Conversation with Applicants
Can we schedule our interview (Conversation with Applicants) time on a different day than we were assigned?
Unfortunately, we are unable to be flexible with the specific day an organization is scheduled for their conversation. Organizations were grouped based on similar key characteristics and days were assigned reflecting these groupings.
Are there examples of who we should include as our community member? We are not sure of which intervention/lens this person should have.
Please read the ‘Who Should Be at the Table’ section of the Conversation with Applicants overview (sent via email around 1:20 p.m. on 5/3/22) carefully because it provides additional information and context about the conversation that could help you decide who might be the right person to invite to join the team. And consider including a community member who can speak to a unique part/perspective of your SNAP-Ed work that otherwise couldn’t be covered.
Can we include a fourth person in our interview?
If the addition of a fourth person will bring a unique part/perspective of your SNAP-Ed work that otherwise couldn’t be covered by the three-person conversation team, then yes; if not, keep your three-person team. But only one additional person who can round out your conversation team can attend because of the limited time for a robust, interactive discussion. We want to ensure everyone has a role and chance to share their experiences and perspectives.
How do we notify MFF that we plan to include a fourth person on our conversation team?
The Formstack Link you use to share who will be on your three-person conversation team allows you to only include three people. To add a fourth person to your conversation team, email Kendra Keyes, email@example.com, with the same information required in the Formstack form. If participants in your conversation team change after you’ve entered them into Formstack form, please contact Kendra Keyes as soon as possible, and no later than one working day prior to your schedule conversation, to update conversation team information.
Week of 4/11 to 4/15
If we are a current subrecipient for FY22 and are removing a particular intervention for FY23, do we need to complete the rationale portion of the table?
From the program narrative instructions (page 8): “It [the rationale] must be completed even if you do not plan on implementing a particular intervention/strategy in FY 2023, although the structure can be adapted to “We propose not to implement this intervention/strategy with [population] in [setting] because of [X community need described in Question 1].”
How should we complete the budget tab for salaries and fringe when we don’t have confirmation of the inflation rate our organization will use for 2023?
The budget, as part of the proposal package, is a best estimate of the anticipated expenditures for program implementation in FY 2023.
Could MFF provide each Local Implementing Agency (LIA) with their FY22 evaluation data from for FY 2022 up to this point?
It is not possible to provide LIAs with program data/findings for FY 2022. The proposal includes what you anticipate doing aligned with community needs and evidence-base, as programs are built out for FY 2023, there may be opportunities to make additional programming decisions based on additional experience and/or data.
How should number of sites be reported in the program table for a virtual setting(s)?
When completing the programming table, the settings should reflect all setting(s) related to the intervention or strategy. If an intervention/strategy is delivered virtually, the setting is wherever the participant(s) is receiving the intervention/strategy. For example, if a program delivers an intervention virtually and reaches participants in their homes, the setting is ‘individual homes’, and the number of sites would be the total number of homes reached.
As organizations developed program summaries for FY 2022, there were still many unknowns about how program delivery would occur (in-person, virtual, hybrid). Many included individual homes as a setting with a conservative number of aligned sites to be prepared for any possible program delivery. Because of that approach, the number of individual homes listed for FY 2022 (as sites) may not translate nicely to what you propose for FY 2023, which should be based on your experience in FY 2023.
Can we count reach for long-term (LT) policy, system, and environmental changes (PSE) if that work is helping to expand reach in the community?
Aligned with the SNAP-Ed Evaluation Framework, reach associated with PSE is only counted/reported when the change is adopted (mid-term – MT indicators and outcome measures). When estimating the reach associated with PSE adoption, it’s important to estimate the number of people who could be impacted directly by the change (reasonably so). Remember that LT indicators and outcomes measures focus on effectiveness and/or implementation of that adopted PSE change – in other words, how SNAP-Ed supported the uptake of that change.
Should approaches aligned with short-term (ST) or long-term (LT) outcome measures be included in the programming table (Question #2)?
If you are planning activities aligned with and will measure short-term (ST) outcomes (e.g., readiness & capacity or long-term (LT) outcomes (e.g., effectiveness & implementation), those will be built into your FY 2023 program summary and evaluation plan. For the written proposal, as it makes sense, include any ST and/or LT activities in question #3.
