Volunteer Iowa Fee Calculation Guide

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2023-2024 Iowa AmeriCorps State RFA
Attachment 12. Volunteer Iowa Fee Calculation Guide

Volunteer Iowa charges several state-level fees to programs related to the support and services we provide. In general, applicants for cost reimbursement grants, including planning grants, must include the relevant fees in their application budgets. Fixed-amount grantees, because they do not submit detailed budgets, will not include the fees in their application budgets but should anticipate and plan for covering these fees as well.

State Support & Monitoring Fee:

[From the RFA] Volunteer Iowa will charge programs a State Support & Monitoring Fee to cover the cost of commission staff time spent providing necessary technical assistance to programs. For 2023-2024 Volunteer Iowa will be piloting a new method for calculating the fee [for operational grantees], to try to better match the fee level to the actual staff time needed to support the grantee. For existing grantees, the fee level will be based on four categories selected from the most recent risk and monitoring level assessment: cost disallowances (from the program/grant management section), number of slots awarded (from the member management section), audit findings or questioned costs (from the financial risk section) and timeliness of fiscal reporting (from the financial management section). Each applicant will need to budget for a base fee based on their number of MSY and then an additional amount based on their assessed fee level tier. All new applicants will be considered to be at the high fee level. Programs will be invoiced on a biannual or other regular basis for this fee.

Funding Base Fee Tiered Fee Tiered Fee Tiered Fee Total Fee
    Low Fee Level Moderate Fee Level High/New Fee Level  
Competitive $300/MSY 0% of base fee 25% of base fee 50% of base fee Base + Tiered Fee
Formula $375/MSY 0% of base fee 25% of base fee 50% of base fee Base + Tiered Fee

Basis for Tiered Fee for Operational Grantees: Returning programs are assessed prior to each program year using the Volunteer Iowa Monitoring Assessment Tool. Link to 2022-2023 Monitoring Assessment Tool: AmeriCorps Program Risk Assessment Form | Iowa Commission on Volunteer Service (volunteeriowa.org). For the 2022-2023 program year, the selected items and scale for the fee are listed below. Volunteer Iowa will notify returning programs of their tiered fee level as part of the pre-application feedback. New programs (those entering year one or two of operations) are automatically assigned to the high fee level.

Monitoring Criteria Item Assessed Definition/Description of Source(s) Used for Assessment Scale
Grant & Program Management: Had cost disallowance due to noncompliance within the last two years. Cost disallowance due to NSCHC and IPERIA. VI records, communication with AmeriCorps/OIG 0 = No
5 = Yes
Member Management: number of slots awarded Most recently approved grant, eGrants Program Summary Chart, including any amendments/special funding 1 = 0-25 slots
3 = 26-65 slots
5 = more than 66 slots
Financial Risk: Audit findings/questioned costs Audits or financial reports for the most recent two year period, information provided in Audit Form in IowaGrants 0 = No findings listed below
3 = Time and effort finding for any program
5 = AmeriCorps-related audit finding
Fiscal Management: Timeliness of fiscal reporting IowaGrants or eGrants records (requests for extensions are made prior to the day the report/claim is due) 0 = No late claims/reports
3 = 1-5 late claims/reports
5 = More than 6 late claims/reports
Total/Scale for Tiered Fee   0-4= Low
5-9= Moderate
10+ (or New)= High

Sample Calculation for Competitive Program at Moderate Fee Level and 12.15 MSY:
State Support & Monitoring Fee: Base fee $3645 (12.15 MSY *$300) + Tiered Fee $911 ($3645 * 25%)= $4556 Total Fee

Sample Calculation for New Formula Applicant and 12.15 MSY:
State Support & Monitoring Fee: Base fee $4556.25 (12.15 MSY *$375) + Tiered Fee $2278.13 ($4556.25 * 50%)= $6834 Total Fee

Guidance for Planning Grant Applicants:
Because planning grants do not include any members/MSY or member costs, the method for calculating the State Support & Monitoring Fee for planning grantees will differ than that for operational grantees. Instead, the fee will be calculated as 2% of federal funds budgeted in Section I (planning grantees cannot request any funding under Section II of the budget). To determine the State Support & Monitoring fee amount to include in your budget: (a) Complete all other components of Sections I of the budget; (b) multiply the sum of the AMERICORPS/CNCS funding shares of Sections I by 0.02 (2%); (c) enter the State Support & Monitoring fee as a separate line item in “I. Other Program Operation Costs,” showing both your calculation and the total amount of the fee. This should be done before calculating Section III costs, so that Section III amounts are based on the full Section I total, inclusive of the State Support and Monitoring fee. Applicants are allowed to include the fee in either the AmeriCorps/CNCS share or Grantee share portion of the budget (or across both portions) as long as the total amount is correct.

Sample Calculation for Planning Grant Applicant:
State Support & Monitoring Fee: 2% of Section I costs (.02 x $48,260)= $965

State Member Management System Fee:

[From the RFA] 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 in “I. Other Program Operating Costs” entitled, “State Member Management System Costs”. Applicants who anticipate seeking approval for an alternate system should budget $36/member [to account for increased Volunteer Iowa staff time required to conduct required monitoring in a separate system]. Programs will be invoiced on a biannual or other regular basis for this fee.

Basis for the Member Management Fee: Effective member management and timekeeping is critical for the success of any AmeriCorps State program. Many timekeeping systems that organizations may use for their staff do not easily meet AmeriCorps requirements, or do not easily allow access to commission staff for monitoring purposes. Volunteer Iowa was able to negotiate an agreement with a provider to make a system available to Iowa programs at an affordable rate. Note that this fee is based on a per-member rather than a per-MSY rate.

Sample for Program Applicant Using Volunteer Iowa’s System:
Volunteer Iowa Required State Member Management system fee: $18/member x 20 members = $360

Printed from the website on January 29, 2023 at 12:25am.