Illinois Census Office - Notice of Funding Opportunity

Helping Families. Supporting Communities. Empowering Individuals.

Summary Information

1. Awarding Agency Name: Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS)
Office of the Secretary
2. Agency Contact: Email:  DHS.CensusNOFO@Illinois.gov
Census Office Phone:  1-844-950-0986
3. Announcement Type: Initial Announcement
4. Type of Assistance Instrument: Grant
5. Funding Opportunity Number: 20-444-00-2174-01
6. Funding Opportunity Title: 2020 Census Grant Program
7. CSFA Number: 444-00-2174
8. CSFA Popular Name: 2020 Census Grant Program
9. CFDA Number(s): Not Applicable
10. Anticipated Number of Awards: At least 12
11. Estimated Total Program Funding: Up to $20,000,000
12. Award Range Regional Funding Range for Illinois Census Office Region Map
13. Source of Funding: General Revenue Funds
14. Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement: No
15. Indirect Costs Allowed Yes
Restrictions on Indirect Costs No
16. Posted Date: July 31, 2019
17. Application Range: July 31, 2019 - September 13, 2019
Deadline:  September 13, 2019 by 5:00 pm Central Time (CT)
18. Technical Assistance Session:

Session Offered: Yes
Session Mandatory: No


Date Offered: August 8, 2019
Time Offered:  1:00 pm - 2:30 pm CT

WebEx details

Webinar Slides (pdf)


Prior to the Technical Assistance Session, applicants are encouraged to review the GATA Webinars listed below at the following website: www.grants.illinois.gov

Select "Webinars"
Select "FY18 GATA Webinars"
Using the scroll bar on the right side of the page, click "Next" to move to Page 2
Select the Modules listed below
Click on "Register" to watch the webinars

  • Module 1: Uniform Guidance and GATA Overview
  • Module 2: Uniform Templates and Frameworks
  • Module 3: Grantee Portal and GATA Website
  • Module 4: Risk Assessments
  • Module 5: Basic Considerations
  • Module 6: Selected Items of Cost
  • Module 7: Indirect Cost Rate Election Requirements
  • Module 8: Centralized Audit Report Review


NOFO Supplemental

(Agency-specific Content for the Notice of Funding Opportunity)

A. Program Description

Executive Summary

An accurate count of Illinois' population is essential to ensure that Illinois receives the funding it needs to adequately and effectively care for its residents and to provide critical services and programs. The Illinois General Assembly (ILGA) appropriated $29 million to the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) to support a statewide census outreach and education effort to reach the highest self-response rate possible.  Of this amount, up to $20 million will be awarded through this NOFO via a "hub and spoke" model whereby one or more intermediaries in 12 designated regions across the state will work with subrecipients, who are trusted messengers to reach Hard-to-Count (HTC) communities. 

Selected Regional Intermediaries (RIs)1 will be responsible for selecting, supporting and managing subrecipients; providing technical assistance (TA) and capacity building; collaborating with the State and other entities to identify subsequent needs, and carrying out linguistically- and culturally-appropriate outreach and education efforts. A phased-in funding approach is envisioned to provide an additional $5 million in resources for subsequent needs and to further support proven projects. Finally, the comprehensive statewide census strategy will include communication and marketing efforts that support and amplify the work to increase knowledge, engagement, and participation in the 2020 Census.

1 See Glossary of Terms


Background

The U.S. Constitution requires that a census, or count, of every person living in the United States take place every 10 years. The data collected by the decennial census determine the number of seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives and is also used to distribute billions in federal funds to states and local communities. In FY2016, Illinois received $34,331,000,530 through 55 federal spending programs guided by data derived from the 2010 Census, or approximately $2,669 per capita, in federal assistance. The funds support vital public needs, such as schools, roads, public transportation, hospitals and social programs. The failure to count every Illinois resident would have a significant negative impact on Illinois' ability to meet the needs of its residents.

With much at stake, Governor Pritzker issued Executive Order 2019-10, establishing the State of Illinois' Census Office (Census Office) at IDHS to support a robust statewide effort to educate and engage communities across the state, to increase collaboration between all levels of government and to build strong partnerships between private-sector and community leaders to ensure a complete and accurate count of Illinoisans.

To ensure that Illinois has the highest participation possible, the Census Office will be funding activities to increase the self-response rate of HTC communities and all Illinois residents, managing a statewide communications and marketing campaign and coordinating census efforts with other entities, including the U.S. Census Bureau, Illinois Complete Count Commission, the Office of the Secretary of State, local complete count committees, local governments (e.g., cities, counties, etc.), community organizations and the philanthropic sector.

Overall Strategy

The State's funding strategy will prioritize HTC communities as defined in this NOFO and encourage all Illinois residents to participate in the 2020 Census. Grants will be awarded to high-capacity RIs who will provide subawards to entities in their regions.

Focus on Hard-to-Count (HTC) Communities

Funding through this award will focus on increasing the self-response rate of HTC communities.  Historically, the U.S. Census has undercounted certain population groups and certain geographic communities, which are composed of people in population groups and geographic areas that are least likely to return census questionnaires without in-person follow-up.

The Census Office also wanted to understand the geographic areas that were hardest to count. It worked with Northern Illinois University's Center for Governmental Studies to create the Illinois Hard-To-Count Index (IL HTC Index) using 18 variables describing the characteristics commonly associated with low response areas, such as housing, income and age, including variables describing low internet access. This created a better understanding of potential response rates of certain geographic areas for the 2020 Census. The IL HTC Index guides how to allocate funds proportionally by targeting and prioritizing hardest to count areas. To see an index map highlighting Illinois' hardest to count geographies, a full list of variables and how the index was calculated, go to http://illinoisdata.com/CensusHardToCount/.

The following list of HTC populations was developed by reviewing lists from the U.S. Census Bureau and the College University of New York (CUNY). RIs will be expected to create outreach strategies for these populations. Please note that there is not a singular definition of HTC populations, and the groups listed are not mutually exclusive, as one person may identify with multiple experiences.

