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City of Omaha ARPA Community Grant Program FAQ

TRANSLATIONS: Spanish  |  Arabic  |  Pashto  |  Dari  |  Karen

Where does the funding come from for the City of Omaha ARPA Community Grant Program? 

The funding for this program comes from $112 million in federal Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds awarded to the City of Omaha as part of the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA). The City of Omaha has contracted with the Omaha Community Foundation to assist in developing and administering this grant program on behalf of the city, consistent with federal, state, and local requirements. 

 How does my organization apply for this funding? 

All applications will be processed through the Omaha Community Foundation’s online grant portal. 

How much will be awarded? 

The City of Omaha has allocated $10 million to create the City of Omaha ARPA Community Grant Program to support the areas of Crisis Intervention & Violence Prevention, and Workforce Development.    

Who is eligible to apply? 

Applicants must meet the following qualifications to apply: 

Be a public, tax-exempt organization as defined by Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code, OR working with a 501(c)(3) fiscal agent who can receive funds on your behalf. 

Complete a SAM.gov registration. Learn more here. 

Meet at least ONE of the following qualifications: 

  • Be located in a Qualified Census Tract 
  • Provide services to program participants living in a Qualified Census Tract 
  • Demonstrate the pandemic has had a significant health or economic impact on its program participants 
How much is my organization eligible to apply for? 

There is no minimum or maximum amount for this grant program. Requests should not comprise the majority of funding for this program. Organizations will be expected to demonstrate diversified funding sources as part of the application process. 

Awards can be for one or two years with an overall funding period of July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2024.  Organizations must submit a final report for the 2022-2023 funding year to receive the funding for the 2023-2024 funding year. 

Due to the great need for funds, however, the City of Omaha ARPA Community Grant Program may not meet 100% of the sector’s need. Competitive applicants will need to demonstrate an ability to continue or sustain programming following the end of the funding cycle.   

Does my organization need to demonstrate a connection to need due to the Covid-19 pandemic? 

Organizations applying for projects within the Qualified Census Tracts already demonstrate an assumption of need due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Organizations applying for funds serving individuals outside of Qualified Census Tracts will need to demonstrate a significant health or economic impact due to Covid-19 for its program participants.   

Is this a first-come-first-served program? 

No, priority will not be given to those who apply early. All applications received by 11:59 p.m. April 1, 2022 deadline will be considered equally. We encourage you to start early and make the most of our coaching and technical assistance.

How do I receive technical assistance for my application? 

You can receive technical assistance and one-on-one coaching in one the following ways: 

  • Email to ARPA@omahafoundation.org. Please include your contact information and your organization’s name in the subject line.  
  • Call 402-884-0450. 
  • Submit a copy of your application.  One of the questions will ask about your need for coaching support.  Following the coaching, you will have an opportunity to make edits to the application and re-submit.   
How will I know if my organization’s application has been received by the Omaha Community Foundation? 

A confirmation email will be sent to the email address associated with the organization’s account in the grant application portal. If an email confirmation is not received, organizations can check on the status of the application in the account application portal under the “All Submissions” menu. If you have additional concerns, please contact us at ARPA@omahafoundation.org. 

How much can applicants expect to receive? 

Award size will depend on the total requested by all applicants. It is expected that total requests will exceed the available funding. 

Awards can be for one or two years with an overall funding period of July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2024.  Organizations must submit a final report for the 2022-2023 funding year to receive the funding for the 2023-2024 funding year. 

What types of requests are not allowable under this grant program? 

Requests for the following will not be accepted: 

  • Sponsorships, annual funds, galas, or other special-event fundraising activities 
  • Conferences or events 
  • Capital campaigns or new building construction (“bricks and mortar”) 
  • Debt reduction 
  • Endowment funds 
  • Dissertations, theses, or student research 
  • Sectarian religious activities, political lobbying, or legislative activities 
  • Support to individuals including tuition, loans, fellowships, or grants 
  • Strategic planning or community research 
Who will decide which organizations receive funding? 

