AmeriCorps Southern Border Arrivals Assistance Corps (25-444-80-3330-01) Notice of Funding Opportunity

Summary Information

Awarding Agency Name Illinois Department of Human Services
Awarding Division Name Family and Community Services/Bureau of Volunteerism and Community Service
Agency Contact Rachael Tuxhorn
DHS.ServeIllinois.NOFO@Illinois.gov 
Announcement Type Initial Announcement:
This award will be made as a full cost reimbursement grant. Selected Applications will be submitted to DHS/Serve Illinois for final determination of award.
Funding Opportunity Title AmeriCorps Southern Border Arrivals Assistance Corps
Funding Opportunity Number 25-444-80-3330-01
Application Posting Date May 13, 2024
Application Closing Date June 12, 2024 by 4:00PM
Catalog of State Financial Assistance (CSFA) Number 444-80-3330
Catalog of State Financial Assistance (CSFA) Popular Name AmeriCorps Southern Border Arrivals Assistance Corps
Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s) 94.006
Award Funding Source Federal Funds
Estimated Total Program Funding $3,000,000
Anticipated Number of Awards TBD
Award Range Will vary by scope of service
Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement Cost sharing (match) IS required Refer to Section C.5 Cost Sharing or Match Requirements
Indirect Costs Allowed Indirect Costs are allowed
Restrictions on Indirect Costs Indirect Cost Rate must be approved;
Refer to Section C.7 Funding Restrictions
Technical Assistance Session Session Offered: Yes
Session Mandatory: No
Date/Time:  05/23/2024 at 1:00PM
Registration Link
NOFO/Application Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Submit questions to: DHS.ServeIllinois.NOFO@Illinois.gov
Due date for submitting questions: 06/07/2024
  1. Program Description
    This funding opportunity is open to applicants with a minimum of 3 years of experience working with migrants, immigrants, and/or refugees. Any applicants selected for funding will be notified by Serve Illinois and the Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS). A grant agreement will be sent requiring a signature from the program designee after the applicant has been notified. The AmeriCorps members recruited by each awarded organization to support SBAs should be bilingual, culturally informed on the new arrivals' experience and needs, and inclusive of diverse stakeholders. To serve as an AmeriCorps member, you must be; at least 17 years of age as of the commencement of their term of service, have a high school diploma, be a citizen, national, or lawful permanent resident of the United States, satisfy the National Service Criminal History Check eligibility criteria.
    1. Program Summary
      The mission of AmeriCorps is to improve lives, strengthen communities, and foster civic participation through service and volunteering.
      The AmeriCorps Southern Border Arrivals Assistance Corps is intended to provide support to Southern Border Arrivals in Illinois. A Southern Border Arrival or SBA is defined as an individual who crossed the Mexico/U.S. border on or after August 1, 2022, with the intent to stay permanently, and who does not possess any permanent or interim U.S. legal status (which does not include being in parole status), such as legal permanent residency, a student or work visa, etc.
      Through this model, successful applicant organizations will be funded to develop a program and hire AmeriCorps members which will support SBAs living in their community.
      Serve Illinois believes there is great opportunity to support SBAs in Illinois by building relationships and growing capacity in areas in need of services. Serve Illinois believes providing funding to grantees across Illinois to implement an impactful AmeriCorps project focusing on SBA assistance will help communities across Illinois welcome SBAs and integrate them into their communities, while growing the civic participation and leadership of AmeriCorps SBA Assistance Corps and AmeriCorps members.
      The following requirements and expectations are essential to the implementation and success of the AmeriCorps Southern Border Arrival Assistance Corps: 1) Execute a detailed member outreach and recruitment plan, and 2) Ensure that each IDHS/Serve Illinois member completes the required number of hours of service to qualify for the education award. These requirements and expectations are also included under the performance measures section, below.
    2. Funding Priorities
      AmeriCorps SBA Assistance Corps:
      Organizations with a minimum of 3 years of experience working with migrants, immigrants, and/or refugees will work within their communities to assist SBAs in the process of integration and long-term stabilization. Applicants will develop program models to support new arrivals by providing access to services to aid SBAs transitioning into new communities. Such services should be tailored to the needs of individuals and their communities.
    3. Required Services and Program Deliverables
      Programs are to be designed to operate for no more than 12 months.
      1. Successful applicants will implement an AmeriCorps program that focuses on developing an AmeriCorps SBA Assistance Corps to provide comprehensive support strategies aimed at facilitating the integration and resettlement of SBAs through the deployment of AmeriCorps members. Priority areas for support include:
        1. Case Management-Providing guidance and support to SBAs throughout their resettlement journey.
        2. Housing-Coordination of Services towards Permanent Housing.
        3. Legal Assistance-Facilitating access to essential legal services, including assistance with work permits, Pro Se workshops, and application support.
        4. Education-Coordination of Services to Access Early Childhood, K-12, Adult Education/ESL Services as well as building staff and
          teaching capacity in school districts after direct placement of members.
        5. Health Care Coordination-Ensuring access to necessary healthcare services and resources.
        6. Employment-Coordination of Services for Job Training, Entrepreneurships, and Professional and Occupational Licensure, where eligible.
        7. Applicants may choose one or multiple priority areas and do not need to provide support in all areas to be considered.
      1. Award amounts will vary as determined by the scope of the projects and will be based on approved budgets. Maximum amounts will be based on proposed number of Member Service Years (MSY) multiplied by $27,000 per MSY. (Refer to Section C.7 Maximum Cost per Member Service Year for more details.) The Provider will provide the services and agrees to act in compliance with all state and federal statutes and administrative rules applicable to the provision of services pursuant to this Agreement. The grant application, submitted by the Provider, relates to this Agreement must be implemented as outlined below.
        1. The Provider will comply with applicable Terms and Conditions for FY 2024 AmeriCorps State and National Grants and General Grant and Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions.pdf.
        2. The Provider will comply with member recruitment and selection requirements as outlined in AmeriCorps' regulations at 45 CFR §§ 2522.210 and Part 2540, subpart B.
        3. The Provider will ensure that each member has sufficient opportunity to complete the required number of hours of service to qualify for the education award.
        4. The Provider will adhere to all requirements outlined in the AmeriCorps' Program Director's Manual.
        5. The Provider will conduct National Service Criminal History Check (NSCHC) requirements as outlined in the NSCHC Manual.
        6. The Provider will recruit and retain the allocated number and type of slots (e.g., full-time, half-time) of AmeriCorps members. 
        7. The Provider will recruit and retain members who are bilingual, culturally informed on the new arrivals' experience and needs, and inclusive of diverse stakeholders.
        8. The Provider will provide services to only SBAs in the service area that work towards meeting the specified outcomes and outputs that align with primary services, addressing the focus area(s), and, if applicable, engaging volunteers in accordance with the approved program plan.
        9. The Provider will supervise and train members throughout their service term as outlined in the approved program plan.
        10. The Provider will provide all members with AmeriCorps uniforms, service gear, personal protective equipment and all other service materials required to accomplish the member's service hours.
        11. The Provider will participate in Illinois AmeriCorps scheduled meetings and trainings (including Program Director's meetings, AmeriCorps national/regional offerings and regional trainings).
        12. The Provider will certify member enrollment in My AmeriCorps Portal for all members within eight calendar days of the AmeriCorps members' starting a term of service.
        13. The Provider will host or co-host two national service days. All sites will host/co-host an event for the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday. The Provider will also host/co-host a second event and it is at the discretion of the Provider to select from one of the following options: Global Youth Day, Memorial Day, Juneteenth, 9/11 Remembrance Day or Veteran's Day.
        14. The Provider will host a National Service Opening Day event/activity at the program site no later than six weeks from the start date of the program.
        15. The Provider will host or co-host an AmeriCorps member recognition event/activity during AmeriCorps week.
    4. Performance Measures
      State Performance Measures. At the end of each quarter, successful applicants will submit a Periodic Performance Report (PPR). At the end of the year, successful applicants will submit a cumulative report. In addition to service data and activities, successful applicants should: 
      1. Execute an approved overall program plan designed to serve the SBAs and achieve identified program goals.
      2. Recruit and enroll approved members slots within 30 days of the program start date.
      3. Require each AmeriCorps member to complete the required number of hours of service to qualify for the education award.
      4. Enroll members who are bilingual.
      5. Participate in IDHS/Serve Illinois meetings*.
      6. Participate in IDHS/Serve Illinois sanctioned activities and trainings**.
      7. Require each AmeriCorps member to participate in IDHS/Serve Illinois sanctioned activities and trainings.
      8. Exit all AmeriCorps members by the required exit date.
      9. Complete all required reports and program closeout by agreed deadlines.
        • *IDHS/Serve Illinois meetings will be 60-90 minutes and held at most monthly, and at least quarterly. 
        • **Details on activities and trainings for organizations and AmeriCorps members will be communicated in further detail after award. This includes, but not limited to technical assistance for recruitment and enrollment, sub-grantee fiscal reviews, National Day of Service training, program officer site visits, Periodic Performance Report (PPR) training, and Federal Financial Report training (FFR). Other activities and trainings will be announced and schedule by assigned program officer.
    5. Performance Standards
      State Performance Standards
      1. Execution of an IDHS/Serve Illinois-approved program plan designed to serve 100% SBAs and achieve identified program goals by the date in the approved timeline.
      2. 50% of approved member slots are recruited and enrolled within 30 days of the program start date.
      3. 85% of enrolled AmeriCorps members qualify for the education award by program end.
      4. 80% of enrolled AmeriCorps members are bilingual.
      5. 80% provider attendance rate for participation in IDHS/Serve Illinois meetings.
      6. 80% provider attendance rate for participation in IDHS/Serve Illinois sanctioned activities and training.
      7. 80% participation rate of currently enrolled members (on the date of the activity/training) in IDHS/Serve Illinois sanctioned and required activities/trainings.
      8. 100% of enrolled members are exited from the eGrants system within 30 days of the end of their term of service.
      9. 100% accurate completion of all required reports and program closeout by the agreed deadline.
    6. Authorizing Statutes
      Statutory Authority: Awards under this Notice are authorized by the National and Community Service Act of 1990, (42 U.S.C. §12501 et seq.)
  2. Award and Funding Information
    1. Applicant organizations must apply to the Serve Illinois Commission by completing the instructions included in this NOFO and submitting their application in the federal eGrants, web-based application system.
      • Applicants will be selected for submission to AmeriCorps National for funding consideration through the Merit-Based-Review process administered by Serve Illinois, through the IDHS/Serve Illinois. AmeriCorps National will make final award determinations.
    2. The release of this NOFO does not obligate IDHS/Serve Illinois to make an award.
    3. Estimated Available Funds: IDHS/Serve Illinois expects to administer up to 3 million dollars through a competitive grant making process.
    4. Award amounts will vary as determined by the scope of the projects and will be based on approved budgets. Maximum amounts will be based on proposed number of Member Service Years (MSY) multiplied by $27,000 per MSY. (Refer to Section C.7 Maximum Cost per Member Service Year for more details.)
    5. Programs will operate a 12-month program year and can begin operating on 08/01/2024 or 09/01/2024. Programs will receive a contract from the beginning of the program year (08/01/2024 or 09/01/2024) through the end of the state fiscal year (06/30/2025). Programs will then receive another contract beginning 07/01/2025 through the end of their program year (07/31/2025 or 08/31/25). The State of Illinois requires contracts to align with the state fiscal year, thus grant awards will cross two state fiscal years (SFY 25 and SFY 26). Awards are subject to the 2 CFR 200 continuation application process (when applicable), GATA Compliance, and subject to sufficient State/Federal appropriations.
    6. New and existing applicants will have their applications scored by IDHS/Serve Illinois using the scoring matrix outlined in this NOFO.
    7. Applicants will be required to submit a twelve-month budget into the federal eGrants, web-based application system.
    8. Once an applicant has been chosen for funding, the applicant will be directed by IDHS/Serve Illinois program staff to enter a 12-month budget in the Illinois Community Service Agreement (CSA) tracking system for the State FY25. Applicants should not enter a proposed budget into the Illinois CSA system until instructed to do so.