For the rationale portion of the programming table (Question 2), what type of information/data should be included?
There are two major components to the rationale:
- Evidence base that shows the intervention is likely to result in positive outcomes for your audience/setting
- Alignment with identified community need in Question 1
For each intervention/strategy, regardless of whether it is a new or continuing intervention/strategy for your program, you must:
- Provide relevant evidence on why the chosen intervention/strategy will likely lead to positive outcomes for the proposed focus audience and setting. Evidence can be research-tested, practiced-tested, and/or emerging, and there are a variety of sources for where to find the evidence base for an intervention/strategy (e.g., peer-reviewed journal articles, the SNAP-Ed Toolkit, etc.).
- Describe how the evidence included is relevant to the population and setting they are proposing, or if evidence isn’t directly related to the specific population/setting (e.g., there is evidence of an intervention/strategy’s effectiveness in urban populations, but the plan is to use it in a rural setting), that you explain/provides data on why the intervention/strategy will work with that population/setting.
If you want to include evaluation data/findings from previous programming, you can if it strengthens the rationale for using the intervention/strategy and/or if public data on an intervention/strategy is limited. For other information about the rationale portion of the programming table question, check out the FAQs regarding the RFP TA Session 3/28 here.
My organization does not have our indirect cost rate for fiscal year 2023 (FY23) yet. What is the best way to figure it for the proposal?
Applicants should use their organization’s current indirect cost rate and documentation for the developing the FY 2023 budget. If funded, you will be able to update your budget and documentation with your new rate.
Week of 4/4 to 4/8
If an intervention we use in FY22 is no longer part of the SNAP-Ed Toolkit for FY23, should we replace this intervention in FY23?
Interventions not included in the SNAP-Ed Toolkit can be proposed as long as those interventions meet the standards for an evidence base as defined in Subrecipient Backgrounder (page 4) and align with addressing identified community needs.
RFP TA Session – 3/28
To populate the reach column in the program table in Question #2 [of the Program Narrative], do we include one number for direct and indirect reach, or do we report them separately?
For each intervention/strategy, report a cumulative total estimated reach number that includes, as applicable, both direct and indirect channel reach. But ensure there is not duplication between direct and indirect reach (i.e., participants must be counted only once; if someone receives direct education and indirect education, they should only be counted once.
For more details on how to calculate and report on reach, see page 5-6 in the Program Narrative Instructions. Examples of completed program tables can also be found on page 9 and 10 of the Instructions.
How weighted is the interview portion (step 3 of the RFP process) versus the written portion (step 2)?
The Program Narrative and interview are complementary pieces of the RFP process. The Program Narrative focuses more on the ‘nuts and bolts’ of your proposed programming, while the interview is meant to be a conversation where you have an opportunity to describe your overall approach to SNAP-Ed programming. More information on the interview, including a list of general topic areas and/or questions, will be provided ahead of time.
To calculate indirect channel reach for parents, what ‘multiplier’ should be used?
For direct education (DE) interventions that include indirect channels (e.g., family newsletters) to reach household members like parents, indirect reach can be estimated by multiplying the direct reach (i.e., number of participants receiving DE) by a ‘multiplier’ of 1.4.
However, depending on the type of indirect channel(s) used and focus audience, indirect channel reach may be estimated using other, reasonable methods.
Can Community Connections be used as a supplemental [in a DE intervention] for 6th grade students?
Community Connections has been used as a supplemental resource with upper middle and high school students, it has not yet been fully evaluated with an audience as young as 6th grade. However, if your needs assessment indicates that Community Connections may be appropriate for your focus audience, include it in your list of supplemental materials for a proposed intervention/strategy.
Is there a lot of space to include supplementals in the RFP?
Supplemental materials may be listed underneath the intervention/strategy name in the program table (in Question #2 of the Program Narrative).
In the program table, ‘anticipated programming changes’ and ‘rationale’ seem like they could contain much of the same information. Is it OK if these sections are slightly duplicative?
It is important to note the distinct purpose for each of these sections:
‘Anticipated programming changes’ should provide an overview or “snapshot” of any modifications you plan on making from FY 2022 to FY 2023 (if your organization is currently funded in FY 2022) to an intervention/strategy’s audience, community, delivery method, reach, setting, and/or the intervention/strategy itself.