Staff members at the Omaha Community Foundation will conduct a preliminary review to make sure the application is complete, aligns with the grant program, and meets the requirements of ARPA legislation. 

A Community Review Committee will make final funding recommendations. This committee is being developed and will include community members who have participated in our Community Interest Funds grant committees, City of Omaha staff members, and Omaha Community Foundation staff members. 

Who will disburse these grants? 

The Omaha Community Foundation will disburse program funds directly to approved nonprofit organizations or fiscal agents/sponsors. 

If an organization is awarded funding, how can these grants be used? 

The funding must be used for the program expenses outlined in the application and in alignment with all local, state, and federal funding guidelines. This includes the following: 

  • Grants to expand and/or enhance existing programs and services. 
  • Grants to implement Covid-19 prevention or mitigation measures, such as PPE, enhanced cleaning efforts, barriers, or partitions. 
  • Grants to mitigate financial hardship. For example, by supporting payroll and benefits, costs to retain employees, rent, and other operating costs. 
May the funding be used to provide direct financial assistance to individuals? 

No, funding may not be used for direct financial assistance to individuals. Organizations seeking to provide direct financial assistance to individuals might fall within the guidelines and focus of the United Way of the Midlands Community Cares + ARPA.

My organization was awarded funding, but I need to change the program or budget in some way.  May I do this? 

Budget or project revisions CAN ONLY be made with the prior approval of Omaha Community Foundation. Any organization seeking to make an adjustment must submit an adjustment request to the Omaha Community Foundation when any of the following will occur: the focus of the funded project changes; there is a change in the start or end date of the funded project; a new project director or fiscal officer is assigned to the grant funded project; or a budget modification is requested to transfer dollars between budget line items.  

Is there a deadline for the grant funds to be expended? 

Recipient may use award funds to cover approved eligible costs incurred during the period that begins July 1, 2022 and ends June 30, 2024.

When will these grant dollars be distributed? 

Awards will be announced in June 2022, and the first year of funding will be distributed via an e-check system shortly after. Organizations will be required to have a completed SAM.gov registration and to have submitted a subrecipient agreement signed by an authorized officer of the organization via OCF’s electronic grant portal before the e-check is issued.   

The second year of funding—if requested and awarded— will be contingent upon the receipt of all required reports and the program’s ability to reach outlined deliverables. 

Are faith-based or religious organizations eligible to apply? 

Funds provided under this program cannot be used for inherently religious activities, such as worship, religious instruction, or proselytization, prohibited by 24 C.F.R. 570.200(j)(2) as applicable. 

Religious organizations are eligible solely with regard to any nonsectarian programs or services that are offered to the general public without regard to faith, affiliation, religious belief, or practice, and that aligns with the focus areas outlined in the program. For example, a church runs a food pantry that is open to all in need, without regard to their church membership or adherence to any particular religious beliefs or practices; costs of the food pantry—but not the other aspects of the church such as worship and religious instruction—may form the basis of an application. 

What if my organization is headquartered outside of Omaha? 

Funding under this program is only available to support work taking place in the City of Omaha for Omaha residents. The application should be completed with a focus only on City of Omaha-specific work, and all financial submissions must separate out City of Omaha activities from overall work. 

What if we are headquartered in Omaha but also work in other counties or states? 

The application should be completed with a focus only on City of Omaha-specific work. 

What if my organization received other federal funds or expects to receive other federal funds? Am I still eligible to apply? 

Yes, however, you will be asked to specify how much you received or expect to receive from other federal, state, local government, insurance proceeds, or other funding received for these specific expenses. There is no “double dipping”—this program can fund only specific expenses not covered by other financial assistance and grant programs.  

If I am awarded a grant from the City of Omaha ARPA Community Grant Program, what will be required to receive the funds? 

