These FAQs were available to programs/organizations that applied to the Youth Development Nonprofit Relief Fund. Similar questions are grouped by topic.
- General information on the application
- Technical assistance
- Size of grant awards
- Program/organization information
- Youth served in priority populations
- Programs’/organizations’ staff and leadership
- Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
FAQs: General information on the application
NEW In our application submitted to the Relief Fund, we accidentally omitted a relevant fact of importance in our response to one of the questions detailing the impact of COVID-19 on our financial resources for our Youth Organizing Program. Namely, we did receive a PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loan from the Small Business Administration (just under $450,000). The amount has been important to ensuring our ability to maintain our current staffing pattern, but has not been funding that would allow us to meet our fundraising goals for our Youth Program. Is it possible to access our application so that we can make the adjustment, or can this email suffice as an amendment to the application?
Any changes to the answers regarding the three priority areas must be made by the applicant. SOWA will not alter applicants’ responses to question #1 (Youth served in priority populations); #2 (Programs/organizations’ staff and leadership; or #3 (Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic). If you wish to make a change, please submit a second application with the revised content AND email SOWA at email@example.com to inform us that you’ve submitted a replacement application, so we can delete the application you wish to withdraw. Both of these actions must be taken by 11:59 PM on Tuesday, October 6, 2020.
NEW We just submitted the application and when I looked at the PDF download copy we got back, one of our answers on the second page should have read 70% but was typed out as 0.7. Is there any way we can go back in to correct that?
The PDF applicants receive after submitting their applications does not display fields in a percentage format. However, your information is displayed accurately for our review. There is no need to change anything.
NEW I know I made a mistake on both my UBI and my EIN. Can I go back into my application and correct those?
Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the correct information and we will make those changes for you.
NEW If our organization is partnering with another organization to provide our youth development, can we ask for funding that will be shared with this partner? Or is the expectation that we spend the entire funding within our organization?
You will not ask for a specific grant amount. However, if you are awarded a grant, those funds will be unrestricted. The grant application does not request information about how funding will be spent. Award decisions will be based on how well the organization/program responds to the three priority areas.
NEW What makes a standout grant and what is your ideal candidate? What are the best points to emphasize? How can we give a good description of our priority populations within such a limited character count?
The intent of the Relief Fund is to support youth development programs/organizations that have been most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and which serve young people who are furthest from educational justice. Applicants that meet the eligibility criteria are ideal candidates and are encouraged to apply. The application is intentionally brief to ensure it is accessible and low-barrier for all interested applicants. The character counts are intended to support applicants to frame concise narrative responses.
NEW What is a UBI (unified business identifier)?
A UBI number is a nine-digit number that registers you with several state agencies and allows you to do business in Washington State. A UBI number is sometimes called a tax registration number, a business registration number, or a business license number. You apply through the Washington Department of Revenue.
NEW What is an EIN (employer identification number)?
An EIN is a federal tax identification number.
NEW I have noticed that many of the same larger nonprofits have been awarded the same style grants. Will your organization be expanding the playing field for newer nonprofits that normally don’t apply for grants?
Commerce and SOWA are committed to making the Relief Fund investment process equitable, informed, and low-barrier. Immediately upon learning of this opportunity, SOWA engaged regional partners and culturally-specific Black, Indigenous and People of Color-led intermediary organizations to support outreach to youth development nonprofits across the state. Input from these stakeholders informed the funding strategy through three stakeholder meetings in early September, prior to finalizing the RFP. SOWA and stakeholders have recruited approximately 150 potential reviewers from across the state who will work in small, region-specific teams to review and rate proposals to inform funding decisions.
Communities in Schools of North Central Washington is providing services to the Orondo and Waterville School Districts and provided services pre-pandemic. They are in the process of becoming legally incorporated and do not have a UBI number. Communities In Schools of Washington State is incubating Communities In Schools of North Central Washington and we were wondering if we can use our UBI number for this application. We want to be sure that the application will still fall in Region #1 for funding as that is where the services are taking place.
Communities In Schools of North Central Washington could apply, using Communities in Schools of Washington State as their fiscal agent. You can briefly explain the incubation process in the fiscal agent letter that would be uploaded with your application. Demographic, financial, and priority population information provided in the application would be specific to the region served. Since Communities In Schools of North Central Washington is applying with Communities in Schools of Washington State as their fiscal agent, Communities in Schools of Washington State would also be eligible to apply for a grant.
We are a statewide organization with Family Service Centers in eight counties. Do I apply for each county individually or in one application?
Only one application is accepted from each organization. You may not apply for each county individually. If you intend to use the funds to support programs in all eight counties, then you should submit one application that summarizes demographic, financial, priority population and COVID-19 impact information across those eight programs. You also have the option of submitting one application that encompasses a subset of the counties served, if you prefer.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Snohomish County is an affiliate of the YMCA of Snohomish County. As such, we share a tax ID number, although we do separate fundraising. Is it possible for each of us to apply for funding through the Washington Youth Development Nonprofit Relief Fund?
Only if the YMCA is operating as a fiscal sponsor for Big Brothers Big Sisters. Otherwise, only one application is accepted per organization. However, you may apply as one organization for multiple programs.
Rural remote internet access is very expensive to have installed. Can we get grant funding for that purpose?
If you are a youth development program/organization, please review all of the eligibility criteria in the RFP before you apply. The grant application does not request information about how the funding will be spent.
We do not have a physical address as we left our premise due to COVID-19. However, we do have a mailing address. Can I write it?
Can this fund existing programs? Or only programs created for COVID relief?