    9. Proposed budgets in CSA must be sufficiently detailed and justified to be approved by IDHS/Serve Illinois. Successful applicants will NOT receive a grant agreement until after their budget has been entered and approved through the CSA tracking system.
    10. Subject to appropriation, the SFY25 grant period will begin no sooner than the grant start date and will continue through 6/30/2025.
    11. Applicants may propose a program start date that aligns with their program design. Programs are to be designed to operate for no more than 12 months. Programs may NOT enroll AmeriCorps members before the date AmeriCorps National issues the grant award (anticipated to be July 26, 2024), therefore program start dates should not be before August 1, 2024.
    12. AmeriCorps members may not begin service without a signed Member Service Agreement prior to the beginning of the Member enrollment period, as designated in the grant award. A program may not certify any hours a member performs prior to the applicant becoming a member in eGrants and the beginning of the member enrollment period.
    13. There is a cost sharing/match requirement for this grant. Please refer to Section C.5: Cost Sharing and Match Requirements for more information.
    14. Indirect costs are allowed. The applicant organization must choose one of three methods to calculate indirect costs: Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)-Fixed Percentage rate, a Federal negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA), or a De Minimis Rate. Regardless of the option chosen, the CNCS share of administrative costs is limited to 5% of the total CNCS funds expended under this grant. Refer to Section C.7. Indirect Cost Requirements & Restrictions for more information.
    15. AmeriCorps National may award a Cost Reimbursement grant to any successful applicant.
    16. Budget amounts are configured by Maximum Service Year (MSY). Use the applicable chart below:
      Maximum Cost per MSY* $27,000
      Minimum # of MSYs 3
      Type of Slots in the National Service Trust** FT, TQT, HT, RHT, QT, MT, AT
      Budget Submission Required Yes
      Availability of Funds linked to enrollment and retention of awarded MSYs No
      Financial Reporting Requirements Yes
      Available to new Applicants Yes

      *Member Service Year (MSY): One Member Service Year (MSY) is equivalent to a full-time
      IDHS/Serve Illinois position (at least 1,700 service hours.)
      **FT = Full Time, TQT = Three Quarter Time, HT= Half Time, RHT = Reduced Half Time, QT =
      Quarter Time, MT = Minimum Time, AT = Abbreviated Time
    17. Sub-recipient Agreement(s) and budgets must be pre-approved and on file with IDHS/Serve Illinois. Sub-recipients are subject to all provisions of this Agreement.
    18. The successful applicant organization shall retain sole responsibility for the performance of the sub-recipient. All funding is subject to sufficient appropriations.
  3. Eligibility Information and Grant Funding Requirements
    1. Eligible Applicants
      1. The following non-Federal entities (all of which are defined in 2 CFR 200.1) are eligible to apply:
        • Indian Tribes
        • Institutions of higher education
        • Local governments, including school districts
        • Nonprofit organizations
        • State of Illinois agencies, departments, and commissions
      2. Applicants must have a. minimum of 3 years of experience working with migrants, immigrants, and/or refugees.
      3. Applicants must have a valid System Award Management (SAM) registration and Unique Entity Identifier to receive an award. Refer to Section D.5 System for Award Management (SAM) and Unique Entity Identifier) for more information.
      4. IDHS/Serve Illinois and AmeriCorps National encourage new organizations that have not received prior funding from AmeriCorps National to apply.
      5. See Mandatory Requirements of Applicant below for additional requirements.
      6. Applicant organizations must apply to IDHS/Serve Illinois by completing the instructions included in this NOFO and submitting their application in the federal eGrants, web-based application system. Through IDHS, Serve Illinois will administer the Merit Based Review and selection process.
    2. GATA Registration and Prequalification
      1. Eligible applicant entities must be registered and prequalified through the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) Grantee Portal, available here:  Illinois GATA Grantee Portal Registration and prequalification are required annually.
      2. Registration
        The following information is required to complete registration in the Grantee Portal:
        • Unique Entity Identifier (UEI). The UEI is a 12-character alphanumeric ID assigned to an entity by the federal System for Award Management (SAM). For additional information refer to Section D5 System for Award Management (SAM) and Unique Entity Identifier.
        • Entity's Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN)
        • Organization type
        • Illinois Secretary of State File ID (required for non-profits, for-profits, and limited liability corporations.)
        • Entity name
        • Entity mailing address
        • Entity primary email address
        • Entity primary phone number
        • Entity fiscal year-end date
      3. Prequalification
        1. Once an entity is registered in the Grantee Portal, the system will automatically determine (within 24 hours) if an entity is prequalified to apply for an award. During prequalification, verifications are performed, including a check of federal Debarred and Suspended status on the Illinois Stop Payment List and good standing with the Secretary of State. An automated email notification is sent to the entity alerting them of "qualified" status or providing information about how to remediate a negative verification (e.g., not in good standing with the Secretary of State). A federal Debarred and Suspended status cannot be remediated.
        2. For assistance navigating government application prequalification procedure, refer to IDHS: Pre-Qualification Instructions and Resources.
        3. Applicants must be prequalified; therefore, applications from entities that have not been prequalified prior to the due date of this application, will NOT be reviewed and will NOT be considered for funding.
    3. Pre-Award Requirements
      If an applicant is selected for funding by AmeriCorps National, the applicant must complete the following prior to receiving an award from IDHS/Serve Illinois:
      1. Internal Controls Questionnaire (ICQ)
        1. The pre-award process includes a financial and administrative risk assessment utilizing an Internal Controls Questionnaire (ICQ). IDHS/Serve Illinois may NOT issue a Notice of State Award or a Grant Agreement to any applicant that does not have a submitted and approved SFY 25 ICQ. While these are NOT required prior to submitting the application, they are required prior to IDHS/Serve Illinois issuing an award.
        2. The ICQ is available in the Illinois GATA Grantee Portal.
        3. Applicants that have not completed a SFY25 ICQ at the time of application will be contacted by IDHS/Serve Illinois to complete this pre-award requirement.
        4. These grantee pre-award requirements are mandated by Federal Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200) and the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA). Grantees must complete these requirements prior to receiving a grant award from the State of Illinois.
      2. Registration and Budget in CSA
        NOTE: Applicants will be required to submit a twelve-month budget into the federal eGrants, web-based application system. DO NOT enter your budget into the Illinois CSA system until instructed to do so by IDHS/Serve Illinois program staff.
        The CSA Tracking System is where IDHS/Serve Illinois expects applicant entities to enter their GATA Budget information. It is also where IDHS/Serve Illinois staff will review and act on the proposed budget.
        1. Successful applicants: Once an applicant has been chosen for funding, the applicant will be directed by IDHS/Serve Illinois program staff to enter a 12-month budget in the CSA for the State FY25. DO NOT enter your budget into the Illinois CSA system until instructed to do so.
        2. Applicants must be registered in the CSA Tracking System to enable the applicant to submit a signed budget in CSA. For instructions on registering in CSA, refer to IDHS: CSA Tracking System (state.il.us).
        3. The successful applicant entity's proposed budget must be entered into the CSA system within the timeframe to be specified by IDHS/Serve Illinois. The completed budget must be electronically signed and submitted in the CSA system. To do this, the following is required: at a minimum, the applicant organization's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or equivalent, or the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) or equivalent must be registered in the CSA system to electronically sign the required budget documents prior to submission. Refer to Process for Adding GATA Budget Signoff Authority.
        4. Successful applicants will NOT be issued an award without a fully approved budget in the CSA System.
        5. It may take several days to complete the registration process.
      3. Indirect Costs
        Applicant organizations for this NOFO #444-80-3330 may charge indirect costs to this grant.
        1. All grantees receiving awards from Illinois grant making agencies must enter State of Illinois Centralized Indirect Cost Rate Negotiation System (powered by the Crowe Review & Monitoring Platform (CRMP) via the Illinois GATA Grantee Portal to substantiate its organizations' election regarding indirect cost reimbursement. Indirect costs charged to the grant may not exceed the approved rate or a maximum of 10%, whichever is less.
        2. Grantees that wish to negotiate a rate with the State of Illinois will start their election process in the Grantee Portal and the case will then be sent to CARS to begin negotiation. Click here to view the CRMP User Manual.
        3. Grantees are expected to complete the indirect cost rate proposal process every fiscal year, based upon Grantee fiscal year-end (not State of Illinois fiscal year-end).
        4. Refer to Section C.7. Funding Restrictions for more information on indirect costs.
    4. Mandatory Requirements of Applicant/Application
      The Mandatory Requirements are essential items that must be met by the applicant.  If any Mandatory Requirement is not met, the responding applicant's entire proposal will not be considered.  If all responding applicants fail to meet a particular mandatory requirement, that mandatory requirement may, at the sole discretion of the State, be removed from the Mandatory Requirements so the evaluation process may continue.  However, this does not obligate IDHS/Serve Illinois to make an award to any applicant that fails to meet all mandatory requirements. 
      1. AmeriCorps National Mandatory (Threshold) Requirements: Applications should reflect that they meet the following threshold requirements for the grant type for which they are applying.
        1. If the proposed service activities require specialized member qualifications and/or training (for example, tutoring programs: 45 CFR 2522.910-.940), the applicant must describe how the program will meet these requirements.
        2. All applicants must propose program designs that are either evidence-based or evidence-informed. Applicants assessed as lower than the Preliminary evidence tier (i.e., Pre-Preliminary) must provide adequate responses to the Evidence Quality review criteria in order to be considered for funding. (Refer to Section E.1 Selection Criteria)
      2. Other Eligibility requirement
        1. Under Section 132A(b) of the National and Community Service Act of 1990, as amended organizations that have violated a Federal criminal statute may not receive assistance described in this Notice.
        2. Applications that propose to engage in activities that are prohibited under AmeriCorps National statutes, regulations, or the terms and conditions of its awards are not eligible to receive AmeriCorps National funding.
        3. If AmeriCorps is aware that any corporation has any unpaid federal tax liability
          1. that has been assessed,
          2. for which all judicial and administrative remedies have been exhausted or have lapsed, and
          3. that is not being paid in a timely manner pursuant to an agreement with the authority responsible for collecting the tax liability; that corporation is not eligible for an award under this Notice. However, this exclusion will not apply to a corporation that a federal agency has considered for suspension or debarment and determined that suspension or debarment is not necessary to protect the interests of the federal government.
        4. Pursuant to the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, an organization described in the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, IRC 501 (c)(4) Organizations (irs.gov) that engages in lobbying activities is not eligible to apply for AmeriCorps National funding.
    5. Cost Sharing or Match Requirements
      Applicants are required to match funds based on the chart below. The applicant's match can be non-AmeriCorps cash and/or in-kind contributions. Applicants must indicate whether the match is proposed or secured. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to meet the match requirement at the time of application submission. (Refer to Section C.7 Funding Restrictions for more information.)
      A first-time successful applicant is required to match at 24 percent for the first three-year funding period. Starting with year four, the match requirement gradually increases every year to 50 percent by year ten, according to the minimum overall share chart found in 45 CFR 2521.60 and below.
      AmeriCorps Funding Year 1,2,3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
      Grantee Share Requirements 24% 26% 30% 34% 38% 42% 46% 50%

      U.S.C. Title 42 - THE PUBLIC HEALTH AND WELFARE (govinfo.gov) requires grantees that use other Federal Funds as matching funds for an AmeriCorps grant to report those amounts and sources to AmeriCorps on a Federal Financial Report. Grantees must track and be prepared to report on that match separately each year and at closeout.
      Match Waiver
      Please use the Match Waiver information for AmeriCorps State and National Grantees located on the Manage Your Grant | AmeriCorps webpage. Programs applying through State Service Commissions must submit requests for alternative match to the Commission, who will submit it to AmeriCorps on their behalf. Commissions and National Directs will submit requests via the Alternative Match Request form located on the AmeriCorps.gov Manage Your Grant webpage.
