and then download copies of the submitted eGrants materials to upload to IowaGrants.
• Copy of submitted eGrants Application
1. Application for Federal Assistance (from eGrants)- REQUIRED
2. Budget Attachment (from eGrants)- REQUIRED
3. Budget Narrative (from eGrants)- REQUIRED
• Additional Documents
1. Diversity Questionnaire – REQUIRED
2. Operational and Financial Management Survey (OFMS) and Supporting Documents – REQUIRED for new & recompeting COMPETITIVE applicants
3. List of Proposed Project sites or Policy for Selecting Sites- REQUIRED
4. Contact Information for Applicant Representative before the Grant Review Committee – REQUIRED for new & recompeting
5. Evaluation Briefs, Reports, or Studies in support of preliminary, moderate, or strong evidence tier claimed - if applicable
6. Volunteer Iowa State Priority Certification Application(s) - if applicable
7. Volunteer Iowa Approved Waiver Form(s) - if applicable
8. DUNS renewal date documentation - for applicants whose page is private
9. Federally Approved Indirect Cost Rate Agreement supporting documentation- if applicable
10. Evaluation Plan from Recompeting Applicants- if applicable
11. Evaluation Report from Recompeting Applicants- if applicable
12. Rural Intermediary Letters of Support – if applicable
13. Tribal Organization Eligibility Documentation - if applicable
14. Labor Union Concurrence - if applicable
15. Organizational Chart (submitted at pre-application phase so only required at final application if updates were made)- REQUIRED, if updated, for new applicants
16. Copy of Most Recent Agency Audit or Financial Review – REQUIRED for new applicants
17. Other Supporting Documents - if applicable, including Federal Debt Delinquency Explanation
IV. Application Signature
Before submitting, the authorized user will need to sign (within the system) and verify understanding of the Funding Opportunity terms.
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CONTINUATION REQUESTS
The following instructions for submitting a continuation request apply only to programs that are currently in their first or second year of program operation within a grant cycle and have been instructed by Volunteer Iowa that they are eligible for continuation funding. If your program is currently in the final year of a project period/grant cycle you must apply using the application instructions for new and recompeting programs. In addition, if you are a cost-reimbursement continuation you would need to submit a new application to switch to a fixed-amount grant; you cannot continue your existing project period and switch from cost-reimbursement to fixed-amount. AMERICORPS and Volunteer Iowa reserve the right to consider your continuation request if your fixed-amount application is not funded.
These instructions should be read in conjunction with the Request for Applications posted to the Volunteer Iowa AmeriCorps State Grants webpage.
Submitting Final Application Requests in eGrants and IowaGrants
When to Submit Your Continuation Request:
See the RFA and/or reference the Volunteer Iowa website for the appropriate application deadlines.
eGrants Continuation Request
How to Submit Your Continuation Request:
• Click Continuation/Renewal on your eGrants home page. You will be shown a list of grants that are eligible to be continued. Select the grant you wish to continue. Make sure you select the correct one. Do not start a new application. The system will copy your most recently awarded application.
• Edit your continuation application as directed in the continuation request instructions below. When you have completed your work, click the SUBMIT button.
Be sure you also review the RFA when preparing your request. If you have questions about the content of your continuation request, please contact your Program Officer or the Volunteer Iowa Program Development Officer.
What to Include in Your eGrants Continuation Request:
I. Applicant Info and Application Info
Update the Applicant Info and Application Info Sections in eGrants if necessary. Note in the Continuation Changes field that you have updated the Applicant Info or Application Info Section(s).
II. Narrative (Narratives Section)
Your original application will appear in the Executive Summary and in the narrative sections Rationale and Approach/Program Design, Organizational Capability, Cost-Effectiveness and Budget Adequacy, Evaluation Summary or Plan, Amendment Justification, Clarification Information, and Continuation Changes, as appropriate. Do not modify these original narrative fields.
CNCS expects that programs will maintain a consistent program design for the duration of the three-year project period; however, we recognize that, on occasion, some programmatic changes are necessary. As a result, continuation applicants may request the changes listed below during the continuation process.
Information should be provided in the Continuation Changes narrative field as relevant.
• Changes in Operating Sites
• Significant Changes in Program Scope or Design
• Changes to Performance Measures
• Significant Changes to Monitoring Structures or Staffing
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• Budget revisions (detail provided in section VI), including any requests for ARP match replacement funding.
The page limit for the Continuation Changes field is six pages, as the pages print out from eGrants.
Any continuation applicant not requesting changes that fit within the above categories should enter “N/A” in Continuation Changes. AMERICORPS expects that most continuation applications will not be requesting changes.
III. Logic Model
Continuation applicants do not need to enter content into these fields. The logic model may not copy over from the initial application but you do not need to re-enter it.
IV. Performance Measures (Performance Measures Section)
Your performance measures are copied from your previous year’s application into your continuation request. If you made changes to your program, such as adding or changing grant-funded activities, or requesting additional slots or MSYs, you may need to revise your performance measures. Continuation applicants whose measures do not align with the current-year Performance Measure Instructions must also revise their measures to conform with the current instructions. To revise performance measures, “View/Edit” the performance measures that copy over from your original application (see Attachments for guidance on entering performance measures in eGrants). Note in the Continuation Changes field that you have updated your performance measures. If you are proposing to significantly increase or decrease output or outcome targets for existing performance measures, provide a justification for this change.
V. Program Information
In the Program Information Section, review and make selections as appropriate. Applicants should only select priorities and characteristics that represent a significant part of the program.
AmeriCorps Funding Priorities
Check any priority area(s) that apply to the proposed program. Only select Priorities that represent a significant part of the program focus and outcomes.
Grant Characteristics
Check any grant characteristics that are a significant part of the proposed program.
VI. Budget (Budget Section)
Your budget from the previous year’s application is copied into your continuation request so you can make the necessary adjustments. Revise your detailed budget for the upcoming year. Incorporate any required AMERICORPS increases, such as an increase to the member living allowance, into your budget. Continuation applicants may apply for expansions – dollars, MSY, and/or members.
Source of Funds (Match)
In the “Source of Funds” field that appears at the end of Budget Section III, enter a brief description of the match. Identify each match source separately. Identify if the match is secured or proposed. Include dollar amount, the match classification (cash or in-kind), and the source type (Private, State/Local, or Federal) for your entire match. (The total amount in the Source of Funds field should match the total amount in the budget narrative exactly.) Define all acronyms the first time they are used.
Volunteer Iowa guidance- continuation expansions have been very limited in recent years but Volunteer Iowa may consider un-funded competitive expansions as part of the formula competition (applicants will need to be prepared to submit a full formula application and, if selected for funding, must manage this award as a separate grant).
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VII. Increasing Grantee Overall Share of Total Budgeted Costs
Grantees are required to meet an overall matching rate that increases over time. You have the flexibility to meet the overall match requirements in any of the three budget areas, as long as the minimum match of 24% for the first three years, and the increasing minimums in years thereafter, are maintained. See 45 CFR §§ 2521.35–2521.90 for the specific regulations.
See Attachment G for instructions for applying for the Alternative Match Schedule (these waiver requests were due with the pre-application).
In the Funding/Demographics Section enter:
• Other Revenue funds. Enter the amount of funds that your program uses to run the program that are not AMERICORPS/CNCS share or match.
• Number of Volunteers Generated by AmeriCorps members. Please enter the number of volunteers participating in one day service projects or ongoing volunteer commitments that the proposed AmeriCorps members will generate.
VIII. Operating Sites (for multi-state applicants only)
This section is not applicable to single-state applicants and therefore should not appear for Iowa AmeriCorps State applicants.
IX. Review, Authorize, and Submit
Applicants must submit common federal government-wide Representations and Certifications through SAM.gov. Entities creating new registrations in SAM.gov and existing entities completing their annual registration renewals in SAM.gov are required to review financial assistance representations and certifications before their registration can be activated. As entities renew and re-register their accounts, the data collected make SAM.gov the federal repository for the government-wide information.
eGrants requires that you review and verify your entire application before submitting, by completing the following sections in eGrants:
• Review
• Authorize
• Assurances
• Certifications
• Verify
• Submit
Read the Authorization, Assurances, and Certifications carefully (https://espan.cns.gov/cnsmisc/ECERTS.HTM, and https://espan.cns.gov/cnsmisc/EASSUR.HTM). The person who authorizes the application must be the applicant’s Authorized Representative or his/her designee and must have an active eGrants account to sign these documents electronically. An Authorized Representative is the person in your organization authorized to accept and commit
Volunteer Iowa Guidance: According to current AMERICORPS guidance, programs will be asked to report on Other Revenue Funds for which they have supporting documentation as part of their program progress reports. This is currently only required for Fixed-Amount grantees.