In addition to other eligibility criteria, the Relief Fund is intended for youth development programs/organizations that were providing youth development services prior to COVID-19, and that provided and/or plan to provide services to youth through in-person, virtual, or direct-needs support between March and December 2020.
If our organization is headquartered in one region, but the location we are focusing on for the grant is in a different region, which region will the funds be coming from?
To meet the commitment to equitable geographic distribution, Relief Fund grants will be distributed based on where youth development programs will provide services, not where organizations are headquartered.
Our multi-service organization provides youth development programs as well as other programs in several regions around the state. Should we apply on behalf of all of our youth development programs, or should we focus on just one youth development program in just one region?
The decision on whether to apply for all of your youth development programs, or just one, should be based on how you believe you can best respond to the Relief Fund priorities and how a Relief Fund grant would most benefit your work in youth development. If one program in one region serves a large percentage of the priority youth populations and that program has also experienced a profound fiscal impact from COVID-19, you might choose to apply on behalf of that program. In that case, all questions, including financial and demographic questions must be answered specific to that program. If you decide to focus your application on all of your youth development programs, your answers must be inclusive of them all.
Is it better to apply for all our organization’s programs or a specific program within our organization? All programs serve youth.
The decision on whether to apply for your complete organization or for as specific program should be based on how you believe you can best respond to the Relief Fund priorities and how a Relief Fund grant would most benefit your programs’/organizations’ work in youth development.
My organization provides youth development services statewide. Do we need to quantify how much of our work happens in each region, or would it be better to request support in a single region?
The application doesn’t ask that you quantify the number of youth served. If one program in one region serves a large percentage of the priority youth populations and that program has also experienced a profound fiscal impact from COVID-19, you might choose to apply on behalf of that program. Or, you could choose to focus on several but not all of the regions where you provide services. Or you might chose to focus on your statewide services.
Will the slide deck from the information sessions be available to download?
Yes. It is available on SOWA’s Youth Development Relief webpage.
What time on October 6th is the application due?
The online application must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Tuesday, October 6, 2020.
Does the character count limit include spaces?
Can the online application be saved so that we can do part of it and then return to finish it later?
No. Once you start you need to complete the online application in one setting. However, there is a template that you can download and work in, and then paste your final answers into the application when you’re ready.
Is it possible to get a copy of our application once we’ve submitted it?
Yes. Applicants will get a PDF copy of their applications after they hit submit. Wait on the confirmation page for one minute as it downloads.
What is the time commitment to be a peer reviewer?
The time commitment will be approximately 13 hours between October 7th and October 29th. Reviewers will need to commit one hour for orientation and anti-bias training, ten hours to review 20 applications and submit scoring rubrics for each, and two hours for the review meeting.
Could a peer reviewer who speaks Spanish participate?
Peer reviewers will need to read and speak English.
How long is the application?
The application for Relief Fund grants is brief, and online. Eligible applicants will need to provide demographic information on their programs/organizations and answer three questions through fill-in fields and brief narrative. The questions address 1) youth served in priority populations; 2) programs’/organizations’ staff and leadership; and 3) the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Can you provide more information on objectives, implementation plans, the resources we’ll need and what metrics will be used to determine success?
The application will not require programs/organizations to provide program objectives or implementation plans. Grant awards will be unrestricted funding. There will be no reporting requirements. Grant beneficiaries will not be asked to submit any documentation on how or when their grants were spent.
How many school age children do you need to be caring for in order to receive funds?
Applicants are not asked to quantify the number of youth they serve. Children between the ages 5-24 should be the primary age focus of the organization or program applying.
Can multiple submissions come from one organization or institution?
No. Only one application will be accepted from each organization. Applicants may apply on behalf of their full youth development organization or on behalf of a particular youth development program they operate. The only exception will be for a youth development organization which also serves as a fiscal agent for another program/organization. In those cases, each may submit an application.
Can I apply for funding and also be a reviewer?
Yes, provided you disclose all potential conflict of interest. As part of applying to be a reviewer, individuals will be asked to disclose conflicts of interest, including all organizations for which they work, consult or volunteer – including as a board member. Applicants to the Relief Fund who are interested in being reviewers, may apply. However, SOWA will be very cautious in reviewer assignments; reviewers will only be assigned to review teams in which they have no conflict of interest. No reviewer training will be conducted until after the RFP closes on October 6th.
I’m interested in being a reviewer. Where do I find more information?
Please check the Relief Fund webpage.
Do you anticipate programs or general operating needs being more competitive?
Applicants are not asked to describe their programs’/organizations’ needs. Relief Fund grants are unrestricted. Application questions address 1) youth served in priority populations; 2) programs’/organizations’ staff and leadership; and 3) the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
FAQs: Technical assistance
Are you accepting new TA providers at this point?
SOWA does not contract the TA providers. They are contracted directly through the Department of Commerce.
How can I access translated RFPs?
Links to translated RFPs are available at the top of the webpage. The RFP has been translated to Amharic, Arabic, Chinese (simplified), Korean, Marshallese, Russian, Samoan, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Tongan, Ukrainian and Vietnamese. (While the RFP has been translated, the online application must be submitted in English.)
My program will need help completing this application. What should we do?
Technical assistance, including help understanding the requirements and completing the application is available through a diverse set of technical assistance providers. The TA providers are contracted by the Department of Commerce; assistance is accessible in English and multiple other languages. A complete list of contact information and language supports is available here.
Is technical assistance available in other languages?
Yes. The Department of Commerce has contracted with a diverse set of technical assistance providers to help programs/organizations understand the RFP and complete the application for funding. Technical assistance is available in English and in multiple other languages. Applicants should contact technical assistance providers directly to request support. A complete list of contact information and language supports is available here.