The ‘rationale’ should not be about the anticipated changes to the intervention/strategy; instead, it should focus on the reasoning behind selecting the overall intervention/strategy based on the evidence base and current community needs you describe in Question #1 of the Program Narrative.
In the ‘rationale’ section of the program table, what might I include for evidence [base] versus ‘x community need’?
The significant change component of the rationale should include the evidence base (research-tested, practice-tested, and/or emerging) for the proposed intervention/strategy. There are a variety of sources for where to find the evidence base for an intervention/strategy (e.g., peer-reviewed journal articles, the SNAP-Ed Toolkit, etc.). If it strengthens your evidence base, you can also consider including outcome evaluation data from prior implementation of the intervention/strategy.
The community needs component should be tied to needs described in Question #1 of the Program Narrative. It should describe the need that the proposed intervention/strategy will address.
Are there any word count limitations for the program narrative?
No, there is no word or page limit; however, we encourage you to be thoughtful and intentional about what and how much information is included to clearly describe your programming.
Week of 3/28 to 4/1
For the program table in the Program Narrative, how should we estimate reach for PSE work at the city/county level? Some of our planned PSE strategies will happen at the neighborhood level (although the neighborhoods are to be determined at this time), while other PSE strategies will occur more broadly at the community level.
PSE reach is defined as the number of unduplicated individuals who will be influenced by a PSE change(s). Depending on the PSE effort, this could be the number of people at a site (e.g., school), in a neighborhood, or in a community (or portion of it). Provide your best estimate for a reasonable, logical reach and ensure you have solid reasoning/justification for the number. If you don’t have a specific neighborhood identified at this point, include a reach number that seems feasible and aligned with the PSE strategy at the neighborhood level.
Also, be sure not to double count individuals in the reach number. If you are working at both the neighborhood and broader community (e.g., city/county) levels, and the neighborhoods are included within that broader focus community, you will report the broader community reach number since the neighborhood(s) reach is already included in the broader community reach number.
Should our budget still include SNAP-Ed University and CHOICES? Will either event be virtual for FY23?
At this time, it is not confirmed whether SNAP-Ed U and/or CHOICES will be held in-person or virtually. For purposes of the budget, we recommend you plan for both trainings as if they will be in-person. SNAP-Ed University is a required training; typically, two staff are included in the budget. Attending CHOICES is highly encouraged. You should budget for CHOICES registration ($50 per person) as well as mileage and any meals outside of those provided during the trainings. Previously, SNAP-Ed U has been held in Lansing and CHOICES in the Detroit or Grand Rapids area. Consider these locations as you estimate reasonable and necessary mileage.
Week of 3/18 to 3/25
Can I include a PSE strategy if there isn’t a specific, aligned tool or process? If so, how would this be represented in the table in Question #2?
Policy, systems, and environmental change (PSE) work aligned with addressing identified community needs and decreasing barriers to healthy food and/or physical activity access is generally allowable in SNAP-Ed. The PSE strategy(ies) should be determined through assessment and community engagement. The PSE strategies selected will inform the role SNAP-Ed can play in development and implementation. To represent this work in the Program Table, note that it is “PSE strategies to increase food access [physical activity],” and include whether you anticipate the strategy(ies) will be implemented at a setting or community level.
For the table in Question 2 in the Program Narrative, should we use our current FY 2022 Program Summary numbers for the estimated total reach, or should we include the reach numbers we think our program will meet during FY 2022?
As stated in the program narrative instructions (page 4), if you are currently funded by SNAP-Ed at MFF for FY 2022, you should use the information included in your most up-to-date program summary to complete the FY 2022 rows for the program table.
General TA Session – 3/16
What is the advantage of being a subrecipient versus a Community Impact Project, especially since the [proposal] is a bit more work?
There is no specific advantage or disadvantage for an organization to be a subrecipient versus Community Impact Project. MFF offers these two funding tracks to provide more opportunities to work with local partners and meet the needs of organizations with different capacities and experience levels with SNAP-Ed.
If your organization meets the criteria to be a subrecipient, you need to submit through the RFP process to be a subrecipient.
Does MFF need to offer a subrecipient and Community Impact Project option due to Federal guidelines?
No, there are no federal guidelines requiring MFF to offer a subrecipient (subcontract) and Community Impact Project (contractor) option for funding; however, how those options are structured is based on and align with federal regulations.
