FY 2020 Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program

Frequently Asked Questions for Non-Competing Continuation (CDC-RFA-CE20-2004external icon) Applicants

Date Last Updated: May 4, 2020

The FAQs will be updated throughout the application process. Questions not yet addressed should be sent to DFC@cdc.gov. For additional FAQs and information, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/injury/fundedprograms/drug-free-communities/index.html

Application Deadline

1)   Will the application deadlines be extended due to the coronavirus?

No, the deadlines for the Non-Competing Continuation applications remain the same:

For all recipients on the September 30 – September 29 Budget Period Cycle (recipients applying for Years 02-05 and Years 07-10), applications must be submitted by 3/16/2020, 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time on www.grants.gov.

For all recipients on the October 31 – October 30 Budget Period Cycle, please hold your application until the announcement reopens after March 16. Your application will then need to be submitted by 4/14/2020, 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time via www.grants.gov.

For all recipients on the December 31 – December 30 Budget Period Cycle, please hold your application until the announcement reopens after April 14. Your application will then need to be submitted by 6/15/2020, 11:59 pm Eastern Standard Time via www.grants.gov.

About the DFC Program

1)   What is the Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program?

The Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program continues to provide grant awards to community-based coalitions addressing youth substance use since its first appropriated funding in fiscal year 1998. A full list of previous funding opportunities is available on www.grants.govexternal icon.

Please visit www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/grants-programsexternal icon to find a listing of previous grant award recipients.

2)   Where can I find information on the Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program and Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)?

All funding opportunities for the Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program are available at www.grants.govexternal icon  There are three different announcements, so please pay particular attention to the eligibility section of the funding opportunity to ensure you are applying to the correct one.

Webinar Recording

1)   Where can I view previous webinar recordings?

The FY2020 DFC Non-Competing Continuation Application Workshopppt icon slides and Webinar Q&Asppt icon are available on our website at https://www.cdc.gov/injury/fundedprograms/drug-free-communities/index.html.

Eligibility Criteria

1)   What type of organizations are eligible to apply to the Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program Non-Competing Continuation grant?

This award will be a continuation of funds intended only for recipients previously awarded under the following notice of funding opportunities:

  • Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program – Competing Continuation, SP-19-006
  • Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program – New, SP-19-005
  • Drug-Free Communities Support Program – Competing Continuation, SP-18-003
  • Drug-Free Communities Support Program – New, SP-18-002
  • Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program – Competing Continuation, SP-17-002
  • Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program – New, SP-17-001
  • Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program, SP-16-001

2)   Can a large entity, such as a University system, receive multiple DFC grants?

If there is only one legal name, employer/tax identification number, and DUNS number for the large entity, like a University system, then the entity may only serve as a bona fide/fiscal agent for one coalition.

Fiscal Agent

1)   Can a new coalition apply with a fiscal agent who has received a DFC grant in the past?

If a current coalition will not be continuing work under the DFC Program after September 30, 2020 but would be interested in applying as a new coalition, the new coalition (or fiscal agent) would need to submit an application via www.grants.gov for the New Notice of Funding Opportunity (CDC-RFA-CE20- 2002). The application due date for this funding opportunity is 06/08/2020, 11:59pm Eastern Standard Time.

If the fiscal agent would be the same for both coalitions, you must ensure that the fiscal agent would not hold more than one DFC grant at any time. So, if the fiscal agent applied for the next cycle of funding on behalf of the current coalition, then that same fiscal agent would not be eligible to apply as the fiscal agent for the new coalition.

Also, a fiscal agent may not receive more than 10 years of DFC funding. So, the fiscal agent would need to choose which coalition they would be applying on their behalf as they have already received 5 years of DFC funding.

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, you are 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.

Sector Representatives

1)   Which type of representatives qualify as part of the community-based coalition?

The community-based coalition must consist of one or more representatives from:

  • Youth (18 or younger)
  • Parent
  • Business
  • Media
  • School
  • Youth-serving organization
  • Law enforcement
  • Religious/Fraternal organization
  • Civic/Volunteer groups (i.e., local organizations committed to volunteering, not a coalition member designated as a “volunteer”)
  • Healthcare professional or organization (i.e., primary care, hospitals, etc.)
  • State, local, or tribal governmental agency with expertise in the field of substance use (including, if applicable, the state agency with primary authority for substance abuse)
  • Other organization involved in reducing substance abuse 21 U.S.C. 1532(a)(2)(c)

An individual who is a member of the coalition may serve on the coalition as a representative of not more than one sector category. 21 U.S.C. 1532(a)(2)(c)

Coalition Overlap

1)   How can I confirm if a current DFC recipient already represents my community or zip code?

