Drug-Free Communities Notice of Funding Opportunity: Questions and Answers

The FAQs will be updated throughout the application process. Questions not yet addressed should be sent to DFC@cdc.gov.

  1. Where do I submit an application?
    All applications are submitted via Grants.govexternal icon.
  2. Whom can I contact if I have questions about grants.govexternal icon functionality or need assistance submitting my application (i.e., creating an account, uploading attachments, etc.)?
    Please contact the Grants.govexternal icon Help Center at support@grants.gov or 1-800-518-4726 for assistance with Grants.govexternal icon access and functionality.
  3. Where can I view DFC grant-related webinar recordings?
    All recordings will be posted at: https://dfc.cmpinc.net/external icon.
    • The DFC Statutory Eligibility Requirement Webinar (hosted on 2/4/2022) recording can be found hereexternal icon: Please note, if you have not already registered, you may be asked to enter your email and register in order to access the recording.
    • Applicant Workshop Webinars will be hosted on 2/24/2022 and 2/25/2022 for the new and competing continuation opportunities, respectively. The link to register is hereexternal icon: DFC Training (eventrebels.com)external icon
  4. What do I do if I run into technical difficulties when submitting my application?
    For any technical difficulties while applying, contact the Grants.gov Support Center by emailing support@grants.gov, which is available to assist 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, except federal holidays. For more information, visit Grants.govexternal icon and the Support Centerexternal icon.
  5. What is a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI)?
    A Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is a unique number assigned to all registered entities who are interested in doing business with the federal government.
  6. What is the difference between a “DUNS UEI” and a “SAM UEI” in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov)?
    • “DUNS UEI” refers to the current 9-digits DUNS Number issued by Dun and Bradstreet.
    • “SAM UEI” refers to the new 12-character unique entity identifier that will be assigned by SAM.gov.
  7. How do we obtain a UEI number?
    • Current SAM.gov registrants have already been assigned a UEI and can view it in SAM.gov. The UEI is located below the DUNS Number on the registration record. You must be signed in to your SAM.gov account to view the records.
    • If the organization is not currently registered in SAM.gov, entities can continue to register in SAM.gov using the assigned DUNS number until April 4th, 2022, and obtain their UEI. For more information, visit New Process to Obtain a UEIexternal icon.
  1. Does our fiscal agent need to be a 501(c)(3)?
    In order to apply to for a DFC grant, the fiscal agent must either be a 501(c)(3) or an entity eligible to receive federal dollars. The coalition itself must be able to receive federal grant funds, or they must partner with a fiscal agent eligible to receive grant funds. This partnership should be proven with a memorandum of understanding (MOU).
  2. Can a fiscal agent serve on more than one DFC grant?
    No, a legal applicant/grant award recipient may only hold one DFC grant at any time. Therefore, a fiscal agent is not eligible to serve as the fiscal agent for a new DFC grant while continuing to serve as the fiscal agent for an ongoing award on behalf of a different community coalition.
  3. If a coalition is not a 501(c)(3) at the time of the application but will receive 501(c)(3) status later, how should this be reflected in the application?
    If your coalition does not yet have 501(c)(3) status at the time of application, you should partner with an organization that does (or can otherwise accept Federal funds) to meet eligibility requirements.
  4. Can we focus on more than two substances?
    Yes, the application can focus on more than two substances. The requirement is that at least two substances be addressed.
  5. How do I know if my organization is legally eligible to receive federal funding?
    Eligible applicant organizations are those entities registered with the federal government to conduct business as a recipient. Please refer to the Eligibility Information section in the NOFO that lists the eligible categories of applicants.
    A coalition applying on its own behalf must be registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3) to receive federal funding. If the coalition does not have 501(c)(3) status, the coaltion must identify a fiscal agent who is eligible to receive federal funding to apply on its behalf.
  6. How can I confirm if a coalition in my community or ZIP code is receiving or applying for DFC funding?
    • If coalitions are working in the same community, the DFC Program statute requires a letter of mutual cooperation to ensure there is no duplication of effort. It is the responsibility of the coalition to determine if other coalitions serving its community are applying for or have received DFC funding.
    • You can review CDC DFC to search for current DFC recipients.
  7. When is a letter of mutual cooperation required?
    Unless the coalitions have clearly demonstrated a plan for collaboration, two coalitions may not serve the same zip codes. If the applicant coalition is proposing to serve zip codes that overlap with an existing DFC coalition’s zip code or with a coalition applying for a DFC grant, the applicant must provide a Letter(s) of Mutual Cooperation between the coalitions outlining their efforts to collaborate. The letter must indicate the zip code(s) that overlap and discuss the plan for collaboration.
