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National Crime Victim Law Institute

FAQ

Q:     What types of entities are eligible to apply for the Increase Legal Access in Rural Areas subaward?

A:     Eligible applicants are limited to private nonprofit organizations (including tribal nonprofit organizations), faith- and community-based organizations, colleges and universities (including tribal institutions of higher education), and public agencies, federally recognized Indian tribal governments (as determined by the Secretary of the Interior), or tribal organizations that can demonstrate knowledge and understanding of civil legal representation for crime victims and the range of services needed; and the capacity to partner with other organizations and key stakeholders to deliver comprehensive, seamless legal services to victims.  A private nonprofit organization does not have to have 501(c)(3) status to apply for funding under this solicitation.

Q:     May more than one entity collaborate to work as one proposed program and submit one application for the Increase Legal Access in Rural Areas subaward?

A:     Yes.  The application materials should identify the lead applicant and partner entities joining in the application.

Q:     When is the letter of intent (LOI) for applying for the Increase Legal Access in Rural Areas subaward due?

A:     The LOI is due no later than April 11, 2018. Submitting an LOI is optional but will help NCVLI gauge the number and diversity of rural areas in anticipated submissions.

Q:     Is it possible to get more information about the Increase Legal Access in Rural Areas project before applying?

A:     Yes.  A pre-application informational webinar will be hosted on April 12, 2018 at 12:00pm (Pacific).  Participation is optional. Register here.  

Q:     Do I have to attend the informational webinar in order to submit an application?

A:     No, participation is optional.

Q:  We missed the webinar. Can we still access the information shared during that webinar before applying?

A:   A recording of the information webinar can be found here

Q:     We missed the deadline to submit a letter of intent (LOI) to apply. Are we still eligible to apply?

A:     Yes.  The application period is open to all until 5:00pm (Pacific) on May 30, 2018, irrespective of submission of a LOI.

Q:     Are we bound by what we submitted in the letter of intent (LOI) (e.g., lead agency name)?

A:     You are not bound by what you submitted in the LOI. Please submit the most complete application possible.

Q:     When is the Subaward Application due to NCVLI?

A:     Completed applications must be received no later than 5pm (Pacific) on May 30, 2018.  This deadline is true regardless of the method of submission.

Q:     How do I apply?

A:     The preferred method of submission is completion of the online application form here.

These two alternative means of applying exist:                                                                                         
(1)    Email an application to: ncvli@lclark.edu with a re: line of “Application for Subgrant Funding to Increase Legal Services.”
(2)    Mail a completed application to National Crime Victim Law Institute, Attn:  Increasing Access Grant, at 1130 SW Morrison St., Suite 200, Portland, Oregon 97205. 

Q:     What is the duration of the Increase Legal Access in Rural Areas project? 

A:     Selected sites will enter into a subaward contract with NCVLI and will receive subaward funding anticipated to start in summer 2018 and continue through August 31, 2020.

Q:     How much money will be subawarded to each selected site?

A:     NCVLI anticipates awarding up to three subawards in amounts up to $750,000 each.  These funds are for the entire project period (i.e., continuing through August 31, 2020).

Q:     How should our application define a rural area?

A:     “Rural” is not pre-defined. Rather, as noted in the Request for Proposal (RFP), applicants are to provide their definition of “rural area” or “rural community” and explain why the targeted area meets this definition. This requirement is part of the “Specific Community Need” section of the narrative application.

Q:     What are the formatting requirements for this application?

A:     Each application must include an Abstract, Narrative, Capabilities & Competencies, Time Task Plan, Logic Model and Project Budget.

The Abstract should not exceed one side of one double-spaced, 8 ½ x 11-inch page with 1 inch margins.

The Narrative may not exceed 12 pages and must be submitted on one side only of 8 ½ x 11-inch paper using double spacing, a minimum of 1-inch margins on all four sides, and a type no smaller than standard 12-point Times New Roman font.  The narrative page limit does not include the Abstract, Capabilities & Competencies, TimeTask Plan, Budget or any Appendices. 

Appendices are optional but may include key staff resumes, organizational resumes, and letters of support/memoranda of understanding.

Q:     Can we use a format of our choice for the logic model required for the application?

A:     Yes. A sample logic model is available online.

Q:     Is there a sample budget worksheet?

A:     A sample Budget Detail Worksheet is available here

Q:     Can we submit supplemental materials to the application (e.g., letters of support)?