Volunteer Iowa Guidance: According to current AMERICORPS guidance, programs will be asked, as part of their program progress reports, to report on the Number of Volunteers Generated for which they have supporting documentation. All programs are required to generate community volunteers unless they have an approved Volunteer Generation waiver.
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funds on behalf of the organization. A copy of the governing body’s authorization for this official representative to sign must be on file in the applicant’s office.
Be sure to check your entire application prior to submission to ensure that there are no errors. when you verify the application eGrants will also generate a list of errors if there are sections that need to be corrected prior to submission. If someone else is acting in the role of the applicant’s Authorized Representative, that person must log into his/her eGrants account and proceed with Authorize and Submit. After signing off on the Authorization, Assurances, and Certifications, his/her name will override any previous signatory that may appear and show on the application as the Authorized Representative.
Note: Anyone within your organization who will be entering information in the application at any point during application preparation and submission in the eGrants system must have their own eGrants account. Individuals may establish an eGrants account by accessing this link: https://egrants.cns.gov/espan/main/login.jsp and selecting “Don’t have an eGrants account? Create an account.”
IowaGrants Continuation Request
All applicants must create an IowaGrants account if they do not already have one, selecting the “AmeriCorps” program area. State of Iowa employees or individuals who may have registered for an IowaGrants or Iowa AnA account for other purposes should contact Volunteer Iowa for technical assistance with registration. More information about registering with IowaGrants is available at https://www.iowagrants.gov.
Starting a Final Application in IowaGrants.
On the IowaGrants home page select Grant Opportunities, or after logging in select Funding Opportunities from your main menu. Click on the AmeriCorps State 2022-2023 funding opportunity.
Click on the button at the top that allows you to Start a New Application (you may need to first login to your account). Do not select to copy an existing application or you will not have the correct components available to you. You will first be directed to the General Information component. When each IowaGrants component has been completed, you will need to click on the “Mark as Complete” option for that component before the system will allow you to submit the application.
Your final application in IowaGrants consists of the following components. Make sure to complete each section.
I. General Information
II. Minority Impact Statement
III. Final Application Supporting Documentation Attachments
IV. Application Signature (appears after you click “Submit”)
I. General Information
The project title should match the program name in eGrants, and include “AmeriCorps”. If you are connected to more than one organization (as is the case for existing AmeriCorps grantees who also have an IowaGrants timekeeping account), be sure to choose the correct applicant organization. The IowaGrants user who creates the final application will become the primary grantee contact (the “registered applicant”) in the system. The registered applicant can add additional contacts from the same organization to allow them access to the final application.
II. Minority Impact Statement
This is a required form for all State of Iowa grants; please complete as directed.
III. Final Application Supporting Documentation Attachments
The following additional documents are part of the final application in IowaGrants. See the RFA for details on supporting documentation to be included with the final application, as many of the attachments are relevant for
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only certain applicants On the attachment page, click the name of the required attachment. You can then choose the file to upload. A description is required by the system in order to accept the file. In order to ensure that state reviewers see the final version of your application materials from eGrants, you should first submit your eGrants application and then download copies of the eGrants supporting documentation to upload to IowaGrants.
• Copy of submitted eGrants Application
4. Application for Federal Assistance (from eGrants)- REQUIRED
5. Budget Attachment (from eGrants)- REQUIRED
6. Budget Narrative (from eGrants)- REQUIRED
• Additional Documents
Documents #2-16 (see list in RFA) are not required for continuation applicants
1. Diversity Questionnaire- REQUIRED
17. Other Supporting Documents - if applicable, including Federal Debt Delinquency Explanation
IV. Application Signature
Before submitting, the authorized user will need to sign (within the system) and verify understanding of the Funding Opportunity terms.
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ATTACHMENT A: Performance Measures Instructions
(eGrants Performance Measures Section)
eGrants Performance Measures Module Instructions
About the Performance Measures Module
In the performance measures module, you will:
• Provide information about your program’s connection to AMERICORPS focus areas and objectives.
• Show MSY and member allocations.
• Create at least one aligned performance measure associated with your primary service activity as specified in the Performance Measure Instructions
• Set targets and describe data collection instruments and strategies for your performance measures.
You should refer to the AMERICORPS Performance Measure Instructions for additional detail about Performance Measures.
Home Page
To start the module, click the “Begin” button on the Home Page.
As you proceed through the module, the Home Page will summarize your work and provide links to edit the parts of the module you have completed. You may also navigate sections of the module using the tab feature at the top of each page.
Once you have started the module, clicking “Continue Working” will return you to the tab you were on when you last closed the module.
To edit the interventions, objectives, MSYs, and member allocations for your application, click the “Edit Objectives/MSYs/Members” button.
After you have created at least one aligned performance measure, the Home Page will display a chart summarizing your measures. To edit a performance measure, click the “Edit” button. To delete a measure, click “Delete.” To create a new performance measure, click the “Add New Performance Measure” button.
Objectives Tab
On the objectives tab, applicants will account for the full range of their program activity. Applicants are not expected to create performance measures for every focus area, objective, or intervention they select on this tab.
An expandable list of AMERICORPS focus areas appears on this tab. When you click on a focus area, a list of objectives from the AMERICORPS strategic plan appears. A list of common interventions appears under each objective.
First click on a focus area. Then click on an objective. Only the performance measures that correspond to the objectives you select on this tab will be available for selection as you continue through this module. To see which performance measures correspond to which objective, refer to the AMERICORPS Performance Measures Instructions.
Next, select all interventions that are part of your program design. Interventions are the activities that members and volunteers will carry out to address the problem(s) identified in the application. Select “other” if one of your program’s interventions does not appear on the list. Repeat these actions for each of your program’s focus areas. Select “other” for your focus area and/or objective if your program activities do not fall within one of the AMERICORPS focus areas or objectives.
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Choose your program’s primary focus area from the drop-down list. Only the focus areas that correspond to the objectives you selected above appear in the list. Next, select the primary intervention within your primary focus area. You will be required to create an aligned performance measure (output paired with outcome) that contains your primary intervention. Note that your primary intervention, and the performance measure associated with your primary intervention, must be focused on the community impact of the program, not on AmeriCorps member development.
You may select a secondary focus area and a secondary intervention. The primary and secondary focus area may be the same if you have more than one intervention within the focus area.
MSYs/Members Tab
On this tab, you will enter information about the allocation of MSYs and members across the focus areas and objectives you have selected. You must allocate 100% of your program’s MSYs to focus areas and objectives. When you create your performance measures, you will be asked to allocate MSYs to each performance measure; however, you will not be required to assign 100% of your total MSYs to performance measures.
Begin by entering the total MSYs for your program. This must match the total MSYs in your budget. Please double-check your budget to make sure that the total MSY values match.
Next, enter the number of MSYs your program will allocate to each objective. Only the objectives that were selected on the previous tab appear in the MSY chart. If some of your program’s objectives are not represented in the chart, return to the previous tab and select additional objectives. The MSY chart must show how all your program’s resources are allocated. If the only activity in an objective that you have selected is focused on AmeriCorps member development rather than beneficiary impact, enter 0 MSYs for that objective.
As you enter MSYs into the MSY column of the chart, the corresponding percentage of MSYs will calculate automatically. When you have finished entering your MSYs, the total percentage of MSYs in the chart must be 100%. The total number of MSYs in the chart must equal the number of MSYs in your budget.
In the members column, enter the number of members who will be assigned to each objective. Some members may perform services across more than one objective. If this is the case, allocate these members to all applicable objectives. For example, if one member performs service in on both school readiness and K-12 success, allocate one member to each of these objectives. It is acceptable for the total number of members in this table to exceed total slots requested in the application due to counting members’ service across multiple objectives. If the only activity in an objective that you have selected is focused on AmeriCorps member development rather than beneficiary impact, enter 0 members for that objective.
