Did You Know?
While the competitive funding opportunities under ANA may seem both difficult to understand and difficult to obtain, it doesn't have to be! Our technical assistance staff can help shed light on an otherwise murky process. To get you started, we've compiled a few interesting facts and FAQs to expose some not-so-well-kept secrets.
Did You Know?
- 48 apps - While ANA funding is competitive, in 2022, ANA received just 48 applications from the Western Region!
- 15 awards - Of those 48 applicants, 15 were funded - that's an average of over 30% in our region alone!
- 100% success - Just 2 Western Region applications were received in both the ERE and EMI funding areas, and everyone was funded. That's a 100% success rate!
- New recipients - More than half of the awards made to our region in 2022 were to applicants who had not been funded within the last 3 years; and 4 of those had never had an ANA grant before.
- More awards - Because the Western Region (along with the Eastern Region) has the largest population of American Indian/Alaska Native/Pacific Islanders, we often receive a larger percentage of ANA awards each year.
- Higher scores - Applicants who attend training and request technical assistance receive higher scores on their applications - as many as 10 points on average!
- 3rd times a charm - ANA is a learning process, and we see that those who come back for a second or third try are more often awarded than those who nail it on the first go.
These are some great odds if you are looking to submit an application to ANA this year!
Frequently Asked Questions
Project Planning and Development:
I have a great idea, what do I do now?
You may think you have a great project idea for an ANA funded grant right now; but if you haven't met with your community members to discover if that idea is relevant to their needs and wants, then unfortunately, your idea may not be a good fit. Projects that begin with a community-based design are the most successful. Projects that take a top-down approach have trouble taking off. So we recommend your next step be to put your own ideas on hold and connect with your community members first.
What is Community-based Planning?
Planning for a successful ANA project begins with community-based planning. This type of planning engages the members of a specific community (i.e. an entire Tribe, a subset like just elders or youth, or the internal staff of an organization) and asks them what they see as being a priority for that community. This can be done through a variety of methods (i.e. surveys, meetings, focus groups, interviews, etc.); but no matter the method, leads to a project design that stems from the community. In doing so, community-based planning ensures that project participants and beneficiaries have stewardship over the project and want to see it succeed. Refer to our Project Planning and Development blog and resources for more information.
Are we ready for a project?
So you've already engaged your community, identified their priority goals and preferred solutions to existing challenges, and then developed a community-based project plan. How do you know if your community is ready to implement the project? You may want to consider conducting a Community Readiness Assessment. This process was developed by Colorado State University (it is not an ANA-specific resource) and can help you to understand where your community stands in the cycle of awareness. By completing the assessment you'll have a better sense of whether the community acknowledges that challenges exist, are open to fixing those challenges, and have the resources to address them. To learn more and get started, consider reviewing this training manual or watching our webinar on Community Planning and Preparedness.
Will ANA fund us?
ANA funds a variety of projects. Our "bread and butter" consists of social development project ideas like cultural preservation, economic development project ideas like financial literacy training, language education project ideas like curriculum development, and environmental projects like updating regulatory codes. The possibilities are almost endless! However, there are a few things that ANA will not fund, including but not limited to:
- Consultant-driven projects
- Planning projects that do not align with an essential part of the applicant's long-term goals
- Projects that only fund ongoing administrative functions
- Projects that support ongoing or the expansion of existing social service delivery programs
- Projects that do not align with ANA or the purpose of the funding
- Purchasing real estate
- Construction projects
- And a few more...
For additional information, be sure to review the Notice of Funding Opportunity and the sections on both Eligible and Ineligible projects.
When will funding be announced?
ANA releases each Notice of Funding Opportunity or NOFO in the late-Fall or early-Winter. They have been known to be announced as early as November 1st and as late as March 15th. However, a January or February publication is typical. As soon as the NOFOs are live, we send out a newsletter with information on where to find the documents and how to submit an application. If you haven't signed up for our newsletter, we highly recommend that you do in order to stay up to date on the latest information. We also post the NOFOs to our website. Check out the current publications here: https://anawestern.org/currentfunding/
When are applications due?
Each Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) states the due date for application submissions on the very first page of the announcement. Applications are due on or before 11:59pm EST of the stated due date. Typically, ANA gives 60 days from the time of publication to the due date. However, this may differ year to year - ranging from as few as 45 days to as many as 150 days. The timing is dependent upon many factors, so be sure to look at the current NOFO to confirm when you should submit. We also highly recommend that you prepare to submit your application a week in advance of the due date. This helps to prevent encountering any last minute errors. You can find the current publications and their due dates here: https://anawestern.org/currentfunding/
Where can I find the most recent funding opportunity?
Notice of Funding Opportunities (NOFOs) can be found on Grants.gov. One of the easiest ways to find a NOFO is by searching for keyword: ANA. You can also search for the Opportunity Number or CFDA Number. One NOFO listing can have more than one Version History. Be sure to read the Synopsis that details any Modifications made, then download the most recent Package and Related Documents.
How do I submit a grant application?
In order to submit an application to ANA, you will need the following three things:
- A Grants.gov account that is linked to your organization using your EIN. Your Authorizing Official will be notified that you are trying to connect your account to the organization, so let them know to be aware of communication from Grants.gov to avoid losing an email in their junk or spam folder. Once you are added to your organization, you can create an application package and submit your application for ANA funding through the Grants.gov Workspace.
- A SAM.gov account. This is the System for Awards Management and is required for an application submission. If you have not registered for a SAM.gov account, you'll want to do that as soon as possible. Account activation can take as little as 10 days, but as many as 3-4 weeks! Once created, you need to be sure to log in and renew it annually.
- A UEI number. The Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) is assigned to you through SAM.gov. If you have a SAM.gov account, then you already have a UEI number. This replaces the previously used DUNS, which is no longer being used by Grants.gov.