  8. When must Coalition Involvement Agreements (CIAs) be signed?
    The CIAs must be signed on or after January 1, 2021 until the submission date of the application.
  9. Are electronic signatures acceptable on the Coalition Involvement Agreements (CIAs)?
    Yes, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, both handwritten and electronic forms of signatures will be accepted.
  10. Does our application for Years 6-10 of DFC funding need to cover the same geographical area as our Years 1-5?
    • If you are a current Year 5 DFC grant recipient competing for Years 6-10 of DFC funding, the geographical area covered by the DFC grant in years 1-5 does not need to be the same as in years 6-10. Your coalition can determine the community it intends to serve.
    • In the application, your coalition must describe how your selection of geographical area will help to achieve the program purpose of preventing and reducing substance use among youth. Please refer to the “Target Populations” section and “Additional Information on Eligibility” sections for more information.
  11. If a coalition has 501(c)(3) status, does it have to apply on its own, or can it still partner with a fiscal agent?
    If a coalition has 501(c)(3) status, it is not required to apply through a fiscal agent. If the coalition meets all the statutory eligibility requirements listed in the NOFO, it can apply on its own behalf.
  12. Can a local government agency apply?
    The intent of the DFC Program is to support community-based coalitions made up of 12 required sectors focused on youth substance prevention. A local government agency is eligible to apply – either as a fiscal agent or as the coalition itself – as long as the other statutory requirements are met as outlined in the NOFO.
  13. Can a coalition comprised of communities across the country apply?
    It does not seem that a coalition comprised of communities across the country meets the intent of the DFC Program. The intent is to support community-based coalitions to implement youth substance use prevention strategies within a local community, not a nationally based coalition.
  14. What evidence does a coalition need to demonstrate that it has been in existence for at least six months?
    Please refer to the Statutory Eligibility Requirements table in the NOFO. Applicants must upload one set of coalition meeting minutes from one meeting that took place between January 2021 and the deadline for submission of this application. Meeting minutes must include the date of the meeting, names of attendees, and sectors represented.
    Applicants will also document the date the coalition was established on Attachment 4: General Applicant Information, Question #6.
  1. What is the DFC definition of a coalition?
    For the purposes of this DFC grant, a community coalition is a community-based formal arrangement for cooperation and collaboration among 12 required sectors of a community. Each group retains its identity, and all agree to work together toward a common goal.
  2. Who can serve as a sector representative?
    Sector representatives are community leaders who come from the required populations and sectors listed below and can act as positive role models for youth, families, and peers. They also attend and participate in coalition meetings and engage in coalition sponsored trainings, town hall meetings, and other community events. Members serve as the liaisons ensuring clear communication between the sector they represent and the coalition. They promote evidence-based and practice-based environmental strategies while contributing to the coalition’s strategic plan.
    Provided below are the 12 required sectors:
    • Youth (18 or younger): An individual 18 years of age or younger (must provide age of representative).
    • Parent: An individual legally responsible for a child, grandchild, or foster child. An individual seeking to serve in the role of ‘Parent’ may do so even if the parent has grown children.
    • Business: A representative of a business-related organization.
    • Media: A representative of a communication outlet that provides information to the community.
    • School: A representative of the school system with influence on school polies and procedures.
    • Youth-serving organization: A representative of an organization that provides services to youth.
    • Religious/fraternal organization: A representative of a faith-based organization or a representative of a fraternal organization that is based on a common tie or the pursuit of a common goal.
    • Law enforcement: A representative of a law enforcement agency. The representative must be an active sworn law enforcement officer, not retired.
    • Civic/Volunteer groups: A representative of an organization that provides civic or volunteer activities that serves the community. Examples include Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs, etc.
    • Healthcare professional or organization: An individual and/or organization licensed to provide physical, mental, or behavioral healthcare services.
    • State, local, or tribal governmental agency: A representative of a government-funded agency with a focus on substance use prevention, treatment, or recovery support services.
    • Other organization involved in reducing substance abuse: A representative of a community organization that addresses substance use.
  3. Can a sector representative serve two coalitions at once?
    The community coalition composed of 12 individuals representing the 12 sectors of your community. Each of these representatives should be actively engaged to help the coalition achieve its goals, strategies, and objectives. While a sector representative may serve on two coalitions at once, we recommend that applicants choose sector representatives who have the time to engage and support the youth substance use prevention work that the applicant is proposing.