A:      Yes.  Supplemental materials such as letters of support, memoranda of understanding, and key staff resumes are welcome but are not required.

Q:     How will the application be evaluated?

A:     NCVLI staff will review applications for completeness and responsiveness to the solicitation. Responsive applications will then be reviewed by NCVLI and its Project Partners.  Recommendations will then be made to OVC who retains final selection authority.

Q:     Who will provide technical assistance and training to subgrantees?

A:     NCVLI together with Project Partners Pro Bono Net and the National Network to End Domestic Violence’s Safety Net Project, and other agencies as necessary, will provide technical assistance and training throughout the life of the Project. 

Q:     When will NCVLI make a selection?

A:     NCVLI anticipates announcing subaward selections by June 30, 2018.

* Update: NCVLI anticipates announcing subaward selections by July, 2018. 

Q:     Who will the selected sites contract with?

A:     The selected sites will enter into a subaward contract with NCVLI.

Q:     If we already use technology in our legal services work can we use this subgrant to enhance our technology rather than creating a new platform?

A:     Yes.

Q:     Can we use subgrant money to purchase hardware, software, and/or related technological services?

A:     Yes.

Q:     Are indirect costs allowed?

A:     Yes.  If you have a negotiated indirect cost rate that can be included in your budget, you should submit a copy of your rate as a supplemental material.

Q:     What type of technical assistance and training will be made available?

A:     Programmatic development and management, technological, legal, and other technical assistance will be provided.

Q:     What ongoing obligations do subgrantee rural sites have to NCVLI/OVC?

A:     Sites will be required to collaborate with each other and with NCVLI through participation in regular check-in calls, technology-assisted meetings, technology-assisted trainings, site visits, and an in-person training; participation in evaluation efforts (including data collection); and submission of reports.

 

Questions Asked During Informational Webinar or Submitted via Email

Q:     We have capacity for internal program evaluation; is it necessary to conduct an external evaluation?

A:     No. Subgrantees are not expected to conduct an external evaluation of their own program. Subgrantees are expected to cooperate and collaborate with NCVLI’s external evaluation of the Project, including collecting data that “will be used to evaluate the program’s effectiveness. Examples of these units of measure include: (1) number of victims who received legal services; (2) types of legal issues attorneys work on; (3) the number of attorneys trained; (4) the number of hours provided by pro or low bono attorneys; and (5) cost-effectiveness of the program and services, such as cost per victim for services provided by the site. Performance measures must do more than describe the delivered activity, service or product; instead they must measure the impact of the project. Examples of these measures include: (1) new capacities or improved responses to victims; (2) knowledge gained; (3) satisfaction data; (4) new policies and protocols for serving victims in the community; (5) impact on the victims’ well-being; and (6) other measures of the project’s benefit to the field of victim legal services.” RFP at p. 4.

Q:     Can you reference any best practice models that we should consider before submitting application?

A:     The RFP is seeking innovative approaches to the provision of holistic legal services in rural communities. Because each community is unique, the hope is that applicants will propose a model best suited to the community or communities which they seek to serve.

Q:     Are personnel costs allowed?

A:     Yes. As stated in the RFP, the application must include a “Program Budget”. The budget must detail all costs related to the activities proposed in the application; and applicants must justify the costs of individual items, such as personnel, showing how the costs were computed.

Q:     Was the non-binding letter of intent a requirement of application?

A:     No.

Q:     May we continue to submit questions to be included in the FAQs?\

A:     Yes, you may submit additional questions via email at ncvli@lclark.edu. To expedite responses please include “Subgrant Funding to Increase Legal Services” in the subject line of all communications.

Q:     Will more weight be given towards applications that have multiple community partners?

A:     Each application should identify the partners necessary to achieve the goals of the proposed program. Because each rural community to be served is unique, each application will be reviewed to see if the partners identified will aid successful achievement of all goals and objectives in the targeted community.

Q:     If a program does not have a specific site-based technology, but is looking to make technology available for victims statewide or nationwide, will it be eligible?

A:     The type and scope of “technology” that may be funded by the Project is not pre-defined. Rather, as noted in the RFP, applicants should identify any existing technology being used or that may be leveraged to increase access to legal services to the targeted community, and/or identify any technology planned to be developed and deployed.

Q:     Do we need to page number each part of the application?

A:     You are not required to include page numbers for each part of the application. The preferred format for page number is “Page X of Y”.