I can’t attend the information sessions. Will recordings be available?
Yes. The information sessions on September 24th and September 29th will be recorded. Those recordings will be available on this webpage.
FAQs: Size of grant awards
The budget for our summer reading program is small, about $7500 per year. Donations have fallen drastically due to other calls on those funds. The 2020 budget would be larger due to COVID-19. My concern is the minimum grant is $10,000. With a calculation of a percentage of 2019 budget, that would have to exceed 100% to get to the $10,000 minimum. Does this disqualify our organization?
We are a small organization providing summer programs. Most of our students are BIPOC. Our budget is bare bones and smaller than $10,000 in 2019. What if the allowed percentage, multiplied by our 2019 budget, is less than the minimum grant of $10,000? Would we receive $10,000 or be disqualified?
Having a very small budget would not disqualify your organization. Percentages that determine grant size will be established during the review process, based on the financial information included in proposals, and the number of proposals received. There will not necessarily be a cap on the percentage of the 2019 budget that can be awarded through a grant. Smaller programs/organizations will be awarded grants that amount to a greater percentage of their total 2019 expenses than larger programs/organizations. The smallest grant award will be $10,000.
Can programs/organizations apply for whatever amount of funding they need?
No. Programs/organizations will not request a specific amount as part of their application. They will be asked to submit program/organizational revenue and expenses information for 2019 and (projected) for 2020. Award size will be calculated based on a percentage of the 2019 expenditures.
Can more guidance be provided regarding how much to ask for?
Programs/organizations will not request a specific amount as part of their application.
How big will the grants be? Is there a minimum and maximum amount contemplated for grant awards?
Grant sizes will range from $10,000 to $50,000. There will be no grants smaller than $10,000 and no grants larger than $50,000.
How will you determine how much organizations receive? We are a small organization and we’ve been really hit hard by COVID.
Determinations on grant size for each awardee will be based on a percentage of the awardee’s 2019 expenses. Percentages that determine grant size will be established during the review process, based on the financial information included in proposals, and the number of proposals received. Smaller programs/organizations will be awarded grants that amount to a greater percentage of their total 2019 expenses than larger programs/organizations.
How many grants will be awarded?
The number of grants awarded will depend on multiple factors, including: the total number of applications received; financial information included in the applications; equitable representation among priority populations statewide; and equitable geographic distribution.
FAQs: Program/organization information
NEW If we are applying for our own 501(c)3 organization, is it still possible to serve as a fiscal sponsor for another group’s application? We are not currently their fiscal sponsor, but would be willing to act in that capacity for this grant funding. They are a grass-roots community group, and I do not believe they have by-laws, board of directors, any paid employees, or any formal structure.
Yes. You may apply on behalf of your own organization and also serve as the fiscal sponsor for another application. The other applicant – the grassroots community group you describe – must be a youth development program/organization that meets all eligibility criteria, serves young people who are furthest from educational justice and has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
NEW Friends of the Children is a national organization based in Portland, Oregon. We have two chapters in Washington interested in applying for these funds – one serving Clark County and one serving Pierce County. Would the national office be able to submit the application on behalf of both chapters as the fiscal agent and distribute funds as appropriate to each chapter? Or is it preferred that each chapter submit their own applications, since each is an independent 501(c)(3)?
Since the local chapters have their own 501(c)(3)s, they should submit their own applications.
We are a youth development organization that serves several regions in the state through one program model, at multiple sites. On the application, it looks like we must designate just one site. Does that mean we can only apply for one site? Or, can we apply for some of our sites but not all of them?
You may apply for just one site, for several sites, or for all of your sites. The section of the application that asks for name and address of one site is intended to help populate organizations’ profiles in Elevate Washington. It does not limit your ability to offer programs at additional sites.
Do we provide information on demographics for the whole organization (we serve multiple sites) or just the singular site you want us to list?
Provide compiled information on demographics for the site(s) for which you are applying. The listing of the singular site is intended to help populate organizations’ profiles in Elevate Washington.
What if our programs are outside and not necessarily at one site?
That would not be a barrier to applying. If you do not have one specific or regular site location, you can enter the organization administrative address in the field that asks for site name and address.
Our services have changed substantially since COVID-19 guidelines limited our capacity to serve as many young people. What numbers and demographics do we provide – before or after COVID-19?
The application doesn’t ask for the numbers of youth you serve. If the representation of youth within priority populations has changed, please check the boxes for the youth your organization has historically served, and in the narrative, discuss how and why your population has changed.
Our school offers education in two different locations. Each location has separate revenues and expenses, but both are governed by one board. May we apply for each campus separately?
No. Provided eligibility criteria are met, you may apply for just one of the locations or for both combined. We will not accept two applications from the same organization. You may apply on behalf of one location using that location’s revenue and expenses information, and demographics, and discuss the three focus areas specific to that location. Or you may apply based on both locations and compiled revenue and expenses information and demographics, and discuss the three focus areas specific to both locations.
If we provide services in both Washington and Idaho do we need to pull out the Idaho data to apply?
NEW Can you provide us with more clarity on what is meant by “Describe how your young people are represented within one or more of the priority populations.” Is this asking for a percentage breakdown for each category selected? Is it asking for more detailed information showing that our youth and families are indeed representative of those “furthest from educational justice”? For example families who speak a language other than English at home, receive IEP/504 accommodations, percentage of students who are first-generation, or students who live in multifamily homes with limited space for quiet and independent work?
