GRANT FAQs


To save time and effort before applying, please review answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the ABC Board application process.


GETTING STARTED

Before Applying

Welcome to the Mecklenburg County ABC Board's FY 2021 Community Health & Wellness Grant Program application process. Carefully read these FAQs, the Guidelines and Terms, and the information provided on the Community Outreach menu web pages at www.meckabc.com to check the applicant organization’s eligibility.

As a reminder:

New this year, there are four (4) different grant programs under the umbrella Community Health & Wellness Grant Program of the ABC Board: Small Grant Program; Renewal Grant Program; Annual Grant Program; and Multi-Year Grant Program.

 It is incumbent upon the applicant organization to carefully read the grant eligibility Guidelines and Termsapplicable to the grant program being applied to for information about that specific program. Although some requirements are the same, there are significant differences between the grant programs.

Funding is only available for education, prevention, treatment and/or research of alcohol and/or substance abuse (substance use disorder) projects/programs per Chapter 18B-805 (h) of the North Carolina General Statutes. These guidelines will be strictly followed.
 

The grant cycle will OPEN on Sunday, March 1, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. EST.
 

The grant cycle deadline has been extended and will CLOSE on Wednesday, April 8, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EST.
 

Grants will be made only to Mecklenburg County non-profit, tax-exempt charitable organizations exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or to governmental entities such as the State of North Carolina and its agencies, municipal corporations and political subdivisions of the State. A fiscal agent/sponsorship arrangement will not be considered.

Funding is restricted to organizations with 501(c)(3) determination letters located in and serving residents of Mecklenburg County.

Applicant organizations must demonstrate: (1) a strong case for support; (2) alignment with the grant funding focus; and (3) ability to deliver results for the project/program for which they are applying.

Please be thorough, but succinct in writing responses. Using up the character counts to respond to an application question is NOT as important as thoughtfully responding to a question with clear and concise statements.

What are the grant award amounts?

New this year, there are four (4) different grant programs under the umbrella Community Health & Wellness Grant Program of the ABC Board: Small Grant Program; Renewal Grant Program; Annual Grant Program; and Multi-Year Grant Program. All awards are made at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

Small Grant Program: grants are awarded ranging from $500-$5,000 for a one (1) year project period.

Renewal Grant Program: grants are awarded up to $75,000 for a one (1) year project period (subsequent renewal grants are up to $50,000). THIS IS FOR CURRENT GRANTEES ONLY.

Annual Grant Program: grants are awarded up to $100,000 for a one (1) year project period.

Multi-Year Grant Program: grants are awarded up to $200,000 for a two (2) year project period.
 

As a reminder:

  1. Funding is only available for education, prevention, treatment and/or research of alcohol and/or substance abuse (substance use disorder) projects/programs per Chapter 18B-805 (h) of the North Carolina General Statutes. These guidelines will be strictly followed.
     
  2. Grants will be made only to Mecklenburg County non-profit, tax-exempt charitable organizations exempt under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code or to governmental entities such as the State of North Carolina and its agencies, municipal corporations and political subdivisions of the State. A fiscal agent/sponsorship arrangement will not be considered.

Funding is restricted to organizations with 501(c)(3) determination letters located in and serving residents of Mecklenburg County.

Are there any funding preferences for an application?

Yes. Please consider the ABC Board’s priority preferences when developing the project/program.

  • The Small Grant Program has a priority preference for projects that focus on target populations in the 11-26 year age range
     
  • The Annual Grant Program and the Multi-Year Grant Program have a priority preference for projects/programs that focus on reaching underserved populations.
Is an independent audit required to apply for a grant?

Yes, three (3) of the grant programs require ONLY an independent audit. The Renewal, Annual and Multi-Year grant programs each require an independent audit completed by a licensed certified public accountant within two (2) years (2017 or 2018 audits accepted only).

The Small Grant Program requires an independent audit completed by a licensed certified public accountant within two (2) years (2017 or 2018 audits accepted only) – OR – the organization’s two (2) most recently filed 990 full version – OR – the organization’s three (3) most recently filed 990-EZ. 990-N postcards will NOT be accepted. 

There will be no exceptions for any of the grant programs.

Can more than one grant and/or fund be applied to at a time?

Yes. The Foundant online grants management system allows an applicant organization to start multiple applications to the grant program for which it qualifies and wants a proposal to be considered. Before applying, make sure to carefully read the website Community Outreach menu tabs, the Guidelines and Terms applicable to the grant program being applied to for information about that specific program and the grant application description to make sure the organization is eligible and qualifies for consideration.