Q:     Does the Program Narrative formatting requirements pertain to the other elements (i.e., Capabilities and Competencies, Budget, Resumes, Letters of Support, etc.)?\

A:     Yes. While the RFP does not expressly identify the formatting requirements for (1) the “Capabilities and Competencies” and “Program Budget” sections, as well as (2) the optional supplemental materials such as resumes and letters of support, please follow the same page formatting requirements: one side only of an 8 ½ x 11-inch paper using double spacing, a minimum of 1-inch margins on all four sides, and a type no smaller than standard 12-point Times New Roman font.

Q:     If direct legal services (such as attorney services) are not provided by lead applicant organization may those services (e.g., attorney services) be provided by a partner and costs specified in the budget?

A:     Yes.

Q:     Is a logic model required? If yes, what length and format are required and does it count against the page limit of the Narrative?

A:     Yes. While the RFP does not detail the requirement of a logic model, best practices in project development and management recommend use of a logic model. Consequently, please include a logic model. The length and format of any submitted logic model is at the choice of the applicant and its inclusion will not count against the page limits of the Narrative. A sample logic model is available online.

Q:     Are formal memoranda of understanding (MOU) between project partners required?

A:     While formal MOUs are not required at the application phase they will be expected during project execution.

Q:     Is there an advantage if the project is national in scope (e.g., rural areas throughout US), vs state/regional in scope?

A:     No. Each application should define the rural community it seeks to assist.

Q:     Should we budget funding for the required trainings?

A:     A project budget may include funding for internal and external training that an applicant identifies as necessary for achieving program goals and objectives. Training and technical assistance will also be provided by NCVLI and its project partners throughout the project at no cost to the subgrantee.

Q:     The Time Task Plan is not part of the narrative page limit. Will it be uploaded separately? Section IV.B. 1 requires it to be in the sequence prior to the evaluation information, which is part of the page limit on the narrative.

A:     The Time Task Plan should be included as part of the Program Narrative, which should be submitted as a single file. Applicants simply do not need to count the Time Task Plan pages toward the 12-page limit.

Q:     Is the “Evaluation Plan” included in the narrative page limit for these proposals?
A:     Yes. As noted in the RFP, the Program Narrative should include sections on Specific Community Need, Project Design, Time-Task Plan and Evaluation Methods. Therefore, the pages that address applicants’ plans concerning Evaluation Methods count toward the Program Narrative page limit.

Q:     Who can the clients be? Does the project need to serve all crime victims or is it okay if it only serves domestic violence victims?

A:     The Project does not require subgrantees to serve all crime victim populations. It does require the subgrantees to provide holistic legal services, including victims’ rights enforcement in criminal cases, to the victims in their targeted community.

Q:     Can you please clarify whether proposals to fund rural victim legal assistance can include assistance for civil legal issues affecting victims of crime, such as divorce, custody and immigration?

A:     Yes, the subaward may fund legal assistance for civil legal issues affecting victims of crime—such as divorce, custody, and immigration, and others—so long as the legal issues and responsive legal assistance is clearly related to or arising from the client’s victimization.

Q:     Can you provide a list of organizations who have previously received funding from this Project?

A:      As noted in the RFP, OVC launched the Increasing Legal Access to Victims of Crime: Innovations in Access to Justice Program in fiscal year 2017. The Rural Sites selected during this RFP process will be the first organizations funded by this Program to leverage technology to provide holistic legal assistance and services to crime victims in rural communities.

Q:     If we do not have an indirect cost rate is there a de minimis amount we can use?
A:     Yes, the de minimis rate that can be used is 10%.

Q:     Is assistance only for low-income communities? And, if yes, what is the income threshold?
A:     No. Subgrantees are not required to use the subaward funds only for low-income communities; there is no income threshold. The application should discuss the targeted community’s need for the services.

Q:     Does technology include secured communication networks/apps to reach victims in rural areas?
A:     The type and scope of “technology” that may be funded by the Project is not pre-defined. Rather, as noted in the RFP, applicants should identify any existing technology being used or that may be leveraged to increase access to legal services to the target community.

Q:     Does a subgrantee have to provide direct legal representation or can they provide non-legal consultation and referrals to local legal services?
A:     The subaward must fund the provision of direct legal representation of victims in the targeted community. The lead applicant does not have to be the one that provides direct legal services so long as funded project partner(s) will provide direct legal services in the targeted community.