  • Racial and ethnic minorities including, but not limited to:
    • African American/Black
    • Arab American
    • Asian American and Pacific Islander
    • Hispanic or Latino
    • Native American/American Indian
  • Children younger than five years old
  • Foreign-born individuals
  • People with Limited English Proficiency
  • Undocumented immigrants
  • People living close to or below the poverty line
  • Renters
  • People who are young and mobile
  • People experiencing homelessness
  • People who live in rural areas
  • People with disabilities (including Deaf and Hard of Hearing)
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Questioning or Queer people
  • Older adults
  • People who distrust the government

Additionally, the 2020 Census will be the first decennial census to rely primarily on on-line responses, therefore persons living in homes with limited internet access are also at risk of not being counted.

These Illinois residents and families are at risk of being undercounted. Therefore, Illinois' census communication and outreach strategy will focus on both geographic areas and demographic populations who are least likely to respond.

Model of Work Flow

Through this NOFO, the Census Office is seeking applications from eligible2 community organizations and local governments3 to be RIs to focus on HTC geographies and populations within their region(s).  The regions are shown in the Illinois Census Office Region Map which is included as Appendix I. The Census Office anticipates awarding at least 12 RIs through a "hub and spoke" model.  RIs and their subrecipients will implement activities described within the Scope of Services and Deliverables below, which may include additional activities and strategies identified by the Census Office during the funding cycle.

2 See Section C of the NOFO, Eligibility Requirements

3 Adapted from IL P.A. 101-0007

4 Appendix I, Illinois Census Office Region Map


Regional Intermediaries

RIs will be the central coordinators of the census outreach efforts and provide subawards to subrecipients,5 who are viewed as trusted messengers in their communities and are able to provide linguistically- and culturally-appropriate services. Each applicant should have the capacity to serve all counties and reach every HTC community within their entire region; however, the Census Office reserves the right to choose more than one intermediary within a region and to negotiate service areas and grant amounts if more than one intermediary is chosen. RIs are responsible for selecting, managing, and evaluating their subrecipients. It is expected that additional subrecipients will be identified after awards are made. Applicants are encouraged to name confirmed, likely, and targeted subrecipients in their application. RIs will be selected by the first full week of October 2019. RIs will be responsible for having subrecipients in place, and beginning implementation plans by November 4, 2019.

5 See Appendix II, 2 CFR 200.331, Requirements for Subrecipient Selection


Subrecipients

Eligible community organizations or local government wishing to provide census outreach services to smaller geographic areas (e.g. neighborhood, village, town, etc.), or to serve a specific HTC population (e.g. people with disabilities, children younger than five-years old, people with Limited English Proficiency, older adults, etc.) or provide a specific skill (e.g. ethnic media expertise, community outreach training and technical assistance within a region, etc.) will need to work with the successful RI as a subrecipient. All subrecipients' program activities need to be approved by RIs.

PLEASE NOTE: All subrecipients must meet the pre-qualification requirements prior to receiving a subaward. For more information about pre-qualification requirements, click here. Subrecipients may provide subawards to other entities (sub-subrecipients) as well as have subcontractors or consultants. All tiers of subrecipients are subject to grant compliance including pre-qualification requirements. All subawards must meet 2 CFR 200.74, 200.324, and 200.331 pass-through requirements.  To aid in determining whether a subaward or contract or is the correct method, grantees may use the Checklist for Contractor/Subrecipient Determinations, which was developed by the Association of Government Accountants (and is available here https://www2.illinois.gov/sites/GATA/Documents/Resource%20Library/subcontractor_checklist_v6_FINAL_08-19-15_fillable.pdf), and the Census Office must approve all subrecipients.

Regional Intermediary example of work and funding flow

The graphic is an example of the work and funding flow. It is for illustration purposes only and does not represent a recommendation of the way an RI should make subawards.

The Regional Intermediary is at the center of the framework.

The Regional Intermediary may directly fund Subrecipient: County A.

County A may directly fund Subrecipient: Local Government.

The Regional Intermediary may directly fund Subrecipient: HTC Geographic-based for-profit business.

Subrecipient: HTC Geographic-based for-profit business may directly fund Subrecipient: HTC Population-based 501c.

The Regional Intermediary may directly fund Subrecipient: HTC Population-based 501c.

Subrecipient: HTC Population-based 501c may directly fund Subrecipient: HTC Geographic-based for-profit business.

The Regional Intermediary may directly fund Subrecipient: Local Government

Subrecipient: Local Government may directly fund Subrecipient: HTC Geographic-based for-profit business.

Scope of Services

The 2020 Census Grant Program will support statewide coordinated outreach efforts through RIs to reach Illinois residents who are at risk of being undercounted. This program seeks to ensure that identified geographic areas and demographic populations who are least likely to respond, will participate in the 2020 Census.

The RI will design and implement a region-wide outreach program which utilizes subrecipients and builds upon existing census efforts. RIs will implement a plan which includes the following components:

  1. Collaboration and Coordination of Subrecipients
  2. Education, Outreach, and Communication
  3. Direct Engagement
  4. Questionnaire Assistance and Participation
  5. Data Collection and Reporting

Deliverables

Applicants may deliver service directly and are expected to provide subawards to subrecipients to deliver some of the services listed below.  All activities should follow guidance issued by the U.S. Census Bureau, especially those pertaining to effective enumeration and protecting confidentiality.

Collaboration and Coordination of Subrecipients

  1. Provide technical assistance and capacity building to subrecipients and others within the region.
  2. Convene and collaborate with entities engaged in census outreach efforts within their region(s), including but not limited to subrecipients, the U.S. Census Bureau, Illinois Complete Count Commission, the Office of the Secretary of State and local complete count committees, local governments (e.g. cities, counties, etc.), community organizations and the philanthropic sector.
  3. Effectively manage subrecipients.
    1. Manage the development of the subrecipients' written implementation plans.
    2. Approve all subrecipient plans within the Census Office-approved timeline.
    3. Consistent with GATA requirements, monitor fiscal and programmatic performance of subrecipients, including reporting of required data and expenditures. Given the short timeframe of this activity, monthly reporting is required.
    4. Respond to State directives for any additional coordination of outreach efforts necessary to ensure full statewide participation in the 2020 Census.
  4. Collaborate with the Census Office to identify potential unserved/uncovered HTC populations and/or geographic areas in the region(s) that may require the use of additional subrecipients to achieve a complete count. This may include, but not be limited to:
    1. Identifying HTC populations and/or geographies within applicant's designated region(s).
    2. Providing census participation efforts to identified service gaps (in addition to what they proposed) within their designated region during the award period.
    3. Collaborating with the State to identify and inform the development of additional strategies that may be needed to achieve a complete count.

