Douglas County CARES Not-for-Profit Assistance Program FAQ
Where does the funding come from for the Douglas County CARES Not-for-Profit Assistance Program?
The funding for this program comes from $166 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds awarded to Douglas County as part of the federal CARES Act. Douglas County has contracted with the Omaha Community Foundation to assist in developing and administering this grant program on behalf of the county, consistent with federal and state requirements.
How does my organization apply for this funding?
All applications will be processed through the Omaha Community Foundation’s online grant portal, which can be accessed at: https://omahafoundation.org/caresnp
How much will be awarded?
Douglas County has allocated $10 million to this Douglas County CARES Fund to be used by Community Services nonprofit organizations.
Who is eligible to apply?
Applicants must be 501(c)(3) charitable organizations located in Douglas County; and, consistent with the CARES Act, must demonstrate that they incurred or will incur necessary expenditures due to the COVID-19 public health emergency between March 1 and December 30, 2020. Further eligibility details are described below.
How much is my organization eligible to apply for?
Your organization is eligible to request an amount equal to eligible incurred expenditures and estimated future expenditures due to COVID-19 from March 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020, less insurance proceeds or any other federal, state, local government, of other funding, or that your organization anticipates receiving, to meet these same needs and expenditures.
Due to the great overwhelming need for funds, however, the Douglas County CARES Arts, Culture, and& Entertainment CARES Fund Program may not meet 100 percent of the sector’s need. Awards may fund all or a portion of the requested need.
What counts as an expenditure due to COVID-19?
A wide range of expenditures due to the public health emergency may be eligible for this funding. Examples include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Expenses for acquisition and distribution of medical and protective supplies, including sanitizing products and personal protective equipment
- Expenses for cleaning and disinfection of facilities
- Expenses for quarantining individuals (not covered through other public health funds)
- Expenses for food delivery to vulnerable residents to enable compliance with public health precautions
- Expenses for equipment to improve telework capabilities
- Expenses for tools and supplies to support social distancing and related practice and service delivery changes necessary to mitigate the risks of COVID 19 transmission in public facilities and events
- Limited facility capital projects approved in advance to specifically mitigate the spread of COVID 19 during this public health emergency. Please contact OCF staff at firstname.lastname@example.org for prior approval before including these in the request.
Further guidance of allowable expenses can be found in the Treasury Department’s CARES Act Guidance FAQs.
Are salary costs or business loss considered allowable expenses?
Unfortunately, nonprofit salary expenses and losses associated with business closure or reduction are not allowable under the guidelines interpreted by Douglas County.
How can my organization demonstrate expenditures related to COVID-19?
Is this a first-come-first-served program?
No, there will be no priority afforded to those who apply early. All applications received by the September 23, 2020 deadline will be considered equally.
How will I know if my organization’s application has been received by the Omaha Community Foundation?
Organizations will receive a confirmation to the email address associated with its 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 “Submitted” menu. If you continue to have concerns over whether an application has been submitted, please contact us at email@example.com.
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 $10 million in available funding. Thus, it is likely that organizations awarded funding will receive less than their full requested amount.
Who will decide which organizations receive funding?
A Fund Committee of the Omaha Community Foundation will make grant determinations and the list of prospective grantees. These will then be submitted to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners for review.
Who will disburse these grants?
The Omaha Community Foundation will disburse grant awards directly to nonprofit grantees.
If an organization is awarded funding, for what purpose can these grants be used?
Based on current guidance, if funding is awarded for past eligible expenditures, then grant dollars are treated as reimbursement. If funding is awarded for future projected expenses, then it must be used specifically for those expenses.
Is there a deadline for the grant funds to be expended?
The language of the CARES Act requires that all expenses must be incurred by or before December 30, 2020, to be allowable as the basis for an award. Money awarded for estimated expenses must be spent by December 30, 2020. Funds not expended by this deadline may be required to return.
When will these grant dollars be distributed?
Grants will be made in October via an e-check system. Organizations will be required to have a completed SAM.gov registration and to have submitted a grant agreement signed by an authorized officer of the organization via OCF’s electronic grant portal before the e-check is issued.
Who is ineligible to apply for this program?
The following organizations are NOT eligible to apply for this funding:
- For-profit entities
- Organizations that are 501(c)(4)s or 501(c)(6)s
- Healthcare organizations – definition outlined in question below.
- Schools K-12 including charter, public, and private
- Booster clubs
- Municipalities, municipal subdivisions, or other government agencies
- Colleges or universities
- Assisted living and retirement communities
- Grant-making foundations
- Trade associations
- Credit unions
- Insurance trusts
- Entities that exist solely to administer scholarship funds and programs
- Country clubs, golf clubs, other private clubs
- Cemetery trusts and associations
- Fraternal orders
What are “healthcare organizations” for purposes of this fund that will not be eligible to apply?