Both ONDCP and CDC are unable to provide information about other applications. It is the applicant’s responsibility to find out if other coalitions in your community have applied. 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.

2)   Where can I find a list of DFC grant recipients?

Go to www.whitehouse.gov/ondcp/grants-programs/external icon  to find existing coalitions near you.  Please note, it is the responsibility of the applicant coalition to know about any nearby coalitions that are applying for DFC funding. If two first-time DFC grant applicants are applying and have overlapping zip codes, each must include a letter of support from the other.

Principal Investigator and Project/Program Director

3)   Can the same individual serve as the Principal Investigator and Project/Program Director?

It is acceptable to identify the same person as the Principal Investigator and Program Director.

Non-Competing Continuation Extension Request

1)   Whom do I contact if I want to request an extension to submit my application for the continuation grant?

CDC will accept requests for a deadline extension on rare occasions and after adequate justification has been provided to the Grants Management Office at DFC@cdc.gov.

To respond to your extension request please provide the additional information below with your request:

  • Coalition Name:
  • Fiscal Agent (if applicable):
  • Budget Cycle:
  • Date you anticipate submitting the application:

Notice of Funding Opportunity you are applying for (CDC-CE20-2004external icon, CDC-CE20-2002, or CDC-CE20-2003):

Submission Location (Grants.gov)

1)   Where do I submit an application?

You will need to submit this year’s application via www.grants.govexternal icon. Continuation applications previously submitted to SAMHSA via eRA Commons will not be reviewed.

2)   I already submitted a continuation application on eRA Commons. Do I need to re-submit my continuation application?

As cited in the press releaseexternal icon from the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. The management of the DFC grant program is transitioning from ONDCP and SAMHSA to ONDCP and CDC. In order to facilitate this transition, current award recipients are asked to re-submit their continuation application via CDC’s announcementexternal icon on www.grants.govexternal icon  Continuation applications previously submitted to SAMHSA via eRA Commons will not be reviewed.

Until you are officially issued an award by CDC, you will still need to follow SAMHSA’s standard operating procedures and systems for any other actions relating to your coalition’s grant award.

Your efforts in developing your original continuation applications did not go unnoticed and are appreciated, and these efforts should assist you in streamlining your submission under this new process.

3)   Who can I contact if I have questions about Grants.gov functionality?

As a federal agency, CDC is not able to see what applicants view once they have logged into www.grants.govexternal icon. We recommend contacting the Grants.govexternal icon Help Center at support@grants.gov or 1-800-518-4726 for assistance with this request.

4)   I am having difficulty submitting my application on www.grants.gov (i.e., creating an account, uploading attachments, etc.). Who should I contact for assistance?

We recommend contacting the Grants.gov Help Center at support@grants.gov or 1-800-518-4726 for assistance with grants.gov access and functionality.

Forms and Attachments (Lobbying, Risk Questionnaire, etc.)

1)   How should attachments be named and uploaded?

All attachments should be named according to the naming conventions outlined in the applicable section within the NOFO. If there is not an applicable section, please name the document as outlined in the “Additional Information” section of the NOFO.

All required documents should be uploaded as individual PDFs to www.grants.govexternal icon.

2)   What attachments are required to be submitted with my application?

For each NOFO please review the Checklist of Required Contents of Application Packet section (listed below for reference).

Checklist of Required Contents of Application Packet:

  • SF-424 Application for Federal Domestic Assistance (online form)
  • SF-424A Budget Information-Non-Construction (online form)
  • Budget Justification (attachment)
  • Indirect Cost Rate Agreement (attachment)
  • Performance Narrative (12-Month Action Plan)
  • SF-LLL Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (online form), if applicable1
  • Interim Federal Financial Report (FFR) SF-425 (attachment)
  • Additional Program Requirements
    • Attachment A: Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program Non-Competing Continuation Application Certification Checklist (attachment)
    • Attachment B: Disclosure of Drug-Free Communities Support Program Coalition Information (attachment)
    • Risk Assessment Questionnaire and Supporting Documents (online form)

3)   How do I allocate key personnel time on the Certification Checklist?