To ensure that information is entered accurately, please refer to additional guidance in Appendix A of the National Performance Measure Instructions on calculating and entering MSY and member allocations.
Performance Measure Tab
This tab allows you to create sets of aligned performance measures for all the grant activities you intend to measure.
Begin by creating the aligned performance measure for your primary intervention. After creating your required performance measure, you will be able to create additional performance measures if desired (but note that Volunteer Iowa may limit applicants to a single aligned measure).
To create a performance measure, begin by selecting an objective. The list of objectives includes those you selected on the objectives tab. Note that programs may not create performance measures for the Find Opportunity, Teacher Corps, Green Jobs, or Access & Attract objectives, since these are member-focused
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objectives. Member-focused outputs and outcomes related to these objectives may be reported as Performance Data Elements on grantee progress reports.
Provide a short, descriptive title for your performance measure.
Briefly describe the problem your program will address in this performance measure.
Select the intervention(s) to be delivered by members and/or member-supported volunteers. The list of interventions includes the ones you selected previously for this objective. Select only the interventions that will lead to the outputs (plus outcomes, if applicable) of the performance measure and that are applicable to all beneficiaries counted under the measure. If you selected “other” as an intervention and wish to include an applicant-determined intervention in your aligned performance measure, click “add user intervention” and enter a one or two word description of the intervention. Do not add a user-defined intervention that duplicates an intervention already available in the system.
Select output(s) for your performance measure. The output list includes only the National Performance Measure outputs that correspond to the objectives you have selected. If you do not wish to select National Performance Measures, and if the objective you have selected permits applicant-determined outputs, you may create an applicant-determined output by clicking in the checkbox next to the empty output text box and entering the text of your output indicator. You may create additional applicant-determined outputs for the performance measure by clicking “Add User Output.” (Note: you are not permitted to create an applicant-determined output that duplicates a National Performance Measure output. If you do not see the National Performance Measure output that you wish to use, check the Selection Rules in the National Performance Measure Instructions to make sure you selected the correct objective associated with that National Performance Measure output.)
Select outcome(s). If you have selected a National Performance Measures output that has corresponding National Performance Measures outcome(s), these outcomes will be available to select. If you do not wish to select a National Performance Measure outcome, you may create an applicant-determined outcome by clicking in the checkbox next to the empty outcome text box and entering the text of your outcome indicator. If you do not wish to select any outcome for your National Performance Measure output, click in the checkbox next to the empty outcome text box and enter “NA” in the outcome indicator text box.
If you have not selected a National Performance Measures output, or if there is no corresponding National Performance Measures outcome, create an applicant-determined outcome by clicking “Add User Outcome.” All applicant-determined outputs must be paired with an applicant-determined outcome.
Enter the number of MSYs and members your program will allocate to achieving the outcomes and/or outputs you have selected in this performance measure. Since programs are not required to measure all grant activities, the number you enter does not have to correspond to the MSY chart you created on the MSY/Members tab; however, the total number of MSYs across all performance measures within a single objective cannot exceed the total number of MSYs previously allocated to that objective. Members may be double-counted across performance measures, but MSYs may not.
Click “next” to proceed to the data collection tab. Later you can return to this tab to create additional performance measures.
Data Collection Tab
On this tab, you will provide additional information about your interventions, instruments, and plan for data collection.
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Describe the design and dosage (frequency, intensity, duration) of the interventions you have selected. Frequency refers to how often an intervention occurs (for example, number of sessions per week); intensity refers to the length of time devoted to the intervention (for example, number of minutes per session); and duration refers to the period of time over which the intervention occurs (for example, how many total weeks of sessions).
Expand each output and outcome and enter data collection information.
Select the data collection method you will use to measure the output or outcome. To select more than one method, click the “Add new method” button. To de-select a method, click the first (blank) line in the method drop-down.
Describe the specific instrument(s) you will use to measure the output or outcome. Include the title of the instrument(s), a brief description of what it measures and how it will be administered, and details about its reliability and validity if applicable. For outcomes, specify how much improvement in knowledge, attitude, behavior or condition is required to be counted as having improved and clearly explain how the instrument measures this.
Enter the target number for your output or outcome. Targets must be numbers, not percentages.
For applicant-determined outputs and outcomes, enter the unit of measure for your target. The unit of measure should describe the beneficiary population you intend to count (children, miles, etc.). Do not enter percentages or member service hours as units of measure. In most cases, the unit of measure should be the same for the outputs and outcomes in an aligned performance measure.
For output-only performance measures, eGrants will require text in the outcome data collection fields. If you do not wish to have an outcome for your National Performance Measure output, enter the following:
• Method: Select “other.”
• Instrument Description: Enter “NA”
• Target: Enter “1”
• Unit of Measure: Enter “NA”
After entering data collection information for all outputs and outcomes, click “Mark Complete.” You will return to the Performance Measure tab. If you wish to create another performance measure, repeat the process. If you would like to continue to the next step of the module, click “Next.”
Summary Tab
The summary tab shows all of the information you have entered in the module.
To print a summary of all performance measures, click “Print PDF for all Performance Measures.” To print one performance measure, expand the measure and click “Print This Measure.”
Click “Edit Performance Measure” to return to the Performance Measure tab. Click “Edit Data Collection” to return to the Data Collection tab.
“Click Validate Performance Measures” to validate this module prior to submitting your application. You should also use the Performance Measures Checklist in Appendix B of the National Performance Measure Instructions to self-assess your measure(s) prior to submission.
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ATTACHMENT B: Detailed Budget Instructions for Cost Reimbursement Grants
(eGrants Budget Section)
Refer to Volunteer Iowa Budget Tips on Budget Categorization and Budget Development as additional resources. While only cost reimbursement grantees must submit a detailed budget, many of the requirements listed here still apply to Fixed Amount Grants. Applicants for Fixed Amount Grants refer to Attachment D for detailed budget instructions, including notes on budget requirements that also apply to their programs.
Section I. Program Operating Costs
Complete Section I, Program Operating Costs, of the Budget Worksheet by entering the “Total Amount,” “AMERICORPS/CNCS Share,” and “Grantee Share” for Parts A-I, for Year 1 of the grant, as follows:
A. Personnel Expenses
Under “Position/Title Description,” list each staff position separately and provide salary and percentage of effort as percentage of FTE devoted to this award. Each staff person’s role listed in the budget must be described in the application narrative and each staff person mentioned in the narrative must be listed in the budget as either AMERICORPS/CNCS or Grantee share. Because the purpose of this grant is to enable and stimulate volunteer community service, do not include the value of direct community service performed by volunteers. However, you may include the value of volunteer services contributed to the organization for organizational functions such as accounting, audit work, or training of staff and AmeriCorps members.
B. Personnel Fringe Benefits
Under “Purpose/Description,” identify the types of fringe benefits to be covered and the costs of benefit(s) for each staff position. Allowable fringe benefits typically include FICA, Worker’s Compensation, Retirement, SUTA, Health and Life Insurance, IRA, and 401K. You may provide a calculation for total benefits as a percentage of the salaries to which they apply or list each benefit as a separate item. If a fringe benefit amount is over 30%, please list covered items separately and justify the high cost. Holidays, leave, and other similar vacation benefits are not included in the fringe benefit rates, but are absorbed into the personnel expenses (salary) budget line item.
C. 1. Staff Travel
Describe the purpose for which program staff will travel. Provide a calculation that includes itemized costs for airfare, transportation, lodging, per diem, and other travel-related expenses multiplied by the number of trips/staff. Where applicable, identify the current standard reimbursement rate(s) of the organization for mileage, daily per diem, and similar supporting information. Reimbursement should not exceed the federal mileage rate unless a result of applicant policy and justified in the budget narrative. Only domestic travel is allowable.
Volunteer Iowa guidance: Because this section is for sponsor organization personnel, only include individuals who are employed by the applicant organization. Host site supervisors or staff who are employed by partner agencies assisting with the grant should be listed in the contractual and consultant services section (F).