Organizations that bill for clinical health care treatment and services are ineligible for the Douglas County CARES Fund as a healthcare organization. Organizations that do not provide clinical care and do not bill for health care reimbursement would be eligible to apply to the Douglas County CARES Fund.
What if my organization is eligible to apply for other CARES Act funds, but only for a small portion of our broad array of programs?
We recognize that some nonprofits provide a broad range of programs and services. If an organization has experienced significant expenditures for programs that are not eligible to apply for other CARES Act funds, the organization may apply to the Douglas County CARES Programs for the portions of its work that are not eligible for other Federal, State, or County grant programs. The application should be completed with focus only on these other portions of the work, and all request calculations must separate out programs that were eligible for other CARES Act funds. See the worksheet included in the application for more guidance.
Are faith-based or religious organizations eligible to apply?
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 benefits the larger community. E.g. 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 Douglas County, Nebraska?
Funding under this program is only available to support work taking place in Douglas County for Douglas County residents by organizations that have both paid/volunteer staff and a mailing address within Douglas County boundaries. The application should be completed with a focus only on Douglas County-specific work, and all financial submissions must separate out Douglas County activities from overall work.
What if we are headquartered inside of Douglas County, Nebraska, but also work in other counties or states?
The application should be completed with a focus only on Douglas County-specific work.
What if my organization received a PPP loan or other federal funds (for example the state of Nebraska’s Community Cares funding), 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 expenses. There is no “double dipping” — this program can fund only remaining expenses not covered by other financial assistance programs. In the application you will be asked to provide information on federal, state, local government and other funding you have received to cover COVID- related expenses between March 1-December 30, 2020.
If I am awarded a grant from the Douglas County CARES Not-for-Profit Assistance 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 if my organization has a pending application for other federal funds, but we do not yet know whether or how much other federal funding we may receive?
According to the CARES Act and related federal guidance, expenses that have been or will be reimbursed under any other federal program are ineligible for payment with these funds. Your organization will be required to manage this federal grant in concert with any other federal funding you may receive. If you subsequently receive other federal funds to reimburse for some of the same expenses that are the basis for a grant received under this program, you will be required to return any duplicative funds.
What kind of reporting will be required as a recipient of these funds?
Organizations being funded will be required to submit quarterly reports and a final program report to Omaha Community Foundation demonstrating all necessary and eligible business expenditures the funds were used for as of the reporting period. The final report will be due January 5, 2021. All expenditures must have been incurred between March 1, 2020 and December 30, 2020. Supporting receipts, invoices, bills and other similar documents or accounting records will be requested as part of the reporting process. Per guidance from the Department of Treasury, organizations should retain these records for a period of seven years as they may also be required to produce these materials as part of a future audit.
What criteria will be used to assess grant applications and determine how much funding applicants receive?
Applications will first be evaluated as to basic program eligibility, and whether they have documented allowable expenses under the CARES Act. This program will fund nonprofits across a broad range of program areas (human services, youth, etc.) The amount of funding awarded, assuming that total requests exceed available funds, will also take into account the following criteria:
- Populations served by the organization
- Communities served by the organization
There will be priority in allocating funding for applicant organizations serving vulnerable populations, those operating in low-income communities, those with a strong demonstrated track record of impact, and those meeting critical community needs — especially where those needs are COVID-19 related. Such priority weighting is expected to inform the scale of recommended awards, rather than whether an applicant is recommended for a grant. Again, we encourage all kinds of eligible nonprofits to apply.
Are financial audits required for this grant program?
No financial audit is required for application to this program. However, nonprofits that receive and expend more than $750,000 in combined federal funds in any fiscal year, including any grant received under this Douglas County CARES Fund, or under other CARES Act programs, will be subject to a federal single audit. Learn more information about the requirement here.
Who do I call if I have a question about my application?
Email any question to firstname.lastname@example.org — please be sure to 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?
The Omaha Community Foundation will receive a portion of the funds available to cover administrative, legal, and audit services. The Omaha Community Foundation is responsible for administering the grant program, reporting processes, and ongoing monitoring required with distributing federal funding.
Can an organization apply for both the Douglas County CARES Not-for-Profit Assistance Program and the Douglas County CARES Arts, Culture and Entertainment Program?
An organization is only able to participate in either the Douglas County CARES Act Program or the Douglas County CARES Arts, Culture and Entertainment Program. If you have a question of which fund should receive your application, please email us at email@example.com or call 402-884-0450 for assistance.
Community members have generously donated money to my organization to support similar work. Can the CARES 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.
Some individuals that my organization serves are immigrants, refugees, and others with undocumented status. Can these funds be used to support these individuals?
Consistent with the regulations outlined in the CARES Act, recipients of support must be a U.S. citizen or qualified resident alien.