Welcoming Center (17-444-80-1493-01) Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is a NOFO?

  • A Notice of Funding Opportunity is similar to a Request for Proposals or Applications. It is a notice that a State Agency intends to fund a program/project. It allows eligible applicants to bid for funding under that notice.

2. Why is DHS posting a NOFO for the Welcoming Center Program?

  • Per 30 ILCS 708, the Grants Accountability and Transparency Act (GATA). Please refer to this public act as well as the Code of Federal Regulations Title 2: Grants and Agreements PART 200 (CFR 200) referenced within GATA. A Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) must be posted as this program/funding source does not qualify for an exception to this requirement.

3. Is funding for this program from GRF?

  • Special state funding is used for this NOFO.

4. If there is no budget for the second half of SFY17, what would happen to the funds?

  • The funding for this NOFO will go through June 30, 2017.

5. What is the prospect for funding in FY18?

  • Funding for this program beyond June 30, 2017 will be determined by the Governor and Legislature.

6. If we were awarded with a grant, how soon can we receive payment for services delivered?

  • IDHS will inform awardees how grant payments will be made. Payment terms will be detailed in Exhibit D of the grant award.

7. Our agency received funding from the Welcoming Center program in FY15; if I submit a response to this NOFO posting will I automatically receive a grant agreement/contract for this program in FY17?

  • No. Applicants must meet or continue to meet the eligibility requirements identified in this NOFO, including the pre-qualification requirements and all applications will undergo a merit based review as described in this NOFO. Applicants must also meet all Application and Submission requirements found in the NOFO.

8. Will new grantees be considered competitive for this round of funding?

  • This is an open competitive application process. ALL applicants are competing for funding.

9. Can an organization submit its application through a consortium of organizations?

  • No. Each organization has to apply as an individual grant applicant. This NOFO does not invite applications from a consortium of organizations.

10. Are applicants required to submit the Letter of Intent?

  • The Letter of Intent is not a prerequisite to submitting a grant application. IDHS requests the Letter of Intent in order to make informed-plans for the applications review process.

11. Can we propose to serve a certain area of the state?

  • Yes. An applicant can propose to serve a specific area of the state. This information must be provided in the Uniform Grant Application, under questions #40, 41 and 42. The service area must also be specified in the grant application narrative, proposed services and outcomes.

12. What time frame should be used for the grant application budget?

  • The budget should be for the period when the applicant intends to deliver the services within the State Fiscal Year 2017 (7/1/2016 through 6/30/2017). For applicants who have not delivered the services described in the NOFO, it may be most appropriate to submit a budget for the period starting January 1, 2017, after the grant selection decision is made in December, 2016.
  • Applicants could submit a budget for period before the grant selection is determined. However, as indicated in the NOFO under #5- Budget & Cost Justification of the Application: "Pre-award costs for services in anticipation of an award are allowable where necessary for the efficient and timely performance of the program, and are subject to 2 CFR 200.458. Applicants who have been performing the services specified in this NOFO since July 1, 2016 must provide proof of services.
  • Only applicants who receive an award as a result of the NOFO and merit-based review process will be eligible for pre-award costs. Any applicant who has performed services since July 1, 2016 that does not receive an award under this NOFO will not be eligible for reimbursement of costs incurred."

13. Can grant applicants submit budgets for the period from January 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017 and then submit a separate request for pre-award costs reimbursement if and when they are selected as grant awardees?

  • Grant applicants seeking pre-award costs reimbursements must submit budgets for the period of time the organizations deliver the services. For example, if the organization has delivered the services since July 1, 2016, the grant application's budget must include budget information from July 1, 2016. Grantees can only request costs reimbursement based on the grant budgets approved.

14. What will be required of the service providers to claim for costs incurred before the grant award?

  • The following conditions will need to be met for IDHS to reimburse service providers for program costs incurred prior to the grant award. Payment for pre-award costs is contingent on review and approval by IDHS.
  1. The service provider must be selected as a grantee through the Welcoming Center NOFO process.
  2. Only services described in the NOFO can be claimed for reimbursement retroactively.
  3. The service provider must be able to produce documentation of services provided, such as data on clients served and services delivered.
  4. Costs associated with the services delivered for the period prior to the grant award must be documented and verifiable, such as payroll and receipts.
  5. Costs associated with the services delivered for the period prior to the grant award have not been covered by other resources, such as service fees, or other private or public funding.

15. Are we required to use the budget forms provided for with the NOFO posting or can we use our own 

budget forms?

  • YES. You must use the Uniform Budget Template.

16. Does the applicant have to complete page 3 of the Uniform Grant Budget Template -Section B:

Non-State of Illinois Funds?

  • Because the Welcoming Center funding does not require matching funds, this section does not need to be completed. However, any grant applicant has the option of providing additional funding information if the organization wishes to illustrate the extent of other support available for the services proposed.

17. Do subcontractors of an applicant also need to complete budgets using the Uniform Budget template?

  • There is a shorter Uniform Budget template that must be completed for each subcontractor.

18. The budget forms show columns for future years of funding, past year 1. Should those columns also

 be completed also or just the column marked Year 1?

  • Just complete Year one. We are currently unable to fund multiple year agreements.

19. Can grant applicant with approved federal indirect cost rate apply the same indirect cost rate

to this grant application?

  • Yes, under GATA, the approved federal indirect cost rate can be used for state-funded grant programs.

20. Does translation and/or interpretation service need to be provided by a trained/certified individual?

  • IDHS expects individuals who provide translation or interpretation of highly technical information (such as legal or medical terminology) to be trained or certified. For FY17, we do not expect bilingual staff handling case work to be certified.

21. What information is being used by IDHS to prioritize communities, or language groups, to be served

under this NOFO?

22. Am I correct in that this department is asking for this entire application to be e-mailed

NOT US Postal Mailed?

  • YES. The entire application will be emailed per the instructions in the Notice. There is also a link provided in the application that can be utilized to email very large documents. This file transfer utility will enable large documents to be sent through the state's firewalls.