  4. Can one person serve as more than one sector representative on a coalition (e.g., the same person serving as a parent representative and a school representative)?No.  The coalition should be made up of 12 individuals, each serving as one of the required sector representatives.
  5. What are the requirements for individuals participating as a sector representative?Sector representatives can only serve one sector per coalition. Paid staff (i.e., Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) and Project Coordinator) cannot serve as sector representatives.
  6. What if there is already a DFC coalition in my community?Two DFC-funded coalitions may serve the same zip code(s) if they have clearly described their plan for collaboration in their application and each coalition has independently met the eligibility requirements. In the case of an overlap, a Letter of Mutual Cooperation must be provided to outline the plan to collaborate.
  7. If the coalition has existing Coalition Involvement Agreements (CIAs), is it necessary to have all CIAs signed again?Applicants must submit the Sector Table and 12 Coalition Involvement Agreements (CIA) that are signed and dated for each of the 12 individual sector representatives. CIAs must be dated between January 2021 and the deadline for submission of this application.
  8. Can the coalition have more than 12 organizations involved?
    Yes, however, for the purpose of meeting the statutory requirements of the DFC grant, the applicant should only provide information for the 12 required sectors and those individuals representing the sectors.
  9. Is there a minimum amount of time a sector representative must be involved before they can count as the sector representative?
    While there is no defined timeframe, keep in mind it is a statutory requirement for the coalition to be in existence for at least six months at the time of application.
  10. What is an example of a state or local government sector representative that is a government-funded agency?
    The sector representative must represent a government-funded agency. For example, an employee of a health department can serve as a state or local government sector representative, as they may have a specific focus on youth substance use, treatment, or recovery support services.
  11. What are the staffing requirements?
    • At a minimum, the following key personnel are required:
      • Authorized Organization Representative (AOR): The AOR is the representative of the applicant/recipient organization with authority to act on the organization’s behalf in matters related to the award and administration of grants. In signing a grant application, this individual agrees that the organization will assume the obligations imposed by applicable Federal statutes and regulations and other terms and conditions of the award, including any assurances, if a grant is awarded. These responsibilities include overseeing the financial aspects of the grant and the performance of the grant-supported project or activities as specified in the approved application. This person must be an employee of the recipient organization.
      • Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI): The PD/PI is the person who provides programmatic oversight of the grant and is accountable to officials of the recipient organization. The PD/PI must be an employee of the recipient organization and cannot be the same person as the AOR.
      • Project Coordinator: The Project Coordinator manages the work of the coalition and program activities, including training, coalition communication, data collection, and information dissemination. The PD/PI and the Project Coordinator can be the same person.
      • There are no FTE requirements for key personnel. CDC budget preparation guidelines can be found at Budget Preparation Guidelines pdf icon[PDF]
  12. Do I need to submit a Data Management Plan (DMP) with my application?
    Funded recipients will receive additional training and technical assistance on developing a DMP, which must be submitted within the first 6 months of an award.
  13. Are both the Authorized Organization Representative (AOR) and the Program Director/Principal Investigator (PD/PI) required to be employees of the recipient organization?
    Yes. The AOR and PD/PI must be employees of the recipient organization. Please note, the AOR and PD/PI cannot be the same person.
  14. Can the Project Coordinator be a contractor?
    The Project Coordinator can be a contractor as long as that individual is not also fulfilling the Program Director role.
  15. Can the Program Director and AOR be listed as personnel in the non-federal request as part of the match?
    The PD/PI and AOR key personnel positions may be included in the non-federal section of the budget narrative and can be counted as match or be in-kind.
  16. Can the applicant change the population of focus in years 6-10?
    Applicants may choose to change the community size and/or populations served in their competing continuation application. They can discuss the rationale and data used for the selected population in the Target Populations and Health Disparities section of the Project Narrative.
  1. What amount of funding is available for this application cycle?
    The maximum annual funding amount per recipient is $125,000.
  2. Do I have to apply for the full amount of $125,000?
    Coalitions are encouraged, but not required, to apply for the full $125,000.
  3. Should match funds be procured in advance of the NOFO application or are projected funds acceptable?
    The coalition must have a strategy to solicit substantial financial support from non-federal sources (100% match) to ensure that the coalition is sustainable. At the time of the application, the budget narrative must describe the matching funds.
