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GRANT Q AND A FOR NON PROFITS

Updated: 7/27/20

Q: Where does the funding come from for the OPENTogether Non-Profit Grant Program?

A: The funding for this program comes from $90 million in federal Coronavirus Relief Funds awarded to Spokane County as part of the federal CARES Act. Spokane County Commissioners recently dedicated $10 million of these funds to small business and nonprofit relief and contracted with Greater Spokane Incorporated (GSI) to administer the awards in cooperation with Innovia Foundation, Spokane Valley Chamber of Commerce and other partners.

Q: How does my organization apply for this funding?

A: Program information and links to applications can be accessed at: https://greaterspokane.org/opentogether-small-business-and-non-profit-grant/

Nonprofit representatives should view eligibility criteria and qualified applicants will create an organizational profile to begin the application process.

Q: How long will the application period be live?

A: The application period will be open for two weeks beginning at Monday, July 27 and closing at 11:59 p.m. on Monday, August 10.

Q: Who is eligible to apply?

A: Applicants must be a Spokane County 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations. Non-501(c)(3) organizations may apply with a 501(c)(3) fiscal sponsor. Consistent with the CARES Act, organizations must demonstrate that they incurred or will incur necessary expenditures and/or financial losses due to the COVID-19 public health emergency between March 1 and December 30, 2020. Further eligibility details are described below.

  • established and operating prior to March 1, 2019,
  • current annual operating budget greater than $10,000
  • have not permanently ceased operations,
  • in good standing with the Washington State Secretary of State and Department of Labor & Industries,

Q: How much is my organization eligible to apply for?

A: Organizations are eligible to request an amount equal to all actual expenditures/losses and estimated future expenditures/losses incurred due to COVID-19 from March 1, 2020 through December 30, 2020, less any other federal emergency loans or grants received, or that you anticipate receiving, to meet these same needs/expenditures. Awards are capped at $10,000 per organization and awards may be prorated as necessary to meet needs reported by applicants. It is anticipated that this program will not meet 100% of reported need from the sector.

Q: What counts as an expenditure and/or loss due to COVID-19?

A: A variety of expenditures or losses related to the COVID public health emergency may be eligible for this funding. Examples include, but are not limited to:

Expenditures:

  • Expenses for acquiring or distributing medical and protective supplies, including sanitizing products and personal protective equipment
  • Expenses for cleaning and disinfection of workplace or facilities
  • Expenses for quarantining individuals
  • Emergency financial assistance provided to individuals and families directly impacted by loss of income due to the public health emergency
  • Expenses for food delivery to vulnerable residents to enable compliance with public health precautions
  • Costs for additional staff hours to address new or enhanced direct care needs, or to replace volunteers rendered unavailable due to the public health emergency
  • Expenses for telework-related equipment or technology
  • Capital improvement projects incurred specifically to mitigate spread of the virus during this public health emergency (i.e. workplace re-configuration)

Net Losses:

  • Net losses due to cancellation of fundraising events (resulting from stay-at-home orders or to promote social distancing)
  • Net losses due to reduced earned revenues (e.g. ticket sales, memberships) because of business or facility closures due to stay-at-home orders or to promote social distancing
  • Net losses due to reduced earned revenues because of decreased public demand or change in organizational activity resulting from the public health emergency

Q: How can my organization demonstrate expenditures or losses related to COVID-19?

A: The spreadsheet included with the application material provides four worksheets with eligible reimbursement categories: actual expenses, actual net losses, projected expenses and projected net losses. All financial impacts must be related to the COVID public health emergency and must occur between March and December 2020. If you need further assistance, please email info@innovia.org.

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

A: No, the application will be open through August 10, 2020 and all eligible applicants will be considered equally.

Q: Who will decide which organizations receive funding?

A: A Grants Committee comprised of a diverse group of community representatives will select grant recipients based on application criteria as well as extent of business interruptions and financial impacts due to the COVID public health emergency.