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C. 2. Member Travel (not applicable for planning grants)
Describe the purpose for which members will travel. Provide a calculation that includes itemized costs for airfare, transportation, lodging, per diem, and other related expenses for members to travel outside their service location or between sites. Costs associated with local travel, such as bus passes to local sites, mileage reimbursement for use of car, etc., should be included in this budget category. Where applicable, identify the current standard reimbursement rate(s) of the organization for mileage, daily per diem, and similar supporting information.
D. Equipment (not applicable for planning grants)
Equipment is defined as tangible, non-expendable personal property having a useful life of more than one year AND an acquisition cost of $5,000 or more per unit (including accessories, attachments, and modifications). Any items that do not meet this definition should be entered in E. Supplies below. Purchases of equipment are limited to 10% of the total AMERICORPS/CNCS funds requested. If applicable, show the unit cost and number of units you are requesting. Provide a brief justification for the purchase of the equipment under Item/Purpose.
E. Supplies
AmeriCorps members must wear an AmeriCorps logo on a daily basis – preferably clothing with the AmeriCorps logo. The item with the AmeriCorps logo is a required budget expense. Please include the cost of the item with the AmeriCorps logo in your budget or explain how your program will be providing the item to AmeriCorps members without using grant funds. Grantees may add the AmeriCorps logo to their own local program uniform items using federal funds. Please note that your program will be using the AmeriCorps logo in the budget description.
Volunteer Iowa Requirements: Volunteer Iowa requires applicants to budget a minimum of $1000 for program travel expenses to attend Volunteer Iowa-sponsored or endorsed training events. Over the course of the program year, organizations will be expected to send at least one staff member to the following trainings: Volunteer Iowa new Program Director training (for new programs/new staff only, in Iowa in advance of the new program year), Volunteer Iowa program launch training (in Iowa in the first few months of the program year), a regional National Service Training Conference (in the spring/summer with most to attend in the North Central region), and typically to a mid-year Innovation Exchange-Volunteer Iowa Program training (in Iowa). Other trainings may be offered or required throughout the program year, based on AMERICORPS monitoring and feedback. For easy identification, each line item pertaining to required state travel should be a separate line item in the application budget, labeled as “Volunteer Iowa required training- specific training name.” Please itemize the costs.
For example, for two staff members will attend the Annual AmeriCorps Program Launch in Des Moines:
Volunteer Iowa required training- Annual AmeriCorps Program Launch= 200 miles round trip @ $0.535/mile + 2 staff X (1 day) $100 lodging + (2 days) $35 per diem = $447
The line item for AMERICORPS/CNCS-sponsored trainings is intended primarily for staff of National Direct programs to attend the AmeriCorps Symposium and does NOT apply to Iowa programs. In some years AMERICORPS has offered other trainings open to state-level programs; if that is to occur in 2022-2023 programs may request to use funds budgeted in this section to attend those trainings.
Finally, in recent years travel costs have been low due to the prevalence of virtual trainings. Volunteer Iowa hopes to resume in-person trainings soon but should the full travel budget not be needed for Volunteer Iowa-sponsored trainings, Volunteer Iowa also endorses the use of these funds for expenses related to participation in the Iowa AmeriCorps Program Council that is in the process of being launched (see more in the Staff Training and Member Training sections).
Volunteer Iowa Guidance: Volunteer Iowa suggests programs budget for member travel to potential in-person trainings including those that may be offered by the planned Program Council.
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Include the amount of funds to purchase consumable supplies and materials, including member service gear and equipment that does not fit the definition above. You must individually list any single item costing $1,000 or more. Except for safety equipment, grantees may only charge the cost of member service gear to the federal share if it includes the AmeriCorps logo. All safety gear may be charged to the federal share, regardless of whether it includes the AmeriCorps logo. All other service gear must be purchased with non-AMERICORPS funds.
F. Contractual and Consultant Services
Include costs for consultants related to the project’s operations, except training or evaluation consultants, who will be listed in Sections G. and H., below. There is not a maximum daily rate.
G. 1. Staff Training
Include the costs associated with training staff on project requirements and training to enhance the skills staff need for effective project implementation, i.e., project or financial management, team building, etc. If using a consultant(s) for training, indicate the estimated daily rate. There is not a maximum daily rate.
G. 2. Member Training (not applicable for planning grants)
Include the costs associated with member training to support them in carrying out their service activities. You may also use this section to request funds to support training in Life after AmeriCorps. If using a consultant(s) for training, indicate the estimated daily rate. There is not a maximum daily rate.
H. Evaluation
Include costs for project evaluation activities, including additional staff time or subcontracts, use of evaluation consultants, purchase of instrumentation, and other costs specifically for this activity not budgeted in Section A Personnel Expenses. This cost does not include the daily/weekly gathering of data to assess progress toward meeting performance measures, but is a larger assessment of the impact your project is having on the community, as well as an assessment of the overall systems and project design. Indicate daily rates of consultants, where applicable.
I. Other Program Operating Costs
Allowable costs in this budget category should include when applicable:
• Criminal history background checks for all members and for all employees or other individuals who receive a salary, education award, living allowance, or stipend or similar payment from the grant (federal or non-federal share). Please include the cost of the NSOPW, state check, and/or FBI check for criminal history checks for all covered positions. If funds are not budgeted, an explanation for how the costs will be covered must be noted in the budget.
Volunteer Iowa Guidance: Programs are reminded that a Program Council is being developed to provide networking and professional development opportunities to program staff. The Council may also work to offer cross-program member trainings (such as the joint Life After AmeriCorps training that has been offered in recent years). Programs wishing to participate in the council are suggested to budget $400 for council membership. See below for suggested budgeting for joint member training.
Volunteer Iowa Guidance: All members must receive an orientation to the program and Life After AmeriCorps training. Volunteer Iowa encourages programs to invest in additional member training and professional development. Programs are reminded that a Program Council is being developed to provide networking and professional development opportunities to program staff. The Council may also work to offer cross-program member trainings (such as the joint Life After AmeriCorps training that has been offered in recent years). Programs wishing to send members to an in-person joint council-led training are suggested to budget $50 per member, plus mileage in the Member Travel section above.
Volunteer Iowa Guidance: Programs should note the AMERICORPS evaluation requirements listed in the Volunteer Iowa RFA, including the requirement for recompeting grantees receiving $500,000 or more in AMERICORPS funding to conduct an independent impact evaluation, and prepare their budget accordingly.
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• Office space rental for projects operating without an approved indirect cost rate agreement that covers office space. If space is budgeted and it is shared with other projects or activities, the costs must be equitably pro-rated and allocated between the activities or projects.
• Utilities, telephone, internet and similar expenses that are specifically used for AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps project staff, and are not part of the organization’s indirect cost allocation pool. If such expenses are budgeted and shared with other projects or activities, the costs must be equitably pro-rated and allocated between the activities or projects.
• Recognition costs for members. List each item and provide a justification in the budget narrative. Gifts and/or food in an entertainment/event setting are not allowable costs.
Section II. Member Costs (not applicable for planning grants)
Member Costs are identified as “Living Allowance” and “Member Support Costs.” Your required match can be federal, state, local, or private sector funds.
A. Living Allowance
The narrative should clearly identify the number of members you are supporting by category (i.e., full-time, half-time, reduced-half-time, quarter-time, minimum-time, abbreviated-time) and the amount of living allowance they will receive, allocating appropriate portions between the AMERICORPS share (CNCS Share) and grantee share (match).
The minimum and maximum living allowance amounts are provided in the RFA.
In eGrants, enter the total number of members you are requesting in each category. Enter the average amount of the living allowance for each type of member. In addition, enter the number of members for which you are not requesting funds for a living allowance, but for which you are requesting education awards.
B. Member Support Costs
Consistent with the laws of the states where your members serve, you must provide members with the benefits described below.
• FICA. Unless exempted by the IRS, all projects must pay FICA for any member receiving a living allowance, even when AMERICORPS does not supply the living allowance. If exempted, please note in the narrative. In the
Volunteer Iowa Requirements/Guidance:
• State Member Management System Costs: Effective member management and timekeeping is critical for the success of any AmeriCorps State program. Applicants are required to budget $18/member for costs of participation in the state’s member management and timekeeping systems. This is a required budget item and should be labeled as a separate line item entitled, “State Member Management System Costs”. Applicants who wish to use another member management and timekeeping system may be allowed to do so, with Volunteer Iowa approval and at additional cost to account for increased Volunteer Iowa staff time required to conduct required monitoring in a separate system.
