McLean County Board of Health (553 Board) - Mental Health and Substance Abuse

On Monday, August 10th, the McLean County Board of Health (553 Board) released a Request for Proposal (RFP) effective from August 10, 2020 through September 20, 2020.  The four funding focus areas for Calendar Year 2021 (January 1, 2021 through December 31, 2021) are the following:

  • Crisis Response
  • Youth Services
  • Adult Services
  • Specialty Courts

553 RFP Document:
CY21 RFP (553 Board)

Video from virtual Q&A on August 17, 2020.
All questions must be in written form and emailed to the solicitation contact no later than September 16, 2020 at 11:59pm.

553 BOARD FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQS)

APPLICATION QUESTIONS:

Q. Will we be specifying the specific area/category we will be focusing on and can we choose more than one?

A. In the application the agency will put what specific funding focus area they are requesting funds for. An agency can apply for funding for more than one program. An agency can apply for funding for programs from more different focus areas. Even within a single focus area, an agency can apply for funding for multiple programs. Every individual program an agency is requesting funds for must have a separate application completed.

Q. If we do not have a program director because the Executive Director would be overseeing the program and other staff providing direct services, do we put the ED in the contact information for the Program Director or simply put N/A because it would be redundant information?

A. Provide the Executive Director’s information in the spaces provided for Executive Director and Program Director. You can notate in the application that the Executive Director will serve dual roles.

Q. Since we submit these by email and it requires a signature, is it ok to provide an e-signature versus printing, signing, and scanning?

A. E-Signatures are considered an acceptable signature on the application.

Q. Is it best to ask for the same amount we got last year?

A. It is the agency’s discretion on the amount of money to request for funding. An agency does not have to request the amount historically received for a specific program. The budget can be used as a tool to help identify the amount of money the agency needs to request; i.e. the estimated total cost of the program minus the amount expected to receive in other funding sources (including fee for services) to come up with the amount to request for BOH funding. An explanation of the funding being requested should be explained in appropriate parts in the application and throughout the budget.

Q. Is it okay to attach letters of support to our proposals? If so, should we just attach them to the email along with the proposal?

A. Yes, an agency can attach letters of support to their proposal as this is a common RFP practice. However, this process is not a mandatory part of the Board of Health’s RFP process. Please attach the letters of support in the same email as the proposal and indicated the letters of support are part of the offer.

Q. This year there are 3 types of sustainability listed, Community, Financial, and Organizational. Can you define these terms? 

A. Community Sustainability can be defined as a description of the need for the program to be in the community and the way the community will continue to be engaged in the program long-term. What are ways the program will remain alive and well within the community; i.e. volunteers, improving health equity, promoting inclusiveness, etc?

Financial Sustainability can be defined as the plan for the program to be sustained long-term; especially if funding were to be reduced or discontinued. What is the financial life of the program?

Organizational Sustainability can be defined as the overall health of the organization. How will the organization continue to provide the program requesting funding for; including the infrastructure, personnel/ staffing, etc.?

Q. For the item "Describe the length of time over which the program will offer services to participants" I wanted to clarify what was sought. Is this something along the lines of the average duration a client is in the program or more program based in terms of will the program offer services the entire funding period or just part of it (e.g. for new programs, services will start in March, etc. or this proposal won't start until 8/1 as that is when the current funded program ends).

A. This question is asking the length of time a participant can be active in the program. Some participants may only be able to participate for 6 months; whereas some may be able to participate indefinitely as long as there is a need.

Q. If we have numerous letters of support for a given program, would you prefer each letter be sent as an individual attachment or would you prefer that all letters be bundled in one attachment?

A. Letters of support can be included in the collaboration section of the application. One attachment that includes all letter is preferred.

BUDGET QUESTIONS:

Q. Is there a specific cap on indirect administrative costs?

A. Again in CY21, 10% cap for indirect administrative costs. Some agencies have a higher indirect administrative cost rate than 10%, so these agencies would list the other monies for the indirect administrative cost rate in the “Non-MCHD Total” section of the budget template.

Q. It appears some of the formulas are off on the budget? For example, on the MCHD Funds tab, it is including the revenue we are requesting from MCHD in the line 10, when it should only be totaling the direct costs, not any revenue. Or am I missing something?

A. The budget was corrected to address this problem. The updated budget was sent to the agencies that requested the RFP package. Please be specific in any other accounting errors identified in the budget and they will be specifically addressed.

Q. Is Occupancy not something the grant covers or is that considered Indirect?

A. The agency’s overall occupancy cost could be part of the funding in the indirect cost. However, renting a specific space to provide programming requesting Board of Health funding for could be requested for funding as a contractual line item.

Q. Are salaries limited to only staff who are providing direct services or can an Executive Director who may have some client interaction (due to being a small agency), but working on administrative components as it relates to the grant, such as grant reporting, financial reports, etc be covered in salaries or would that be indirect?

A. Salaries do not have to be specific to staff providing direct services. Salaries are based on the amount of time said staff member is serving the program being provided by the Board of Health. The time a staff member, including Executive Director, is spending specific to the program being partly funded/ funded by the Board of Health must be documented to indicate that amount of actual time working in program funded by Board of Health.

The Executive Director’s time that is spent as administrative time to operate the agency can also be part of the indirect administrative cost rate.

Just to ensure clarity, the Executive Director’s salary can be included as a certain percentage of salary based on amount of time spent in the program partly funded/ funded by the Board of Health and their salary can be part of the indirect administrative cost.

Q. If 100% of a staff's job is to provide the services outlined in the grant, but not all their funding will be requested of MCHD, then will we still show the % we are requesting vs saying 100% of their time is spent doing those activities?

A. Yes; an agency does not have to request funding for a staff member’s total time spent in the program partly funded/ funded by the Board of Health. However, a staff member must work in the program at the minimum rate being partly funded/ funded by the Board of Health.

Q. If we are not requesting any funds from MCHD for a particular line item, do we still break down the costs and narrative in the non MCHD section of the specific tab? For example: If we will be paying staff travel, but all of those funds will be paid out of non MCHD funds, such as contributions or some other grant, then do we still list it in the travel tab under the non MCHD breakdown?

A. Yes, still provide that information in the budget. The reason for all of the non-MCHD and MCHD expenses and revenues being included in the budget is so that the Board of Health can identify the percentage of the program they will be funding by knowing the full cost of the program.

Q. If we are applying for more than one focus area do we do a separate budget for each or will that be combined into one? If we were to do separate budgets, then the focus area not specifically being written for in that particular excel sheet would only have one other place to go and that is in the non-MCHD budget tab and that didn't seem correct.

A. Each focus area will have a separate budget and application. An agency applying for more than one focus area within the same program will still do two budgets. If an agency is applying for funding for two different focus areas, it is correct that the one focus area within the same program that is not being applied for would be part of the non-MCHD budget. All of this should be noted in each budget to help with clarity.