      Alternative Match
      Under certain circumstances, applicants may qualify to meet alternative matching requirements that increase over the years to 35 percent instead of 50 percent as specified in 45 CFR 2521.60(b). To qualify, applicants must demonstrate that the proposed program is either located in a rural county or in a severely economically distressed community as defined in the Application Instructions. Applicants who plan to request an alternative match schedule should submit a request at the time the application is submitted. Programs applying through State Service Commissions must submit requests for alternative match to the Commission, who will submit it to AmeriCorps on their behalf. Commissions and National Directs will submit requests via the Alternative Match Request form located on the Manage Your Grant | AmeriCorps webpage.
    6. Grant Fund Use Requirements (Refer also to Section C.7 Funding Restrictions)
      1. All applicants will use grant funds according to the guidelines, conditions, and parameters set forth in this funding notice and in compliance with federal statutes, regulations and the terms and conditions of any applicable federal awards.
      2. Please refer to 2 CFR 200 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, PART 200 Subpart E - Cost Principles to determine the appropriateness of costs.
        1. Allowable costs:
          1. Allowable costs are those that are necessary and reasonable based on the activities contained in the Scope of Work, are justified in the Budget Narrative, and are allowable under Subpart E of 2 CFR 200. It is expected that administrative costs, both direct and indirect, will represent a small portion of the overall program budget. Any budget deemed to include inappropriate or excessive administrative costs will not be approved. Program budgets and narratives must detail how all proposed expenditures are necessary for program implementation.
        2. Unallowable costs:
          1. Please refer to 2 CFR 200 - Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards, PART 200 Subpart E - Cost Principles to determine the appropriateness of costs. In addition, and specific to this grant, the following costs will be unallowable without specific prior written approval from IDHS/Serve Illinois:
            1. Entertainment costs, except where specific costs that might otherwise be considered entertainment have a programmatic purpose and are authorized in the approved budget (2 CFR 200.438)
            2. Capital expenditures for general purpose equipment, including any vehicle regardless of cost, buildings, and land (2 CFR 200.439)
            3. Capital expenditures for improvements to land, buildings, or equipment which materially increase their value or useful life (2 CFR 200.439)
            4. Food, and other goods or services for personal use of the grantee's employees, contractors, or consultants of the grantee unless authorized as per diem under the State of Illinois Governor's Travel Control Board (2 CFR 200.445).
            5. Deposits for items, services, or space
        3. Limitation of Use
          Limitation of Use of Award funds for Employee Compensation: With respect to any award over $250,000, recipients may not use federal funds to pay total cash compensation to any employee that exceeds 110% of the maximum annual salary payable to a member of the Federal Government's Senior Executive Service (SES) at an agency with a Certified SES Performance Appraisal System for that year. A salary table is available at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management website: SALARY TABLE 2024-ES.
        4. Simplified Acquisition Threshold
          Potential grantees under this funding announcement may receive an award in excess of 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 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; and
          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.
    7. Funding Requirements/Restrictions
      The applicant must develop a budget consistent with program requirements as described in Section A. Program Description and in accordance with Section C. 6 Grant Funds Use Requirements and the following:
      1. Award Funding Requirements
        1. Member Living Allowance
          A living allowance is not considered a salary or a wage. Programs are not required to provide a living allowance for members serving in less than full-time terms of service. If a program chooses to provide a living allowance to a less than full-time member, it must comply with the maximum limits in the table below. For Cost Reimbursement grants, the amount must be included in the proposed budget as either federal dollars or grantee share. Exceptions are noted below.
          Table: Minimum and Maximum Living Allowance
          Service Term Minimum # of Hours Minimum Living Allowance Maximum Total Living Allowance
          Full-time (1.0 MSY) 1,700 $18,700 $37,400
          Three Quarter-time (.7 MSY) 1,200 $13,100 $26,180
          Half-time (.5 MSY) 900 $9,350 $18,700
          Reduced Half-time (.381 MSY) 675 $7,110 $14,212
          Quarter-time (.265 MSY) 450 $4,865 $9,724
          Minimum-time (.212 MSY) 300 $3,930 $7,854
          Abbreviated-time (0.56 MSY) 100 $1,125 $2,224

          Exception to the Living Allowance Requirements: * Programs existing prior to September 21, 1993, are not required to offer a living allowance. If an applicant chooses to offer a living allowance, it is exempt from the minimum requirement, but not the maximum requirement.
        2. Maximum Cost per Member Service Year (MSY)
          Please note this is different from the "Member Living Allowance" which is provided to the member.
          The AmeriCorps cost per MSY is determined by dividing the AmeriCorps share of budgeted grant costs by the number of MSYs requested. It does not include childcare or the value of the education award a member may earn.
          The maximum amount an applicant may request from IDHS/Serve Illinois per MSY is $27,000. For example, if an organization is proposing to serve 10 full-time members, the IDHS/Serve Illinois portion of the organization's budget could not exceed $270,000 (10 X $27,000).
      2. Indirect Costs (Refer to Section C.3 Indirect Costs) for additional State of Illinois information on choosing an indirect cost rate.)
        1. Application budgets may include indirect costs. Based on qualifying factors, applicants may either use a Federally approved indirect cost rate or a 10 percent de minimis rate of modified total direct costs, or may claim certain costs directly, as outlined in 2 CFR 200.413. States, local governments, and Indian Tribes may use previously approved indirect cost allocation plans. All methods must be applied consistently across all federal awards. Applicants that have a federal negotiated indirect cost rate or that will be using the 10 percent de minimis rate must enter that information in the Organization section in eGrants. However, under section 121(d) of the NCSA and AmeriCorps' regulations at 45 CFR 2521.95 and 2540.110, no more than 5 percent of award funds may be used to recover indirect costs on AmeriCorps State and National grants.
        2. The instructions for how to enter the organization's indirect cost rate are located here: eGrants Indirect Cost Rate User Instructions. Applicants should not submit documentation addressing the indirect cost rate agreement via email.
        3. Please note: To request a federally negotiated indirect cost rate agreement, when IDHS/Serve Illinois is the applicable cognizant agency for an organization's indirect costs, the applicant must submit a request to IndirectCostRate@cns.gov. The applicant may also obtain instructions and additional information by contacting the email address above.
      3. Pre-award Costs
        Pre-award costs will be allowed under the following conditions:
        The applicant must:
        1. Have received and accepted the Notice of State Award (NOSA) from IDHS/Serve Illinois;
        2. Have a current, approved budget in the CSA system for this award;
        3. Have submitted all requested program plan and budget revisions per the IDHS/Serve Illinois NOSA;
        4. NOT incur pre-award costs prior to the start date of the grant agreement; and
        5. Refer to 2 CFR 200.209 Pre-award Costs for more information. 
    8. Post Award Requirements of Applicant
      Successful applicants agree to provide program services as described throughout this Funding Notice.
      1. Start Date: The project/program start date is anticipated to be no earlier than August 1, 2024. IDHS/Serve Illinois will not assign a project period start date prior to the date AmeriCorps State and National (ASN) Program awards the grant (anticipated to be July 26, 2024). Program applicants may not enroll AmeriCorps members without a signed Member Service Agreement prior to the start dates of both the federal and state awards. Programs may not begin service prior to the beginning of the member enrollment period as designated in both the federal and state grant award. A program may not certify any hours an applicant performs prior to the applicant becoming an AmeriCorps member in the system of record and the beginning of the member enrollment period.
      2. Programs are to be designed to operate for no more than 12 months.
      3. Technology: Organizations awarded funds through this funding notice must have access to a computer that meets the following minimum specifications for the purpose of utilizing any required IDHS/Serve Illinois web-based reporting system and the receipt/submission of electronic program and fiscal information:
        • Internet access, preferably high-speed
        • Email capability
        • Microsoft Excel
        • Microsoft Word
        • Adobe Reader
        • The purchase of this technology would be an allowable expenditure under the grant and may be budgeted for as part of this application.
      4. Equity and Racial Justice: IDHS/Serve Illinois is working to counteract systemic racism and inequity, and to prioritize and maximize equity and diversity throughout its service provision process. This work involves correcting existing institutionalized inequities, aiming to create transformation, and operationalizing equity and racial justice. It also focuses on the creation of a culture of inclusivity for all, regardless of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, or ability. Organizations that provide services under this funding opportunity must reflect IDHS/Serve Illinois's commitment to advance equity and racial justice by enabling all to thrive, regardless of race, zip code, and disability. This includes but is not limited to having leadership (board and/or executive staff) that is reflective of the community/population being served; having (or an intention to develop) a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI)/racial justice plan that outlines how the organization ensures equity in access to its supports/services as well as equity in outcomes; having (or an intention to develop) a plan to identify and address implicit bias in all areas of the organization, including programming; and having (or an intention to develop) an equity and racial justice training plan for organization staff, and if applicable, board members.
      5. Program Evaluation Reporting Requirements: Providers will be required to participate in evaluation efforts as directed by IDHS/Serve Illinois and/or its sub-recipient(s) and collect and report data accordingly. Data will be submitted in the format prescribed by IDHS/Serve Illinois. Providers will be required to report quarterly regarding program performance measures and outcomes. Providers will be required to participate in IDHS/Serve Illinois directed Performance and Standards Assessment reviews. A year-end program and performance measures and outcomes report will also be required. Additional data and information may be requested throughout the year as determined by IDHS/Serve Illinois.
      6. Site Visits: The applicant agrees to participate in site visits as requested by IDHS/Serve Illinois or any designated individual/entity acting on behalf of IDHS/Serve Illinois or the Office of Community & Positive Youth Development (OCPYD) and agrees that program and collaborating partners may attend such site visits.
      7. Presentations: The applicant will be available as requested by IDHS/Serve Illinois to present information regarding service deliverables, provide data updates, and/or to answer questions arising from the applicant's work.
      8. COVID Policies and Procedures: Provider organizations are encouraged to have written COVID policies and procedures that align with current guidelines put forth by the local Health Department, the Illinois Department of Public Health and/or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
      9. Sectarian Issue: Provider organizations may not expend federal or state funds for sectarian instruction, worship, prayer, or to proselytize. If the Provider organization is a faith-based or a religious organization that offers such activities, these activities shall be voluntary for the individuals receiving services and offered separately from the program.
      10. Background Checks: Background checks are required for all program staff and members who have the potential for contact with youth under 18. These background checks must be completed in advance of individuals working directly with youth. Such individuals will authorize such checks in writing and submit to fingerprinting when required. The agency shall retain the signed form authorizing the background check. All background check information, including the signed authorizing forms shall be maintained separately in a confidential file, apart from the employee's personnel records. Funded programs will be required to have a written protocol in place detailing the requirement for background checks; evidence of their completion; the protocol for reviewing and making determinations regarding results; etc. In no case shall a Person who has been indicated as the perpetrator of any of the child abuse/neglect allegations identified in 89 Ill. Adm. Code Section 385.50(a) be deemed fit for service that allows access to children.
      11. Child Abuse/Neglect Reporting Mandate: Per the Abused and Neglected Child Reporting Act (ANCRA, 325 ILCS 5/4), mandated reporters are professionals who may work with children in the course of their professional duties. Mandated reporters are required to report suspected child maltreatment immediately when they have "reasonable cause to believe that a child known to them in their professional or official capacity may be an abused or neglected child" (ANCRA Sec.4). This is done by calling the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) Hotline at 1-800-252-2873 or 1-800-25ABUSE. Programs funded through this grant opportunity must review ANCRA and, where appropriate, have a written protocol for identifying and reporting suspected child maltreatment.
      12. Hiring and Employment Policy: It is the policy of IDHS/Serve Illinois to encourage cultural diversity in the work environment and to promote employment opportunities through its programs. IDHS/Serve Illinois' philosophy is that the program workforce should appropriately reflect the populations to be served, with special attention given to hiring individuals indigenous to those communities. Consistent with IDHS/Serve Illinois policy, whenever a position becomes available, funded programs are encouraged to consider Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) clients for employment, contingent upon their qualifications in the areas of education and work experience. (The Illinois TANF program provides temporary assistance for pregnant women and families with one or more dependent children. TANF provides financial assistance to help pay for food, shelter, utilities, and expenses other than medical.)