The question is not asking for percentage breakdowns of each category of priority youth populations, although you are welcome to provide them. Please use the narrative to tell more about your priority youth than can be captured in the checkboxes. And yes, that may include how the youth you serve are furthest from educational justice.
NEW I am on the board for the Moses Lake Youth Baseball Association and was curious if a nonprofit youth sports program would be eligible. I believe it falls under the mentoring and possible summer program services that are listed as requirements, but the RFP seems to hint at more of an academic program than sports.
If your program meets the other eligibility criteria than it would be considered an expanded learning opportunity (rather than mentoring) and would likely be eligible.
NEW We would like to apply on behalf of the Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic (YVFWC), which is a 501(c)(3) organization. Northwest Community Action Center is a division of YVFWC that operates our 21st Century Community Learning Centers Program. To the question of whether our organization is fiscally sponsored by a nonprofit organization, my answer should be no, is that correct?
If we understand your situation correctly, you would be applying as a youth development program (the 21st Century Community Learning Centers), within a larger multi-service organization (the YVFWC). The demographic, financial and priority population information you provide in your application should be specific to your program – the 21st Century Community Learning Centers – not the entire YVFWC.
NEW I work at a Teen Life Center that is operated by The City of Seattle. Our site is considered a 501(c)(3) under sponsorship from our Associated Recreational Council. Do we qualify for funding for our site?
If your site is fiscally sponsored by the Associated Recreation Council (ARC), then you could apply independently so long as you upload a fiscal sponsorship letter from ARC with your application. If the Teen Life Center is considered a program of ARC, then your site could also qualify for the funding if ARC does not also submit for funding for other ARC youth development programs. Either way, it will be important for you to be in coordination with ARC leadership regarding your interest to apply.
NEW Would we still qualify if we were established May of this year? According to the other qualifications we would meet the guidelines.
No. To apply, applicants must meet all the eligibility criteria, including that their program/organization provided youth development services to children and youth ages 5-24 prior to COVID-19.
NEW Our youth development program is a 21st Century Funded Program that has the same budget every year, which has not been affected by COVID-19. However, the program is operated under the school district, which has faced significant budget cuts due to COVID-19, and has fewer resources to support us. Can we apply? (Note that we would apply through our local education foundation, which is a 501(c)(3) and exists to fundraise for, and support, local public schools).
The local education foundation may serve as the fiscal agent for the school district’s youth development program(s).
NEW Are Educational Service Districts eligible for the Washington Youth Development Nonprofit Relief Fund?
No. Local government, public agencies and political subdivisions are not eligible to apply. The Department of Commerce made the determination that the Relief Fund will focus on 501(c)3 nonprofits and not include political subdivisions or public agencies. This decision has less to do with tax status then with being clear that this funding is focused toward nonprofit community-based organizations.
Please provide information on what is considered “mentoring” within the context of youth development.
Mentoring programs offer one-to-one and group mentoring relationships in which young people are paired with caring adults with the intention of supporting young people’s social, emotional and academic needs. Mentoring programs should have a guiding mission statement that clearly describes why the program exists and the meaningful change it hopes to produce at the participant and/or community level. The goals and objectives of the mentoring relationships should align with the program’s/organization/s overall mission and vision.
We provide peer support to parents and youth. Do we check mentoring?
Please see the additional information provided on mentoring to determine whether your program/organization meets the description.
With schools closed, does that mean what we do is no longer considered wrap around services?
No. We understand that these times require flexible solutions to provide high quality services. During the pandemic, wrap around services do not need to be provided just within an actual public-school setting, but there must be a partnership with school personnel in service of young people.
We have close connections with other community organizations and connect kids with services but we don’t have a special program, objectives or staff devoted to this task. Would we apply under wrap around services?
To be considered wrap-around services, programs/organizations must be partnering with schools and other community resources to connect youth with the resources they need. The program/organization must have staff or volunteers whose responsibility it is to maintain and expand a network of community partners and resources for youth, and to ensure that youth are able to access and engage in services.
We run a program for youth ages 18-24 associated with a community college. Does that meet the criteria for a school setting?
Yes, a community college setting could also qualify as a school setting. School settings (or during the pandemic, close partnerships with schools) are only required for wrap around services. Mentoring and expanded learning programs do not need to be connected to a school setting.
My program would normally go into schools to provide social and emotional learning opportunities but we are a CBO. Would this qualify as wrap around services?
Many programs considered expanded learning opportunities are focused on social and emotional learning. If you are providing direct social and emotional learning opportunities to young people (as opposed to training teachers to do the same) you could qualify as an expanded learning or wrap around service. We understand that many programs do not fit cleanly into only one category.
We are a licensed childcare/early learning facility that serves children ages 6 weeks – 6 years, so we are serving children aged 5-6 in our preschool and kindergarten programs. I see from the FAQs that childcare programs serving school age children are eligible, but organizations focused exclusively on early learning are not. Are we considered to be serving school-aged children so are eligible, or are we considered an ineligible early learning focused organization? If we are eligible, should we only include our population of 5-6 year old children in the finance and statistical questions?
The Relief Fund is intended to provide support to 501(c)(3) nonprofit youth development programs/organizations that provided services prior to COVID-19, and continue to provide services during the pandemic. Eligibility would be dependent on operating youth development programs that are focused on children in the 5-24 range, as well as meeting other eligibility criteria detailed in the RFP. If you have a classroom or program within your center focused on five-six-year-old children, you could be eligible to apply. Yes, the discussion of demographics, financials and priority populations should be specific to children within the eligible age range for the Relief Fund.
Can one organization apply in order to support a collaborative project: one 501(c)(3) applying on behalf of two separate 501(c)(3)s?
