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Grant Selection and Performance

May 7, 2018

Grant Selection & Performance Task Force

May 4, 2018

Present via phone: Laurel Bernier, Maryalice Crofton, Deb Johnson, David Wihry, & Ed Barrett

The task force met by phone conference and convened at 8:30 am. 

DISCUSSION ITEMS:

  1. Grant Review Process

About $998,000 total requested; $668,000 available to award.

Task Force Tech Review involves going through the materials submitted by new grantees, including their applications, peer reviewer reports, financials, etc.

New task force members will need to budget more time to read through and learn about applicants’ background. Deb will come to Augusta next week to meet w/ Maryalice.

Upcoming Peer Reviewer Consensus Calls: Maryalice will send details when available

---Rural/State: David Wihry to observe Peer Reviewer Consensus Call; Beth Lambert & David Wihry to do tech review.

---Standard (one re-app, 1 new @ time of meeting): Ed Barrett to observe Peer Reviewer Consensus Call; Deb Johnson & Ed Barrett to do tech review. Task Force decided to review the Standard applications first, since all materials are in and few applicants.

---United Way of Tri-Valley Area not continuing next year, because AmeriCorps isn’t fitting where their organization is at the moment

---Eastern Maine Development Corporation’s submission is in and will be pretty simple, because that program has been running for 9-10 weeks, so there isn’t as much to review. Staff review will be posted by the end of next week.

  1. Specific AmeriCorps Programs

MCCS submits Unexpended Funds Reports to the Corporation for National & Community Service (CNCS), to predict how much money will be leftover at the end of the year. CNCS requires MCCS to submit this report annually for formula grants, and sometimes MCCS requests it from additional programs if a significant portion of their budget will likely be unspent by the end of the year. These reports also enable MCCS to reallocate the $ to smaller, less-experienced programs, instead of sending it all back to CNCS.

RSU14 enrollment is still low, but their unexpended funds were decreased after converting most of their Education Award Only slots to shorter terms with living allowances. Their goal in this was to make the AmeriCorps opportunity more appealing and feasible for members this summer.

LearningWorks’ Unexpended Funds are estimated at about $70,000; report submitted to CNCS. Enrollment is currently low, but they plan to fill slots with members to work at their summer programs.

The Task Force decided not to right-size either grant at this time.

USM/ME Campus Compact & United Way of TriValley Area

---Program & fiscal monitoring are in progress

EMDC now has at least one member, and they are continuing to work on recruitment.

David asked: what can the Commission do to help grantees avoid these mistakes?

---Minimum-time (300-hour) slots are difficult to fill, especially if they receive only an Education Award and no Living Allowance.

---Task Force suggestions: MCCS staff make it clearer to new applicants of risk associated w/ minimum time Education Award Only slots; adjust programs’ recruitment systems earlier in the year as needed; ensure that applicants have enough staff time to deliver on AmeriCorps requirements.

  1. Federal Mid-year Report submitted to CNCS

Data gleaned from quarterly Grantee Progress Reports (GPRs); narratives based on GPRs and MCCS staff observations.

Laurel attached the reports in an email to the Task Force with these minutes.

  1. MCCS received an early indication of funding for competitive AmeriCorps grants

Campus Compact & LearningWorks will receive an additional year of funding.

Maine Conservation Corps & Healthy Acadia are waitlisted

Need to wait until 5/29 to see if their place on the waitlist to get funding.

 

The meeting adjourned at 9:30am.