• State Support & Monitoring Fee: Volunteer Iowa will charge programs an administrative fee of 2% of budgeted Section I & II expenses (rather than retain 2% of funding via Section III. Administrative/Indirect Costs Costs). To determine the State Support & Monitoring fee amount to include in your budget: (a) Complete all other components of Sections I & II of the budget; (b) multiply the sum of the AMERICORPS/CNCS funding shares of Sections I and II by 0.02 (2%); (c) enter the State Support & Monitoring fee as a separate line item. This should be done before calculating Section III costs, so that Section III amounts are based on the full Section I & II total.
• Programs may be charged a fee for new staff to participate in the Volunteer Iowa AmeriCorps mentoring program and/or for members to participate in statewide trainings/events.
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first column next to FICA, indicate the number of members who will receive FICA. Calculate the FICA at 7.65% of the total amount of the living allowance. • Health Care. You must offer or make available health care benefits to full-time members in accordance with AmeriCorps requirements. Except as stated below, you may not pay health care benefits to less-than-full-time members with AMERICORPS funds. You may choose to provide health care benefits to less-than-full-time members from other sources (i.e., non-federal) but the cost cannot be included in the budget. Less-than-full-time members who are serving in a full-time capacity for a sustained period of time (such as a full-time summer project) are eligible for health care benefits. If you budget health insurance for less-than-full-time members serving in a full-time capacity, indicate this in the budget narrative. In your budget narrative, indicate the number of members who will receive health care benefits. AMERICORPS will not pay for dependent coverage. If health care is not budgeted for all full-time members, please confirm all full-time members will have access to coverage.
• Worker’s Compensation. Iowa requires worker’s compensation for AmeriCorps members (applicants should indicate if they are self-insured for this purpose), except Education Award Only programs (EAPs). However, though EAPs are not required to pay worker’s compensation, they must obtain Occupational, Accidental, Death and Dismemberment coverage for members to cover in-service injury or accidents.
• Unemployment Insurance and Other Member Support Costs. Include any other required member support costs here. Programs are responsible for determining the requirements of state law by consulting State Commissions, legal counsel, or the applicable state agencies.
Section III. Administrative/Indirect Costs
Definitions
Administrative costs are general or centralized expenses of the overall administration of an organization that receives AMERICORPS funds and do not include particular project costs. These costs may include administrative staff positions. For organizations that have an established indirect cost rate for federal awards, administrative costs mean those costs that are included in the organization’s indirect cost rate agreement. Such costs are generally identified with the organization’s overall operation and are further described in Office of Management and Budget Uniform Guidance.
Options for Calculating Administrative/Indirect Costs (choose either A, B, OR C)
Applicants choose one of three methods to calculate allowable administrative costs – an AMERICORPS/CNCS-fixed percentage rate method, a federally approved indirect cost rate method, or a de minimis method. Regardless of the option chosen, the AMERICORPS share of administrative costs is limited to 5% of the total AMERICORPS funds actually expended under this grant. Do not create additional lines in this category.
A. AMERICORPS/CNCS-Fixed Percentage Method
Five/Ten Percent Fixed Administrative Costs Option
The AMERICORPS/CNCS-fixed percentage rate method allows you to charge administrative costs up to a cap without a federally approved indirect cost rate and without documentation supporting the allocation. If you choose the AMERICORPS/CNCS-fixed percentage rate method (Section IIIA in eGrants), you may charge, for administrative costs, a fixed 5% of the total of the AMERICORPSCNCS funds expended. In order to charge this fixed 5%, the grantee match for administrative costs may not exceed 10% of all direct cost expenditures.
Volunteer Iowa Guidance: In Iowa, you may NOT charge the cost of unemployment insurance taxes to the grant as members are not considered eligible for state unemployment benefits. Programs should consider any additional, optional member benefits they wish to provide including mental health care through member assistance programs (such as https://www.statecommissions.org/americorps-member-assistance-program), housing, or other in-kind assistance being offered to members. This may be included here or in the Other Program Operating Costs section of the budget, as appropriate.
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1. To determine the maximum AMERICORPS/CNCS share for Section III: Multiply the sum of the AMERICORPS/CNCS funding shares of Sections I and II by 0.0526. This is the maximum amount you can request as Corporation share. The factor 0.0526 is used to calculate the 5% maximum amount of federal funds that may be budgeted for administrative (indirect) costs, rather than 0.0500, as a way to mathematically compensate for determining Section III costs when the total budget (Sections I + II + III) is not yet established. Enter this amount as the AMERICORPS/CNCS share for Section III A.
2. To determine the Grantee share for Section III: Multiply the total (both AMERICORPS/CNCS and grantee share) of Sections I and II by 10% (0.10) and enter this amount as the grantee share for Section III A.
3. Enter the sum of the AMERICORPS/CNCS and grantee shares under Total Amount.
The Volunteer Iowa commission will not retain any share of the 5% of federal funds available to programs for administrative costs.
B. Federally Approved Indirect Cost Rate
If you have a federally approved indirect cost rate, this method must be used and the rate will constitute documentation of your administrative costs, not to exceed the 5% maximum federal share payable by AMERICORPS. Specify the Cost Type for which your organization has current documentation on file, i.e., Provisional, Predetermined, Fixed, or Final indirect cost rate. Supply your approved IDC rate (percentage) and the base upon which this rate is calculated (direct salaries, salaries and fringe benefits, etc.). AMERICORPS does not restrict the overall indirect cost rate claimed. It is at your discretion whether or not to claim your entire IDC rate to calculate administrative costs. If you choose to claim a lower rate, please include this rate in the Rate Claimed field.
1. Determine the base amount of direct costs to which you will apply the IDC rate, including both the AMERICORPS/CNCS and Grantee shares, as prescribed by your established rate agreement (i.e., based on salaries and benefits, total direct costs, or other). Then multiply the appropriate direct costs by the rate being claimed. This will determine the total amount of indirect costs allowable under the grant.
2. To determine the AMERICORPS share: Multiply the sum of the AMERICORPS/CNCS funding share in Sections I and II by 0.0526. This is the maximum amount you can claim as the AMERICORPS/CNCS share of indirect costs.
The Volunteer Iowa commission will not retain any share of the 5% of federal funds available to programs for administrative costs.
3. To determine the Grantee share: Subtract the amount calculated in step 2 (the AMERICORPS/CNCS administrative share) from the amount calculated in step 1 (the Indirect Cost total). This is the amount the applicant can claim as grantee share for administrative costs.
C. De Minimis Rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs
Organizations who have never, at any point in time, held a federally negotiated indirect cost rate (except for those non-Federal entities described in Appendix VII to Part 200—States and Local Government and Indian Tribe Indirect Cost Proposals, paragraph (d)(1)(B)) and who receive less than $35 million in direct federal funding, may indefinitely use a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC). Additional information regarding what is included in MTDC and use of this option can be found at 2 CFR 200.414(f) and 200.68. If this option is elected, it must be used consistently across all federal awards.
Source of Funds
In the “Source of Funds” field that appears at the end of Budget Section III, enter a brief description of the match. Identify each match source separately. Identify if the match is secured or proposed by labeling it as such in the narrative. Include dollar amount, the match classification (cash or in-kind), and the source type (Private,
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State/Local, or Federal) for your entire match. Define all acronyms the first time they are used. The total amount of Source of Match should equal the Grantee Share amount in the budget narrative exactly.
Note: the value of the Segal Education Awards that members earn for their service is not identified in the budget. Also, the childcare reimbursement provided to eligible members is not included in the budget.
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ATTACHMENT C: Budget Template for Cost Reimbursement Grants
(eGrants Budget Section)
See IowaGrants for an editable Excel Budget Worksheet (Appendix 3).