In regard to Attachment A: Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program Non-Competing Continuation Application Eligibility Certification Checklist, if this individual only contributes 10% of their time to this grant award, please try and divide up the level of effort between the two key staff roles while ensuring that the total percentage of time does not go over their total level of effort for the grant award.

4)   I do not have a Lobbyist. How do I complete the Disclosure of Lobbying Activities form?

If an applicant does not have a lobbyist, then an applicant is still required to complete Sections 4, 6, 10a, 10b, and 11 of the Disclosure of Lobbying Activities form. The applicant may enter “N/A” for the required fields in Sections 10a and 10b in order to complete the form and be able to submit it with your application package.

Further instructions on how to complete the Disclosure of Lobbying Activities form are located at https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/post-award-reporting-forms.htmlexternal icon.

5)   Can the CDC Risk Questionnaire supporting document be submitted as a PDF attachment?

Applicants must include all supporting documentation for the Risk Questionnaire in the application package. This supporting documentation may be submitted as a single PDF labeled Risk Questionnaire Supporting Documents. It is acceptable to include a PDF document with a link to the policies requested as long as individuals outside of your organization can access the policies through the particular link. Sometimes organizations have firewalls that restrict access to members of an organization. Please ensure appropriate access before submitting your application.

The CDC Risk Questionnaire can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/grants/documents/PPMR-G- CDC-Risk-Questionnaire.pdf and should be uploaded to the application.

6)   Does the Fiscal Agent complete the Risk Assessment Questionnaire?

Yes, the fiscal agent should complete the Risk Assessment Questionnaire. CDC requires all applicants to complete the Risk Questionnaire. Please see the Risk Assessment Questionnaire Requirement section within the funding opportunity announcement for additional information.

Page Numbers and Font

1)   Does the application need page numbers?

Yes, a general application packet tip is to number all pages of the application.

2)   Do we need to maintain the 12-font size for all charts within the body of the narrative?

Responses should be in 12-point font. It is acceptable for applicants to use 10-point font in tables and charts.

Performance Reports (Progress Reports)

1)   Where do I submit annual performance reports?

Your performance reports (aka progress reports) should continue to be submitted via DFC Me (http://dfcme.ondcp.eop.govexternal icon).

2)   What is the different between the Performance Report and the Performance Narrative?

The Performance Report (previously known as the Progress Report) is a different requirement than the Performance Narrative (which is the 12-Month Action Plan). The Performance Report (Progress Report) should have been submitted to DFC Me by February 26, 2020. Requirements for what to include in the Performance Report (Progress Report) should be available on your Notice of Award.

The Performance Narrative is a required component of the Non-Competing Continuation application (CDC-RFA-CE20-2004external icon). Please refer to Section 4. Performance Narrative (12-Month Action Plan) for further information on what is needed to satisfy this application requirement.

CDC does not require a Project Narrative nor the Project Abstract Summary to be submitted as part of the Non-Competing Continuation application. Applicants are required to submit the documentation listed in the Checklist of Required Contents of Application Packet section of the Non-Competing Continuation guidance.

Performance Narrative (12-Month Action Plan)

1)   What is the Performance Narrative and where do I submit it?

For the Performance Narrative, current grant recipients are being asked to submit a 12-Month Action Plan for the next year of funding. The plan should detail the objectives, strategies, and activities that will strengthen your coalition’s internal capacity and that will impact the community’s youth substance use. For more information on what to include for this requirement, please refer to Section 4. Performance Narrative (12-Month Action Plan).

For the next Budget Period, there are currently three cycles:

  • September 30, 2020 through September 29, 2021
  • October 31, 2020 through October 30, 2021
  • December 31, 2020 through December 30, 2021

The Budget Period cited in the 12-Month Action Plan must match the current month cycle that is in the Notice of Award. For example, recipients with a September to September cycle cannot have a 12-Month Action Plan for either the October or December cycles listed above.

Sustainability Plan

1)   I am a current recipient writing for Year 03 or Year 07. When and where do I submit the required Sustainability Plan?

Given that the current Notice of Award has specific deadlines related to the submission of the Sustainability Plan already, please submit the sustainability plan in DFC Me at http://dfcme.ondcp.eop.govexternal icon. If you have issues, please contact dfc_evaluators@icf.com. This should not impact your submission to www.grants.govexternal icon.