It is required that organizations complete a registration on SAM.gov. View information on how to do this here. This registration and your organization’s federal debarment status will be verified during the Omaha Community Foundation’s due diligence process. More information on what debarment means can be found here. Finally, the Omaha Community Foundation is also in the process of finalizing grant and service agreements that any fund recipient would be required to sign and uphold. As soon as they are available, the agreements will be posted.

What kind of reporting will be required as a recipient of these funds? 

Organizations will be required to submit a mid-year report in December 2022 and 2023, and a final report in June 2023 and June 2024 for the funding year. Organizations must submit a final report for the year to get the funding for the following year. Inability to reach program deliverables can result in the nullification of the grant award for the second year of funding. The reporting forms will be provided as soon as these are available. 

As part of the reporting process, organizations will be asked to report on the impact of the grant funding. Organizations will identify a service category their program request fits within and report on the outputs and outcomes for that category. Find the four funding categories, along with output and outcome measures outlined below.

Please refer to this reporting outline for the information that will be required.

Crisis Intervention
(EC 3.16)

Output Measures
• Number of individuals served (by age, zip code & race/ethnicity)

Outcome Measures
Number of individuals served who were stabilized and able to transition to a safer environment/situation
• Additional outcomes identified by the organization  

Violence Prevention
(EC 3.16)

Output Measures
Number of individuals served (by age, zip code & race/ethnicity)
Number of mentoring hours provided (if applicable)  

Outcome Measures
Organizations will choose ONE of the following outcomes to report on, depending on their type of program:
• Out of School Time & Mentoring: % increase in positive relationships with adults
• Gang Prevention & Intervention: % increase in beliefs of participants that violence is unacceptable 
• Employment: % of participants who maintained employment during the program
• Absenteeism & Truancy Prevention: % of participants who were able to remain in school
• Additional outcomes identified by the organization  

Community-Based Services 
I.e. Mental or Behavioral Health (EC 3.16) (1.10)

Output Measures
Number of individuals served (by zip code & race/ethnicity)
• Number hours of crisis intervention support provided  

Outcome Measures
Percent of individuals connected to and actively engaged in community-based mental/behavioral health services.
• Additional outcomes identified by the organization

Workforce Development
(EC 2.7)

Output Measures
Number of individuals being served (by zip code & race/ethnicity)

• Required Performance Indicators (City of Omaha ARPA Recovery Plan 

  • Number of workers enrolled in sectoral job training programs 
  • Number of workers completing sectoral job training programs 
  • Number of people participating in summer youth employment programs 

Outcome Measures
Percent of individuals served who were able secure new employment
• Additional outcomes identified by the organization

Supporting personnel documentation, receipts, invoices, bills, and other similar documents or accounting records may be requested as part of the reporting process. Organizations should also maintain these records for seven years, per guidance from the Department of Treasury, as they may also be required to produce these materials as part of a future audit.

Is there a matching grant or cost sharing requirement to qualify for this funding? 

Cost sharing or matching funds are not required to be provided by grantee. However, as this is a one-time opportunity, applicants will be required to outline a plan for sustainability of the program beyond this funding process following the two-year funding cycle. Organizations will also be required to demonstrate a significant broad base of support for the project as evidenced by a large diversity of funding sources. 

What criteria will be used to assess grant applications and determine how much funding applicants receive? 

Applications will first be evaluated according to basic program eligibility, and whether they have outlined allowable programs and expenses under the ARPA legislation. The amount of funding awarded, assuming that total requests exceed available funds, will also take into account the following criteria: 

  • Proposal expands or enhances existing programs  
  • Organization has a proven record of success within the focus area 
  • Project has significant impact in the community 
  • Project has sustainability beyond the grant period 
  • Project addresses significant community need related to Covid-19 

Consistent with the ARPA guidance, there will be priority in allocating funding for applicant organizations located within and/or serving those within the Qualified Census Tracts.