Education, Outreach and Communication

  1. Adapt or when necessary develop culturally- and linguistically-appropriate materials, using relevant and tailored messaging in native language(s) and accessible formats, as needed. 
  2. Develop and implement Census Office-approved outreach and education plans, which must include the types of activities, metrics and total number of people expected to be reached through a variety of traditional and digital media and platforms.
  3. Work with the Census Office on a State-coordinated media campaign to be determined, including circulating education and outreach materials consistent with statewide approved messaging and materials.

Direct Engagement

  1. Organize and participate in community gatherings, events, and other forums to encourage the public to participate in the census.
  2. Implement direct engagement activities, which include in-person activities.
  3. Engage, train, and utilize trusted messengers and sources to encourage members of the public to participate in the census.

Questionnaire Assistance and Participation

  1. Use trusted messengers and sources to assist the public in responding to the questionnaire.
  2. Provide internet access to complete the online questionnaire.
  3. Establish, manage and announce locations where the HTC communities may receive information regarding the census in their native language and assistance completing the census questionnaire when necessary.
  4. Establish or utilize comfortable, trusted and confidential environments in which the HTC communities can participate in the census.

Data Collection and Reporting

  1. Monitor and evaluate subrecipients.
  2. Submit financial and program documentation to the Census Office on a monthly basis.
  3. Submit performance documentation to the Census Office on a monthly basis. A fiscal year-end program and performance measures and outcomes report will also be required.
  4. Participate in evaluation efforts as directed by the Census Office and collect and report data accordingly. 

Performance Measures

The NOFO supports the following performance measures from RIs and their subrecipients:

  1. Begin to execute approved overall program plan designed to reach both HTC populations and the public.
  2. Execute contractual agreements, including accompanying risk assessments, in compliance with 2 CFR 200 with each subrecipient to provide services to HTC populations by November 4, 2019.
  3. Execute approved deliverables as outlined under Collaboration and Coordination of subrecipients.
  4. Execute approved deliverables as outlined under Education, Outreach and Communications.
  5. Execute approved deliverables as outlined under Direct Engagement.
  6. Execute approved deliverables as outlined under Questionnaire Assistance and Participation.
  7. Execute approved deliverables as outlined under Data Collection and Reporting.

Performance Standards

The NOFO supports the following performance standards from RIs and their subrecipients:

  1. Execution of Census Office-approved program plan designed to reach both HTC populations and the general public by date in the Census Office-approved timeline.
  2. 100% of contractual agreements executed in compliance with 2 CFR 200 with subrecipient to provide services to HTC populations by November 4, 2019.
  3. 90% execution of approved deliverables as outlined under Collaboration and Coordination of subrecipients by date in the Census Office approved timeline with a minimum of 90% compliance at each quarterly report.
  4. 90% execution of approved deliverables as outlined under Education, Outreach and Communications by date in the Census Office approved timeline with a minimum of 90% compliance at each quarterly report.
  5. 90% execution of approved deliverables as outlined under Direct Engagement by date in the Census Office approved timeline with a minimum of 90% compliance at each quarterly report.
  6. 90% execution of approved deliverables as outlined under Questionnaire Assistance and Participation by date in the Census Office approved timeline with a minimum of 90% compliance at each quarterly report.
  7. Full execution of approved deliverables as outlined under Data Collection and Reporting by date in the Census Office approved timeline with a minimum of 90% compliance at each quarterly report.

Summary Data Sheet

The first page of the application should be the Summary Data Sheet.  Please use the information provided in Appendix III (2 pages maximum).

Program Narrative

Applicants will submit a program narrative which addresses their ability to achieve census program desired outcomes. The narrative should include the items listed below. Sections must be clearly marked and adhere to the indicated page limits. If the applicant is interested in serving multiple regions, the applicant must submit a complete application for each region. Applications must be submitted separately.  Please use the application checklist (Appendix V) to ensure that your application is complete.  Any application missing attachments will not be reviewed.

Section Please respond to the following items
Executive Summary (1 page max.)
Present the entity's description, history, achievements, service description, financial overview, and future plans.
Need - Description of Need (2 pages max.)

Identify what region your entity is proposing to serve.

Provide a clear and accurate picture of the need for these services within the region.

Describe the HTC populations in the region, including but not limited to potential language, cultural, motivational and access barriers.

Discuss any unique needs for educational and awareness efforts in the region to be served.

Capacity - Entity Qualifications/Organizational Capacity
(4 pages max.)


Overall Entity Capacity

Overall: Present an accurate picture of the entity's ability to meet the program requirements and to address the needs in the above section, specific to the region.

Administrative Capacity: Describe in detail your administrative, fiscal, and programmatic capacity.

Personnel: Provide your entity's full organizational chart. Include resumes for key personnel. Include an overview of the anticipated staffing structure.

State of Readiness: Describe the process your organization will follow to be fully ready to provide services by November 4, 2019.

Leveraging Resources: Describe the financial resources, knowledge, skills and other abilities that you are able to leverage for this project.  These may include, but are not limited to, the availability of private or other government funding, bilingual staff, interpreters, translators, meeting rooms, volunteers and an established presence in the community.  -Please list any such leveraged resources in the form of additional funds or in-kind services, which you have secured that will be devoted to census-related activities. 

Prior Experience

HTC Population Experience:  Describe your entity's prior relationships, experience, and expertise in working with HTC populations and HTC geographic areas.

Census Experience: Describe your entity's prior experience and demonstrated ability with similar projects including any census outreach activities, community organizing, community education or civic participation.

Collaboration: Discuss your history of collaborating with other entities to ensure successful project implementation in the region. Indicate if your organization was a leader or a participant in the collaboration.

Subrecipients: Describe your entity's experience managing subrecipients, including providing technical assistance and capacity building, ensuring GATA requirements are met, executing subawards, fiscal management, obtaining subrecipients program plans and data, data collection and monitoring, etc.