If by project you mean a program that’s common to the 501(c)(3)s, the advantage of one 501(c)(3) applying on behalf of two separate 501(c)(3)s would likely be that you would use the demographics and financial impact of that specific program, which is co-led by two nonprofits. If, however you’re talking about a distinct project or program, rather than a shared one, there is no benefit to applying collectively. Each 501(c)(3) must meet the eligibility criteria and be able to respond to questions addressing: 1) youth served in priority populations; 2) programs’/organizations’’ staff and leadership; and3) the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Are tribes eligible if we don’t have a 501(c)(3)?
No. However, youth development programs that are part of the work of tribes but are not 501(c)(3)s, might choose to apply under a fiscal agent such as Sister Sky.
I work for a small 501(c)(3) education foundation which fundraises for our local public-school district. Our school district runs an after-school and summer school program. We’d be interested in applying on behalf of the district, to support the after-school program. Our school district is experiencing a financial impact from COVID-19, our foundation is not. Are we eligible to apply?
Yes. Your organization may serve as the fiscal agent for the school district’s youth development program(s).
We are a youth program at a domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy center. We do prevention and education outreach in schools and offer youth programming at our center. Our programming is largely social and emotional learning focused. Are we eligible?
From your description, your program appears eligible to apply, but please consult the eligibility criteria in the RFP.
We attended the WA Youth Development Nonprofit Relief Fund Information Session. Our question is our business became established May 15 2020. Would we still qualify?
We are a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a youth orchestra program for Latinx youth, ages 6-18 years. Our teaching artists have continued to provide instruction, in groups and one-on-one, without being fully compensated since April when Washington State required sheltering at home. We offered remote instruction via Skype, but many members do not have the necessary technology and our organization did not have enough funds to pay our teaching artists or director. How can we document that our professional staff have been teaching without pay? Will we be able to use grant funds to pay our teachers and director retroactively?
If you meet all of the eligibility criteria and apply, the grant application does not request information about how the funding will be spent.
Our organization has a suite of programs that serve youth ages 5-24, but also serve younger children. Are these programs eligible for grant funding, if we adjust the program budget to only reflect income and expenses related to those clients in the 5-24 age range?
Yes. Focus your application on youth development program(s) that serve youth 5-24, and which meet the eligibility criteria.
We are a nonprofit organization working to develop various sustainable skills and empowerment programs for the young people aged 17 to 24 to alleviate poverty and improve their livelihoods. With the coming of COVID-19, pandemic our operation has been grounded. Are we eligible?
Please check the eligibility criteria in the RFP. Among other criteria, programs/organizations must have provided youth development services to children and youth ages 5-24 prior to COVID-19, and provided and/or have plans to provide services to youth through in-person, virtual, or direct-needs support between March and December, 2020.
If we were doing this program under another name in FY2019, can we apply under the organization that was formed?
These funds are intended to provide relief for youth development programs/organizations that were providing services prior to COVID-19 and that have continued to provide services in some form between March and December 2020. A new organization that does not meet those eligibility criteria would not be eligible. A program/organization that can meet those criteria and the other eligibility criteria, regardless of a name change, would likely still be a viable applicant. A brief explanation can be provided in the narrative.
What if our programming had to be cancelled due to COVID? Are we still eligible?
Among other eligibility requirements detailed in the RFP, programs/organizations must have provided youth development services to children and youth ages 5-24 prior to COVID-19. In addition, between March and December 2020, programs/organizations must have provided and/or have plans to provide services to youth through in-person, virtual or direct-needs support. If your organization has not provided services since the beginning of March, and will not provide services prior to the end of December, then you are not eligible to apply.
If a program was closed during March but reopened in April, would that affect the eligibility of the program for the grant?
Not if other eligibility criteria are met. One of the eligibility criteria is that programs/organizations have provided or plan to provide services to youth through in-person, virtual, or direct-needs support between March and December 2020. It is not required that services have been/will be provided during this full period. Many programs/organizations were forced to halt programming at the onset of COVID-19, but restarted.
Our program works with multiple schools and districts around the state. Should we choose one school? One district?
You may apply for one or more schools and/or districts, or for all of the schools and districts you serve, provided your program/organization meets the eligibility requirements. Your decision should be based on how you believe you can best respond to the Relief Fund priorities and how a Relief Fund grant would most benefit your work in youth development.
Is this funding geared toward programs currently serving youth who are attached to a school, secondary, or post-secondary?
Not necessarily. The funding is geared toward youth development programs/organizations, which are defined in the RFP. Youth may or may not be attached to a school.
We are a large fiscal sponsor overseeing a large statewide youth development organization. Could each office apply separately under our sponsorship?
No. Only one application will be accepted from each organization. Your statewide youth development organization would be considered one organization under your fiscal sponsorship.
What if we have youth programming but we want to apply for a program we developed in response to COVID?
If you are a youth development program/organization and meet the eligibility requirements to apply, you will not be asked to describe how you’ll use the funding. Decisions on grants will be made based on the three focus areas: youth served in priority populations furthest from educational justice; programs’/organizations’ staff and leadership; and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If our organization is not strictly a youth-serving organization but our operations help fund some of our free youth programs and these operations have taken a hit that affects the youth programs, can I apply as the organization so that it shows how overall the hit we have taken affects the youth programs?
No. Applications must come from youth development organizations, or from youth development programs within larger organizations, such as yours. The Relief Fund only accepts applications from multi-service organizations when they are applying on behalf of their youth development services. The program or organization demographics, financials, and descriptions must be specific to youth development.
If we are under a fiscal sponsor’s umbrella and they are applying too, does SOWA want a heads up about that?