1)   Does e-cigarette or vaping product use qualify as “tobacco product” for the purpose of DFC funding?

If your assessment information demonstrates a need for prevention of e-cigarette or vaping product use among youth in your community, then, yes, your coalition can include e-cigarette or vaping product use in your application and should include it in the “tobacco” category.


1)   Does anything need to be provided in response to the information under the Administrative and National Policy Requirements and Reporting Sections?

The information included in the Administrative and National Policy Requirements and Reporting Sections of this funding opportunity is for informational purposes only to better understand the requirements an organization will be held to if selected for an award under this program.

2)   How is “economically disadvantaged” defined?

Please refer to the NOFO-specific “Glossary and Acronyms” section at the end of the NOFO for information on key terms. In that section, “economically disadvantaged” is defined as an area with 20 percent or more children living in households below the poverty line as defined by the US Census Bureau.

Budget Criteria and Template

1)   Is there a budget template for CDC applications?

CDC will accept a budget narrative/justification as long as it is in the general form, format, and level of detail as described in the CDC Budget Preparation Guidelines. If the budget narrative/justification created using SAMHSA’s template fulfills those requirements and others listed in CDC’s continuation guidance, then it may be submitted as part of the continuation application. If you have any further budget questions, please submit them via DFC@cdc.gov.

2)   Do I need to submit a Budget Narrative?

Yes, you will need to submit a Budget Narrative, SF-424, and SF-424A. Please review section 2. SF-424A Budget Information and Budget Justification for further details on developing the budget and associated justification.

3)   What are the full-time (FTE) requirements in the budget?

There are no FTE requirements within any of the funding opportunity announcements. We recommend reviewing the 2. SF-424A Budget Information and Budget Justification section within the notice of funding opportunity for further details on developing the budget and associated justification.

4)   What is the difference between “Consultant Costs” and “Contractual Costs”?

Per the CDC Budget Guidelines, “Consultant Costs” and “Contractual Costs” are differentiated as follows:

  • 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.

5)   My coalition currently provides stipends. Previously, under SAMHSA’s budget narrative and categories, we have included them in the Contractor section. How should I report these now with the CDC?

Stipends are not typically considered contracts and are most appropriately placed in the “other” cost category. You can simply describe what those stipends pay for in the budget narrative.


1)   How do I complete the match component of the application?

Please refer to section 2. SF-424A Budget Information and Budget Justification for information regarding the percentage of match required for a particular DFC award year and how to enter that information on the SF-424A Form.

2)   How do we demonstrate matches in our budget?

The DFC authorizing legislation requires recipients to demonstrate that they have non-federal matching funds (“match”) from non-federal 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. Federal funds, including those passed through a state or local government cannot be used toward the required match. The only exception in the DFC Support Program is in the case of a coalition that includes a representative of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the Indian Health Service, or a tribal government agency with expertise in the field of substance use and serving a tribal community.

Letter of Attestation

1)   Do I need to submit a letter of attestation?

CDC does not use a letter of attestation to satisfy the budget justification requirement for non-competing continuation applications. Please refer to Section 2. SF-424A Budget Information and Budget Justification in the Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program – Non-Competing Continuation Guidance (CDC-RFA-CE20-2004external icon) for what is required in both the SF-424A form and the budget justification.

Interim FFR

1)   When is an Interim FFR required?

An interim FFR accounts for the status of funds under the current year of the award. It must be submitted if you estimate that there will be any unobligated funds for the current year of award, and you would like to request the use of those funds in addition to funding received for the next year of the award. Further instructions for completing the interim FFR are located at https://www.grants.gov/forms/post-award-reporting-forms.htmlexternal icon.

2)   I am a current recipient applying to the Competing Continuation application. Where do I submit the Annual FFR?

Since the annual FFR is due after the continuation application due date, the Annual FFR will be submitted via GrantSolutions. The continuation application must be submitted via www.grants.govexternal icon.

SF-424 and SF-424A

3)   Where do I access and submit online forms (SF-424 and SF-424A)

Online forms, the SF-424 and SF-424A, are located at www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-family.htmlexternal icon  Please follow instructions located on that web page for how to complete them and ensure they are submitted with your continuation application.

4)   Do I need to provide an “Application Identifier” in the SF-424 form?

Per the SF-424 Form Instructions, the “Applicant Identifier” is assigned by the federal agency. As such, this field does not need to be completed by the applicant. For further instructions on how to complete the SF-424 Form, please refer to https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/forms/sf-424-family.htmlexternal icon.