Q:     Should the project cover a specific legal area or all areas the client is in need of?
A:     The purpose of the Project is to fund sites that will leverage technology to provide holistic legal services to victims. The application should identify the lead applicant and any proposed partners’ capacities and capabilities and how together they can provide holistic legal services to crime victims. Neither the lead applicant nor any individual partner, on its own, is required to have the internal capacity to provide legal services in all subject matter areas (e.g., housing, employment, immigration, criminal rights enforcement). The Project anticipates subgrantees may leverage pro bono or low bono attorneys to achieve the goals of the Project.

Q:     The Narrative is 12 pages, not including the Time Task Plan, but the time Task Plan is required to be included in the narrative sequence. Should it be placed before evaluation methods in the narrative (and within the 12 pages) or after evaluation methods (and outside the 12 pages)?
A:     Applicants may elect to place the Time Task Plan in any order in the Program Narrative. Applicants simply do not need to count the Time Task Plan pages toward the 12-page limit.

Q:     Is there a particular citation format that is preferred for the Increase Legal Access in Rural Areas Project application narrative?
A:     There is no preferred citation format. Applicants can use the citation format for which they are most familiar.

Q.    We are interested in using LawHelpInteractive.org to develop and host online, interactive court forms or legal documents to use in the provision of legal services to victims. What is the cost to develop the forms?

A.    The cost to develop online forms hosted on LawHelpInteractive.org depends on several factors such as the complexity of the form, whether it will be developed in multiple languages, and the subgrantee’s preferred approach to developing the forms, for example if the subgrantee chooses to have a trained staff member develop the forms in-house or uses a third-party contractor to develop the forms. To assist programs in estimating the cost to develop forms, NCVLI’s Project Partner Pro Bono Net can provide an initial contact list of contractors who develop online forms for the nonprofit civil legal services community. Pro Bono Net can also let programs know if the form(s) they are considering developing already exist on LawHelpInteractive.org. Once developed, the forms can be hosted and used on LawHelpInteractive.org at no cost to the subgrantee or its nonprofit partners.

Q.     How can I learn more about the Closing the Gap platform discussed in the webinar and what is involved in potentially replicating this technology for our project?

A.    To learn about how the Closing the Gap technology platform is currently being used in rural civil legal services delivery in Northeastern New York, please visit the Legal Aid Society of Northeaster New York’s website, (https://www.lasnny.org/volunteer/closing-the-gap). NCVLI’s Project Partner Pro Bono Net is available to provide additional information on training, technical assistance and technology development for programs that may be interested in leveraging this or similar technology to provide holistic legal services in rural communities.

Q:      Does the the Times New Roman 12-point font requirement apply to footnotes and endnotes as well?
A:      Yes, the 12 point Times New Roman font requirement applies to endnotes and footnotes.

Q:     Do references count against the Narrative page limit?

A:     Yes, the 12 page limit for the Narrative includes references for any Narrative content.

Q:     When filling out the budget template are we to request funds for both years or just the first year?
A:     The budget must detail costs for the entirety of the project. It is anticipated the project will commence in summer 2018 and continue until August 31, 2020. For each year of the project, the lead applicant will enter the budgeted items and their costs on a budget detail worksheet with a thorough justification for all costs, including the basis for computing the costs.

Q:     We would like to request a legal assistant to support the staff attorney in providing legal services to victims of crime. Is this a cost that would be supported by the project?
A:     Applicants may determine personnel at their discretion. Legal, administrative, technology personnel or consultants are all permissible. Applicants must justify the cost of any personnel in the project budget.

Q:  What types of entities are eligible to apply to be the Increase Rural Legal Access Evaluator?

A:  Eligible applicants are limited to private nonprofit organizations (including tribal nonprofit organizations), faith- and community-based organizations, colleges and universities (including tribal institutions of higher education), and public agencies, or federally recognized Indian tribal governments (as determined by the Secretary of the Interior), or tribal organizations that can demonstrate knowledge of comprehensive evaluation plan design and implementation and evidence-based assessment of impact and efficacy of legal interventions, particularly in rural communities or when innovative technological interventions are used.  A private nonprofit organization does not have to have 501(c)(3) status to apply for funding under this solicitation.

 

Questions Specific to the Evaluator RFP 

Q:  May more than one entity collaborate to work as one proposed program and submit one application to be the Increase Rural Legal Access Evaluator?

