A. Address to Request an Application Package: Application materials can be found on the CDFI Fund's Web site at www.cdfifund.gov/cdfi. Applicants may request a paper version of any Application material by contacting the CDFI Fund Help Desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.
B. Content and Form of Application Submission: All Applications must be prepared using the English language and calculations must be made in U.S. dollars. The following table lists the required Application documents for the FY 2017 Funding Round. The CDFI Fund reserves the right to request and review other pertinent or public information that has not been specifically requested in this NOFA or the Application. Information submitted by the Applicant that the CDFI Fund has not specifically requested will not be reviewed or considered as part of the Application. Information submitted must accurately reflect the Applicant's activities. Financial data, portfolio, and activity information provided in the Application should only include the Applicant's activities.
C. Application Submission: The CDFI Fund has a two-step process that requires the submission of application documents on separate deadlines and locations. The SF-424 must be submitted through Grants.gov and all other application documents through the AMIS portal. The CDFI Fund will not accept Applications via email, mail, facsimile, or other forms of communication, except in extremely rare circumstances that have been pre-approved by the CDFI Fund. Applicants are only required to submit the OMB SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance form in Grants.gov as all other application information (listed in Table 10) will be submitted through AMIS. The deadline for submitting the SF 424 is listed in Tables 1 and 11. All other application information must be submitted in AMIS and only the Authorized Representative or Application Point of Contact can submit the application.
Applicants are encouraged to submit the SF-424 as early as possible through
Grants.gov to provide time to resolve any submission problems. Applicants should contact Grants.gov directly with questions related to the registration or submission process as the CDFI Fund does not maintain the Grants.gov system.
The CDFI Fund strongly encourages Applicants to start the Grants.gov registration process as soon as possible (refer to the following link: http://www.grants.gov/web/grants/register.html) as it may take several weeks to complete. An Applicant that has previously registered with Grants.gov must verify that its registration is current and active.
D. Dun & Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS): Pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Requirements, each Applicant must provide as part of its Application submission, a Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) number. Applicants without a DUNS number will not be able to register and submit an Application in the Grants.gov system. Please allow sufficient time for Dun & Bradstreet to respond to inquiries and/or requests for DUNS numbers.
E. System for Award Management (SAM): Any entity applying for Federal grants or other forms of Federal financial assistance through Grants.gov must be registered in SAM before submitting its Application. The SAM registration process can take several weeks to complete. Applicants that have previously completed the SAM registration process must verify that their SAM accounts are current and active. Each Applicant must continue to maintain an active SAM registration with current information at all times during which it has an active Federal award or an Application under consideration by a Federal awarding agency. The CDFI Fund will not consider any Applicant that fails to properly register or activate its SAM account and, as a result, is unable to submit its Application by the Application deadline. Applicants must contact SAM directly with questions related to registration or SAM account changes as the CDFI Fund does not maintain this system. For more information about SAM, please visit https://www.sam.gov.
F. Submission Dates and Times:
1. Submission Deadlines: The following table provides the critical deadlines for the FY 2017 Funding Round.
2. Confirmation of Application Submission in Grants.gov and AMIS: Applicants are required to submit the OMB SF-424, Application for Federal Assistance through the Grants.gov system, under the CDFI Program Funding Opportunity Number. All other required application materials must be submitted through the AMIS Web site. Application materials submitted through both systems are due by the applicable deadlines. Applicants must submit the SF-424 on an earlier deadline from the other required application materials in AMIS. If the SF-424 is not successfully accepted by Grants.gov by the deadline, the CDFI Fund will not review any of the material submitted in AMIS and the Application will be deemed ineligible.
a. Grants.gov Submission Information: Each Applicant will receive an email from Grants.gov immediately after submitting the SF-424 confirming that the submission has entered the Grants.gov system. This email will contain a tracking number for the submitted SF-424. Within 48 hours, the Applicant will receive a second email, which will indicate if the submitted SF-424 was either successfully validated or rejected with errors. However, Applicants should not rely on the email notification from Grants.gov to confirm that their SF-424 was validated. Applicants are strongly encouraged to use the tracking number provided in the first email to closely monitor the status of their SF-424 by contacting the helpdesk at Grants.gov directly. The Application material submitted in AMIS is not officially accepted by the CDFI Fund until Grants.gov has validated the SF-424.