      13. State and Federal Laws and Regulations: The agency awarded funds through this NOFO must agree to comply with all applicable provisions of state and federal laws and regulations pertaining to nondiscrimination, sexual harassment and equal employment opportunity including, but not limited to: The Illinois Human Rights Act (775 ILCS 5/1-101 et seq.), The Public Works Employment Discrimination Act (775 ILCS 10/1 et seq.), The United States Civil Rights Act of 1964 (as amended) (42 USC 2000a-and 2000H-6), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (29 USC 794), The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 USC 12101 et seq.), and The Age Discrimination Act (42 USC 6101 et seq.).
      14. Publication of Studies, Reports, or other Program Products: The applicant agrees that products produced for IDHS/Serve Illinois under this award, including, but not limited to research reports, data, analyses, and policy recommendations are the property of IDHS/Serve Illinois and will not be published or distributed except as prescribed by IDHS/Serve Illinois.
        The applicant agrees not to publish, release, or otherwise disseminate data in any form without the prior written permission of IDHS/Serve Illinois. If such permission is granted, the applicant agrees to submit to IDHS/Serve Illinois six copies of all reports and proposed publications resulting from this Agreement a minimum of 30 calendar days prior to public release. Any publications (written, visual or sound), excluding press releases, newsletters, and issue analyses, shall contain the following statement: "This project [is being] [was] supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLT-3381 awarded to the State of Illinois by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and under grant(s) from the State of Illinois, Department of Human Services. Points of view or opinions in the document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the Illinois Department of Human Services."
      15. Unusual Incidents: The Provider must notify the Associate Director of Office of Community & Positive Youth Development (OCPYD) at Karrie.Rueter@Illinois.gov and the Bureau Chief of the Bureau of Volunteerism and Community Support at Cory.Blissett@Illinois.gov of any of the following incidents involving AmeriCorps members within 24 business hours of the incident: 1) serious threat or violence to self or others, 2) death, 3) suicide/suicide attempt, 4) violence between AmeriCorps members and staff or participants and 5) any allegation of abuse or neglect reported to the State's Central Registry (DCFS) or local law enforcement agency.
  4. Application and Submission Information
    1. Address to Request Application Package
      1. Application materials are provided throughout this notice. This Notice should be read together with the AmeriCorps National regulations, 45 CFR 2520 - 2550, 2024 AmeriCorps State and National Performance Measures Instructions and AmeriCorps State and National Mandatory Supplemental Information 2024 can be found at the website FY 2024 AmeriCorps State and National Grants.
      2. Appendix I provides the AmeriCorps Focus Areas and can be found at the end of this document. Additional copies of this NOFO may be obtained by contacting IDHS/Serve Illinois at the following email address: DHS.ServeIllinois.NOFO@Illinois.gov Subject Line: 25-444-80-3330 Request.
      3. Each applicant must have access to the internet. The IDHS website will contain information regarding the NOFO and materials necessary for submission. Questions and answers will also be posted on the IDHS website as described later in this announcement. It is the responsibility of each applicant to monitor the website and comply with any instructions or requirements related to the NOFO.
    2. Content and Form of Application Submission
      Each applicant must describe a project that will deploy AmeriCorps members effectively to assist southern border arrivals in Illinois. AmeriCorps National urges applicants to submit high quality applications that carefully follow the guidance in this Notice and in the Application Instructions. The quality of an application will be an important factor in determining whether an organization will receive funding.
      Applications should include a well-designed plan with clear and compelling justifications for receiving the requested funds. Reviewers will assess the quality of applications by using the selection criteria described below and will rate them accordingly.
      ALL Applications MUST include the following forms/attachments in the order identified below.
      Applications that are inconsistent with the instructions herein will be subject to loss of points. IDHS/Serve Illinois is under no obligation to review applications that do not comply with the below requirements.
      1. Application content: Complete applications must include the following elements:
        1. Standard Form 424 (SF-424) Face Sheet: This is automatically generated when applicants complete the data elements in the eGrants system.
        2. Narrative Sections (Refer to Application Narrative Section below)
          1. Executive Summary (0 points)
          2. Program Design - Need & Quality (50 points)
          3. Organizational Capacity (25 points)
          4. Cost-Effectiveness & Budget Adequacy (25 points)
        3. Performance Measures
        4. Standard Form 424A Budget
        5. Clarification
        6. Authorization, Assurances, and Certifications Narrative Sections
        7. Additional Required State Documents (must be submitted to DHS.ServeIllinois.NOFO@Illinois.gov)
          1. Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance
            The Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance is a three-page document used to formalize organization's request to apply for funding. The document requires the signature and email address of the organization's authorized representative. This email address will be used for official communication between IDHS/Serve Illinois and the applicant organization for matters regarding this application. The Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance is available as an Appendix and must be submitted to DHS.ServeIllinois.NOFO@Illinois.gov by 04:00 PM CST on June 12, 2024. (Refer to Section D.3. Application Submission Deadline.)
          2. Grantee Conflict of Interest Disclosure
            The Grantee Conflict of Interest Disclosure form must be completed, signed, and submitted to DHS.ServeIllinois.NOFO@Illinois.gov by 04:00 PM CST on June 12, 2024. If no actual or potential conflicts exist, the applicant should indicate "no conflicts." For conflicts that arise after application submission, submit this form to your designated grant program point of contact within 7 calendar days after the conflict has been identified. Refer to the Disclosure form for examples of potential conflicts.
            1. Compliance Requirement: IDHS Grantees must immediately disclose in writing to the Program Administrator any actual or potential conflict of interest as soon as it becomes known, in accordance with 30 ILCS 708/35, 30 ILCS 708/60(a)(5), 44 Ill. Admin. Code 7000.330(f) and the grant agreement. This disclosure must be submitted for the Grantee and all sub-recipients or pass-through entities, whenever an actual or potential conflict may exist.
            2. Continuing Obligation: IDHS Grantee has a continuing obligation to disclose IDHS financial or other interests (public, private, direct or indirect) that may be a potential conflict of interest, or which could prohibit Grantee from entering or continuing the programs for which the grant is intended.
            3. Grantee Form Submission: This form must be completed, signed, and returned for any State or federal grant funds awarded to the Grantee by IDHS. For conflicts that exist at the time of grant application submission, submit this form with your grant application materials. If no actual or potential conflicts exists, the grantee should indicate "no conflicts." For conflicts that arise after application submission, submit this form to your designated grant program point of contact within 7 calendar days after the conflict has been identified.
      2. Page Limits
        There are page limits for the Narratives:
        1. Narratives
          1. Applications must not exceed 10 double-spaced pages for the Narratives as the pages print out from eGrants.
          2. The application sections that count towards the page limit are the:
            1. SF-424 Face Sheet
            2. Executive Summary
            3. Program Design, Organizational Capacity, and Cost-Effectiveness & Budget Adequacy narratives.
          3. The application page limit does not include the
            1. Clarification Summary (Not applicable for the grant)
            2. Community Need: The applicant will provide a detailed summary of the community problem, including the role current or historical inequities faced by underserved communities may play in contributing to the problem.
            3. Logic Model
              1. The Logic Model may not exceed 8 pages when printed with the application from the "Review" tab in AmeriCorps' web-based management system.
              2. Please note that the length of the application as a Word processing document may differ from the length of the document printed out from eGrants. The character limits in eGrants do not align with page limits set in the Notice. AmeriCorps/IDHS/Serve Illinois strongly encourages applicants to print out the application from the "Review and Submit" tab in eGrants prior to submission in order to confirm that the application does not exceed the page limit.
              3. AmeriCorps National/IDHS/Serve Illinois will not consider the results of any alternative printing methods when determining if an application complies with the page limit. Reviewers will also not consider material that is over the page limit, even if eGrants allows applicants to enter and submit additional text.
            4. Budget (Refer to FY 2024 AmeriCorps State and National Grants Application Instructions; Attachments B: Detailed Budget Instructions for Cost Reimbursement Grants
            5. Performance Measures ( Refer to AmeriCorps State and National Performance Measures Instructions 2024 )
            6. Any required additional documents.
      3. Application Narrative
        Scoring will be on a 100-point scale. Application Narratives will be evaluated on the following criteria:
        1. Executive Summary (Required - 0 points)
          Please fill in the blanks of these sentences to complete the Executive Summary. Do not deviate from this template:
          "The [Name of the organization] has [Number of years) working with [insert migrants, immigrants, and/or refugees] providing [services provided]. The [Name of the organization] will have [Number of] AmeriCorps members who will [service activities the members will be doing with SBAs including members being bilingual, culturally informed on the new arrivals' experience and needs, and inclusive of diverse stakeholders] in [the locations the AmeriCorps members will serve]. At the end of the program year, the AmeriCorps members will be responsible for [anticipated outcome of project]. In addition, the AmeriCorps members will leverage [number of leveraged members, if applicable] who will be engaged in [what the leveraged members will be doing.] The AmeriCorps investment will be matched with $[amount of projected match], $[amount of local, state, and Federal Funds] in public funding and $[amount of non-governmental funds] in private funding."
        2. Program Design - Need & Quality (Total of 50 points)
          Reviewers will consider the quality of the application's response to the criteria below. Do not assume all sub-criteria are of equal value. Please ensure the Community and Logic Model incorporate the funding priorities listed above, for example, supporting communities historically excluded and/or underserved from government services, addressing structural and institutional inequities, or increasing opportunity in order to achieve sustainable change in communities.
          1. Community Need and Logic Model (24 points)
            1. Community Need: The applicant will provide a detailed summary of the community problem, including the role current or historical inequities faced by underserved communities may play in contributing to the problem.
            2. Logic Model: The applicant's intervention is likely to lead to the outcomes identified in the organization's Logic Model. No narrative is needed other than what is contained within the logic model. The applicant will depict in the Logic Model:
              1. The inputs or resources that are necessary to deliver the intervention, including but not limited to:
                1. Locations or sites in which members will provide services
                2. Context in which the intervention is delivered (e.g., the setting where the intervention is delivered)
                3. Number of AmeriCorps members who will deliver the intervention
                4. Characteristics of AmeriCorps members, including specific knowledge, skills, and abilities required to implement the intervention
              2. The core activities that define the intervention or program model that members will implement or deliver, including:
                1. Duration of the intervention (e.g., the total number of weeks, sessions, or months of the intervention)
                2. Dosage of the intervention (e.g., the number of hours per session or sessions per week)
                3. Target population for the intervention (e.g., Southern Border Arrivals)
              3. The measurable outputs that result from delivering the intervention (i.e., number of beneficiaries served, types and number of activities conducted, equity gaps closed). If applicable, identify which FY 2024 AmeriCorps State and National Grants National Performance Measures will be used as output indicators.
              4. Outcomes that demonstrate meaningful changes in knowledge/skill, attitude, behavior, or condition that occur as a result of the intervention. If applicable, identify which National Performance Measures will be used as outcome indicators.
                Note: The Logic Model is a visual representation of the applicant's Theory of Change. Programs should include short, medium, or long-term outcomes in the Logic Model. Applicants are not required to measure all components of their Logic Model. The applicant's performance measures should be consistent with the program's Logic Model and should represent significant program activities. Please review FY 2024 AmeriCorps State and National Grants Mandatory Supplemental Information to learn more about the Logic Model.
                Rationales and justifications should be informed by the organization's performance data (e.g., program data observed over time that suggests targets are reasonable), relevant research (e.g. targets documented by organizations running similar programs with similar populations), or prior program evaluation findings.
                Applicants with multiple interventions should complete one Logic Model chart which incorporates each intervention. Logic Model content that exceeds eight pages will not be reviewed.
          2. Evidence Base
            The assessment of an applicant's evidence base has two parts. First, the applicant will be assigned to an evidence tier (use the FY 2024 AmeriCorps State and National Grants Mandatory Supplemental Information). Second, the quality of the applicant's evidence and the degree to which it supports the proposed program design, including program aligned with the priority areas (Refer to Section A.2 Funding Priorities), will be assessed and scored.