A:  Yes.  The application materials should identify the lead applicant and partner entities joining in the application.

Q: Is a letter of intent (LOI ) required?

A: Submitting an LOI is not required to apply.

Q:  When is the Evaluator Application due to NCVLI?

A: Completed applications must be received no later than 5pm (Pacific) on July 15, 2018.  This deadline is true regardless of the method of submission.

Q: How do I apply?

A: The preferred method of submission is completion of the online application form here.

      These two alternative means of applying exist. 

(1)   Emailing an application to: ncvli@lclark.edu with a re: line of “Application for Increase Rural Legal Access Evaluator.”

(2)   Mail a completed application to National Crime Victim Law Institute, Attn:  Increasing Access Grant, at 1130 SW Morrison St., Suite 200, Portland, Oregon 97205. 

Q: What is the duration of the Increase Legal Access to Rural Victims of Crime Project? 

A: The Evaluator activities will roughly coincide with the activities of the three rural sites, anticipated to start in summer 2018 and continue through August 31, 2020.

Q: How much money will be awarded to the Evaluator?

A: NCVLI anticipates awarding up to $50,000.  These funds are for the entire project period (i.e., continuing through August 31, 2020).

Q:  What are the formatting requirements for this application?

A: Each application must include an Abstract, Narrative, Time-Task Plan, and Program Budget.

      The Abstract should not exceed one side of one double-spaced, 8 ½ x 11-inch page with 1 inch margins.

      The Narrative may not exceed 10 single-sided 8 ½ x 11 inch pages using double spacing, a minimum of 1-inch margins on all four sides, and a type no smaller than standard 12-point Times New Roman font.  The narrative page limit does not include the Abstract, Time-Task Plan, Evaluation Integrity Letter, Budget or any Appendices. 

      Appendices are optional but may include key staff resumes, organizational resumes, and letters of support/memoranda of understanding.

Q: When will NCVLI make a selection?

A: NCVLI anticipates announcing the Evaluator selection in August 2018.

Q: Who will the evaluator be in a direct relationship with OVC or NCVLI?

A: The evaluator will be in a direct relationship with NCVLI.  This relationship will either be that of a subaward agreement or a consultant contract with NCVLI.

Q:  What ongoing obligations will the evaluator have to NCVLI/OVC?

A: The Project Evaluator will be required to collaborate with NCVLI, OVC, and the three rural sites through participation in regular check-in calls and technology-assisted meetings to ensure data collection and evaluation efforts are measuring project impacts and outcomes; and submission of reports.

Q:  How will the Project Evaluator coordinate with any individual site evaluation efforts?

A:  The rural sites are not expected to conduct an external evaluation of their own program but are expected to cooperate and collaborate with NCVLI’s external evaluation of the Project, including collecting data that will be used to evaluate the program’s effectiveness and impact. See RFP Exhibit A for evaluation considerations and performance metrics necessary for NCVLI’s primary contract reporting to OVC.

Q:  Does the Program Narrative formatting requirements pertain to the other elements (i.e., Evaluation Integrity Letter, Budget, Resumes, Letters of Support, etc.)?

A:  Yes.  While the RFP does not expressly identify the formatting requirements for (1) the “Evaluation Integrity Letter” and “Program Budget” sections, as well as (2) the optional supplemental materials such as resumes and letters of support, please follow the same page formatting requirements:  one side only of an 8 ½ x 11-inch paper using double spacing, a minimum of 1-inch margins on all four sides, and a type no smaller than standard 12-point Times New Roman font. 

Q:  The Time Task Plan is not part of the narrative page limit.  Will it be uploaded separately?

A:  The Time Task Plan should be included as part of the Program Narrative, which should be submitted as a single file.  Applicants simply do not need to count the Time Task Plan pages toward the 10 page limit.

Q:   Can indirect costs be included in the subaward budget?

 A:    There is no established indirect cost rate for this project.  Rather, if applicants have a negotiated  indirect cost rate that they are choosing to use such rate may be included in the budget and applicants should submit a copy of that rate as a supplement to the application.  If the applicant does not have a negotiated indirect cost rate but wants to use one the de minimis rate that can be used is 10%.

For more information, please email NCVLI at ncvli@lclark.edu.  To expedite responses please include “Increasing Legal Services” in the re: line.

This Project is supported by Grant No. 2017-VF-GX-K130, awarded by the Office for Victims of Crime, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. The opinions, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this Project are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.