We strongly believe in the importance of investing in local communities and organizations. By offering these two funding options as entry points into SNAP-Ed, we aim to open up more possibilities for SNAP-Ed programming to more people and places.
Additionally, as we continue to evolve our technical assistance approach, offering both a subrecipient and Community Impact Project track helps the SNAP-Ed at MFF team to better customize the support we provide to funded organizations and the community they serve, making it more meaningful for those implementing local programming.
Is the subrecipient [subcontract] for one year?
Currently, funding is for one program year.
Is there an option for a “continuation proposal” for current (FY 2022) subrecipients?
Last year, due to the impacts from COVID-19, we offered a “continuation proposal” to returning subrecipients for FY 2022. While there is not a “continuation proposal” option for FY 2023, the RFP process has been streamlined and the proposal components are similar to the “continuation proposal.”
We are currently a [FY 2022] subrecipient and are eligible for the FY 2023 RFP. However, we are looking to make some program adjustments to [better meet changing] community needs. Is there an opportunity to talk to someone [at MFF] about the things we are considering ahead of submitting a proposal to ensure we aren’t changing anything that would [jeopardize] our chances for funding?
Questions about the FY 2023 RFP need to come in through the FAQs or in the technical assistance sessions. While there is not an opportunity to talk to MFF staff about proposed programming details before submitting a proposal package, keep in mind that what you anticipate and include in a proposal can evolve over time. If funded, there will be opportunity for conversations with an MFF Project Manager to finalize your programming for the upcoming year.
Week of 3/7 to 3/11
My organization is currently funded as a FY22 Local Implementing Agency (LIA). Which funding option (to be a subrecipient or a community impact project LIA in FY23) should I consider?
Federal regulations outline criteria to delineate between subrecipient grantees and contractor grantees. All currently funded organizations in FY22 (subrecipient LIAs and community impact project LIAs) and new organizations that meet the eligibility criteria to be a subrecipient and can demonstrate capacity to independently design, deliver, and monitor a federal grant, like SNAP-Ed, need to submit to be a subrecipient LIA in FY23. Furthermore, a currently funded organization’s record of program and grant compliance will be considered; those with a successful record need to pursue being a subrecipient LIA in FY23.
Organizations currently funded as a subrecipient but have experienced recent significant shifts in programming and/or staffing, or have ongoing difficulties with maintaining program and grant compliance, should consider becoming a community impact project in FY23 and complete the ‘Returning Community Impact Projects’ application.
Organizations currently funded as a community impact project but meet the eligibility criteria to be a subrecipient, have demonstrated capacity to implement SNAP-Ed, and have a successful record of program and grant compliance need to submit to be a subrecipient LIA in FY23. Community impact project organizations that are newer to SNAP-Ed (fewer than 3 year), have experienced difficulty in maintaining program and grant compliance, or have undergone recent significant shifts in programming and/or staffing should complete the ‘Returning Community Impact Project’ application.
If you are unsure which funding option is best for your organization, we recommend you submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) for the RFP. When MFF reviews your LOI, we will look to ensure you meet adequate standards to be a subrecipient LIA and provide feedback on whether you should continue with the RFP process or consider the RFA.
[In the Letter of Intent template, it states,] “If funded, will complete approved activities within FY 2023 and will not use third party contractors to complete SNAP-Ed work.” Does this mean I cannot hire a Nutrition Educator on a 1-year contract?
No, contracting staff whose work or deliverables you will oversee, such as Nutrition Educators, is allowable; however, outsourcing or using third-party entities or individuals to administer and manage a part of or the entirety of your SNAP-Ed program is not permitted.
Regarding the table in Question 2 in the Program Narrative, do proposed PSE strategies need to have a supplemental material associated with them? Additionally, what would count for the number of sites for a regional planning effort (e.g., a food policy council or a walkability plan)?
Proposed PSE strategies are not required to have supplemental materials.
If focused on one region or community, the number of ‘sites’ for the planning effort would be one.
Do we need to match [proposed] interventions to specific evaluation indicators in [the RFP]?
No, instead of going into the specifics of program evaluation in the proposal stage, the RFP focuses on defining programming components and approaches. If funded, you will work with an MFF Evaluation Specialist at the beginning of the program year to develop a customized evaluation plan.