Are financial audits required for this grant program? 

No financial audit is required for application to this program. However, nonprofit organizations that are designated as subrecipients that receive and expend more than $750,000 in combined federal funds in any fiscal year, including any grant received under this ARPA grant program, or under other ARPA program, will be subject to a federal single audit.   

Subrecipients do not include individuals and organizations that received ARPA funds as end users to respond to the negative economic impacts of Covid-19. Such individuals and organizations are beneficiaries and not subject to audit. Consult your independent auditor for additional information. 

Who do I call if I have a question about my application? 

Email any question to ARPA@omahafoundation.org. Please include your contact information and your organization’s name in the subject line. For assistance, you may also call 402-884-0450. 

Will the Omaha Community Foundation receive any of these funds? 

Omaha Community Foundation will receive funds to cover administrative, legal, and audit services, which comprises $400,000 or 4% of the $10 million grant fund. The Omaha Community Foundation is responsible for administering this grant program, the reporting process, and the ongoing monitoring required with distributing the federal funding on behalf of City of Omaha. 

Can an organization apply for both the City of Omaha ARPA Community Grants Program and the United Way’s allocation of Community Funds from the City of Omaha? 

Yes, however, organizations must not apply for the same programs to both pools of funds.   

Community members have generously donated money to my organization to support similar work. Can ARPA funding be used instead?  

Federal funding shall be used in addition to (supplementing), not in place of (supplanting), state, and local funds, including donations. Supplementing or extending the effort to do more is allowable; supplanting is NOT allowable with federal grants. 

Any reduction in non-federal resources allocated for the same time period and the same purpose as the federal grant award will be subject to careful review. Supplanting may be grounds for suspension or termination of federal funding, recovery of misused federal funds, and/or other remedies available by law. 

Some individuals that my organization serves are immigrants, refugees, and others with undocumented status. Can these funds be used to support these individuals?  

The final rule does not require the beneficiaries of programs and services to validate their citizenship. Subrecipients must comply with local, state, and federal laws and regulations in administration of services. 

How long must my organization retain records associated with this grant award? 

Records shall be maintained by Recipient for a period of seven years after all funds have been expended or returned to Treasury, whichever is later. 

What is a conflict of interest, and what is my responsibility to manage it? 

A conflict of interest occurs when an employee or volunteer has a personal or business interest that conflicts with their professional obligations or responsibilities to the organization. 

This might include when a board or staff member, or someone they are close to, such as a family member or business associate, has a potential financial or personal interest in a matter before the organization they serve. Those conflicting interests must be managed appropriately to protect the organization and the interested parties from illegal or unethical actions. An example of a conflict of interest might include hiring a spouse as a consultant for the project funded by the grant award. 

Grantees are required to maintain a conflict-of-interest policy consistent with 2 C.F.R. § 200.318(c) and that such conflict-of-interest policy is applicable to each activity funded under this award. Recipient and subrecipients must disclose in writing to the Omaha Community Foundation, as appropriate, any potential conflict of interest affecting the awarded funds. Find more information about conflict-of-interest policies for nonprofit organizations here. 

Can I receive materials in other languages? 

Program overview materials will be available in English, Spanish, Arabic, Dari, Pashto, Karen, and Somali.  If you need assistance in other languages or need to translate a completed application from your native language into English, please contact us at 402-884-0450 to get connected with a translator funded by the Omaha Community Foundation.   

Should my organization translate materials for funded programs into other languages? 

Grant recipients should make every reasonable effort, or comply with the Department of the Treasury’s directives, to ensure that Limited English proficiency (LEP) persons have meaningful access to its programs, services, and activities. Meaningful access may entail providing language assistance services, including oral interpretation and written translation where necessary, to ensure effective communication in the recipient’s programs, services, and activities.

Questions? We’re here to help.
Anne Meysenburg

Director of Community Investment
(402) 884-0450
ARPA@omahafoundation.org

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