b. Award Management Information System (AMIS) Submission Information: AMIS is a web-based portal where Applicants will directly enter their application information and add required attachments listed in Table 10. AMIS will verify that the Applicant provided the minimum information required to submit an Application. Applicants are responsible for the quality and accuracy of the information and attachments included in the Application submitted in AMIS. The CDFI Fund strongly encourages the Applicant to allow sufficient time to confirm the Application content, review the material submitted, and remedy any issues prior to the Application deadline. Only the Authorized Representative or an Application Point of Contact can submit the Application. Applicants can only submit one Application. Upon submission, the Application will be locked and cannot be resubmitted, edited, or modified in any way. The CDFI Fund will not unlock or allow multiple Application submissions.
3. Late Submission: The CDFI Fund will not accept an Application submitted after the Application deadline except where the submission delay was a direct result of a Federal government administrative or technological error. In such case, the Applicant must submit a written request for acceptance of late Application submission and include documentation of the error no later than two business days after the Application deadline. The CDFI Fund will not respond to request for acceptance of late Application submissions after that time period. Applicants must submit late Application submission requests to the CDFI Fund via an AMIS service request to the CDFI Program with a subject line of "Late Application Submission Request."
G. Funding Restrictions: FA, HFFI-FA and TA awards are limited by the following:
1. FA awards:
a. An award Recipient shall use FA funds only for the eligible activities described in Section II.(C)(1) of this NOFA and its Assistance Agreement.
b. A Recipient may not distribute FA funds to an Affiliate, Subsidiary, or any other entity, without the CDFI Fund's prior written approval.
c. FA funds shall only be paid to the Recipient.
d. The CDFI Fund, in its sole discretion, may pay FA funds in amounts, or under terms and conditions, which are different from those requested by an Applicant.
2. HFFI-FA awards:
a. An award Recipient shall use HFFI-FA funds only for the eligible activities described in Section II.(C)(1) of this NOFA and its Assistance Agreement.
b. A Recipient may not distribute HFFI-FA funds to an Affiliate, Subsidiary, or any other entity, without the CDFI Fund's prior written approval.
c. HFFI-FA funds shall only be paid to the Recipient.
d. The CDFI Fund, in its sole discretion, may pay HFFI-FA funds in amounts, or under terms and conditions, which are different from those requested by an Applicant.
3. TA grants:
a. An award Recipient shall use TA funds only for the eligible activities described in Section II.(C)(2) of this NOFA and its Assistance Agreement.
b. A Recipient may not distribute TA funds to an Affiliate, Subsidiary or any other entity, without the CDFI Fund's prior written consent.
c. TA funds shall only be paid to the Recipient.
d. The CDFI Fund, in its sole discretion, may pay TA funds in amounts, or under terms and conditions, which are different from those requested by an Applicant.V. Application Review Information
A. Criteria: If the Applicant has submitted an eligible Application, the CDFI Fund will conduct a substantive review in accordance with the criteria and procedures described in the Regulations, this NOFA, the Application guidance, and the Uniform Administrative Requirements. The CDFI Fund reserves the right to contact the Applicant by telephone, email, or mail for the sole purpose of clarifying or confirming Application information. If contacted, the Applicant must respond within the time period communicated by the CDFI Fund or run the risk that its Application will be rejected. The CDFI Fund will review the FA, HFFI-FA, and TA Applications according the below process.
1. Financial Assistance (FA) Application Scoring, Award Selection, Review, and Selection Process: The CDFI Fund will evaluate each Application using a five step review process illustrated in the sections below. Applicants that meet the minimum criteria will advance to the next step in the review process. Applicants applying as a Community Partnership must describe partnership in the Application per requirements set forth in Table 8 and will be evaluated per the review process described below.
a. Step 1: Eligibility Review: The CDFI Fund will evaluate each Application to determine its eligibility status per Section III. Eligibility Information of this NOFA.