No, that’s not necessary. The application form allows for noting fiscal sponsorship and uploading verification.
We are a mission of a church and under their tax license. We do not have our own 501(c)(3). We are tuition based. Do we qualify?
To be eligible, you must be a 501(c)(3) or have a fiscal sponsor that is a 501(c)(3). If the church is your fiscal sponsor and is a 501(c)(3) then you qualify.
If you have an organization that provides services but then also run a nonprofit to support children who are unable to pay for the services provided by the organization, do you need a letter of support since it’s the same person heading up both?
Yes. You should apply as a fiscally-sponsored organization with a letter of support and explain the relationship between the 501(c)3 and the fiscally-sponsored program/organization in the narrative.
Are local government, public agencies or political subdivisions eligible to apply? We are a department within county government, and we work with schools to provide afterschool and summer programs. While we are not a 501(c)3, we are a nonprofit. Charitable contributions (if made for a public purpose) are tax-deductible under section 170 (c)(1) of the internal Revenue Code.
No. Local government, public agencies and political subdivisions are not eligible to apply. The Department of Commerce made the determination that the Relief Fund will focus on 501(c)3 nonprofits and not include political subdivisions or public agencies. This decision has less to do with tax status then with being clear that this funding is focused toward nonprofit community-based organizations.
I run a small business providing school-age childcare. Many of the kids in my program are within the priority populations. I’m not a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, but I’m providing critical services in my community. Am I eligible to apply?
No. For profit small businesses, even those serving priority youth populations, are not eligible to apply. This funding is focused on youth development programs/organizations which are 501(c)(3) nonprofits.
Our organization serves youth furthest from opportunity and we are seeing unprecedented levels of basic needs requests from our youth. We have been applying for emergency fund grants to pass along to students and we run out of funds each quarter. Would it be appropriate for us to apply for this grant for emergency funds to pass along to youth?
Grant awards will be unrestricted funding. The grant application does not request information about how funding will be spent. Award decisions would be based on how well the organization/program responds to the three priority areas.
We are a licensed school-age childcare center. We give tuition waivers to households that do not qualify for free and reduced lunch. We do not serve a specific priority population. We do have some kids with special needs, such as ADHD. Will we be able to qualify?
Before you make the decision on whether to apply, please review the eligibility criteria. Among programs/organizations that are eligible, those awarded grants will be those most impacted by COVID-19, and which are serving priority youth populations and youth furthest from educational justice.
Would vocational training for youth that occurs during the school day away from the school campus be considered an expanded learning opportunity?
No. Expanded learning opportunities occur beyond the school day, through afterschool and/or summer programs.
Can my organization apply if it is not a 501(c)(3)?
To be eligible to apply for funding, programs/organizations must be a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization or be fiscally sponsored by a 501 (c)(3). SOWA will verify 501 (c)(3) nonprofit tax status on all programs/organizations selected for funding, before actual grant awards are made. Programs/organizations that apply through a fiscal sponsor will be required to upload verification of the fiscal sponsorship in the online application.
Can my organization apply with a fiscal sponsor if it was created in response to COVID-19?
No. One of the eligibility criteria for Relief Funds is that programs/organization provided youth development services to children and youth ages 5-24 prior to COVID-19.
We are a licensed childcare program that provides youth development supports in summer and afterschool (and full day during the school closures) for school-age youth. Are we eligible to apply?
Licensed or non-licensed childcare programs focused on serving youth ages 5-12 and supporting positive youth development are eligible to apply, provided they meet the other eligibility criteria for this funding. Like all applicants, eligible school-age childcare programs will be asked to disclose all other public and private COVID-19 relief funding their program or organization has received, including any provided to them from Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF). Other funding received will be considered in understanding the overall COVID-19 impact on the program or organization as part of funding priority #3.
Why are licensed childcare programs eligible for this funding when they are eligible for other childcare grants through DCYF?
Childcare programs serving school-age youth are a part of the youth development sector. The intent of this funding is to be broadly accessible to youth development programs which most strongly align with the funding priorities. Many summer and afterschool programs providing consistent care and connection for youth are structured as licensed childcare programs. Many of those programs have been particularly impacted by the pandemic as they have stretched to continue to provide in-person care for children and youth. While there has been some COVID-19 relief for childcare programs at state and local levels, we also know that many childcare programs continue to struggle to stay open.
Our organization serves two sites. Can one application fund both sites?
Yes, one application can fund two or more sites. Applicants will not be asked to specify the number of sites, or any other program-specific details. The funds are unrestricted. Applicants will not need to discuss how they will be used.
Can early learning programs/organizations apply?
Programs/organizations that are focused exclusively on early learning are not eligible for grants through the Relief Fund. Funding is designated by Washington’s Department of Commerce to youth development programs/organizations. To be eligible for funding, programs/organizations must have provided youth development services to children and youth ages 5-24 prior to COVID-19. Multi-service organizations that operate early learning programs, and also operate separate youth development programming for youth ages 5-24, may apply on behalf of the specific youth development program they operate.
Do private pay preschools quality if we work with children ages 3-5?
Funding is designated by Washington’s Department of Commerce to nonprofit youth development programs/organizations. To be eligible for funding, programs/organizations must be focused on youth 5-24 and must have provided youth development services to children and youth prior to COVID-19.
Would Mental Health Therapy Services for young kids be of interest/eligible for this grant?
Would a bereavement support program for youth between 5-24 years of age be eligible?
No. Applicants must be youth development programs/organizations serving youth 5-24, which provide expanded learning programs such as afterschool and summer programs; mentoring; and/or wrap around services that connect youth with social/emotional and non-academic supports integrated within a school setting. A complete list of eligibility criteria is in the RFP.