When will awards be announced?
Language awards are typically announced by July 1st, while other awards are announced by September 30th. The point of contact on your application will be notified of an award long before technical assistance staff are given the list of awards made, be sure to keep an eye out for communication directly from ANA. Additionally, a majority of applicants will go through a negotiation period before an award is made. So you may have an inkling of whether you're being considered for funding in advance of an announcement. However, being asked to make project revisions during a negotiation does not guarantee an award, likewise, not being asked for revisions doesn't rule out the possibility for an award.
I've just been awarded, what now?
If you've been awarded an ANA grant, you will need to get a few things in order:
- Ensure you have a copy of the Notice of Award also known as the Notice of Grant Award (NGA). This document outlines exactly what funding you have been awarded for the current budget period as well as the Non-Federal Share (NFS) or Match that you are obligated to meet. It also details other terms and conditions that you are agreeing to abide by, so be sure to review it carefully.
- Place this document and other key pieces of information into a physical and/or electronic Grant File.
- Set up both your GrantSolutions.gov account and Login.gov account then work with your assigned Program Specialist to be sure your account is connected to your grant award.
- Once you have access to GrantSolutions.gov, be sure you check for access to the Online Data Collection System (OLDC). This is where you will be required to submit programmatic reporting. Your Program Specialist can help you gain access and will also input your approved Work Plan into the report form.
- If your organization has never had a Federal award before, your financial officer may also need to gain access to the Payment Management System (PMS). In addition to being how you will access your funds, this is where you will submit financial reporting.
- You'll also need to begin to hire staff to fill any vacancies.
- Then plan to send two staff members - one programmatic and one financial - to Post Award Training. This usually takes place three months after awards are made; in the Fall for Language awards and in the Winter for all others. This training will cover the above topics and much more!
- If you're never been awarded an ANA grant, or if you haven't been awarded in a few years, technical assistance staff will also reach out to conduct a Proactive Technical Assistance visit. This is intended to help you answer any questions you may have, introduce you to T/TA services, and put faces to names so that you have support throughout the life of your project.
My project is delayed, what do I do?
Being behind on a project activity or deliverables is not uncommon for ANA projects, especially if outside factors effect progress such as the loss of a partner, the delay in recruiting qualified staff, or even a pandemic! ANA is more than willing to work with you as you address challenges, just be sure to keep your Program Specialist informed of any adjustments you need to make. Some of those adjustments may require a project amendment to ensure that they are reviewed and approved by ANA. Reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns in overcoming setbacks.
How do I change or amend my project?
Very rarely does a project operate exactly as planned. More than likely, you will need to submit at least one amendment to ANA to make changes throughout the life of your project. You can submit required documents through your Grantee Portal in GrantSolutions.gov. The following are a few of the most common amendments used by our grantees. Do any of these apply to you?
- Change in Key Personnel - This is a simple amendment to complete if one of your Personnel positions changes. For example, if your Project Director (PI/PD) leaves their position and you need to hire someone new, then you will need to submit a request to make this change and give the new PI/PD access to the grant in GrantSolutions. Items required: SF-424, signed Cover Letter on letterhead, new resume, and GrantSolutions user access form.
- Budget Revision (Budget Modification) - In many cases, you can make minor budget changes without an amendment, just notify your Program Specialist of changes. However, if you need to reallocate funding between line-items that totals more than 25% of the Total Project Budget or affects line-items that require prior approval, then you'll need to submit a formal Budget Mod to ANA. Be sure that all of your reporting is up-to-date and then prepare the following. Items required: SF-424, SF-424a, SF-425, Cover Letter on letterhead, Project Narrative, Line-Item Budget and Budget Justification, any Indirect Cost Rate (IDC) agreement you have in place, supporting documentation such as vendor quotes.
- Carryover Request (COB) - If you have incomplete activities that justify the need to carry unspent funds from one year into the next, then you can request a COB. Be certain to keep reporting up-to-date. Also, your Objective Progress Report (OPR) should reflect Delayed activities, and you should ensure that the funds you ask for align with your intent to complete those activities in the new budget period. Items required: SF-424, SF-424a, SF-425, Cover Letter on letterhead, Project Narrative, Line-Item Budget and Budget Justification, an updated Objective Work Plan with new deadlines for finishing incomplete activities, any Indirect Cost Rate (IDC) agreement you have in place, supporting documentation such as vendor quotes.
- No-Cost Extension (NCE) - Similar to a COB, this amendment will help you to finish any incomplete activities after the end of your original project period. If you are unable to finish the project on time and need another 6-months to a year in order to wrap up activities; then make use of any unspent funding by requesting an extension of the project. Be sure that your reporting is up-to-date and notify your Program Specialist in advance that you are looking at an NCE. You'll want to submit this amendment no later than 45 days prior to the project end date. Items required: SF-424, an SF-424a as needed, SF-425, Cover Letter on letterhead, and an updated Objective Work Plan with new deadlines for finishing incomplete activities.
How do I access my next year of funding?
Halfway through the current project year, you'll receive a notification from ANA and be asked to submit a Non-Compete Continuation (NCC) in GrantSolutions.gov in preparation of your next year or budget period. The NCC is typically due in March and is required annually if you have a 2-, 3- or even 5-year project. If you miss submitting this, then you risk losing your ANA funding in the next budget period. If you miss the notification, the NCC will automatically be unlocked in GrantSolutions and waiting for you to submit, so keep an eye on both your email and your Grant Portfolio within the system. Also be sure all of your reporting is up-to-date. Items required: SF-424, SF-424a, Cover Letter on letterhead, Project Narrative, Line-Item Budget and Budget Justification, as well as an Objective Work Plan if changes are needed.