Section I. Program Operating Costs
A. Personnel Expenses
Position/Title/Description
Qty
Annual Salary
% Time
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Totals
B. Personnel Fringe Benefits
Purpose/Description
Calculation
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Totals
C.1. Staff Travel
Purpose
Calculation
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Totals
C. 2. Member Travel
Purpose
Calculation
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Totals
D. Equipment
Item/ Purpose/Justification
Qty
Unit Cost
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Totals
E. Supplies
Purpose
Calculation
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Totals
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F. Contractual and Consultant Services
Purpose
Calculation
Daily Rate
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Totals
G.1. Staff Training
Purpose
Calculation
Daily Rate
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Totals
G.2. Member Training
Purpose
Calculation
Daily Rate
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Totals
H. Evaluation
Purpose
Calculation
Daily Rate
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Totals
I. Other Program Operating Costs
Purpose
Calculation
Daily Rate
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Totals
Subtotal Section I:
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
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Section II. Member Costs
A. Living Allowance
Item
# Mbrs
Allowance Rate
# w/o Allowance
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Full Time (1700 hrs)
Three quarter-time (1200 hrs)
Half Time (900 hrs)
Reduced Half Time (675 hrs)
Quarter Time (450 hrs)
Minimum Time (300 hrs)
Abbreviated-Time (100 hrs)
Totals
B. Member Support Costs
Purpose
Calculation
Daily Rate
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Totals
Subtotal Section II:
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Subtotal Sections I + II:
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Section III. Administrative/Indirect Costs
A. Corporation Fixed Percentage
Purpose
Calculation
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Totals
B. Federally Approved Indirect Cost Rate or De Minimis Rate of 10% of Modified Total Direct Costs
Cost Type
Cost Basis
Calculation
Rate
Rate Claimed
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Total Sections I + II + III:
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Budget Total: Validate this budget
Required Match Percentages:
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Source of Funds
Match Description (Note whether Secured or Proposed)
Amount
Match Classification (Cash or In Kind)
Match Source (Federal, State/Local, Private)
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ATTACHMENT D: Detailed Budget Instructions for Fixed Amount Grants
(eGrants Budget Section)
These instructions apply only to applicants for fixed-amount grants, including education award programs (EAPs). Do not use if you are a Professional Corps applicant.
EAP and Fixed-Amount grant applicants may only request a fixed amount of funding per MSY. Therefore, Fixed-Amount applicants are not required to complete a detailed budget or complete the grantee share column. However, you must complete the source of match chart to identify the sources of the additional revenue you need to operate the program. If you are applying for a full-cost fixed-amount grant, you must pay at least the minimum living allowance listed in the RFA for each type of position you are proposing.
Budget Section II. AmeriCorps Member Positions
Member Positions
Identify the number of members you are requesting by category (i.e. full-time, three quarter-time, half-time, reduced half-time, quarter-time, minimum-time, abbreviated-time) and list under the column labeled #w/o Allow (without AMERICORPS-funded living allowance.) In the Allowance Rate field, enter the average amount of the living allowance for each type of member. Enter zero in the column labeled #Mbrs w/ Allow. Leave all other columns blank. See example below (applies to a Full-Cost Fixed Amount grant):
The total number of member service years (MSY) will automatically calculate at the bottom of the Member Positions chart. The MSY are calculated as follows:
Member Positions
Calculation
MSY
_____Full-time (1700 hours)
(______ members x 1.000)
=
_____Three quarter-time (1200 hours)
(______ members x .7000000)
=
_____Half-time (900 hours)
(______ members x 0.500)
=
_____Reduced half-time (675 hours)
(______ members x 0.3809524)
=
_____Quarter-time (450 hours)
(______ members x 0.26455027)
=
_____Minimum-time (300 hours)
(______ members x 0.21164022)
=
_____Abbreviated-time (100 hours)
(______ members x 0.07054674)
=
Total MSY
Total # of MSYs ________
x MSY amount (See Notice for amounts)____
= Total Grant Request $____
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Fixed Award
Display your calculation in the following format:
Type the total amount requested in the “Total Amount” & “CNCS Share” columns. Leave the “Grantee Share” blank. See example below (applies to a Stipended Fixed Amount grant):
Purpose
Calculation
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Program Grant Request
47.5 MSY
X $9,500/MSY
$451,250
$451,250
$0
Subtotal
$451,250
$451,250
$0
Source of Funds
Match
Description
Total # of MSYs ________
x MSY amount (See NOFO for amounts)____
= Total Grant Request $____
Volunteer Iowa Guidance on Budget Requirements for Fixed- Amount Grants
Applicants for Fixed-Amount grants should be aware that, although not included in the budget submitted in eGrants, the following requirements also apply to Fixed-Amount Grantees:
• Volunteer Iowa expects fixed-amount grants to attend the same trainings as other operational grantees and therefore should have a staff travel budget sufficient to cover the trainings- see Attachment B.
• Fixed-Amount Grantees may choose to participate in the proposed Program Council and optional joint member trainings. Suggested budget amounts are noted in Attachment B.
• AmeriCorps members are required to wear the AmeriCorps logo during service so Fixed-Amount grantees should plan for the cost of providing member gear with the required logo.
• All members must receive an orientation and Life After AmeriCorps training. Volunteer Iowa encourages programs to invest in additional member training and professional development.
• Evaluation requirements also apply to Fixed-Amount grantees, who should budget accordingly.
• The National Service Criminal History Check (NSCHC) requirements apply to members of fixed-amount grants and programs should budget to cover the costs of required NSCHC.
• Volunteer Iowa will charge Member Management System Costs of $18/member. See Attachment D for details.
• Volunteer Iowa will charge a State Support & Monitoring fee to programs of 2% of the total federal funds awarded, for the commission’s administrative/monitoring costs.
• Member living allowance and benefits rules apply to Fixed-Amount programs- see Attachment B for details.
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ATTACHMENT E: Budget Template for Fixed Amount Grants
(eGrants Budget Section)
Complete the fields for the # w/o Allowance and Allowance Rate only.
Member Positions
Source of Funds
Match
Description
Item
#
Mbrs
Allowance Rate
# w/o Allow
Total Amount
CNCS Share
Grantee Share
Full Time (1700 hrs)
Three quarter-time (1200 hrs)
Half Time (900 hrs)
Reduced Half Time
(675 hrs)
Quarter Time (450 hrs)
Minimum Time (300 hrs)
Abbreviated Time (100 hrs)
Subtotal
MSY
Cost/MSY
Purpose
Calculation
Total Amount
AMERICORPS Share
Grantee Share
Program Grant Request
Subtotal
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ATTACHMENT F: Budget Checklist
Below is a checklist to help you make certain that you submit an accurate budget narrative that meets AmeriCorps requirements. Note: This checklist does not apply to Fixed-amount grants.
In Compliance?
Section I. Program Operating Costs
Yes __ No __
Costs charged under the Personnel line item directly relate to the operation of the AmeriCorps project? Examples include costs for staff that recruit, train, place, or supervise members as well as manage the project.
Yes __ No __
Staff indirectly involved in the management or operation of the applicant organization is funded through the administrative cost section (Section III.) of the budget? Examples of administrative costs include central management and support functions.
Yes __ No __
Staff fundraising expenses are not charged to the grant? You may not charge AmeriCorps staff members’ time and related expenses for fundraising to the federal or grantee share of the grant. Expenses incurred to raise funds must be paid out of the funds raised. Development officers and fundraising staff are not allowable expenses. (Volunteer Iowa note- if the program director is budgeted 100% to the grant, that individual cannot write the AmeriCorps grant).
Yes __ No __
The types of fringe benefits to be covered and the costs of benefit(s) for each staff position are described? Allowable fringe benefits typically include FICA, Worker’s Compensation, Retirement, SUTA, Health and Life Insurance, IRA, and 401K. You may provide a calculation for total benefits as a percentage of the salaries to which they apply or list each benefit as a separate item. If the fringe amount is over 30%, are the benefits listed separately?
Yes __ No __
Holidays, leave, and other similar vacation benefits are not included in the fringe benefit rates but are absorbed into the personnel expenses (salary) budget line item?
Yes __ No __
The purpose for all staff and member travel is clearly identified?
Yes __ No __
You have budgeted funds (minimum $1000) for staff travel to required Volunteer Iowa trainings in the budget narrative under Staff Travel?
Yes __ No __
Funds for the purchase of equipment (does not include general use office equipment) are limited to 10% of the total grant amount?
Yes __ No __
All single equipment items over $5000 per unit are specifically listed?
Yes __ No __
Justification/explanation of equipment items is included in the budget narrative?
Yes __ No __
All single supply items over $1000 per unit are specifically listed and explained in the budget narrative?