            1. Evidence Tier (12 points)
              An evidence tier will be assessed for each applicant for the purpose of understanding the relative strength of each applicant's evidence base for their proposed service and the likelihood that the proposed intervention (s) will lead to outcomes identified in the Logic Model.
              Applicants who have outcome or impact evaluation reports of the same intervention described in the application and Logic Model (use the FY 2024 AmeriCorps State and National Grants Mandatory Supplemental Information for a definition of "same intervention") may submit up to two of those reports, plus (if applicable) the evaluation report from their last three-year grant cycle, to qualify for the Preliminary, Moderate, or Strong evidence tier. In order to qualify for consideration, the intervention evaluated in the submitted report(s) must match the intervention proposed by the applicant in the following areas, all of which must be clearly described in the Community and Logic Model sections of the application:
              • Characteristics of the beneficiary population, including evidence of current or historic inequities facing the population;
              • Characteristics of the population delivering the intervention;
              • Dosage (frequency and duration) and design of the intervention, including all key components and activities;
              • The context in which the intervention is delivered; and
              • Outcome of the intervention.
                Submitted reports that do not sufficiently match the intervention proposed by the applicant in all of these areas will not be considered applicable and will not be reviewed or receive any points. Submission of additional documents that are not consistent with the guidance and requirements described in the Notice (e.g., advocacy pieces, policy briefs, other narratives that are not research studies or program evaluations) will not be reviewed.
                In the Evidence Tier section of the application narrative, applicants must:
                1. Summarize the study design and key findings of any outcome or impact evaluation report(s) submitted, and
                2. Describe any other evidence that supports their program, including past performance measure data and/or other research studies that inform their program design. Applicants who submit evaluation reports for consideration must also describe in the Evidence Base section of the application narrative how the intervention described in the submitted reports is the same as the intervention described in the application (use the FY 2024 AmeriCorps State and National Grants Mandatory Supplemental Information).
                  Applicants should provide citations for the studies they describe, if applicable; however, reviewers will not review any documents external to the application other than evaluation report(s) submitted in accordance with the Notice instructions.
                  Applicants must meet all requirements of an evidence tier in order to be considered for that tier.
                  If evaluation reports submitted by the applicant do not meet the definitions in the Mandatory Supplemental Information, the applicant may be considered for a lower evidence tier.
            2. Evidence Quality (8 points)
              After the applicant's evidence tier has been assessed, the quality of the applicant's evidence and the extent to which it supports the proposed program design will be assessed and scored.
              Applicants who are assessed as being in the Preliminary, Moderate, or Strong evidence tiers, reviewers will score the submitted evaluation reports using the following standards:
              • The submitted reports are of satisfactory methodological quality and rigor for the type of evaluation conducted (e.g., adequate sample size and statistical power, internal and/or external validity, appropriate use of control or comparison groups, etc.);
              • The submitted reports describe evaluations that were conducted relatively recently, preferably within the last six years; and
              • The submitted reports show a meaningful and significant positive effect on program beneficiaries in at least one key outcome of interest.
                Applicants that are assessed as being in the Pre-Preliminary evidence tier, reviewers will score the narrative provided in the Evidence Base section of the application using the following standards:
              • The applicant uses relevant evidence, including past performance measure data and/or cited research studies, to inform their proposed program design;
              • The described evidence is relatively recent, preferably from the last six years; and
              • The evidence described by the applicant indicates a meaningful positive effect on program beneficiaries in at least one key outcome of interest.
                Applicants assessed in the Pre-Preliminary evidence tier that do not provide adequate responses to the Evidence Quality standards will not meet the threshold requirements for this Notice and will not be considered for funding.
          3. Notice Priority (0 points)
            The applicant proposed program should assist southern border arrivals and meet all of the requirements within the bullet/section as outlined in the A.2 Funding Priorities.
          4. Member Experience (6 points)
            1. The applicant details how AmeriCorps members will be provided an opportunity to be leaders and gain skills during their term of service that will be valued by future employers (e.g., workforce pathways, increasing levels of responsibility and leadership roles for members).
            2. The applicant details how AmeriCorps members will be provided a high-quality orientation to the community they will serve in that is from an asset-based frame and guided and informed by the community.
        3. Organizational Capacity (Total of 25 Points)
          Reviewers will consider the quality of the application's response to the criteria below. Do not assume all sub-criteria are of equal value.
          1. Organizational Background and Staffing (15 points)
            1. The applicant details the roles, responsibilities, and structure of the staff that will be implementing, providing oversight, and monitoring the program.
            2. The applicant has facilitated, partnered, or participated in educational or workforce development programs (i.e., pre-apprenticeship/registered apprenticeship, work experience and job training programs, etc.)
            3. The applicant describes their organization's mission and relevant experience in areas such as member recruitment and management, community outreach, overcoming project implementation challenges, etc.
          2. Member Supervision (6 points)
            1. The applicant details how AmeriCorps members will receive sufficient guidance and support from their supervisor to provide effective service (e.g., structure for member supervision: cadence and format of supervisor/AmeriCorps member check-ins, member and supervisor opportunities to assess strengths and opportunities for growth, member training plan, etc.)
            2. The applicant details how AmeriCorps supervisors will be adequately trained/prepared to follow AmeriCorps and program regulations, priorities, and expectations (e.g., structure for support of supervisors, training plan for supervisors related to supervision and AmeriCorps National rules and regulations, cadence and format of AmeriCorps supervisors/their supervisors check ins, opportunities to assess strengthens and opportunities for growth of supervisors, etc.)
          3. Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (4 points)
            1. The leadership and staff of the organization have similar lived experience as the beneficiary population and/or community being served.
            2. The applicant's definitions of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility is demonstrated by the organization (e.g., diversity on the Board of Directors, agency staff and leadership, and/or members) and the organization upholds a supportive and safe environment for individuals of diverse backgrounds.
        4. Cost-Effectiveness & Budget Adequacy (25 points)
          The applicant's budget must be entered in the federal eGrants system. DO NOT enter your budget into the Illinois CSA system until instructed to do so. This will occur after AmeriCorps National selects successful applicants.
          Reviewers will assess the quality of the application's budget to the criteria below:
          1. Member Recruitment (7 points)
            The applicant provides a description of budget expenses to support successful recruitment of AmeriCorps members best suited to serve the community, for example from geographic or demographic communities in which the program operates. The applicant describes how they will recruit members who are bilingual, culturally informed on the new arrivals' experience and needs, and inclusive of diverse stakeholders.
          2. Member Retention (8 points)
            The applicant provides a description of budget expenses to support retention of AmeriCorps members (e.g., additional member benefits such as increasing above the minimum living allowance, supporting workforce pathways, certifications, coaching for members, resume building, individual benefit as well as community building, network building, member recognition, alumni programming, etc.)
          3. Data Collection (7 points)
            The applicant provides a description of budget expenses to support data collection, continuous improvement activities, and evaluation in service to evaluating the interventions and impact on the community and the member experience).
          4. Budget Alignment to Program Design (3 points)
            The applicant's budget is aligned to the program design outlined in the narrative, meaning activities discussed in the narrative are incorporated in the budget in the agency or applicant share.
      4. Amendment Justification (0 percent)
        Enter N/A. This field will be used if the applicant is awarded a grant and needs to amend it.
      5. Clarification Information (0 percent)
        Enter N/A.
      6. Continuation Changes (0 percent)
        Enter N/A. This field will be used to enter changes in the application narratives in continuation requests.
    3. Application Submission Dates and Times
      1. Applicant organizations must submit their application via eGrants, web-based application system by 04:00 PM CST on June 12, 2024. All additional required documents must be submitted to DHS.ServeIllinois.NOFO@Illinois.gov by 04:00 PM CST on June 12, 2024 which includes the Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance and the Grantee Conflict of Interest Disclosure. IDHS/Serve Illinois will not consider applications submitted after the deadline.
      2. Refer to Section D.4 Other Submission Requirements for information on submitting your application in eGrants.
      3. Applicants will receive a receipt confirmation email from IDHS/Serve Illinois within 48 hours of receipt notifying them that their application was received and the date and time it was received. This email will be sent to the email addresses provided in the application. This receipt confirmation email is the sole confirmation that the application has been received by IDHS/Serve Illinois; it is not a confirmation of the applicant's eligibility; prequalification, etc. Refer to Section C. Eligibility Information and Grant Funding Requirements, for more information on the applicant's eligibility.
      4. Applicants are required to notify IDHS/Serve Illinois by 04:00 PM CST on Friday, 6/14/2024 if they did NOT receive an email notifying them that their application was received. If the applicant does not receive an email and/or does not notify IDHS/Serve Illinois by 6/14/2024 at 04:00 PM CST, their application will be considered a late submission and will NOT be reviewed or scored.
      5. The applicant will not have the right to protest the submission/receipt of their application to IDHS/Serve Illinois after Friday, 6/14/2024 at 04:00 PM CST. In the event of a dispute, the applicant bears the burden of proof that the complete application was submitted into the federal eGrants system by the due date and time.
      6. Applications received after the due date and time will not be considered for review or funding. All applicants/applications determined to be non-compliant or otherwise determined to be disqualified from consideration will be separately notified in writing, by email, upon determination. This email will be sent to the email addresses provided in the application and will identify the reason for disqualification.
      7. For your records, please keep a copy of your submission with the date and time the application was submitted. The deadline will be strictly enforced.
      8. IMPORTANT: It is strongly recommended that the applicant not wait until the last minute to submit an application in case they experience technical difficulties with the submission process. Applicants should keep copies of all documentation that may prove their application was submitted in the federal eGrants system on or before the deadline. Applicants should also maintain all electronic documentation, including screen shots, email correspondence, help desk ticket numbers, etc. that would document any unforeseen difficulties the applicant may have encountered regarding the timely submission of the application. PLEASE ensure that supporting documentation demonstrates these technical difficulties are the result of IDHS/State/federal systems and that they are documented prior to the application due date and time. This includes correspondence with IDHS/Serve Illinois staff regarding same.
    4. Other Submission Requirements
      1. Electronic Application Submission in eGrants
        Applicants must submit applications electronically via eGrants, web-based application system. AmeriCorps National/IDHS/Serve Illinois recommends that applicants create an eGrants account and begin the application at least three weeks before the deadline. Applicants should draft the application as a Word document, then copy and paste the text into the appropriate eGrants field no later than 10 days before the deadline.
        1. The applicant's authorized representative must be the person who submits the application. The authorized representative must use their own eGrants account to sign and submit the application. A copy of the governing body's authorization for this official representative to sign must be on file in the applicant's office.
        2. Applicants should contact the AmeriCorps Hotline at (800) 942-2677 or via eGrants Questions if they have a problem when they create an account, prepare, or submit the application. AmeriCorps Hotline hours are posted.
        3. Be prepared to provide the application ID, organization's name, and the name of the Notice to which the organization is applying. If the issue cannot be resolved by the deadline, applicants must continue working with the AmeriCorps Hotline to submit via eGrants.
      2. Submission of Additional Documents
        1. All applicants must submit to IDHS/Serve Illinois:
          1. Evaluation briefs, reports, studies. Please refer to Section E Application Review Information in this NOFO and Mandatory Supplemental Information found here: FY 2024 AmeriCorps State and National Grants Mandatory Supplemental Information, for detailed instructions by evidence tier.
          2. Labor union concurrence (if applicable)
          3. All applicants regardless of funding level are required to submit an Applicant Operational and Financial Management Survey to the OFMS using this online form. Submitting this online form sends it directly to AmeriCorps.
        2. Entities applying on behalf of a Federally Recognized Tribe (new and recompeting) Tribal organization eligibility documentation (Refer to Section C.1 Eligible Applicants)
        3. Additional State Documents
          1. Uniform Grant Application for State Grant Assistance
          2. Grantee Conflict of Interest Disclosure
        4. Additional documents must be emailed to DHS.ServeIllinois.NOFO@Illinois.gov with the following subject line: "Legal Applicant Name" - "Application ID Number." Emails should include:
          1. Legal applicant name and its point of contact information;
          2. Application ID number;
          3. List of documents that are attached to the email by filename, labeling each document type according to the above numbered list; and
          4. Individually attached files that are clearly labeled, and that include the legal applicants name and application ID number within the file name and heading of each document.