Must we apply for a specific program, or can we apply in general for all our youth classes and programming? Our programs generally serve children and youth ages 2 – 18.
Programs/organizations that provide youth development programs exclusively to youth ages 5-24, do not need to specify just one program. In programs/organizations that serve younger children in addition to children age five and older, eligibility would be dependent on operating program(s) that are focused on youth, ages 5-24, prior to COVID-19, as well as meeting other eligibility criteria detailed in the RFP.
Can you provide clarity regarding “wrap around services”? Our program is not afterschool or during the summer; students participate during the school day/school year as a component of their Individualized Education Plan. They all receive support services at their schools. We are a social enterprise company; we are not a school.
Wrap around services must be provided within school settings. Programs/organizations providing wrap around services collaborate with community partners and resources to connect youth with a range of services to ensure their long-term success.
FAQs: Youth served in priority populations
What is meant by “furthest from educational justice”?
SOWA uses “furthest from educational justice” to underscore our commitment to increasing access to quality programs for BIPOC youth and to emphasize that education and other youth-serving systems are not equitably providing the supports and resources needed to help all young people achieve. Some young people need more in order to counteract the historical and structural systems in place that have perpetuated racism and present-day inequities.
What percentage of youth need to be BIPOC or from families living in poverty to qualify for a grant?
There is no threshold for eligibility for any of the priority populations. The strongest applications will be those that are focused on, or serve a higher percentage of, youth from among the priority populations which, in addition to BIPOC youth and youth living in poverty, include migrant youth, youth in foster care, youth experiencing homelessness, LGBTQ youth and others. Please consult the RFP for the full list of priority populations. We encourage applicants to use the narrative to describe their youth, including intersections among populations.
If all of our youth are included within one or more of the priory youth populations – youth in poverty for example – do we put 100% as our estimate of the percentage we serve within one or more of the priority populations we’ve indicated?
Will we be able to select more than one option for the age of students we serve? We serve students ages 3-16.
Applicants will be able to check multiple boxes to show the ages of youth they serve. Children between ages 5-24 should be the primary age focus of the organization or program applying.
We operate a youth development program in a less ethnically diverse area but have real need among unsheltered youth who are distance learning from an emergency safe home. Would we be competitive?
Yes. There are many priority youth populations identified in the RFP, including youth experiencing homelessness. And many youth are represented within more than one priority population.
Are organizations expected to serve all of the priority youth populations identified in the application?
No. We expect that programs/organizations across the state will have differing priority populations, based on the communities they serve.
We provide environmental education programs, which are free and accessible to all students in grades K-12. We do not focus on a single youth population. Does this disqualify us from grant funding? If not, what would be the best way s to proceed with this portion of the application? Should we check all of the boxes since our programs are fully inclusive, or should we check none since they do not have a specific focus?
If your program does not have a specific priority youth population focus, you may still apply, but you would not check any of the priority youth populations in the question regarding population focus. You should share the percentage of priority youth populations you serve, and discuss your approach and youth populations served in the narrative.
FAQs: Programs’/organizations’ staff and leadership
What does it mean that staff and leaders are reflective of priority youth populations?
We are looking to see how youth development programs/organizations are led by the communities they serve. Applicants should discuss the connections or lived experiences that are shared by priority youth populations and programs’/organizations’ staff, leadership, board and volunteers.
FAQs: Impact of the COVID-19 pandemic
NEW We became a formal, independent organization in 2020, with a full year budget. We were in operation prior to COVID and have continued to provide services. As such while we have financials for 2020, we do not have such information for 2019. Would it then be correct to list $0 as revenue and expenses for 2019? And discuss the impact in the narrative? We are also fiscally sponsored.
Yes. Please use that approach for 2019 revenue and expenses and discuss the impact in the narrative.
NEW Our organization received an SBA loan this year. Do we need to list that on our application?
Yes, please list the source and the amount.
NEW What kind of detail do you need on the following: “List other public or private COVID-19 relief funding your program/organization has received, including Payroll Protection Program funding.”
Please list the sources and the amounts received.
NEW What is defined as Youth Development program/organizational revenue? Is it limited just to youth development revenue, or are you asking us to include revenue for the entire operation? Revenue generation is not something our youth development program provides. It is subsidized almost entirely by our general operations, and to some degree, grants written specifically with the program in mind.
We are asking you to provide the revenue related to your youth development program for calendar years 2019 and (projected) 2020. We understand that those funds may be allocated to your program by your organization, and that some likely comes from grants written specifically for youth development. We are not requesting the financial information for the entire organization just for the youth development program, provided you are applying as a youth development program within an organization, not as an entire youth development organization. Similarly, we need expense information, for the two calendar years, specific to the youth development program.
NEW Does being a recipient of the PPP disqualify an org from being a recipient of this grant?
NEW If our organization has applied for PPP, but haven’t received anything yet, do we report what we’re asking for on the application?
You may reference it in the narrative to provide context, but it does not need to be included in your 2020 financial projections.
NEW Does 2020 revenue include pending proposals as well?
You are not required to include submitted proposals in your projected 2020 income. If you are certain those funds will be received, you may choose to include them.
For the financial information we provide, should we include in-kind income/expenses in our totals?
Yes, include both in-kind income and expenses.
In the application it asks for youth program revenue and expenses. Is this both earned and contributed revenue? If our contributed revenue is for general operating, should I just use my best estimate of what percentage of revenue is for youth programming?