Quality - Description of Program Services
(4 pages max. plus an additional 5 pages max. for Program Work Plans not counted toward 12 page narrative maximum)

Overall Description

Provide a detailed, clear, and accurate picture of the intended program design, project implementation details, and associated outcomes.

Describe how the proposed project will address identified needs in "Description of Need" section.

Provide a detailed timeline for your proposed approach that includes development of anticipated linkage agreements (informal working agreements or Memorandum of Understanding), formal subawards or other coordination activities necessary to accomplish the goals and objectives. The approach should outline the exact nature of the relationships, identify roles and responsibilities, sharing of resources or joint activities.

Program work plans are mandatory (5 pages maximum) and must include goals, expected outcomes, timeframe/dates, persons responsible, and evaluation for each of the following subsections:  a.) Collaboration and Coordination; b.) Education, Outreach, and Communication; c.) Direct Engagement; and d.) Questionnaire Assistance. Information provided should be presented in a clear and orderly format. An example template is provided as Appendix IV; however, entities may use their own template. Include your entity's work plan as Attachment D, and limit to 5 pages maximum. 

Describe your entity's quality assurance process to ensure compliance with stated programmatic design and achievement of NOFO deliverables.

Collaboration and Coordination

On the program work plan, list your entity's deliverables related to collaboration and coordination of subrecipients and other trusted messengers.

Describe methods for identifying and selecting entities with whom you will work, including subrecipients and other trusted messengers.

Provide a list of known potential subrecipients; describe any previous working relationship with each subrecipient; describe plan for securing additional partnerships to ensure reaching HTC populations throughout the region.

Describe how your entity will provide technical assistance and capacity building to subrecipients and others.

Describe how your entity will convene and collaborate with entities engaged in census outreach efforts within their proposed service region.

Describe how your entity will manage and monitor subrecipients; ensure compliance with GATA requirements, execute subawards, provide fiscal management, obtain subrecipient's program plans and collect data, etc.

Describe how your entity will collaborate with the Census Office to identify potential unserved/uncovered HTC communities in the region that may require the use of additional subrecipients.

Indicate what percentage of the total requested budget and dollar amount entity anticipates subawarding.

Education, Outreach and Communication

On the program work plan, list your entity's deliverables related to education, outreach and communication.

Describe how the entity will develop culturally- and linguistically-appropriate materials to educate the public about the importance of the census, the census process, timeline and confidentiality. List types of educational materials expected to be adapted and/or translated.

Indicate the entity's willingness to work with the Census Office on a State-coordinated media campaign.

Direct Engagement

On the program work plan, list your entity's deliverables related to direct engagement. Include activities that increase community engagement or participation, such as community organizing, public education, outreach or presentations.

Describe how your entity will organize and participate in community gatherings, marketing events, and other forums to encourage the public to participate in the census.

Describe how your entity will implement direct engagement activities.

Describe how your entity will engage and utilize trusted messengers and sources to encourage members of the public to participate in the census process by completing their census questionnaire.

Questionnaire Assistance

On the program work plan, list your entity's deliverables related to assisting the public and HTC community members in filling out their questionnaires.

Describe how entity will utilize trusted messengers and sources to assist in the questionnaire process.

Describe how entity plans to increase internet accessibility for HTC populations. Include a description of how entity plans to offer assistance completing the census questionnaire online.

Describe how the entity will establish, manage and announce comfortable, trusted and confidential assistance sites in which the HTC communities can participate in the census. Include number of hours sites will be open and language assistance availability.

Indicate the entity's agreement to work within the federal and Census Bureau guidelines.

Data Collection, Evaluation and Reporting (1 page max.)

Describe entity's data collection and reporting practices to include staff involved, technology used and experience with data analysis and reporting.

Include processes for monitoring subrecipients to ensure compliance with programmatic objectives and GATA requirements.

Describe the entity's willingness to participate in evaluation efforts by the Census Office.

B. Funding Information

This NOFO is considered a competitive application for funding. It is not a guarantee of funding.

This award utilizes appropriated General Revenue funds for this award. In FY 2020, the Census Office anticipates awarding up to $20 million to at least 12 RIs. If the applicant is interested in serving multiple regions, the applicant must submit a complete application for each region. Applications must be submitted separately.

Applicants must submit a Program Narrative which identifies the selected region and details service delivery and deliverables.  Applicants are required to submit a budget in the IDHS Community Services Agreement (CSA) tracking system which follows and adheres to all applicable State and Federal guidelines and reflects the level of funding predetermined for that region. Proposed project budgets and narratives must be sufficiently detailed and justified to be approved by the Census Office. Successful applicants will not receive a grant agreement until after their budget has been approved through the CSA system.

The grant period will begin upon execution of the grant agreement and will continue through June 30, 2020. The anticipated start date is October 15, 2019. This will be a 9-month grant award.

The release of this NOFO does not obligate the Census Office to make an award. Work cannot begin until a grant agreement is fully executed by the Census Office.

Budget

Applicants are required to submit a budget in the IDHS Community Services Agreement (CSA) tracking system which follows and adheres to all applicable State and Federal guidelines and reflects the level of funding predetermined for that region. Proposed project budgets and narratives must be sufficiently detailed and justified to be approved by the Census Office. Successful applicants will not receive a grant agreement until after their budget has been approved through the CSA system.

Funding Allocation Method

The Census Office grouped and divided Illinois' 102 counties into 12 regions based on their HTC populations and geographic similarities. The Census Office is interested in ensuring funds reach every corner of the state and will allocate up to  $20 million throughout the 12 regions.

The funding has been allocated, using two methods:

  1. Each of the 12 regions is comprised of counties that have HTC populations. Most of the funding allocated to each region is proportional, based on the Illinois Hard-to-Count Index (IL HTC Index). The IL HTC Index is a metric that incorporates 18 variables correlated with an area being difficult to enumerate.
  2. The 12 regions also have counties that only have tracts with low IL HTC Index scores (meaning they have no hard to count geographic areas), and therefore do not receive funding based on HTC populations. In these cases, the Census Office has provided a base level of funding that ensures every county will have the opportunity to benefit from State-funded outreach within their geographic boundaries.
    Region Minimum Maximum
    Central $400,000 $600,000
    Chicago $5,000,000 $8,900,000
    Collar Counties $1,800,000 $2,200,000
    NE Central $500,000 $695,000
    North Central $500,000 $650,000
    Northern $750,000 $920,000
    Northwest $350,000 $475,000
    SE Central $290,000 $400,000
    Southern $600,000 $700,000
    Suburban $2,100,000 $3,500,000
    SW Central $530,000 $660,000
    West Central $250,000 $300,000
    Grand Total $13,070,000 $20,000,000

Payment

Grantees may be paid for the Census Grant Program by advance payments or reimbursement method as follows:

Advance Payments

Grantees may request advance payment for the Census Grant Program by submitting a written request supported by a proforma cash flow statement demonstrating estimated monthly cash requirements for the term of the grant. The total amount of monthly estimated cash requirements must agree to the total amount proposed in the approved budget.