Yes __ No __
Cost of items with the AmeriCorps logo that will be worn daily is included for all AmeriCorps members? Or if not, there is an explanation of how the program will be providing the AmeriCorps logo item to AmeriCorps members using funds other than AMERICORPS grant funds.
Yes __ No __
You only charged to the federal share of the budget member service gear that includes the AmeriCorps logo and noted that the gear will have the AmeriCorps logo, with the exception of safety equipment?
Yes __ No __
Does the budget reflect adequate budgeted costs for project evaluation?
Yes __ No __
Have you budgeted the cost of the NSOPW, FBI, and state check for criminal history checks of each member and grant-funded staff that are in covered positions per 45 CFR 2522.205? If not, have you provided an explanation of how the costs will be covered?
Yes __ No __
Are all items in the budget narrative itemized and the purpose of the funds justified?
Volunteer Iowa Guidance
Yes __ No __
Funds to pay relocation expenses of AmeriCorps members are not in the federal share of the budget?
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Yes __ No __
Have you budgeted $18/member for required Volunteer Iowa State Member Management System?
Yes __ No __
Have you accurately budgeted the State Support & Monitoring 2% administrative fee?
Yes __ No __
Partner staff who are not employed by the grantee are not listed in the personnel section (they may be under the contractual/consultant, training, or other section as appropriate).
In Compliance?
Section II. Member Costs
Yes __ No __
Are the living allowance amounts correct? Full-time AmeriCorps members must receive at least the minimum living allowance ($16,502 for 2022-2023).
Note: Programs in existence prior to September 21, 1993 may offer a lower living allowance than the minimum. If such a program chooses to offer a living allowance, it is exempt from the minimum requirement, but not from the maximum requirement.
Yes __ No __
Living allowances are not paid on an hourly basis? They may be calculated using service hours and program length to derive a weekly or biweekly distribution amount. Divide the distribution in equal increments that are not based on the specified number of hours served.
Yes __ No __
Is FICA calculated correctly? You must pay FICA for any member receiving a living allowance. Unless exempted by the IRS, calculate FICA at 7.65% of the total amount of the living allowance. If exempted from paying FICA, is the exemption noted in the budget narrative?
Yes __ No __
Is the Worker’s Compensation calculation correct? Iowa requires worker’s compensation for AmeriCorps members except for those in EAPs. EAPs, though not required to pay worker’s compensation, will provide similar coverage for members’ on-the-job injuries through their own existing coverage or a new policy purchased in accordance with normal procedures (i.e., death and dismemberment coverage).
Yes __ No __
Health care is provided for full-time AmeriCorps members only (unless part-time serving in a full-time capacity)? If your project chooses to provide health care to other half-time members, you may not use federal funds to help pay for any portion of the cost. Projects must provide health care coverage to all full-time members who do not have adequate health care coverage at the time of enrollment or who lose coverage due to participation in the project. In addition, projects must provide coverage if a full-time member loses coverage during the term of service through no deliberate act of his/her own.
Yes __ No __
Unemployment insurance is not included in the budget (not allowed in Iowa).
In Compliance?
Section III. Administrative/Indirect Costs
Yes __ No __
Applicant does not have a current federally approved indirect cost rate and has chosen to use the AMERICORPS-fixed percentage method and the maximum federal share of administrative costs does not exceed 5% of the total federal funds budgeted? To determine the federal administrative share, multiply all other budgeted federal funds by .0526.
Yes __ No __
AND- Applicant has chosen to use AMERICORPS fixed percentage method and the maximum grantee share is at 10% or less of total budgeted funds?
Yes __ No __
OR-Applicant has a current approved indirect cost rate – The maximum grantee share does not exceed the federally approved rate, less the 5% AMERICORPS/CNCS share?
Yes __ No __
AND- Applicant has a current approved indirect cost rate-the type of rate, the IDC rate percentage, the rate claimed and the base to which the rate is applied has been specified?
Yes __ No __
AND- A copy of the current approved indirect cost rate agreement has been submitted to Volunteer Iowa via IowaGrants.
Yes __ No __
OR- Applicant has never had a federally approved indirect cost rate and is choosing to use a de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs?
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In Compliance?
SAM Registry
Yes __ No __
Your organization has an active and current SAM registration. If registration expires prior to 9/30, organization must renew in advance.
Yes __ No __
Your legal organization is not on the Excluded Parties List.
Yes __ No __
Your authorized representative is not on the Excluded Parties List.
In Compliance?
AMERICORPS Budget Thresholds
Yes __ No __
If an applicant is requesting >$500,000 in federal funding, are they aware of the corresponding evaluation requirements once they are recompeting?
Yes __ No __
If an applicant is requesting >$750,000 in federal funding, are they aware of the audit requirement?
In Compliance?
Match
Yes __ No __
Is the overall match being met at the required level, based on the year of funding?
Yrs 1-3:24%, 4-26%, 5-30%,6-34%, 7-38%, 8-42%, 9-46%, 10-50%
Yes __ No __
For all matching funds, proposed vs secured, the source(s) [private, state, local, and/or federal], the type of contribution (cash or in-kind), and the amount of match, are clearly identified in the narrative and in the Source of Funds field in eGrants?
Yes __ No __
The amount of match is for the entire amount in the budget narrative.? (The total amount of match equals the amount in the budget exactly?)
In Compliance?
Overall
Yes __ No __
Is the budget at an allowable cost/MSY?
Grant Program
Maximum
Individual Competitive State/Territory Program (cost reimbursement or full-cost fixed amount)
$21,600
Individual Formula State/Territory Program (cost reimbursement or full-cost fixed amount)
$25,200
New or DEI cost/MSY waiver- approved Individual Formula State/Territory Program
$28,800*
Professional Corps competitive Fixed Amount Applicants/Grantees
$1,000*
Education Award Program (EAP) Fixed Amount Grant (competitive & formula)
$800 or $1,000*
*,See RFA for full details.
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ATTACHMENT G: Alternative Match Instructions
Grantees are required to meet an overall matching rate that increases over time. You have the flexibility to meet the overall match requirements in any of the three budget areas, as long as the minimum match of 24% for the first three years, and the increasing minimums in years thereafter, are maintained. See 45 CFR §§ 2521.35–2521.90 for the specific regulations.
Special Circumstances for an Alternative Match Schedule: Under certain circumstances, applicants may qualify to meet alternative matching requirements that increase over the years to 35% instead of 50% as specified in the regulations at §2521.60(b). To qualify, you must demonstrate that your program is either located in a rural county or in a severely economically distressed community as defined below.
A. Rural County: In determining whether a program is rural, AMERICORPS will consider the most recent Rural-Urban Continuum Codes (RUCCs) (previously called the Beale codes) rating published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for the county in which the program is located. Any program located in a county with a RUCC of 4,5,6, 7, 8 or 9 is eligible to apply for the alternative match requirement. See Attachment H for the Table of RUCC codes.
B. Severely Economically Distressed County: In determining whether a program is located in a severely economically distressed county, AMERICORPS will consider the following list of county-level characteristics. See Attachment I for a list of website addresses where this publicly available information can be found.
• The county-level per capita income is less than or equal to 75 percent of the national average for all counties using the most recent census data or Bureau of Economic Analysis data;
• The county-level poverty rate is equal to or greater than 125 percent of the national average for all counties using the most recent census data; and
• The county-level unemployment is above the national average for all counties for the previous 12 months using the most recently available Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
• The areas served by the program lack basic infrastructure such as water or electricity.
C. Program Location: Except when approved otherwise, AMERICORPS will determine the location of your program based on the legal applicant’s address. If you believe that the legal applicant’s address is not the appropriate way to consider the location of your program, you must provide relevant facts about your program location in your request. AMERICORPS will, in its sole discretion, determine whether some other address is more appropriate for determining a program’s location.
If your program is located in one of these areas, see the instructions below for applying for this alternative match schedule. You must submit your request to the alternative schedule per the information contained in the RFA. AMERICORPS will review your request and notify you within 30 days if you qualify for the alternative schedule and provide instructions for entering your budget into eGrants under the Alternative Match Schedule.
If approved for the alternative schedules, programs will base their budget in the upcoming application on the approved alternative match. The alternative match requirement will be in effect for whatever portion of the three-year project period remains or if applying as a new grantee, for the upcoming three-year grant cycle.