Please report all revenue (both earned and contributed) and all expenses for calendar years 2019 and (projected) 2020. If you are applying on behalf of your youth development organization, revenue and expenses should apply to your full organization. If you are applying on behalf of one or more youth development programs within a larger organization, the financial information should apply just to those program(s) and yes, you should estimate what percentage of revenue is applied to youth programming.
What does negative fiscal impact mean? How do we prove that?
The application requests revenue and expenses for calendar year 2019 and calendar year (projected) 2020. Applicants are also asked to use narrative to describe the fiscal impact of COVID-19, including the implications for the services you provide.
Can you please define a quantitative and qualitative example of experiencing a fiscal and programmatic impact of COVID-19?
The application requests quantitative revenue and expenses information for 2019 and (projected) 2020. Applicants are asked to use narrative to provide qualitative context on the programmatic impact of COVID-19, including implications for the services you provide.
Is the financial information you need for calendar years 2019 and 2020, or fiscal years? Our fiscal year runs July 1 – June 30.
We need financial information for calendar years 2019 and 2020 regardless of your fiscal year. Reporting on a calendar basis will enable us to better understand the financial impact of COVID-19 on your program or organization.
Are you asking applicants to just estimate their revenue and expenses for the rest of 2020?
Are indirect costs or finance and administration allowable?
Our accounting year goes with the school year instead of a calendar year. Are we supposed to use the 2019-2020 school year in comparison to 2018-2019 to show the impact from COVID?
No. We need you to compile and present revenue and expenses for calendar year 2019, and for calendar year 2020. We understand that you’ll need to project your revenue and expenses for approximately the last four months of 2020. This will allow us to look at all applicants’ budgets across the same time frame. Please use the narrative to explain your circumstances.
If I’m applying on behalf of a program within a larger organization, is my organization budget or my program budget considered?
Your program budget.
My organization has a total budget of about $1 million, not including in-kind. Youth development, for youth ages 5-24, is part of the programming, and probably accounts for less than 25% of the overall budget. If the minimum grant is $10,000, would smaller youth development programs be less likely to be funded?
No. Smaller youth development programs are not less likely to be funded. Organizations that are submitting applications on behalf of their youth development program(s) should provide financial information specific to those program(s), not the larger organization.
We have shifted our programs and cancelled camps and classes due to COVID-19. Our costs have only gone up a small amount. We have hired a full-time teacher to support distance learning. Should we apply even though our expenses have not significantly increased?
How programs/organizations have managed the fiscal impact of COVID-19 will vary widely. In addition to asking for 2019 and (projected) 2020 revenue and expenses, the application also requests narrative describing the financial impact of COVID-19 on programs/organizations. Please use the narrative to discuss your circumstances and the implications of COVID-19 on the services you provide.
How do you want PPP funds reflected in the annual financial figures since we don’t know if they will be fully forgiven at this point?
Include them in your financial figures and discuss them in the narrative.
If our 2019 organization expenses included capital expenses (i.e., toward increasing our facility capacity for youth programs), should we include those expenses in our 2019 expense total?
If the capital expenditures were fully expensed in 2019, include them. If only a portion of the capital expenditures was recognized as an expense in 2019 and the remainder will be depreciated over future years, only include that portion that was expensed in 2019.
Do we include depreciation expenses in 2019 expenses?
What if expected expenses have multiplied enormously due to COVID that make the 2019 budget much less than the 2020 budget?
Please submit the revenue and expense figures for 2019 and (projected) 2020 calendar years, and use the narrative to provide context. We understand that basing award amounts on 2019 expenses will not always align closely with need, but given the rapid and broad scale of these relief funds, and that they are not contracts for future-facing services, we need a consistent approach for establishing award amounts.
What if my program grew in the 2019-2020 school year so financial information from 2019 wouldn’t reflect the difference in what we did not receive?
Please submit the revenue and expense figures for 2019 and (projected) 2020 calendar years, and use the narrative to provide context.
Are organizations that received PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) funding eligible to apply to the Relief Fund?
Yes. In the application, you will be asked to list your PPP funding, along with any other public or private COVID-relief funding you have received.
Regarding the 2019 and (projected) 2020 revenue and expense figures, do you want total income/expenses for our nonprofit including administrative/overhead/fundraising or just those figures directly related to our programs?
If you are applying as a full youth development organization, you should provide revenue and expense figures for your entire organization. If you are applying on behalf of a particular youth development program you operate, as part of a larger organization, you should include revenue and expenses for that program, including the program’s allocated share of administrative/overhead/fundraising expenses.
Would it be allowable to give access to audit reports as a fulfillment to the requirement that SOWA requires the right of access to Form 990s and other financial information for six years following the grant award date?
Along with other certifications at the end of the application, applicants must certify that they will provide SOWA right of access to Form 990s and other financial records at all reasonable times to confirm the financial information presented in this application.
Please explain the condition that says School’s Out Washington has access to records for six years.
As is common with government funding sources, records requirements extend for six years after the final payment. We do not expect request for records after 2020 unless questions are raised about a grant beneficiary’s application or we are required to do so at the request of Washington State or the federal government.
A total of $14.2 million awarded to 447 youth development
across Washington state.
The Washington Youth Development Nonprofit Relief Fund was initially made possible by the CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) and was led by School’s Out Washington working closely with the Washington State Department of Commerce. This investment addresses the financial and programmatic challenges that have come with COVID-19—acknowledging that lost revenue combined with increased expenses to adhere to new safety measures, leave many organizations at risk of closing their programs or sites. A total of $9.4 million was awarded in fall 2020 and an additional $4.8 million in spring 2021 to a subset of organizations who submitted applications the prior year.