Upon the Census Office's approval of grantee to receive advance payment, the Census Office will disburse an initial payment to the grantee in an amount equal to the first two months cash flow requirements as reflected in the proforma cash flow statement.

Subsequent monthly payments will be based on periodic financial invoices submitted to the Census Office as described below, adjusted up or down, to reconcile payments previously advanced with respective monthly financial invoices.

On the 15th day following the end of any monthly reporting period, and in a format prescribed by the Census Office, grantees must submit a monthly financial invoice demonstrating all actual incurred costs for the preceding month.

The monthly financial invoice must be delineated according to the most recently approved Census Grant Program budget.

Reimbursement Method

The Census Office will disburse payments to grantee based on actual costs incurred as reflected in the monthly financial invoice submitted for the respective month, as described below.

On the 15th day following the end of any respective monthly reporting period, and in a format prescribed by the Department, grantees must submit a monthly financial invoice demonstrating all actual incurred costs for the preceding month.

The monthly financial invoice must be delineated according to the most recently approved Census Grant Program budget.

Generally Applicable Requirements

The Census Office Program Management will require grantees to submit documentation to support incurred costs on a monthly basis. The supporting documentation requirements will be on a judgmental basis as determined by the Census Office Program Manager after the monthly financial invoice has been received and reviewed. Furthermore, grantees must submit copies of all State/Federal payroll tax records to include supporting documentation and copies of the payment (check or EFT) that was submitted to the State and Federal tax authorities.

Funding Restrictions

The Census Office is not obligated to reimburse applicants for expenses or services incurred prior to the complete and final execution of the grant agreement and filing with the Illinois Office of the Comptroller unless pre-authorized by the Census Office.

All applicants are subject to the funding restrictions relating to allowable and unallowable costs as set forth in 2 CFR 200, Subpart E-Cost Principles. Funds should be dedicated to solely towards census effort and not used towards other outreach.  Additionally, unallowable costs include but are not limited to the following:

  1. Bad debts
  2. Contingencies or provision for unforeseen events
  3. Contributions and donations
  4. Entertainment, alcoholic beverages, gratuities
  5. Fines and penalties
  6. Certain interest and financial costs
  7. Legislative and lobbying expenses
  8. Real property payments or purchases

Allowable Costs

Allowable costs are those that are necessary, and reasonable and permissible under the law and can be found in 2 CFR 200 - Subpart E - Cost Principles. Examples include, but are not limited to:

  1. Staff/personnel
  2. Contractual (subawards, contracts, etc.)
  3. Interpretation and translation services
  4. Supplies (tablet devices, laptops, office supplies, etc.)
  5. Printing (Census Office-approved collateral and merchandise)
  6. Advertising
  7. Telecommunications (internet service, hot spots, data plans, phone banking)
  8. Travel
  9. Events, training, and meeting-related expenses which may include food, room rental, AV equipment rental, booth fees. Food and beverage costs must be reasonable, necessary and directly tied to the goals of the 2020 census grant. Examples of food and beverages that may be allowable include water, coffee, bagels, donuts, pizza or other items available at a nominal cost. Catered or sit-down meals, alcohol and other non-essential items, are not allowed. All food and beverage purchases billed to the grant must be designed to encourage gathering of HTC populations. All grantees and subrecipients are subject to monitoring and should maintain all necessary documentation to support all food, beverage and venue expenses. Additionally, grantees and subrecipients are encouraged to acquire lower cost locations and venues and avoid the appearance of extravagant spending.

Indirect Cost Rate Requirements

Please refer to 2 CFR 200.414 regarding Indirect (F&A) Costs. To charge indirect costs to a grant, agencies must have an annually negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA). If the agency has multiple NICRAs, the Census Office will accept only the lesser rate.

In order to charge indirect costs to a grant, the applicant organization must have an annually negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA). There are three types of NICRAS:

  1. Federally Negotiated Rate.
    Illinois will accept the federally negotiated rate. The organization must provide a copy of the federal NICRA.
  2. State Negotiated Rate.
    The organization must negotiate an indirect cost rate with the State of Illinois if they do not have a Federally Negotiated Rate, or the organization may elect to use the De Minimis Rate. If an organization has not previously established an indirect cost rate, an indirect cost rate proposal must be submitted to the State of Illinois through the indirect cost rate system, Crowe Activity Review System (CARS), no later than three months after the effective date of the award. If an organization previously established an indirect cost rate, the organization must annually submit a new indirect cost proposal through CARS within six months after the close of the grantee's fiscal year. All grantees must complete an indirect cost rate negotiation or elect the De Minimis Rate in CARS to claim indirect costs. Indirect costs claimed without an established negotiated rate or a De Minimis Rate election in CARS may be subject to disallowance.; and
  3. De Minimis Rate.
    An organization that has never received a Federally Negotiated Rate or State Negotiated Rate may elect a De Minimis Rate of 10% of modified total direct cost (MTDC). Once established, the De Minimis Rate may be used indefinitely. The State of Illinois must verify the calculation of the MTDC annually in order to accept the De Minimis Rate.

    Organizations have discretion not to claim payment for indirect costs. Organizations that elect not to claim indirect costs cannot be reimbursed for indirect costs. The organization must record an election of "No Indirect Costs" into Illinois Centralized Indirect Cost Rate System (CARS).

    At no time may the approved NICRA be exceeded under this agreement. Documentation will be required to verify the approved NICRA.