b. Step 2: Financial Analysis: An external non-CDFI Fund reviewer will evaluate the financial health and viability of each Application using the financial information provided in the Application. The Reviewer will evaluate the Financial Analysis Components listed in Table 12 and assign a score on a scale of one (1) to five (5), which will be used to calculate a Total Financial Composite Score on a scale of one (1) to five (5), with one (1) being the highest rating. All Applications will be reviewed in accordance with standard reviewer evaluation materials for the financial analysis described in supplemental guidance located on the CDFI Fund's Web site. Applications will be grouped based on the Total Financial Composite Score. Applicants must receive a Total Financial Composite Score of one (1), two (2), or three (3) to advance to Step 3. Applicants that receive a Total Financial Composite Score of four (4) or five (5) will be evaluated and scored by a second external, non-Federal reviewer. Applicants that receive a Total Financial Composite Score of four (4) or five (5) will not advance to Step 3. In instances an Applicant receives an initial score of four (4) or five (5) and a second score of one (1), two (2), or three (3), the two reviewers will discuss their evaluations and decide on one final Total Financial Composite Score.
c. Step 3: Business Plan Review: Applicants that proceed to Step 3 will be evaluated on the soundness of each Applicant's comprehensive business plan. The two external non-CDFI Fund Reviewers conducting the Step 3 evaluation will be different than those that conduct the Step 2 evaluation. Reviewers will evaluate the Application sections listed in Table 13. All Applications will be reviewed in accordance with standard reviewer evaluation materials for the business plan review. Applications will be ranked based on Total Business Plan Scores, in descending order. In order to advance to Step 4, Applicants must receive a Total Business Plan Score within the top 60 percent of the applicant pool. In the case of tied Total Business Plan Scores that would prevent an Applicant from moving to Step 4, Applicants will be ranked according to their Step 2 Total Financial Composite Score and standard anomaly procedures.
d. Step 4: Policy Objective Review: For Applicants that advance to Step 4, the CDFI Fund internal reviewers will evaluate each Application to determine its ability to meet policy objectives of the CDFI Fund authorizing statute. The policy objectives considered in this evaluation are listed in Table 14 below. Each Applicant will be evaluated in each of the categories, which will result in a Total Policy Objective Review Score on a scale of one (1) to five (5), with one (1) being the highest score. Applicants are then grouped according to Total Policy Objective Review Scores.
In Step 4, the CDFI Fund also conducts a due diligence review for Applications that includes an analysis of programmatic risk factors including, but not limited to: History of performance in managing Federal awards (including timeliness of reporting and compliance); reports and findings from audits; and the Applicant's ability to effectively implement Federal requirements, which could impact the Total Policy Objective Review Score.
e. Step 5: Award Amount Determination: The CDFI Fund determines an award amount for each Application based on the Step 4 Total Policy Objective Review Score, the Applicant's request amount, and on certain variables, including but not limited to: An Applicant's deployment track record, minimum award size, and funding availability. Award amounts may be reduced from the requested award amount as a result of this analysis. Lastly, the CDFI Fund may consider the geographic diversity of Applicants when making its funding decisions.
2. Healthy Food Financing Initiative-FA (HFFI-FA) Application Scoring, Award Selection, Review, and Selection Process: Two external non-CDFI Fund reviewers will evaluate each HFFI-FA Application whose associated FA application that progress to Step 4 of the FA Application review process. Reviewers will evaluate the Application sections listed in Table 15 and assign a Total HFFI-FA Score up to 25 points. All Applications will be reviewed in accordance with standard reviewer evaluation materials. Applications will be ranked based on total scores, in descending order. Applicants that fail to receive an FA award will not be considered for an HFFI-FA award.
The CDFI Fund conducts additional levels of due diligence for Applications that are in scoring contention for an award. This due diligence includes an analysis of programmatic and financial risk factors including, but not limited to: Financial stability, quality of management systems and ability to meet award management standards, history of performance in managing Federal awards (including timeliness of reporting and compliance), reports and findings from audits, and the Applicant's ability to effectively implement Federal requirements. Award amounts may be reduced from the requested award amount as a result of this analysis. The CDFI Fund may reduce awards sizes from requested amounts based on certain variables, including an Applicant's loan disbursement activity, total portfolio outstanding, and similar factors. Lastly, the CDFI Fund may consider the geographic diversity of Applicants when making its funding decisions.