            1. To ensure that all required additional documents are considered, please provide each document as a separate single file, labeled appropriately. Please do not send multiple documents in one combined file, and do not send a single document in multiple files.
            2. If the size of an applicant's files requires multiple emails, please also include an ordering system in the subject line, such as "(1 of 3)".
              Failure to submit the required additional documents, following the email instructions in this section by the deadline may have a negative effect on the assessment of your application.
              Do not submit any items that are not requested in this Notice or Application Instructions. AmeriCorps National/IDHS/Serve Illinois will not review or return them.
    5. Unique Entity Identifiers (SAM Registration)
      1. All applicants must register with the System for Award Management (SAM) at https://www.sam.gov/SAM/ and maintain an active SAM registration until the application process is complete. If an applicant is awarded a grant, it must maintain an active SAM registration throughout the life of the award. See the SAM Quick Guide for Grantees.
      2. SAM registration must be renewed annually. AmeriCorps National suggests that applicants finalize a new registration or renew an existing one at least three weeks before the application deadline, to allow time to resolve any issues that may arise.
      3. Applications must include an Employer Identification Number. The UEI and Employer Identification Number must be entered by the organization's Grantee Administrator as an organization attribute, and this will apply the information to all applications for the organization.
      4. Applicants must use their SAM- registered legal name and physical address on all grant applications. The legal applicant's name and physical address in eGrants must match exactly the applicant's SAM-registered information.
      5. AmeriCorps National/IDHS/Serve Illinois will not make awards to entities that do not have a valid SAM registration and Unique Entity Identify. If an applicant has not fully complied with these requirements by the time AmeriCorps National is ready to make a federal award, AmeriCorps National may determine that the applicant is not qualified to receive an award and use that determination as a basis for making a federal award to another applicant.
    6. Intergovernmental Review
      This funding opportunity is NOT subject to Executive Order 12372, "Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs."
  5. Application Review Information
    1. Selection Criteria
      Each applicant must describe a project that will deploy AmeriCorps members effectively to assist southern border arrivals in Illinois. AmeriCorps National urges applicants to submit high quality applications that carefully follow the guidance in this Notice and in the Application Instructions. The quality of an application will be an important factor in determining whether an organization will receive funding.
      Applications should include a well-designed plan with clear and compelling justifications for receiving the requested funds. Reviewers will assess the quality of applications by using the selection criteria described below and will rate them accordingly.
      Scoring will be on a 100-point scale. Application Narratives will be evaluated on the following criteria:
      Categories/Subcategories Percentage
      Executive Summary 0
      Program Design - Need & Quality 50
      Community Need and Logic Model 24
      Evidence Tier 12
      Evidence Quality 8
      Notice Priority 0
      Member Experience 6
      Organizational Capacity 25
      Organizational Background and Staffing 15
      Member Supervision 6
      Commitment to Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility 4
      Cost Effectiveness and Budget Adequacy 25
      Member Recruitment 7
      Member Retention 8
      Data Collection 7
      Budget Alignment to Program Design 3
    2. Review and Selection Process
      1. Initial Application Compliance and Eligibility Review
        IDHS/Serve Illinois Program Staff will conduct an initial eligibility review to determine if an application meets the eligibility requirements published in this Notice and will advance to the next stage of the review process.
        An application is compliant if the applicant:
        1. is an eligible organization (refer to Section C Eligibility Information),
        2. is GATA prequalified,
        3. submitted an application by the submission deadline, and
        4. meets the mandatory requirement listed in this NOFO.
          Reviewing for eligibility is intended to ensure that only those applications that are eligible for award are further reviewed. Applicants that are determined to be ineligible will not receive an award.
          All applicants / applications determined to be non-compliant or otherwise determined to be disqualified from consideration will be notified in writing, by email, upon determination. This email will be sent to the email addresses provided in the application and will identify the reason for disqualification.
      2. Review and Selection Process
        All grant applications are subject to a merit-based review. The Review and Selection Process is a two-part process which begins with a merit-based review conducted by IDHS/Serve Illinois. Once applications have been reviewed, graded, and selected applications will be submitted by IDHS/Serve Illinois in eGrants. AmeriCorps National will review selected applications and make final award decisions. 
        Evaluation criteria is based upon requirements set forth in 44 IL Admin Code 7000.350 Merit Review of Applications and the IDHS Merit Review Manual. The following criteria will be used to evaluate applications:
        1. IDHS/Serve Illinois Merit-Based Review
          1. The Merit Based Review will be conducted by a Review Team comprised of three or more internal reviewers. Internal reviewers are individuals employed by IDHS, Serve Illinois, Commissioners, IDHS contractual staff, or individuals working as interns at IDHS from an Illinois academic institution. All reviewers will be screened for any potential conflict of interest.
          2. The Review Teams will be provided with a Merit Based Review Committee Member Orientation Session.
          3. After the orientation session, the Review Team will review and score applications based on a developed criterion.
          4. The Review Team scores will be compiled and averaged on a Merit Based Review Summary Score Sheet.
          5. The Bureau Chief or designee will then conduct an initial quality assurance review which must include the following:
            1. Initial review of the summary score sheet to identify scoring discrepancies.
            2. Determine whether reviewers properly applied Merit Based Review steps as instructed.
            3. Assess whether reviewers properly completed all section of the MBR Scoring Sheet. Reviewer score sheets may be returned to the reviewer to improve legibility and completeness of comments.
            4. Determine whether all facets of the review and scoring process were adhered to and consistently applied by reviewers.
          6. Following the initial quality assurance review, a post merit-based review committee meeting will be held. The review committee meeting is required for all formula merit-based reviews and will be facilitated by the Bureau Chief or designee. The following apply:
            1. Each application will be discussed by team members, including application highlights, concerns, application mandates/requirements budget compliance and review for prohibited activities, etc.
            2. Scoring disparities will be identified, addressed, and resolved. For each application, if a significant disparity exists between reviewer scores (based on a set formula), review team members will collectively examine the application and discuss comments to ensure team members have not missed items within the application that other team members may have identified including application mandates/requirements etc. Application highlights and concerns will also be discussed.
            3. Individual scores will be finalized.
            4. Scoring revisions resulting from discussions must be documented on the respective scoring sheet with written commentary to support the revision.
          7. In the event of a tie with insufficient funding for all tied applications, IDHS/Serve Illinois may choose to elect one of the following options:
            1. Apply one or more of the additional factors for consideration described above to prioritize the applications; or
            2. Partially fund each of the tied applications; or
            3. Choose to assign one new 3-person review team to conduct a second review of the tied applications per the guidelines identified above; or
            4. Not fund any of the tied applications.
          8. Once the post merit-based review meeting has been held and individual scores have been finalized, the Review Team member scores will be compiled, and averaged on the Merit Based Review Summary Score Sheet.
          9. At any time during the merit-based review or post-review process:
            1. If it is determined that there was the possibility of impropriety on the part of any reviewer, upon written request and with the approval of the Associate Director, the Department reserves the right to remove the reviewer scores and comments from consideration. This action must be documented in writing and must include the reason for removal.
            2. If the removal of a reviewer scores and comments results in fewer than 3 reviewers scoring the application, the Department will assign an alternate reviewer to the application. This reviewer will be afforded all the same guidance, instruction, and time to complete the review task. Once completed, the process will resume as required.
          10. After the updated review scores have been compiled and averaged, the Bureau Chief will then prepare preliminary selection recommendations to the Associate Director of the Office of Community & Positive Youth Development. These recommendations must include a final eligibility determination completed by the Bureau of Volunteerism and Community Service, which includes the review of recommended applications to confirm applicants meet eligibility and mandated requirements. Selection recommendations may also include consideration of other factors such as geographical distribution, demonstrated need, demonstrated community presence, agency past performance as a state grantee etc., and other items identified under Section A: Program Description.
          11. The Bureau Chief will submit preliminary selection recommendations to the Associate Director of the Office of Community and Positive Youth Development and the Serve Illinois Executive Director. Final funding recommendations will be compiled that may include consideration of other factors such as funding priorities, geographical distribution, demonstrated need, demonstrated community presence, agency past performance as a state grantee, etc.
          12. The Associate Director will send final recommendations to the Assistant Director and Director of Family and Community Services for approval.
          13. Once the Director or their designee approves the selection recommendations,
            1. the Bureau Chief will submit the applications in eGrants based on scores. The selected applications will be reviewed by AmeriCorps National Portfolio Manager for Illinois for final award decisions, AND
            2. the Executive Director of the Serve Illinois Commission will inform the Serve Illinois Board of Commissioners of the selection recommendations.
          14. IDHS/Serve Illinois may ask an applicant for information after notification of competition results to resolve any issues prior to award.
        2. AmeriCorps National Review after Serve Illinois Submission in eGrants
          Once AmeriCorps National receives selected applications from IDHS/Serve Illinois, it will commence its review process as outlined below. Note that while IDHS/Serve Illinois recommends applications and submits via eGrants, our AmeriCorps National federal partners facilitate their own review to ensure compliance and to support the success of programs operating under Serve Illinois.
          1. Initial Application Compliance and Eligibility Review
            AmeriCorps National will conduct an initial Compliance and Eligibility Review to determine if an application meets the eligibility requirements published in this Notice and advances to the next stage of the review process.
          2. AmeriCorps National Application Review
            1. Internal Review
              AmeriCorps National will review and assess all submitted applications and send the Bureau Chief any required resolutions the applicants must complete. IDHS/Serve Illinois will work directly with applicants to resolve and resubmit in eGrants.
            2. Post-Review Quality Control
              After the initial review process is complete, AmeriCorps National staff will review the initial results for fairness and consistency. Some applications may be selected for a Post-Review Quality Control assessment. This additional level of review will be used to ensure fairness and provide assurances that an application was not disadvantaged in the original review.
          3. Pre-Award Risk Assessment
            AmeriCorps National staff will assess the risks to the program posed by each applicant to determine an applicant's ability to manage Federal Funds. This evaluation is in addition to those about the applicant's eligibility and the quality of its application on the basis of the E.1. Selection Criteria. Results from this assessment will inform funding decisions. If AmeriCorps National determines that an award will be made to an applicant with assessed risks, special conditions that correspond to the degree of assessed risk may be applied to the award. Applicants may not be selected for funding if AmeriCorps National determines that the applicant's risks cannot be mitigated.
            In assessing risks, AmeriCorps National may consider the following criteria:
            1. Due Diligence, including:
              • Federal debt delinquency
              • Suspension and debarment
              • Information available through Office of Management and Budget (OMB)- designated repositories of government-wide eligibility qualification or financial integrity information, such as:
                • U.S. Treasury Bureau of Fiscal Services
                • System for Award Management (SAM)
                • "Do Not Pay" List
              • Reports and findings from single audits performed under Uniform Administrative Guidance and findings of any other available audits or investigations
              • IRS Tax Form 990
              • Oversight.gov
              • Public Litigation Records
            2. Operational and Financial Management, including:
              • Financial stability
              • Operational and Financial Management Survey (OFMS)
            3. Past Performance, including Applicant's record in managing previous AmeriCorps National awards, cooperative agreements, or procurement awards, including:
              • Timely compliance with applicable reporting requirements
              • Accuracy of data reported
              • Validity of performance measure data reported
              • Conformity to the terms and conditions of previous Federal awards
              • Ability to effectively implement statutory, regulatory, or other requirements imposed on award recipients
              • Timely closeout of other awards
              • Meeting matching requirements
              • Extent to which any previously awarded amounts will be expended prior to future awards
              • Meeting National Service Criminal History Check (NSCHC) compliance (refer to Section F.2. National Criminal History Check Requirements and the NSCHC webpage for more information)
            4. Other Programmatic Risks, Financial, Organizational, Compliance, and Fraud including:
              • Publicly available information, including from the applicant organization's website
              • Amount of funding requested by the organization
              • Other elements, such as keyword searches for prohibited activities
                Applicants will find information to help them understand pre-award due diligence checks in the AmeriCorps National Due Diligence Review Process and Compliance training available on the Manage Your Grant | AmeriCorps webpage . This content will help applicants obtain due diligence compliance and remain compliant throughout the grant life.