Direct Administrative Costs

It is expected that direct administrative costs will represent a small portion of the overall program budget. Program budgets and narratives will detail how all proposed expenditures are directly necessary for program implementation and will distinguish between Direct Administrative and Direct Program expenses. Any budget deemed to include inappropriate or excessive administrative costs will not be approved.

Simplified Acquisition Threshold

Potential grantees under this funding announcement may receive an award that is greater than the Simplified Acquisition Threshold, currently $250,000 (Refer to 2 CFR 200, Section 200.88). Therefore, the grantee must be aware of the following regarding the Simplified Acquisition Threshold as it will be applicable to any qualifying subaward: 

  1. That the grantee agency, prior to making a subaward with a total amount of funds greater than the Simplified Acquisition Threshold, is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM (currently FAPIIS) (see 41 U.S.C. 2313);
  2. That an applicant, at its option, may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through System for Award Management (SAM) and comment on any information about itself that the awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM;
  3. That the awarding agency will consider any comments by the applicant, in addition to the other information in the designated integrity and performance system, in making a judgment about the applicant's integrity, business ethics, and record of performance under awards when completing the review of risk posed by applicants as described in §200.205 awarding agency review of risk posed by applicants.

C. Eligibility Information

Eligible Applicants

  1. This competitive funding opportunity is limited to applicants that meet the following requirements:
    1. The applicant is a community organization or local government entity with the capacity to provide coordination of education, outreach, and survey assistance services to the public and HTC populations to an Illinois Census Office Region; AND
    2. The applicant has the capacity to execute and monitor subawards with local community entities to provide census outreach services; AND
    3. The applicant has the capacity to meet GATA requirements and to assist subrecipients with compliance with GATA requirements.
  2. Successful applicants will have the characteristics and capacities listed below, including but not limited to:
    1. Experience in working with HTC communities
      1. Skill and expertise to ensure that all outreach, messaging, and publicity is culturally relevant and linguistically appropriate
      2. Seen as or have significant relationships with trusted messengers to HTC communities
    2. Ability to collaboration and serve their entire region, covering all counties in that region
      1. Relationships and experience in collaborating with entities (community organizations, local governments, etc.) in the region(s)
      2. Ability to provide services to cover the entire geographic region
    3. Strong organizational capacity
      1. Strong financial and program reporting systems
      2.  Ability to coordinate and manage subrecipients
      3. Ability to collect and manage data from multiple entities for reporting purposes
      4. Experience in selecting, managing and evaluating subrecipients
    4. Strong relationships with potential subrecipients
      1. Previous working relationships with organizations that can effectively reach HTC communities
      2. Previous experience or relationships with local governments in the region
    5. Experience in conducting large-scale education and outreach efforts, including, but not limited to, census efforts
      1. Staff experienced in community outreach, education, mobilization, or skills needed for census efforts
    6. Experience in designing and implementing community engagement activities
      1. Ability to provide questionnaire assistance to HTC community members and the general public.
      2. Ability to begin implementing field outreach activities by November 4, 2019.
    7. Ability to leverage expertise, relationships, and other resources for census efforts.
    8. Ability to be agile and creative.
  3. The Census Office is not limiting this funding opportunity to those who currently have an IDHS agreement; however, applicants must meet the following prequalification requirements.  Applicants that do not comply with these requirements by the application deadline are not eligible to receive an award and applications will not be reviewed:
    1. Be in good-standing with the Illinois Secretary of State (not applicable to governmental entities)
    2. Not be on the Federal Excluded Parties List;
    3. Not be on the Illinois Stop Payment list;
    4. Not be on the Department of Healthcare and Family Services Provider Sanctions List;
    5. Register and access both the IDHS Community Service Agreement (CSA) tracking system and the Centralized Repository Vault (CRV);
    6. Obtain a Dun and Bradstreet University Numbering System (DUNS) number. The DUNS number does not replace an Employer Identification Number. DUNS numbers may be obtained at no cost by calling the DUNS number request line at (866) 705-5711 or by applying online: DUNS Request Service. It is recommended that service providers register at least 30 days before the application due date.
    7. Register with SAM and maintain an active SAM registration until the application process is complete, and if a grant is awarded, throughout the life of the award. SAM registration must be renewed annually. It is recommended that service providers finalize a new registration or renew an existing one at least two weeks before the application deadline to allow time to resolve any issues that may arise. Applicants must use their SAM-registered legal name and address on all grant applications to the Census Office.
    8. Be able to meet the program goals described in this NOFO.
  4. Applicants must then also meet the following pre-award requirements:
    1. Completed and submitted FY 2020 Fiscal and Administrative Risk Assessment (ICQ);
    2. Completed and submitted Programmatic Risk Assessment;
  5. Cost Sharing or Matching: Not applicable.
  6. Indirect Cost Rate: See Section B Funding Information, Indirect Cost Rate Requirements.

D. Application and Submission Information

  1. Each applicant must have access to the Internet. Applicants may obtain a Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance (GA 2174) on the Illinois Census Office - Grant Program website. Questions and answers will also be posted on the Q&A 2174 link on the Illinois Census Office - Grant program website. It is the responsibility of each applicant to monitor the website and to comply with any instructions or requirements relating to the NOFO. 

    If an applicant has questions regarding this NOFO, applicants should submit the questions to DHS.CensusNOFO@illinois.gov. Questions with their respective answers will be posted on the Census Office website. This section will be updated periodically as new questions are received, so applicants are encouraged to check it frequently. Only written answers posted on the website will be considered valid and official. 
    Note:  The final deadline to submit any written questions regarding this Funding Notice will be September 10, 2019.  Questions may be posed to DHS.CensusNOFO@illinois.gov or via phone at 1-844-950-0986.