D. Instructions for the Alternative Match Schedule: Iowa AmeriCorps State applicants must send their requests to Volunteer Iowa for review and approval via Appendix 1, in the pre-application. The Commission will then forward approved requests to AMERICORPS for consideration.
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ATTACHMENT H: Rural-Urban Continuum (Beale) Codes and County-Level Economic Data for Alternative Match Requests
Rural Community
Rural-Urban Continuum Codes (RUCCs) (previously called the Beale codes) are published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and are used to classify counties as being more urban or more rural. Counties are designated on a scale from one to nine according to the following descriptions:
2013 Rural-Urban Continuum Codes
Code#
Metropolitan Type
Description
1
Metropolitan
Counties in metro areas of 1 million population or more
2
Metropolitan
Counties in metro areas of 250,000 to 1 million
3
Metropolitan
Counties in metro areas of fewer than 250,000
4
Non-metro
Urban population of 20,000 or more, adjacent to a metropolitan area
5
Non-metro
Urban population of 20,000 or more, not adjacent to a metropolitan area
6
Non-metro
Urban population of 2,500 to 19,999, adjacent to a metropolitan area
7
Non-metro
Urban population of 2,500 to 19,999, not adjacent to a metropolitan area
8
Non-metro
Completely rural or less than 2,500 urban population, adjacent to a metropolitan area
9
Non-metro
Completely rural or less than 2,500 urban population, not adjacent to a metropolitan area
Any program located in a county with a RUCC of 4,5, 6, 7, 8, or 9 is eligible to apply for the alternative match. Find this information at: https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/rural-urban-continuum-codes/
Severely Economically Distressed Community
The following table provides the website addresses where the publicly available information on county-level economic data including per capita income, poverty rate, and unemployment levels can be found.
WEBSITE ADDRESS
EXPLANATION
http://www.bea.gov/regional/
Bureau of Economic Analysis’ Regional Economic Information System (REIS): Provides data on per capita income by county for all states except Puerto Rico.
https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml
Census Bureau’s American Fact-finder: Provides census data including estimates on poverty, per capita income and unemployment by counties, states, and metro areas including Puerto Rico.
www.bls.gov
Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Local Area Unemployment Statistics (LAUS): Provides data on annual and monthly employment and unemployment by counties for all states and Puerto Rico.
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WEBSITE ADDRESS
EXPLANATION
https://www.ers.usda.gov/data-products/rural-urban-continuum-codes.aspx
US Department of Agriculture’s Rural-Urban Continuum Codes: Provides urban rural code for all counties in U.S.
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ATTACHMENT I: eGrants Indirect Cost Rate (IDCR) User Instructions
eGrants Indirect Cost Rate (IDCR) User Instructions
A new feature has been introduced to eGrants which allows users to input Indirect Cost Rate information into their eGrants account. Grantees that will be claiming indirect costs on AMERICORPS awards are required to enter the following indirect cost rates in eGrants: federally negotiated rates, state negotiated rates, and the use of de minimis rate of 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC). Recipients of AmeriCorps State and National awards may only charge 5% of their negotiated rate to the federal share of the award, with the remaining balance being charged to match (See 45 CFR §§ 2521.95 and 2540.110).
Once a rate is entered & saved in eGrants, it cannot be edited. If users inadvertently enter incorrect information, a new entry must be submitted with the correct information.
Entry for the IDCR screen can be accessed using the following steps:
1) From the eGrants Home screen, in the lower panel under Managing My Account, click on My Account
2) From the My Account screen, under Edit My Organization Info, click on Add and View Indirect Cost Rate
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3) From the Add and View Indirect Cost Rate screen, select add a new to add a rate or cancel to back out of the screen.
Field by field instructions can be found by clicking the “?” located next to Indirect Cost Rate or Indirect Cost Rate Record.
If add a new is selected, the screen below will pop up.
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4) Do you have an Indirect Cost Rate to record? Respond Yes or No. If NO is selected, users cannot go any further & nothing will be recorded. If Yes is selected, users can continue on.
If your organization will be claiming a current, approved indirect cost rate on any AMERICORPS award, it must be reported on this page. The rate information you record will be used in all award negotiation and reviews until it is superseded by a new approved rate, or expires. Applicants will have the opportunity to identify, in application submissions, if they elect to use a lesser percentage of an approved rate.
5) Rate Type: If your rate type is not one of the following options, contact your grants officer for guidance:
Federally Negotiated – select if your rate has been negotiated by your cognizant federal agency. Cognizance is determined by the agency which provides the highest amount of direct federal funding;
State Negotiated – select if your rate has been negotiated by a state agency or other pass through entity; or
10% of MTDC – select if your organization qualifies for & elects to use the 10% de Minimis rate of Modified Total Direct Costs (MTDC). Organizations qualify for this rate if they have NEVER had a federally negotiated rate. State entities must also not receive more than $35 million in direct federal funding.
Rates must be used consistently across ALL federal awards.
6) Issuing Agency. Respond by selecting the federal agency that approved your rate, or if the federal agency who issued your rate is not listed, select Other, or if your rate is issued by a state agency select Other.
Identify federal agencies using the drop-down list. If your rate is approved by a federal agency other than the ones listed, notify your grants officer. Other federal agencies may be added as needed.
7) Acceptance Date. Enter a valid date.
The acceptance date is usually identified where the rate was signed by the issuing state or federal agency.
8) Rate Status. Select one of the following options: Final, Provisional, Predetermined, Fixed, Other, or Other – 10%.
Rates issued by federal agencies will almost always be final or provisional. However, if your organization has formally notified a federal or state agency of your eligibility and intent to use the 10-percent of MTDC rate, select Other – 10%. If your organization has a predetermined or fixed rate, select those options accordingly. If a state rate indicates a term that is not listed here select Other and notify your grants officer. Additional rate status options may be added as needed.
9) Effective From. Enter a valid date.
The effective from date is found on your indirect cost rate document. If using the 10-percent of MTDC rate, enter today’s date or the date your organization formally started charging costs under the 10-percent of MTDC rate.
10) Effective To. Enter a valid date.
The effective to date is found on your indirect cost rate document. If your organization has received approval to extend your rate, enter the end date of the extension.
11) No Expiration. Check or leave unchecked.
If your rate does not have an expiration date, as is the case with the use of the 10-percent of MTDC rate, check this box, otherwise, leave unchecked.
12) Extended? Respond Yes or No.
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If the rate “effective to” date has been extended with approval of the federal cognizant agency under authority of the 2014 Omni Circular, respond Yes. If it is not an extended rate effective to date, respond No.
13) Rate Base. Enter up to 500 characters including spaces.
Enter the text as found on your indirect cost rate approval document. For rates issued by state agencies, enter either the rate base used to determine the indirect cost pool as stated on your indirect cost rate approval document or “State Rate N/A.” If you need more than 500 characters, indicate “Summary” and record the most important content.
14) Treatment of Fringe Benefits. Enter up to 500 characters including spaces.
Enter the text as found on your indirect cost rate approval document. For rates issued by state agencies, enter either the how fringe benefits were treated in determining the indirect cost rate as stated on your indirect cost rate approval document or “State Rate N/A.” If you need more than 500 characters, indicate “Summary” and record the most important content.
15) Treatment of Paid Absences. Enter up to 500 characters including spaces.
Enter the text as found on your indirect cost rate approval document. For rates issued by state agencies, enter either the how paid absences were treated in determining the indirect cost rate as stated on your indirect cost rate approval document or “State Rate N/A.” If you need more than 500 characters, indicate “Summary” and record the most important content.
16) When you have completed all of the above entries, click the “save & close” button at the bottom of the page.
• If you would like to cancel your entry, click the “cancel” button and the entry will be cancelled. All entry information will be lost & no entry will be shown.
• Once a rate is saved it cannot be modified.
• If users inadvertently enter incorrect information, a new entry must be submitted with the correct information.
17) Order of Rates - Once an entry is saved, users will be able to see the rates they have entered. Rates will display in the order of entry. Entry of rates will provide users and AMERICORPS with a historical record which can be used to clarify indirect cost rate inquiries for monitoring, consistent record maintenance, & audits.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Volunteer Iowa.

Printed from the website on October 01, 2022 at 7:46pm.