          4. Consideration of Integrity and Performance System Information
            Prior to making any award that exceeds the $250,000, AmeriCorps National is required to review and consider any information about the applicant that is in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM.gov (See 41 U.S.C. §2313). Additionally, AmeriCorps National may expand upon these requirements and use its discretion to review and consider information about any applicant receiving an award, including those under $250,000.
            Any applicant may review information in the designated integrity and performance systems accessible through SAM.gov and comment on any information about itself that a Federal awarding agency previously entered and is currently in the designated integrity and performance system accessible through SAM.gov.
            AmeriCorps National may consider comments by any 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 federal awards when completing its review of risk posed by the applicant under Section E.2. Pre-Award Risk Assessment.
          5. Selection for Funding
            The review and selection process are designed to:
            • Identify how well eligible applications are aligned with the E.1 application selection criteria
            • Build a diversified portfolio based on the following strategic considerations:
              • AmeriCorps National Funding Priorities (refer to Section A.2. Funding Priorities)
              • meaningful representation of:
                • rural communities
                • innovative community strategies
                  AmeriCorps National will assess an applicant's strategic considerations. Applicants must check the relevant boxes in the Program Information tab in AmeriCorps' web-based management system. Applicants should only check the boxes if the strategic consideration is a significant and intentional part of their program design and if implementation strategies are described in the application.
                  AmeriCorps National reserves the right to award applications in an amount other than at the requested level of funding and will document the rationale for doing so.
                  IDHS/Serve Illinois reserves the right to adjust or make changes to the review process, if unforeseen challenges or urgent circumstances make it impossible, impracticable, or inefficient to conduct the review process as planned. Any such adjustments or changes will not affect the selection criteria (E.1.) that will be used to assess applications.
          6. Applicant Resolution
            AmeriCorps National may ask an applicant for information after notification of competition results to resolve any issues prior to award. AmeriCorps National will ask all grantees for a written compliance implementation plan that includes notification of waste, fraud, and abuse to the agency's Office of the Inspector General (OIG). An applicant's failure to respond adequately and in a timely manner may result in the removal of its application from the award process.
          7. Feedback to Applicants
            Each compliant applicant will receive feedback from the review of its application.
          8. Transparency
            AmeriCorps National is committed to transparency in grant-making. A list of all approved applications for new and re-competing applications will be published on AmeriCorps National Funded Grants within 90 business days after all grants are awarded.
            Submitted program narratives, executive summaries, a blank template of the external review worksheet, and a list of all external reviewers who completed the review process for successful applications will be available upon request via email to AmeriCorpsOGA@cns.gov.
            Further information about funded grants and subgrants is also available in USASpending.gov.
    3. Merit-Based Review Appeal Process (State of Illinois' process only)
      1. Appeals are limited to the evaluation process. Evaluation scores may not be protested. Only the evaluation process is subject to appeal and shall be reviewed by IDHS' Appeal Review Officer (ARO).
      2. Appeals submission IDHS/Serve Illinois contact information:
        Name of Agency contact for appeals: Kristen Bethke
        Email of Agency contact for appeals: DHS.ServeIllinois.NOFO@Illinois.gov
        Email Subject Line: "agency name 25-444-80-3330 Appeal Kristen"
      3. Submission of Appeal.
        1. An appeal must be submitted in writing to appeals submission IDHS/Serve Illinois contact listed above, who will send to the IDHS Appeal Review Officer (ARO) for consideration.
        2. An appeal must be received within 14 calendar days after the date that the grant award notice has been published.
        3. The written appeal shall include at a minimum the following:
          1. Name and address of the appealing party;
          2. Identification of the grant;
          3. Statement of reasons for the appeal; and
          4. Supporting documentation, if applicable
      4. Response to Appeal.
        1. IDHS/Serve Illinois will acknowledge receipt of an appeal within fourteen (14) calendar days from the date the appeal was received.
        2. IDHS/Serve Illinois will respond to the appeal within 60 days or supply a written explanation to the appealing party as to why additional time is required.
        3. The appealing party must supply any additional information requested by IDHS/Serve Illinois within the time period set in the request.
      5. Resolution
        1. The ARO shall make a recommendation to the Agency Head or designee as expeditiously as possible after receiving all relevant, requested information.
        2. In determining the appropriate recommendation, the ARO shall consider the integrity of the formula grant process and the impact of the recommendation on the State Agency.
        3. The Agency will resolve the appeal by means of written determination.
        4. The determination shall include, but not be limited to:
          1. Review of the appeal;
          2. Appeal determination; and
          3. Rationale for the determination.
    4. Simplified Acquisition Threshold
      Potential grantees under this funding announcement may receive an award in excess of the Simplified Acquisition Threshold, currently $250,000 (Refer to 2 CFR 200 Section 200.88). Therefore, the grantee is subject to Simplified Acquisition Threshold. Refer to Section C. 6 Grant Funds Use Requirements for more information.
  6. Award Administration Information
    1. Award Notices
      1. Federal Award Notices
        1. AmeriCorps National will make awards following the selection announcement. AmeriCorps National anticipates announcing the results of this funding opportunity by mid-July 2024 contingent on the availability of congressional appropriations. All applicants, successful or not, will be notified of funding decisions via email.
        2. Notification of an award is not an authorization to begin activities. The Notice of Grant Award (NOGA) signed by the Office of Grant Administration is the authorizing document. An awardee may not expend Federal Funds until the start of the Period of Performance identified on the Notice of Grant Award.
      2. State Award Notices Applicants selected for funding under this NOFO following the above review and selection processes will receive a Notice of State Award (NOSA) from IDHS/Serve Illinois.
        The NOSA shall include:
        1. Grant award amount
        2. The terms and conditions of the award.
        3. Specific conditions, if any, assigned to the applicant based on the fiscal and administrative (ICQ), and merit-based review.
          Note: IDHS/Serve Illinois cannot issue an award until the successful applicant has an approved budget entered in CSA.

          The applicant shall receive the NOSA through the Grantee Portal. The NOSA must be signed by the grants officer (or equivalent). This signature effectively accepts the state award amount and all conditions set forth within the notice. This signed NOSA is the document authorizing IDHS/Serve Illinois to proceed with issuing an agreement. The Agency signed NOSA must be remitted to IDHS/Serve Illinois as instructed in the notice.
          Upon acceptance of the grant award, announcement of the grant award shall be published by the awarding agency to Grants.Illinois.gov.
          A written Notice of Denial shall be sent to the applicants not receiving the award.
    2. Administrative and National Policy Requirements
      1. Uniform Guidance
        All awards made under this Notice will be subject to the Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance), in 2 CFR Parts 200 and 2205.
      2. Requests for Monitoring or Payment Integrity Information
        AmeriCorps National will request documentation from award recipients in order to monitor the grantee and award to ensure compliance with legal requirements, including the Payment Integrity Information Act of 2019. Failure to make timely responses to these requests may result in award funds being placed on manual hold, reimbursement only status, or other remedies may be applied as appropriate.
      3. Terms and Conditions for AmeriCorps State and National Grants
        All awards made under this Notice will be subject to the AmeriCorps National General Terms and Conditions, and the Program-Specific Terms and Conditions for the particular program (when applicable). These Terms and Conditions contain detailed, mandatory compliance and reporting requirements. Current versions of the AmeriCorps National General and Program-Specific Terms and Conditions for each of its programs is available on the Manage Your Grant | AmeriCorps webpage.
      4. National Service Criminal History Check Requirements
        The National Service Criminal History Check (NSCHC) is a specific screening procedure established by law to protect the beneficiaries of national service. We encourage grantees to minimize barriers to service without putting their program beneficiaries at genuine risk. The law requires grantees to conduct and document NSCHCs on persons (including award-funded staff, national service participant, or member) receiving a salary, living allowance, stipend, or education award through a program receiving AmeriCorps National funds. This includes staff that receive part of their salary through a subgrant.
        1. In general, award recipients and subrecipients must conduct an NSCHC for AmeriCorps members, AmeriCorps Seniors members, and staff funded under, or whose salary is reflected as match on, the award.
        2. AmeriCorps National strongly encourages applicants to review the regulations and additional guidance to fully understand how to comply with the requirements. See the National Service Criminal History Check Resources (NSCHC) regulations and guidelines.
        3. AmeriCorps National also strongly encourages award recipients to utilize the Truescreen or the State Repository to conduct the required NSCHCs.
        4. The cost of conducting NSCHC is an allowable expense under the award and the individual subject to the NSCHC may not be required to cover the cost without being reimbursed.
        5. Failure to conduct a compliant NSCHC may result in significant disallowed costs.
        6. Recipients must complete the following criminal history checks:
          1. National Sex Offender Public website through NSOPW.gov (nationwide check);
          2. State criminal history record repository or agency-designated alternative for the individual's State of residence and State of service; and
          3. Fingerprint-based check of the FBI criminal history record database through the State criminal history record repository or agency-approved vendor.
        7. All checks must be conducted, reviewed, and an eligibility determination made before the individual begins work or service.
        8. An individual is not eligible to serve or work in a position subject to the NSCHC requirements if:
          1. the individual refuses to consent to a criminal history check;
          2. makes a false statement in connection with a criminal history check;
          3. is registered, or is required to be registered, on a state sex offender registry or the National Sex Offender Registry; or
          4. has been convicted of murder.
        9. See 45 CFR 2540.200- 2540.207 and National Service Criminal History Check Resources for complete information and FAQs.
      5. Official Guidance
        All AmeriCorps National active Guidance is available on the agency's Guidance webpage. The contents of these documents do not have the force and effect of law and are not meant to bind the public in any way unless incorporated into a contract or grant agreement. These documents are intended only to provide clarity to the public regarding existing requirements under the law or agency policies.
    3. Use of Material
      To ensure that materials generated with AmeriCorps National funding are available to the public and readily accessible to recipients and non-recipients, AmeriCorps National reserves a royalty-free, nonexclusive, and irrevocable right to obtain, use, modify, reproduce, publish, or disseminate publications and materials produced under the award, including data, and to authorize others to do so (2 CFR §200.315).
    4. Reporting
      Recipients are required to submit a variety of reports that are due at specific times during the life cycle of an award. All reports must be accurate, complete, and submitted on time.
      1. Federal Reporting:
        1. Cost Reimbursement grantees are required to provide quarterly and annual progress reports and semi-annual financial reports through eGrants, AmeriCorps Nationals' web-based grants management system and an internal or external evaluation report as required by the AmeriCorps National regulations 45 CFR 2522.500-2522.540 and 2522.700-2522.740.
        2. In addition, at the end of the award period, a grantee must submit final financial and progress reports that are cumulative over the entire award period and consistent with the closeout requirements.
        3. Once the grant is awarded, recipients will be expected to have in place data collection and data management policies, processes, and practices that provide assurance that they are reporting high quality performance measure data. At a minimum, recipients should have policies, processes, and practices that address the following five aspects of data quality for themselves and for subrecipients (if applicable):
          • Data measures what it intends to measure
          • Data reported is complete
          • Grantee collects data in a consistent manner
          • Grantee takes steps to correct data errors
          • Grantee actively reviews data for accuracy prior to submission.
        4. Failure to submit accurate, complete, and timely required reports may affect the recipient's ability to secure future AmeriCorps National funding.
      2. Reporting to IDHS/Serve Illinois
        1. Upon execution of the grant agreement, reporting shall be in accordance with the requirements set forth in the Uniform Grant Agreement and related Exhibits which includes, but is not limited to the following:
        2. Forms
          1. Periodic Financial Report (PFR)
            1. The Provider will submit monthly expenditure documentation and certification forms (EDCFs), quarterly and final Periodic Financial Reports (PFRs) in the format prescribed by IDHS/Serve Illinois.