  2. The first page of the application should be the Summary Data Sheet (see Appendix III), which should be no more than two pages.
  3. Each applicant is required to submit a Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance (UGA)- see link under "Mandatory Forms" at the bottom of this NOFO. This is a 3-page document with the first page already completed by the Census Office. This document must be signed and dated.
  4. Each applicant is required to submit a Program Narrative which includes all areas as detailed in Section E: Application Review Information below, consistent with the following technical guidelines.
    1. The Program Narrative shall not exceed 14 pages. It is not necessary to repeat information in multiple sections; if an applicant believes they have already addressed a required element in another section, they should reference where the information has been provided. Items included as Attachments are not included in the page limitations.  Program Work Plans are not counted toward 14-page narrative maximum.
    2. The Program Narrative must include headers consistent with the criteria listed in Section E (Executive Summary, Need, Capacity, Quality, Data), must adhere to indicated page limits and be sequentially page numbered.
    3. The Attachments must be in the following order:
      1. Attachment A: Organization Chart
      2. Attachment B: Resumes of Key Personnel
      3. Attachment C: Project Implementation Timeline
      4. Attachment D: 2020 Census Program Work Plan (Not to exceed 5 pages)
      5. Attachment E:  Linkage Agreement (if applicable)
      6. Attachment F:  Approved NICRA (if applicable)
    4. All documents must be typed single space using 12-point Arial font with 1-inch margins on all sides and at 100% magnification.
    5. The document must be submitted in PDF extension, and on 8 1/2 x 11-inch page size.
    6. The entire application and program narrative packet should be in black typeface on a white background.
  5. Each applicant must submit their budget through the CSA tracking system.
    1. The CSA budget and included narrative should express and support the submitted program narrative.
    2. The budget should be prepared to reflect the full 9-month grant cycle and be consistent with the total amount requested.
  6. Each applicant must have a current Dun and Bradstreet Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number and System for Award Management (SAM) Account. (See Section C.1.h-i)
  7. Each applicant must adhere to the following submission dates and times and methods:
    1. To be considered for award, all application materials must be in the possession of the Census Office by September 13, 2019 by 5:00 pm CT. Materials that must be submitted via email will be electronically date and time stamped upon arrival. It is the applicant's responsibility to ensure their application package arrives at the appropriate email address before the submission deadline date and time.
    2. Application materials will only be accepted electronically. Those that are delivered by any other means, and/or late will not be accepted and will be immediately disqualified. The Census Office is under no obligation to review applications that do not comply with the above requirements. There will be no exceptions. Applicants will receive an email to notify them that the application was received within 72 hours of receipt, and if it was received by the due date and time. The email reply will be sent to the original sender of the application materials. Applications received after the due date and time will not be considered for review and funding.
    3. Submit the completed application materials as a single pdf document to: DHS.CensusNOFO@illinois.gov
      1. Specifically, the subject line of the email MUST state:
        1. Entity Name,
        2. Funding Opportunity Number (20-444-00-2174-01),
        3. Contact (Region for which the entity is applying) 
      2. The submission must be in the following order:
        1. Summary Data Sheet
        2. Uniform State Grant Application (3-page document) (Not included in page limit)
        3. Program Narrative
        4. Attachments to include (Not included in narrative page limit)
          1. Attachment A:  Organization Chart
          2. Attachment B:  Resumes of Key Personnel
          3. Attachment C:  Project Implementation Timeline
          4. Attachment D:  2020 Census Work Plan
          5. Attachment E:  Linkage Agreement (if applicable)
          6. Attachment F:  Approved NICRA (if applicable)
    4. To be considered, application materials must be emailed by the designed date and time listed above. For your records, please keep a copy of your email submission with the date and time the proposal was submitted, along with the email address to which it was sent. The deadline will be strictly enforced. In the event of a dispute, the applicant bears the burden of proof that the application materials were received on time at the location listed above. All application emails must include the following mandatory forms/attachment: Summary Data Sheet, Uniform Grant Application for State Grant Assistance, Program Narrative and Attachments.
    5. The budget must be entered and submitted into CSA tracking system by the same deadline of September 13, 2019 by 5:00 pm CT.
    6. The Fiscal and Administrative Risk Assessment, also known as Internal Controls Questionnaire (ICQ) must be completed in the Illinois Grantee Portal by the same deadline of September 13, 2019 by 5:00 pm CT.
    7. The 2020 Census Programmatic Risk Assessment (PRA) must be completed using the link on the Census Office website by the same deadline of September 13, 2019 by 5:00 pm CT.
    8. The Census Office anticipates that the term of the agreement resulting from this NOFO will be October 15, 2019 continuing through June 30, 2020 and will require the mutual consent of both parties, be dependent upon the Grantee's performance and adherence to program requirements and the availability of funds.
    9. The Census Office may withdraw this Notice of Funding Opportunity at any time prior to the actual time a fully executed agreement is filed with the State of Illinois Comptroller's Office.
    10. If it becomes necessary or appropriate for the Census Office to change any part of this NOFO, a modification to the NOFO will be available from the Census Office website, as well as change made to the www.grants.illinois.gov website. In case of such an unforeseen event, the Census Office will issue detailed instructions on how to proceed.
  8. To assure all necessary requirements have been met, please see Appendix V, Application Checklist.  Please review the checklists to ensure each attachment for the NOFO is included. Any application missing attachments will not be reviewed.

E. Application Review Information

All applicants must demonstrate that the NOFO requirements are met as identified in Section C: Eligibility Information.

The maximum possible score is 100 points. All submissions will be reviewed, evaluated and based on the following criteria.  The Census Office reserves the right to determine that an applicant is non-responsive if it does not score at least 50% of the maximum score in the categories listed below.

Criteria Score
Executive Summary Not scored
Need - Description of Need 10
Capacity - Entity Qualifications/Organizational Capacity 40
  Overall Entity Capacity (20 points)
   Prior Experience (20 points)
Quality - Description of Program Services 42
  Overall Description (6 points)
  Collaboration/Coordination (18 points)
  Education, Outreach and Communication (6 points)
  Direct Engagement (6 points)
  Questionnaire Assistance (6 points)
Data Collection, Evaluation and Reporting 8
CSA Budget Not scored
Total 100
  1. Review and Selection Process

    Applications will be reviewed by a team of the Census Office staff and other experts familiar with the requirements of the program including services to be performed in specified geographic location, if applicable. Review team members will have no conflicts of interest and will initially read and evaluate applications independently.

    Team members will collectively review the applications, their preliminary scores, and comments to ensure team members have not missed items within the application that other team members identified. Application highlights and concerns will be discussed. Scores will then be sent to the Proposal Review Coordinator to be compiled and averaged to produce the final application score.