3. Technical Assistance (TA) Application Scoring, Award Selection, Review, and Selection Process: The CDFI Fund will evaluate each Application to determine its eligibility status per Section III. Eligibility Information of this NOFA. If the Application meets the eligibility criteria, the CDFI Fund will evaluate each TA Application using standard scoring criteria in the Business Plan Review (Table 16). An Applicant must receive a minimum 60 points of the Total TA Business Plan Score for the TA components in order to be considered for an award. Emerging CDFI or Certifiable CDFI Applicants must achieve a minimum score of 35 points in Section I to be considered for an award and reviewed in Section II.
An Applicant that is a Certified CDFI will be rated on the demonstrated need for TA funding to build the CDFI's capacity, further the Applicant's strategic goals, and achieve impact within the Applicant's Target Market. An Applicant that is an Emerging CDFI or Certifiable CDFI will be rated on the Applicant's demonstrated capability and plan to achieve CDFI certification within three years, or if a prior awardee, the certification performance goal and measure stated in its prior Assistance Agreement. An Applicant that is an Emerging CDFI and Certifiable CDFI will also be rated on its demonstrated need for TA funding to build the CDFI's capacity and further its strategic goals.
The CDFI Fund will score each part of the TA Business Plan Review as indicated in Table 16.
Each TA Application will be evaluated by one internal CDFI Fund reviewer. Internal reviewers must complete the CDFI Fund's conflict of interest process. The CDFI Fund's application conflict of interest policy is located on the CDFI Fund's Web site. All Applications will be reviewed in accordance with CDFI Fund standard reviewer evaluation materials for the Business Plan Review. Applications will be ranked based on Total TA Business Plan Score, in descending order. In the case of tied scores that would prohibit the Application from progressing to the next level of review, Certified Applicants will be ranked first according to each Organization Overview score and Emerging CDFI and Certifiable CDFI Applicants will be ranked first according to the total Section I score.
The CDFI Fund conducts additional levels of due diligence for Applications that are in scoring contention for an award. This due diligence includes an analysis of programmatic and financial risk factors including, but not limited to: Financial stability, history of performance in managing Federal awards (including timeliness of reporting and compliance), reports and findings from audits, and the Applicant's ability to effectively implement Federal requirements. Award amounts may be reduced as a result of this analysis, the eligibility of an Applicant's funding request and similar factors. Lastly, the CDFI Fund may consider the geographic diversity of Applicants when making its funding decisions.
4. Insured Depository Institutions: The CDFI Fund will consider safety and soundness information from the Appropriate Federal or State Banking Agency. If the Applicant is a CDFI Depository Institution Holding Company, the CDFI Fund will consider information provided by the Appropriate Federal or State Banking Agencies about both the CDFI Depository Institution Holding Company and the Subsidiary CDFI Certified Insured Depository Institution that will expend and carry out the award. If the Appropriate Federal Banking Agency or Appropriate State Agency identifies safety and soundness concerns, the CDFI Fund will assess whether the concerns cause or will cause the Applicant to be incapable of undertaking the activities for which funding has been requested.
5. Non-Regulated Institutions: In accordance with the CDFI Program's authorizing statute and regulations, the CDFI Fund must ensure, to the maximum extent practicable, that recipients that are non-regulated CDFIs are financially and managerially sound and maintain appropriate internal controls (12 U.S.C. 4707(f)(1)(A) and 12 CFR 1805.800(b)). Further, the CDFI Fund must determine that an Applicant's capacity to operate as a CDFI and its continued viability will not be dependent upon assistance from the CDFI Fund (12 U.S.C. 4704(b)(2)(A)). If it is determined the Applicant is incapable of meeting these requirements, the CDFI Fund reserves the right to deem the Applicant ineligible or terminate the award.
B. Anticipated Award Announcement: The CDFI Fund anticipates making CDFI Program award announcements after September 23, 2017 and before September 30, 2017.