5)   For SF-424A “Section F – Other Budget Information” do we include the Direct Charges total for one year or 5 years?

SF-424A. Section F: Field Number 21 Direct Charges is an Optional field with the following instructions provided: Use this space to explain amounts for individual direct object class cost categories that may appear to be out of the ordinary or to explain the details as required by the Federal grantor agency.

Carryover Funds

1)   Due To COVID-19, our implementation of the DFC and CARA grants have mostly stopped. We anticipate having unobligated (unused) grant funds at the end of our current budget cycle. Will we be able to carry-over those DFC funds?

Yes. ONDCP understands that coalitions are currently unable to implement many of the planned activities in their 12-Month Action Plans and that unobligated funds may be available at the end of the budget cycle (September 30th). Once the DFC and CARA programs transition over to CDC, coalitions will be able to request use of carry-over funds. CDC will provide guidance in October 2020.

2)   I am a Year 10 DFC grantee. Will I be able to request a No-Cost Extension to complete our grant activities once it is safe to resume activities in our community?

Yes, No-Cost Extensions from Year 5 and Year 10 DFC grantees must be submitted. Please contact your assigned SAMHSA Government Project Officer and Grants Management Specialist for additional guidance. NCE forms can be found on the SAMHSA site at: https://www.samhsa.gov/grants/grantsmanagement/post-award-amendments#no-cost-extensionexternal icon

No-Cost Extensions from Year 5 and Year 10 applicants are due 60 days before the project period end date.

3)   May DFC and/or CARA funds be used to assist our local community address the COVID-19 pandemic?

No, DFC and CARA funds may only be used for the purpose for which Congress intended – youth substance use prevention. DFC and/or CARA funds may not be used to purchase Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). The Purpose Statute, 31 U.S.C. § 1301, requires Federal funds to be used only for the purpose to which they were appropriated by Congress.

Review Process and Criteria

1)   Who reviews applications?

All applications, including performance/progress reports, will be reviewed by CDC officials. If you have any other questions regarding the continuation application, please send them to DFC@cdc.gov.

2)   How will applications be reviewed and scored?

Please refer to the Application Review Information section of the funding opportunity for more information on what will be scored from the documentation submitted as part of the application package.

Peer Reviewer

1)   Is there an opportunity to serve as a peer reviewer?

At this time, CDC has not issued a request for reviewers. If a request is made, we will ensure that instructions and criteria for reviewers are publicly available.

Other Substance Use Resources

1)   I am an individual seeking to apply for substance use resources. Can I apply?

Eligibility to apply to the current Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program funding announcements is limited to current award recipients (CDC-RFA-CE20-2004external icon), community-based coalitions addressing youth substance use that have previously received a DFC grant (CDC-RFA-CE20- 2003), or community-based coalitions addressing youth substance use that have never received a DFC grant (CDC-RFA-CE20-2002).DFC funding supports community-based coalitions dedicated to advancing and implementing community-wide prevention efforts. A coalition may be a legal entity with 501(c) (3) status or may partner with a legal entity to apply on their behalf.

For substance use assistance please contact social support services in the state or municipality where you live or SAMHSA’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). SAMHSA’s National Helpline is a free, confidential, 24/7, 365-day-a-year referral and information service (in English and Spanish) for individuals facing mental and/or substance use disorders.

Miscellaneous Questions

1)   Will current DFC grantee information be transferred, and if not, what information will current grantees be requested to submit to CDC, if any?

All agencies will be working collaboratively on the transfer of official grant award files. No action is needed from current grant award recipients for this task.

2)   Does a notification need to be provided if a coalition is in its 5th year and is not interested in pursuing future funding?

At this time, there is not a required notification process for those who opt not to apply for an additional 5-year cycle. We appreciate your coalition’s contributions over the past several years and encourage you to apply again in the future, if and when your organization’s circumstances allow.

3)   Where can I access the HHS Grants Policy Statement?

The HHS Grants Policy Statement can be found at https://www.hhs.gov/grants/grants/grants-policiesregulations/index.htmlexternal icon.

4)   How do I change key personnel on a current award? 

Please refer to your current Notice of Award for the processes and procedures in changing key personnel on your current award. In addition, for any issues with the DFC Me system, please contact dfc_evaluators@icf.com.