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

A: Applications will first be evaluated as to basic program eligibility, and whether organization demonstrates expenses and/or losses allowable under the CARES Act. This program is intended to fund nonprofits and charitable organizations across a broad range of program areas (human services, youth, arts, environment, civic engagement, etc.). Specifically, these grants are meant to support:

  • Nonprofit organizations that mitigate the critical public health and economic impacts of the COVID-19 crisis for residents who rely on those organizations for critical services.
  • Nonprofit organizations that contribute to economic, cultural, and civic vitality. This includes, but is not limited to, arts organizations, community development corporations, organizations that provide safe outdoor places for people to recreate, community-based organizations that deliver timely and sometimes life-saving information about COVID-19, and civic organizations that build strong communities. 
  • Coalitions, networks, and collaboratives of nonprofit organizations that maximize cooperation and impact to meet urgent needs in Spokane County.

The amount of funding awarded, assuming that total requests exceed available funds, will also take into account the following criteria

  • Vulnerable or underserved populations served by the organization
  • Communities served by the organization (geographic/neighborhood representation)
  • Organization’s record of accomplishment and impact
  • Community need met by the organization

All types of eligible nonprofits are encouraged to apply, and the objective of this program is to award qualified funding to as many eligible applicants as possible.

Q: When will recipients know if they have been selected for an award?

A: Awards will be announced between Monday, August 31 and Friday, September 4.

Q: If an organization is awarded funding, for what purpose can these grants be used?

A: Based on current guidance, if funding is awarded for past eligible losses or expenditures then grant dollars are treated as reimbursement and can be used for any purposes consistent with the organization’s mission. If funding is awarded for future projected expenses then it must be used specifically for those expenses.

Q: When will these grant dollars be distributed?

A: Selected recipients can expect to receive the funds within 4-5 weeks of the application close date.

Q: Who is ineligible to apply for this program?

A: The following organizations are NOT eligible to apply for this funding:

  • K-12 schools (including charter, public, private)
  • Colleges and universities
  • Hospitals, medical research, and healthcare entities that bill for clinical treatment
  • Professional societies and associations
  • Grantmaking foundations and charitable trusts
  • Fraternal organizations
  • Nonprofit organizations without 501(c)(3) status (unless partnered with a 501c3 fiscal sponsor organization)
  • Churches or religious organizations, except for specific programs with direct service offered to general public without regard to faith, affiliation, religious belief or practice, and that are provided in a non-discriminatory way that benefits the larger community
  • Single Support Organizations

Q: What if my organization is headquartered outside of Spokane County?

A: Funding under this program is only available to support organizations with both staff and physical facilities that are primarily located within Spokane County boundaries. The application and financial submissions should be completed with a focus only on Spokane County-specific work.

Q: If my organization is not a stand-alone 501(c)(3) and relies upon a fiscal sponsor are we still eligible to submit an application?

A: Yes, an eligible nonprofit organization registered with the Washington State Secretary of State may submit an application with the assistance of a fiscal agent that has 501(c)(3) status. If you have questions or would like to discuss this further, please send an email to info@innovia.org.

Q: What if my organization received a PPP loan or other federal funds, or expects to receive other federal funds? Am I still eligible to apply?

A: Yes, however you will be asked to specify how much you received, or expect to receive, in other federal emergency related loans or grants. There is no “double dipping” — this program can fund only remaining expenses or losses not covered by other federal funds.

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

A: There are no narrative reports required for recipients as part of this grant program. However, supporting receipts, invoices, bills and other similar documents or accounting records may be requested as part of a potential future audit. If information provided is found to be inaccurate or awarded grant amount exceeds eligible expenses or estimated losses, a grantee may be required to return funds.

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

A: The language of the CARES Act requires that all expenses or revenue losses must be incurred by or before December 30, 2020 to be allowable as the basis for an award. If funds are awarded to compensate for revenue losses that are actual or estimated will occur before December 30, there is no specific timeframe for nonprofits to expend these funds. Money awarded for estimated expenses must be spent by December 30, 2020.

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

A: Email any question to info@innovia.org — please be sure to include your contact information and your organization’s name in the subject line. For assistance, you may also call 1-509-624-2606.