The ABC Board is seeking:

  • Small Grant Program:
    • Projects that are new and potential grant partners that are new to the ABC Board.
    • Address education and/or prevention of alcohol and/or substance abuse (substance use disorder).
    • Focus on target populations in the 11-26 year age range.
       
  • Annual Grant Program and Multi-Year Grant Program:
    • Project/programs that are new, innovative or demonstrate a significant enhancement to existing projects/programs.
    • Address education, prevention, treatment and/or research of alcohol and/or substance abuse (substance use disorder).
    • Focus on reaching underserved populations.
       
  • Renewal Grant Program:
    • Existing projects/programs with no significant changes.
    • Only current grantees in good standing with the ABC Board are eligible.
Can the proposal be emailed, faxed, mailed or hand-delivered?

No. The Community Health & Wellness Grant Program applications are ONLY available online through the Foundant online grants management system.

Please contact Terry Albanese, Contract Program Officer, at terryalbanese28@gmail.com with any questions.

What internet browsers work optimally with the online application system?

For the best user experience when accessing the Foundant online grants management system, please use one of the following browsers: Google Chrome 14 or higher; Firefox 9 or higher; Safari 4 or higher. Use of this online grants management system is highly discouraged with Internet Explorer or Microsoft Edge as technical issues may arise.

Where are the grant applications?

After logging into the online grants management system, click the "Apply" link on the left. This link will go to the list of grant opportunities currently accepting applications with their respective descriptions.

If a specific application cannot be found, its deadline may have already passed or it might not have opened yet.

Grant applications for the ABC Board’s FY 2021 cycle will open March 1, 2020, at 9:00 a.m. EST and deadline has been extended and now closes on April 8, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Will a site visit be required to receive a grant award?

Due to Coronavirus (COVID-19) concerns, the Grants Evaluation Team will NOT conduct site visits this grant cycle. 

 

When will the ABC Board make award decisions?

The Grants Evaluation Team will make award recommendations to the ABC Board at its May 2020 Board of Directors meeting. Applicant organizations will receive notice of grant status (tentative) by May 31, 2020 by email and/or USPS. The Board of Directors will approve its budget in June 2020 when grant awards will be final. Funding decisions are at the discretion of the ABC Board.

All grantees will be required to attend a mandatory post-award workshop in June 2020.

 

THE APPLICATION

What does the "Duplicate Tax ID" message mean when beginning an application?

The Tax ID number entered by the applicant organization is already registered in the system – DO NOT create a duplicate account.

Please contact Terry Albanese, Contract Program Officer, at terryalbanese28@gmail.com to receive log on credentials.

Do applications have to be completed all at once?

No. At the bottom of the application is a “Save as Draft” button. It is highly recommended to save the application often and before logging out. Simply log in again when ready to continue working on the application. It is recommended to cut and paste the application answers into a Word document to save as backup.

Is there a spell check feature?

No. We strongly suggest that you cut and paste into a Microsoft Word document.

Why are there character limits to the application questions?

Clear and concise answers are very important. There are pre-set limits on the amount of text that can be submitted for a response. The character counter, displayed below the entry field, will actively indicate how many characters have been entered and will also indicate when the character limit is being approached. 

Saving a draft of the application is not allowed if the character limit has been exceeded. Keep in mind: there is NO requirement to reach the character limit!

Will the ABC Board follow-up if any clarification is needed on the proposal?

No. In fairness to all applicant organizations, once the application process begins on March 1, 2020, the ABC Board and its representatives are unable to address any grant project-specific questions.

It is suggested that the applicant organization have its application reviewed prior to submission. This practice may help to find any errors and serve as a double check on the clarity of the proposed project/program request. The applicant organization may also consult with a professional grant writer as needed.

For assistance with any technical issues, please contact Terry Albanese, Contract Program Officer, at terryalbanese28@gmail.com.

When is the application deadline?

All applications must be submitted online by April 8, 2020 at 11:59 p.m. EST. This deadline is the application deadline and it will be strictly adhered to. An applicant organization will not be able to submit an application or be considered for an award after this time.

An applicant organization is, however, allowed to submit its completed application prior to the deadline once the grant cycle opens on March 1, 2020 at 9:00 a.m. EST.

Will there be a workshop to answer questions?