            2. These monthly reports must be submitted no later than the 15th of each month for the preceding month by email.
            3. The quarterly reports must be submitted no later than the 15th of the month following the end of the quarter; Quarter 1 (July 1 - Sep 30) is due Oct 15th; Quarter 2 (Oct 1-December 31st) is due - Jan 15th, Quarter 3 (Jan 1- March 31st) is due - April 15th, and Quarter 4 (April 1st -June 30th) is due - July 15th).
            4. The final (cumulative fiscal year) Periodic Financial report is due July 15th.
          2. Periodic Performance Report (PPR)
            1. The Provider will submit quarterly and final Periodic Performance Reports (PPRs) in the format prescribed by IDHS/Serve Illinois.
            2. All PPR due dates will be communicated to grantees. All reports are due to DHS.ILAMREPORTING@illinois.gov by the specified due date.
            3. The final (cumulative fiscal year) PPR report is due by November 30th after the end of the program year.
          3. Other Unique Programmatic Reporting Requirements: Additional annual performance data may be collected as directed by IDHS/Serve Illinois and in a format prescribed by IDHS/Serve Illinois.
        3. Annual Audit in conformance with Audit Requirements set forth in the grant agreement.
        4. Recordkeeping Requirements.
          The Provider is required to maintain until December 31, 2032, adequate books, all financial records and supporting documents, statistical records, and all other records pertinent to this Award. If any litigation, claim, or audit is started before the expiration of the retention period, the records must be retained until all litigation, claims or audit exceptions involving the records have been resolved and final action taken. The Provider agrees to provide or make available all records related to this grant upon request.
        5. Non-compliance with any of the above reporting requirements, including timeliness of reports may lead to being placed on the Illinois Stop Payment List.
    5. Payment Terms
      The Illinois Department of Human Services (IDHS) payment policy complies with 2 CFR 200.302, 2 CFR 200.305, 31 CFR 205 (procedures implementing Cash Management Improvement Act and Treasury-State Agreement (TSA)), and 44 Ill. Admin. Code 7000.120 (GOMB Adoption of Supplemental Rules for Grant Payment Methods). Three different award payment methods exist, Advance Payment, Reimbursement, and Working Capital Advance.
      The three award payment methods are described below:
      1. Advance Payment (Advance and Reconcile)
        1. An initial payment will be processed in an amount equal to the first two months' cash requirements as reflected in the Advance Payment Requirements Forecast (Cash Budget) Form submitted with the Grantee's application. The initial payment will be processed upon execution of the grantee's Uniform Grant Agreement. Cash Budgets must be signed by either the Chief Executive Officer (or equivalent) or Chief Financial Officer (or equivalent) for the entity. The executive's signature certifies that their entity complies with the requirements set forth in 2 CFR 200.302 (Financial Management) and 44 Ill. Admin. Code 7000.120(b)(i)(A) (Advance Payments).
        2. Advance payments must be limited to the minimum amounts needed and be timed to be in accordance with the actual, immediate cash requirements of the grantee in carrying out the purpose of the program.
        3. Grantees must submit monthly invoices in the format and method prescribed in the Grantee's executed Uniform Grant Agreement. The first invoice is due within 15 days after the first month of the Award's term. Invoices must be submitted on or before the 15th calendar day following the end of each monthly invoice period Invoices must include only allowable incurred costs that have been paid by the Grantee. For programs that have Grantee matching requirements, allowable costs are only reimbursable when matching costs have also been incurred.
        4. Subsequent monthly payments will be based on each monthly invoice submitted by Grantee to Grantor, and will be adjusted up or down, based on a comparison of actual cumulative expenditures to cumulative advance payments, to date.
        5. Grantees that do not expend all advance payment amounts by the end of the Award term or that are unable to demonstrate that all incurred costs were necessary, reasonable, allowable, or allocable as approved in their respective budget, must return the funds within 45 days.
        6. Grantees may be required to submit supporting documentation for their requests at the request of and in a manner prescribed by the Grantor.
        7. Failure to abide by advance payment governance requirements may result in grantee losing their right to advance payments.
      2. Reimbursement
        1. IDHS will disburse payments to Grantee based on actual allowable costs incurred as reported in the monthly financial invoice submitted for the respective month, as described below.
        2. Grantees must submit monthly invoices in a format prescribed by Grantor. Invoices must include all allowable incurred costs for the first and each subsequent month of operations until the end of the Award term. Invoices must be submitted on or before the 15th calendar day following the end of each monthly invoice period. As practicable, Grantor shall process payment within 15 calendar days after receipt of the invoice, unless the State awarding agency reasonably believes the request to be improper.
        3. Grantees may be required to submit supporting documentation for their requests at the request of and in a manner prescribed by the Grantor.
      3. Working Capital Advance
        1. Grantees may request separate working capital advance payments. Requests must be submitted on the IDHS Advance Payment Request Cash Budget Form to the respective grant Program Manager. The Cash Budget must include monthly cash requirements for every month of the grant term. Requests must be signed by either the Chief Executive Officer (or equivalent) or the Chief Financial Officer (or equivalent) for the entity. The executive's signature certifies the cash requirements are actual expected costs.
        2. IDHS/Serve Illinois Grant Program Managers will advance working capital payments to the grantee to cover their estimated disbursement needs for an initial period not to exceed two months of grant expenses. Startup costs may be approved if determined by IDHS/Serve Illinois Grant Program Managers to be allowable.
        3. Grantees must submit monthly invoices for each of the one or two months covered by the Working Capital Advance in the format and method prescribed by the Grantor. The first invoice is due 15 calendar days after the first month of the Award term. Invoices must include only allowable incurred costs that have been paid by the grantee. For grant programs that have grantee matching requirements, allowable costs are only reimbursable when matching costs have also been incurred.
        4. Grantees may be required to submit supporting documentation for their requests at the request of and in a manner prescribed by the Grantor.
        5. Working Capital Advance Payments are limited to a single occurrence per grant term.
        6. Following the initial working capital advance payment, grantees will be paid via advance or reimbursement method as appropriate.
      4. Final Payment
        The final payment from the Department under this Agreement shall be made upon the Department's determination that all requirements under this Agreement have been completed, which determination shall not be unreasonably withheld. Such final payment will be subject to adjustment after the completion of a review of the Applicant's records as provided in the Agreement.
      5. Stop Payment
        The Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA) protects the quality of grant programs by limiting fraud, waste, and abuse. GATA specifically requires the Governor's Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) to maintain a "list of individuals and entities that are ineligible, either temporarily or permanently, to receive an award of grant funds from the State." 30 ILCS 708/60(a)(8). In response to this requirement, the State of Illinois has set policy known as the Grantee Compliance Enforcement System (GCES) based on established federal law and supporting guidance. The system, Stop Pay List Tracking System (SPLTS), will only be used to track non-compliance of grantees.
        Non-compliance issues are classified as follows:
        1. Temporary Stop Payment Status:
          1. Late performance or expense reporting;
          2. Failure to clear fiscal/administrative monitoring issue(s);
          3. Failure to submit a timely audit report;
          4. Failure to respond to audit report or monitoring review corrective action for deficiencies and material weaknesses;
          5. Failure to submit a required refund payment or a payment missing from the payment plan; or
          6. Factually based discretionary issue documented by the leadership within the awarding agency.
        2. Permanent Stop Payment Status:
          1. Facts documented by the applicable state agency including but not limited to:
            1. Conviction of or civil judgment for commission of fraud or a criminal offense, violation of federal or state antitrust statutes, commission of embezzlement, theft, forgery, bribery, falsification or destruction of records, tax evasion, or commission of any other offense indicating a lack of business integrity or business honesty that seriously and directly affects present responsibility.
            2. Violation of grant terms or a transaction so serious as to affect the integrity of the program such as a willful failure to perform in accordance with grant terms, a history of failure to perform or of unsatisfactory performance, or a willful violation of statutory or regulatory provisions or requirements application to a grant.
              Any other cause so serious or compelling in nature that it affects present responsibilities.
          2. Fraud documented by the Office of the Executive Inspector General and/or other Governmental entity's investigation.
      6. Repayment
        In the event payments made by the Department to the Applicant exceed the total amount of Applicant reported and Department authorized expenditures, the Applicant will be required to issue a repayment to the Department in an amount equal to the overpayment.
      7. Pre-Award Costs
        Pre-Award costs prior to the execution of the agreement will be allowed if the conditions listed in Section C.7 Pre-Award Costs have been met.
      8. Payment Forms
        • Expenditure Documentation & Certification Form
        • Advance Payment Request Cash Budget Form (IL444-4985)
  7. Awarding Agency Contact(s)
    1. State Awarding Agency Point of Contact
      Name: Rachael Tuxhorn
      Email Address:  DHS.ServeIllinois.NOFO@Illinois.gov
    2. Questions and Answers
      If you have questions relating to this NOFO, please send them via email to: DHS.ServeIllinois.NOFO@Illinois.gov with "444-80-3330" in the subject line of the email. Beginning 5/13/2024 questions with their respective answers will be posted on the IDHS website. Questions and answers will be updated frequently as new questions are received. Applicants are responsible for checking frequently as the responses provided may have an impact on their ability to submit a responsive application. Only written answers posted on the website will be considered valid and official. The final deadline to submit any written questions regarding this Funding Notice will be Friday, 06/07/2024.
    3. Technical Assistance
      AmeriCorps will host technical assistance calls to answer questions about the funding opportunity. AmeriCorps strongly encourages all applicants to participate in these sessions. Information for these technical assistance calls is available on the AmeriCorps National Funding Opportunities website.
  8. Other Information, if applicable
    To apply for funding, organizations must be prequalified in accordance with the Grant Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA). Organizations can register and prequalify in the Illinois GATA Grantee Portal at any point prior to applying for funding. If an organization is in the process of applying for a specific funding opportunity, prequalification must be completed prior to the application due date listed in the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO).
  9. Important Notices
    1. Public Burden Statement: Public reporting burden for collection of information under this Notice of Funding is estimated to average six hours per submission, including reviewing instructions, gathering, and maintaining the data needed, and completing the application and reporting forms. AmeriCorps informs people who may respond to this Notice of Funding that they are not required to respond unless the OMB control number and expiration date are current valid. (See 5 C.F.R. 1320.5(b)(2)(i).) This collection is approved under OMB Control #: 3045-0047, Application Instructions, State and National Formula, New and Continuation, Expiration Date: September 30, 2026.
    2. Privacy Act Statement: The Privacy Act of 1974 (5 U.S.C §552a) requires that we notify you that the information requested under this Notice of Funding is collected pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§12592 and 12615 of the National and Community Service Act of 1990 and 42 U.S.C. §4953.pdf of the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 as amended.
      1. Purposes and Uses - The information requested is collected for the purposes of reviewing grant applications and granting funding requests. Routine uses may include disclosure of the information to Federal, state, or local agencies pursuant to lawfully authorized requests. In some programs, the information may also be provided to Federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to determine the existence of any prior criminal convictions. The information may also be provided to appropriate Federal agencies and contractors that have a need to know the information for the purpose of assisting the government to respond to a suspected or confirmed breach of the security or confidentiality or information maintained in this system of records, and the information disclosed is relevant and unnecessary for the assistance.
      2. Effects of Nondisclosure - The information requested is voluntary; however, to be a recipient of this grant program, disclosure of personal or sensitive information is required to receive federal benefits.
  10. Mandatory Forms - Required for grant program
    1. Applicants must complete their application in eGrants, web-based application system. Applications must be completed by the due date listed in this NOFO.
    2. Applicants must complete and submit the following to IDHS/Serve Illinois at DHS.ServeIllinois.NOFO@Illinois.gov:
      1. Uniform Application for State Grant Assistance (pdf)
      2. Grantee Conflict of Interest Disclosure.pdf
      3. Uniform Grant Budget: Successful applicants will be directed to enter their FY25 budget into the Illinois CSA tracking system.
      4. Program Narrative: The program narratives entered in the eGrants system will serve as the program plan for successful applicants.