  4. How should I value employee and volunteer time as in-kind donations?
    Both employee and volunteer time can count towards in-kind donations. There is no formula for determining rates, and coalitions are encouraged to use their discretion when meeting their required non-federal match. One resource is the Independent Sectorexternal icon, which provides state data and values of volunteer time. Please remember that all values should be based on services performed and not on title. For example, if an administrative assistant provides clerical services without charge, it’s the value of those clerical services, not the hourly salary of the administrative assistant.
  5. Is there a template for the budget narrative applications?
    The CDC Budget Preparation Guidelines provide guidance on how to develop the budget.
  6. What are indirect costs and what documentation is needed?
    • Indirect costs are costs that are incurred for common or joint objectives and not readily and specifically identifiable with a particular sponsored project, program, or activity; nevertheless, these costs are necessary to the operations of the organization. For example, the costs of operating and maintaining facilities, depreciation, and administrative salaries generally are considered indirect costs.
    • If requesting indirect costs in the budget, a copy of the indirect cost-rate agreement must be included. Applicants must name this file “Indirect Cost Rate” and upload it at Grants.gov. If the coalition has not signed an indirect cost rate agreement with the Fiscal Agent, a deminimus rate of 10% may be used.
  7. What are the cost matching requirements for this grant?
    • Applicants in Years 1 – 6 are required to have 100 percent match (1:1) of funds from non-federal sources.
    • For those who are awarded funds in Year Seven and Year Eight, the percentage of matching funds increases to 125% . For those awarded funds in Year Nine and Ten, the percentage of matching funds increases to 150%.
    • Please refer to the Percentage match Table below:
      Percentage match Table
      Year of Funding Request Matching Requirement
      1-6 100%
      7 – 8 125%
      9 – 10 150%
  8. Where do I document the matching funds?
    • The DFC authorizing legislation requires recipients to demonstrate that they have matching funds (“match”) from nonfederal sources equivalent to or greater than federal funds requested from the DFC Support Program.
    • Applicants must itemize the match separately in the budget and explain the match separately in the Budget Narrative.
  9. What is considered in-kind support that can be used as matching funds?
    • Some forms of in-kind support can be used to count towards matching funds.
    • In-kind support includes the value of goods and services donated to the operation of the DFC coalition, including but not limited to office space, volunteer secretarial services, pro bono accounting services, and other volunteer services to support the coalition’s work.
    • In-kind support can also include training programs sponsored by other coalitions or partners for the community.
  10. What is the difference between “Consultant Costs” and “Contractual Costs”?
    • Consultant Costs: This category should be used when hiring an individual to give professional advice or services (e.g., training, expert consultant, etc.) for a fee, but not as an employee of the grantee organization.
    • Contractual Costs: This category should be used when securing a third-party contract to perform program activities.
      For more information, visit Budget Preparation Guidelines pdf icon[PDF].
  11. Is vape detection equipment an allowable cost in this grant?
    No, vape detection equipment is not an allowable cost for this grant.
  12. Are coalitions allowed to use the de minimis rate of 10% for indirect costs if they do not have an Indirect Cost Rate Agreement in place?
    Yes, any non-federal domestic entity that has never negotiated a rate may use 10% of modified total direct costs (MTDC). The de minimis rate of 10% is 10% of the MTDC and not the total award amount.
  1. Can you apply for DFC funding in an area that had a DFC coalition several years ago?
    The 10-year funding limit rule for the DFC Support Program is tied to the specific coalition. As long as the coalition is a new, unique, and distinct coalition, it would be eligible to receive DFC funding. The proposed new, unique, and distinct coalition must include:
    • Different leadership & sector representatives from a previously funded coalition
    • Newly identified community needs
    • A new name, mission statement, and new 12-month Action Plan
  2. Where do I access and submit the SF-424, SF-424A, and SF-LLL forms?
    The SF-424, SF-424A , and SF-LLL forms are located on Grants.govexternal icon within the SF-424-familyexternal icon. Please follow the instructions located on that web page for how to complete these forms and ensure they are submitted with your application.
  3. Can a coalition apply for funding if its application for 501(c)(3) is pending?
    Applicants must be in compliance with all the statutory eligibility requirements at the time of application. If a coalition does not have proof of 501(c)(3) status, it may consider partnering with a fiscal agent that is eligible to receive federal funds to apply.
  4. Is the Disclosure of Lobbying Activities form required if a coalition does not participate in lobbying activities?
    Yes, it is a required form and needs to be submitted. If not applicable, please note that on the form and submit. The SF-424 family of documents can be found at SF-424 Familyexternal icon. Please see Additional Requirement (AR) 12 for detailed guidance on this prohibition and additional guidance on lobbying for CDC recipients.
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