No. This year, the ABC Board will NOT hold a pre-grant workshop. However, all applicant organizations that receive an award will be required to attend a mandatory post-award workshop in June 2020.

For assistance with any technical issues that arise once the grant cycle has opened on March 1, please contact Terry Albanese, Contract Program Officer, at terryalbanese28@gmail.com.

ATTACHMENTS

What file formats will be accepted for attachments?

Please be sure to read the application requirements regarding file type and size prior to uploading any required attachments.

It is preferred that attached files are in PDF (.pdf) format unless indicated otherwise in the application. Other file types also accepted include Microsoft Word (.doc or .docx) or Excel (.xls or .xlsx). Unacceptable file formats include the extensions: (.exe), (.com), (.vbs), and (.bat).

How should files be named?

Please be sure to read the application requirements regarding file naming prior to uploading any required attachments. Examples of file names are provided in the application instructions.

Give each file a name that identifies the applicant organization and the type of required document it represents. For example, a file representing the organizational budget for the previous fiscal year could be named: OrgName-BudgetFY19. Do not use any symbols except for a period or a dash, as symbols can interfere with the upload process.

Keep file names concise while identifying the applicant organization and what the file represents.

What is the maximum allowable file upload size?

Please be sure to read the application requirements regarding file type and size prior to uploading any required attachments.

The maximum size for each attachment varies. The file size limit is noted next to the Browse button and the system will not accept files greater than this limit. Please note, some users may have trouble with appropriate settings on a scanner and end up with larger file sizes.

For assistance with any technical issues that arise once the grant cycle has opened on March 1, please contact Terry Albanese, Contract Program Officer, at terryalbanese28@gmail.com.

Can required attachments be hand-delivered?

No. The Foundant online grants management system will NOT allow an application to be submitted unless all of the required materials are attached. Documents can be scanned into a PDF file for electronic submission. If a scanner is not available at the applicant organization, a copy shop or public library can scan them.

How are files uploaded to the application?

For application questions that request an uploaded attachment, click the Browse button and then choose the desired document from the user’s computer. The file name of the uploaded file will be indicated under the Browse button. Then save the application (button at the bottom of page). Pay attention to file names to avoid upload issues – remove extra periods or replace them with a dash or underscore character.

Only one (1) document can be uploaded per question.

How are uploaded files removed from the application?

There are two (2) ways to remove an uploaded file from an application:

  • Once the file has been uploaded, a delete button will appear below the file name. Clicking delete will remove the file.
     
  • To replace the file, a new file can be uploaded in its place. Simply upload the correct file to the question and the old uploaded file will be erased.
Can more than one file be uploaded in one upload field?

No. Applicant organizations can only upload a single document in response to an upload question. If an applicant has more than one (1) file for upload in response to a specific question, the files need to be combined either electronically or via scanning.

 

Why is the file not uploading?

Double check that there are no symbols in the file name and the file type and size are allowable. If all is okay, then try one or more of these suggestions:

  • Sometimes the problem can be a corrupt file. Try saving a new, renamed version of the document.
     
  • Remove extra periods or replace them with a dash or underscore character.
     
  • Files that exceed the maximum file size limit will cause an error. Compress the files to create a smaller file.
     
  • Try saving the file as a different type. For instance, if a PDF (.pdf) file was uploaded, try uploading the original Word or Excel version of this document. If it is a Word (.doc or .docx) or Excel (.xls or .xlsx) document, try saving it as a PDF (.pdf) file and then uploading this version. If a document was scanned to create a (.jpg) file, try saving it in a (.pdf) format instead. Please be aware when converting to a (.pdf) file that all pages of a multi-page document may not convert properly. Check before uploading.
     
  • Use a different computer to do the upload.
How can an application be printed?

To get a paper copy of the application for the applicant organization’s records, log in to the application portal and choose the Application Packet link. This will create a PDF of the application to be printed or saved. The applicant organization will always have access to its application by logging back into the application portal, even after the application has been submitted.

TROUBLESHOOTING

HELP! Where did all the edits go?!

There are a few common reasons why a user may lose edits. If the applicant stays on one page for an extended period of time without saving, the account may “time out” without warning. It is also possible that a weak internet connection momentarily disconnected the computer while working on the application.

As a safeguard, follow these recommendations:

  • Save the application often.
     
  • Cut and paste the application answers after each question into a Word document to save as backup.

To restore edits, try re-loading the internet page, as sometimes the browser will cache an older version of the page – OR – try logging out, wait a few minutes, and then log back in and re-open the application.

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