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Grant Selection and Performance

November 9, 2012

Grant Selection & Performance Task Force Minutes

November 9, 2012 Regular Meeting

Meeting convened 8:00am

Commission Members In attendance: Kathy Billings, Scott Blake, Betsy Fitzgerald, Susan Hammond, Joan McDonald, David Wihry

Members Absent: Ron Holmes, Celeste Branham

Staff: Michael Ashmore, Pam Zeutenhorst

Guests: Joely Ross

Members and guests were welcomed and agenda was adjusted to take updates first, to be followed by Volunteer Generation Fund (VGF) continuations.

Updates:

Federal AmeriCorps Competitive NOFA & Application Instructions:

MA noted that the release of the federal Notice of Funds Availability (NOFA) for State Competitive applications occurred at the end of October.  Because Commission’s RFPs have already been released and because the federal NOFA contained changes from past NOFAs, revisions of the state RFPs were necessary.  A revised RFP for both current competitions were released on Nov.5th.  Page three of both RFPs now contain a list of changes with specific page references; changes are highlighted in red within the documents. 

MA briefly summarized the changes.  He also noted that applications are due Nov. 20th.

Reduced Match Request

MA informed the group that a prospective applicant for the current completion has requested a reduced match, which is allowable under Corporation rules.  MA noted that the request from Kennebec Valley Community Action Program was submitted according the RFP instruction before the deadline and was forwarded to the Corporation for review.  The Task Force was informed that, depending on the Corporation determination, a change of match budget may be needed during the grants review process.

MA also noted that copies of the request and the pertinent section of the RFP have been uploaded to the Hub for Task Force members who wish to review them.

Consideration of Volunteer Generation Fund Continuation Requests (six).

PZ informed the group of the reasons why Friends in Action has chosen not to apply for continuation of its VGF Peer Network Support grant for the upcoming grant cycle.  The primary reason cited was the burden of reporting paperwork necessary for federal funds, even for small amounts.  Staffing and organizational capacity is limited so, although the grantee continues to be interested in the project, they are unable to continue.

PZ also noted that United Way of Androscoggin County, the first continuation considered, was a grant issued under a separate RFP and was for a different scale and different scope of work than the other grantees to be considered.  The funding amount is significantly lower. Unlike the others, operation of a Volunteer Center is not part of the scope of work.

JM noted that she is abstaining from formulating recommendations on all of the VGF continuations because of a potential conflict of interest.

KB expressed a concern with the small number of volunteers and hours per volunteer noted in the continuation assessment.  DW noted the lack of a sustainability plan.  SB asked for clarification on what the funds were being spent on.  PZ noted that the majority is spent on staff time with a small amount reserved for travel and training.  Group moved to recommend to the Commission that United Way of Androscoggin County be funded at the requested level with the condition that the grantee submit a sustainability plan within 90 days.

PZ noted that the remaining grantees’ scope of work includes establishing or sustaining a volunteer center in addition to the peer network and maintenance of Volunteer Maine web interface required of the previously considered application.

After clarification of a typographical error in the continuation assessment; the group moved to recommend to the Commission that United Way of Eastern Maine be funded be funded at the requested level with no conditions.

It was noted that United Way of Midcoast Maine had some findings in its most recent site review concerning two Human Resource policies and that the program has noted that they do not currently have a plan to continue this work after the grant expires.  The group moved to recommend to the Commission that United Way of Midcoast Maine be funded at the requested level with two conditions: 1. that the grantee submit copies of the noted policies within 30 days, and 2. that the grantee submit a sustainability plan within 90 days.

  PZ noted that the United Way of Greater Portlandhad made calculation errors in their budget.  Group moved to recommend to the Commission that United Way of the Greater Portland be funded in the amount of $ 33,000 to be matched with no less than $33,000 under the condition that the grantee submits a corrected budget prior to funding

PZ noted that the United Way of the TriValley Area had made calculation errors in their budget and that the stated match level may be higher than intended.  Group moved to recommend to the Commission that United Way of the TriValley Area be funded at the requested level with the condition that the grantee submit a corrected budget prior to funding.

There was agreement that United Way of York County presented a very strong record of performance; the group moved to recommend to the Commission that United Way of York County be funded be funded at the requested level with no conditions.MA thanked the Task Force members and noted that they will need to recruit other Commission members to participate in the peer review process for the upcoming AmeriCorps application review.Meeting ended 9:00am