C. Application Rejection: The CDFI Fund reserves the right to reject an Application if information (including administrative error) comes to the CDFI Fund's attention that either: Adversely affects an Applicant's eligibility for an award; adversely affects the Recipient's certification as a CDFI (to the extent that the award is conditional upon CDFI certification); adversely affects the CDFI Fund's evaluation or scoring of an Application; or indicates fraud or mismanagement on the Applicant's part. If the CDFI Fund determines any portion of the Application is incorrect in a material respect, the CDFI Fund reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to reject the Application. The CDFI Fund reserves the right to change its eligibility and evaluation criteria and procedures, if the CDFI Fund deems it appropriate. If the changes materially affect the CDFI Fund's award decisions, the CDFI Fund will provide information about the changes through its Web site. The CDFI Fund's award decisions are final and there is no right to appeal the decisions.
D. External Non-CDFI Fund Reviewers: All external non-CDFI Fund reviewers are selected based on criteria that includes a professional background in community and economic development finance and experience reviewing the financial statements of all CDFI institution types. Reviewers must complete the CDFI Fund's conflict of interest process and be approved by the CDFI Fund. The CDFI Fund's application reader conflict of interest policy is located on the CDFI Fund's Web site.VI. Federal Award Administration Information
A. Award Notification: Each successful Applicant will receive an email "notice of award" notification from the CDFI Fund stating that its Application has been approved for an award. Each Applicant not selected for an award will receive an email stating that a debriefing notice has been provided in its AMIS account.
B. Assistance Agreement: Each Applicant selected to receive an award must enter into an Assistance Agreement with the CDFI Fund in order to receive a payment(s). The Assistance Agreement will set forth the award's terms and conditions, including but not be limited to the: (i) Award amount; (ii) award type; (iii) award uses; (iv) eligible use of funds; (v) performance goals and measures; and (vi) reporting requirements. FA Assistance Agreements have three-year periods of performance; TA Assistance Agreements have two-year periods of performance for Certified CDFIs and three-year periods of performance for Emerging CDFIs or Certifiable CDFIs.
1. Certificate of Good Standing: All FA and TA Recipients that are not Insured Depository Institutions will be required to provide the CDFI Fund with a certificate of good standing from the secretary of state for the Recipient's State of incorporation prior to closing. This certificate can often be acquired online on the secretary of state Web site for the Recipient's State of incorporation and must generally be dated within 180 days before the date the Recipient executes the Assistance Agreement. Due to potential backlogs in State government offices, Applicants are advised to submit requests for certificates of good standing no later than 60 days after they submit their Applications.
2. Closing: Pursuant to the Assistance Agreement, there will be an initial closing at which point the Assistance Agreement and related documents will be properly executed and delivered, and an initial payment of FA or TA may be made. FA Recipients that are subject to the matching funds requirement will not receive a payment until 100 percent of their matching funds are In-Hand. The first payment is the estimated amount of award that the Recipient states in its Application that it will use for eligible FA or TA activities in the first 12 months after the award. The CDFI Fund reserves the right to increase the first payment amount on any award to ensure that any subsequent payments are greater than $25,000 for FA and $5,000 for TA awards.
The CDFI Fund will minimize the time between the Recipient incurring costs for eligible activities and award payment in accordance with the Uniform Administrative Requirements. The advanced payments for eligible activities will occur no more than one year in advance of the Recipient incurring costs for the eligible activities. Following the initial closing, there may be subsequent closings involving additional award payments. Any documents in addition to the Assistant Agreement that are connected with such subsequent closings and payments shall be properly executed and timely delivered by the Recipient to the CDFI Fund.
3. Requirements Prior to Entering into an Assistance Agreement: If, prior to entering into an Assistance Agreement, information (including administrative error) comes to the CDFI Fund's attention that: Adversely affects the Recipient's eligibility for an award; adversely affects the Recipient's certification as a CDFI (to the extent that the award is conditional upon CDFI certification); adversely affects the CDFI Fund's evaluation of the Application; indicates that the Recipient is not in compliance with any requirement listed the Uniform Administrative Requirements; or indicates fraud or mismanagement on the Recipient's part, the CDFI Fund may, in its discretion and without advance notice to the Recipient, terminate the award or take such other actions as it deems appropriate. The CDFI Fund reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to rescind an award if the Recipient fails to return the Assistance Agreement, signed by the authorized representative of the Recipient, and/or provide the CDFI Fund with any other requested documentation, within the CDFI Fund's deadlines.
In addition, the CDFI Fund reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to terminate and rescind the Assistance Agreement and the award made under this NOFA pending the criteria described in the following table:
1. Reporting requirements: On an annual basis for the period of performance, the CDFI Fund may collect information from each Recipient including, but not limited to, an Annual Report with the following components:
Each Recipient is responsible for the timely and complete submission of the Annual Reporting requirements. The CDFI Fund reserves the right to contact the Recipient and additional entities or signatories to the Assistance Agreement to request additional information and documentation. The CDFI Fund will use such information to monitor each Recipient's compliance with the requirements in the Assistance Agreement and to assess the impact of the CDFI Program. The CDFI Fund reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to modify these reporting requirements, including increasing the scope and frequency of reporting, if it determines it to be appropriate and necessary; however, such reporting requirements will be modified only after notice to Recipients.
2. Financial Management and Accounting: The CDFI Fund will require Recipients to maintain financial management and accounting systems that comply with Federal statutes, regulations, and the terms and conditions of the Federal award. These systems must be sufficient to permit the preparation of reports required by general and program specific terms and conditions, including the tracing of funds to a level of expenditures adequate to establish that such funds have been used according to the Federal statutes, regulations, and the terms and conditions of the Federal award.
The cost principles used by Recipients must be consistent with Federal cost principles and support the accumulation of costs as required by the principles, and must provide for adequate documentation to support costs charged to the CDFI Program award. In addition, the CDFI Fund will require Recipients to: Maintain effective internal controls; comply with applicable statutes, regulations, and the Assistance Agreement; evaluate and monitor compliance; take action when not in compliance; and safeguard personally identifiable information.VII. Agency Contacts
A. The CDFI Fund will respond to questions concerning this NOFA and the Application between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Savings Time, starting on the date that the NOFA is published through the date listed in Table 1 and Table 11. The CDFI Fund will post on its Web site responses to reoccurring questions received about this Application. Other information regarding the CDFI Fund and its programs may be obtained from the CDFI Fund's Web site at http://www.cdfifund.gov. Table 19 lists CDFI Fund contact information:
B. Information Technology Support: For IT Assistance, submit an AMIS Service Request (Record Type of "General Inquiry"). In the Service Request form, select the appropriate program, then select "AMIS Technical Problem" as the Type. People who have visual or mobility impairments that prevent them from using the CDFI Fund's Web site should call (202) 653-0422 for assistance (this is not a toll free number).
C. Communication with the CDFI Fund: The CDFI Fund will use contact information in AMIS to communicate with Applicants and Recipients. It is imperative, therefore, that Applicants, Recipients, Subsidiaries, Affiliates, and signatories maintain accurate contact information in their accounts. This includes information such as contact names (especially for the authorized representative) listed in this NOFA's application materials, email addresses, fax and phone numbers, and office locations.
D. Civil Rights and Diversity: Any person who is eligible to receive benefits or services from the CDFI Fund or Recipients under any of its programs is entitled to those benefits or services without being subject to prohibited discrimination. The Department of the Treasury's Office of Civil Rights and Diversity enforces various Federal statutes and regulations that prohibit discrimination in financially assisted and conducted programs and activities of the CDFI Fund. If a person believes that s/he has been subjected to discrimination and/or reprisal because of membership in a protected group, s/he may file a complaint with: Associate Chief Human Capital Officer, Office of Civil Rights, and Diversity, 1500 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20220 or (202) 622-1160 (not a toll-free number).VIII. Other Information
A. Paperwork Reduction Act: Under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. chapter 35), an agency may not conduct or sponsor a collection of information, and an individual is not required to respond to a collection of information, unless it displays a valid OMB control number. If applicable, the CDFI Fund may inform Applicants that they do not need to provide certain Application information otherwise required. Pursuant to the Paperwork Reduction Act, the CDFI Program, and NACA Program Application has been assigned the following control number: 1559-0021.
B. Application Information Sessions: The CDFI Fund may conduct webinars or host information sessions for organizations that are considering applying to, or are interested in learning about, the CDFI Fund's programs. For further information, please visit the CDFI Fund's Web site at http://www.cdfifund.gov.