    Grant applicants not selected to receive funds will receive a non-funding notice via email. Grant applicants wishing to appeal this decision may do so; however, competitive program grant appeals are limited to the merit-based evaluation process only. Evaluation scores may not be protested; only the evaluation process is subject to appeal.

  2. Merit-Based Evaluation Appeal Process
    1. Appeals will be processed in accordance with 44 Il. Adm. Code 7000.350 Merit Based Review of Grant Application g) Appeals Process located at the following link: Merit Based Review of Grant Application - Appeals Process.
    2. An appeal must be submitted electronically, in accordance with the grant application document.
    3. An appeal must be received within 14 calendar days after the date that the grant award notice has been published.
    4. The written appeal shall include at a minimum the following:
      1. the name and address of the appealing party;
      2. identification of the grant;
      3. a statement of reasons for the appeal
      4. Appeals are to be submitted to IDHS Census Office at DHS.CensusNOFO@illinois.gov
  3. Anticipated Announcement

    Notice of State Award (NOSA) will be made in the first full week of October 2019.

F. Award Administration Information

  1. State Award Notices

    Applicants recommended for funding under this NOFO following the above review and selection process will receive a Notice of State Award (NOSA). The NOSA:

    1. Shall include:
      1. The terms and conditions of the award.
      2. Specific conditions assigned to the grantee based on the fiscal and administrative, programmatic risk assessments and merit-based review conditions.
    2. Is not an authorization to begin performance or incur costs. Note: With approval, pre-award costs for services in anticipation of an award are allowable where necessary for the efficient and timely performance of the program and are subject to 2 CFR 200.458. Applicants who have been performing the services specified in this NOFO since October 2019 must provide proof of services and associated expenses. Only applicants who receive an award as a result of the NOFO and merit-based review process will be eligible for pre-award costs. Any applicant who has performed services since October 2019 that does not receive an award under this NOFO will not be eligible for reimbursement of costs incurred.
    3. Must be accepted by the grantee at the Grantee portal
    4. Upon acceptance of the NOSA, public announcement of the grant award shall be completed through the publishing by the Census Office to www.Grants.Illinois.gov.
    5. A written Notice of Denial shall be sent to the applicants not receiving awards.
  2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
    1. The agency awarded these funds shall provide services as set forth in the IDHS Census Office grant agreement and shall act in accordance with all state and federal statutes and administrative rules applicable to the provision of the services including indirect cost rate requirements in Section B: Funding Information, Indirect Cost Rate Requirements.
    2. The legal agreement between the Census Office and the successful applicant(s) will be the standard IDHS Uniform Grant Agreement. If selected for funding, the applicant will be provided a IDHS Census Office grant agreement for signature and return. A sample of the agreement may be found at http://www.dhs.state.il.us/page.aspx?item=29741
  3. Reporting

    Reporting requirements for the grant agreement shall be in accordance with the requirements set forth in the Uniform Grant Agreement Exhibits.

G. State Awarding Agency Contact(s)

  1. The Census Office encourages inquiries concerning this funding opportunity and welcomes the opportunity to answer questions from applicants. Questions and answers will be posted to the Census Office website Q&A page and updated periodically. It is the responsibility of the applicant to monitor the website for updated information.
  2. If you have questions about this NOFO, please send them via email to DHS.CensusNOFO@illinois.gov with "NOFO 20-444-00-2174-01" in the subject line of the email.

H. Other Information, if applicable

  1. The Census Office reserves the right to request additional information that could assist with its award decision. Applicants are expected to provide the additional information within a reasonable period of time. Failure to provide the information could result in the rejection of the application.
  2. The release of this Notice of Funding Opportunity does not compel the Census Office to make an award.
  3. This funding opportunity is considered a new application.
  4. Useful links
    1. Illinois Administrative Code Part 7000 - Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (44 Ill. Adm. Code Part 7000)
    2. Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles and Audit Requirements (2 CFR 200
    3. OMB Uniform Guidance 
    4. Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
    5. Census website
    6. IDHS CSA tracking database

Glossary of Terms

For the purpose of this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), the following terms shall be defined as:

Definitions
Census Outreach Efforts Strategies and activities undertaken to encourage full participation in the 2020 Census, including but not limited to education regarding the census, outreach and marketing, assistance completing the Census Questionnaire.
Census Questionnaire The census or survey form on which a respondent or enumerator records information requested by the Census Bureau.
Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA)

30 ILCS 708/5 

This act is intended to comply with the IL General Assembly's directives to develop a coordinated, non-redundant process for the provision of effective and efficient oversight of the selection and monitoring of grant recipients, thereby ensuring quality programs and limiting fraud, waste, and abuse, and define the purpose, scope, applicability, and responsibilities in the life cycle of a grant.

Illinois Complete Count Commission A commission created by P.A. 100-390 and housed under the Secretary of State to develop, recommend and assist in the administration of a census outreach strategy to encourage full participation in the 2020 Census.
Other Trusted Messenger An entity with a positive relationship, influence and access to Hard-to-Count populations, who partners with the Regional Intermediary for the purposes of census outreach, education and survey assistance but does not enter into a subaward agreement with the Regional Intermediary.
Region

A geographic area within the state of Illinois, based on the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) regions, with the exception of Cook County, Chicago and the collar counties.

The following regions will be used for this NOFO, hereafter known as Illinois Census Office Regions:

  1. Central
  2. City of Chicago
  3. Suburban - Cook County, excluding the City of Chicago
  4. Collar Counties
  5. North Central
  6. Northeast Central
  7. Northern
  8. Northwest
  9. Southeast Central
  10. Southern
  11. Southwest Central
  12. West Central
Regional Intermediary (RI) An entity that provides coordination of census outreach, education and survey assistance to a region through direct service, sub awards, local county governments, other trusted messengers and other census outreach providers.
Subaward A state award provided by the Regional Intermediary as a pass-through entity to a subrecipient for the subrecipient to carry out part of an award for received by the Regional Intermediary.
Subrecipient An entity that receives a State subaward from a Regional Intermediary as pass-through entity to carry out part of a program.

Appendices

  1. Illinois Census Office Region Map
  2. 2 CFR 200.331, Requirements for Subrecipient Selection
  3. Summary Data Sheet
  4. Census Grant Sample Work Plan 
  5. Application Checklist

Mandatory Forms -- Required for All Agencies

  1. Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance