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Transcript of the FY24 OVC Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside Formula Program Solicitation Webinar Series: Application Preparation and Submission Webinar

May 8, 2024

View the Recorded Webinar

Jana Pfeiffer: Good afternoon. My name is Jana Pfeiffer. I am from the Office for Victims of Crime, Tribal Victim Services Training and Technical Assistance, T-VSTTA for short

Now, we have a video to welcome you from OVC's Tribal Division Director, LeBretia White.

LeBretia White: I'm pleased to welcome you to our first of four planned webinars to support you in the Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside or TVSSA application process. As shared in the TVSSA solicitation, published on April 23rd, the Department of Justice Office for Victims of Crime is making $55.6 million available for FY 2024 applications to fund supportive services for American Indian and Alaska Native victims of crime.

As part of OVC's mission to administer grant award programs that are funded by the Crime Victims Fund, which is not appropriated funding but funds made available by criminal fines and fees paid by convicted offenders, each year, Congress authorizes OVC to use a portion of the balance of the Crime Victim Fund to support grant programs for victim services.

In FY 2018, Congress created the first set-aside from the Crime Victims Fund to improve services for victims of crime. The program is only open to federally recognized Indian Tribes and is administered via a formula. Although the funding for this fiscal year is less than funding available for awards in fiscal year 2023, we anticipate awards being made to more than 200 Tribal communities to provide a wide range of services for crime victims, from counseling and civil legal assistance to emergency housing and Tribal wellness ceremonies.

TVSSA funds may be used for any purpose directly related to serving victims of crime. And OVC supports its Tribal partners in using the funds to provide culturally responsive, linguistically appropriate, victim-centered services. Since the Tribal set-aside program began in 2018, OVC has made hundreds of awards. Tribal participation in the TVSSA program has significantly increased over time.

For example, since 2019, the number of Tribes participating in the TVSSA has increased by 150%, and since 2020, OVC's Tribal Division programs have served over 88,000 American Indian and Alaska Native crime victims and their families. We know you would agree with us that this Tribal focus program is critical since the highest rates of crime victimization occurs in Indian country. Also, cultural differences, remote locations, and challenging jurisdiction issues lend to the complexities in serving Tribal communities.

TVSSA funding is critical as well because you can apply to use grant awards to provide services to domestic violence and sexual assault victims, pay the salaries of victim advocates, run supervised visitation programs to allow children to stay connected to their families, provide civil legal assistance to crime victims dealing with repercussions of their victimization, buy emergency groceries or pay for emergency housing or shelter for victims, amend Tribal codes to include stronger victim protections, lease vehicles to transport victims to appointments, and hold sings and ceremonies to help victims connect back with their communities.

These Tribally-run programs can and are serving victims of arson, assault, burglary, child abuse, dating violence, domestic violence, elder abuse, fraud, identity theft, kidnapping, labor trafficking, rape and sexual assault, robbery, sex trafficking, and stalking. Over the years, OVC Tribal Division has been intentional to learn how to best administer this program through what we learned from consultations, listening sessions, and meetings with Tribal leaders and even our grantees. We are grateful for the feedback and have acted on requests to make changes to how TVSSA is administered.

We have worked to ensure increased effectiveness in promoting justice, safety, and healing for crime survivors in your communities. Substantial changes in how OVC has administered the TVSSA program include implementing a policy to allow the use of grant funds to meet the culturally-specific needs of Tribal communities. This policy applies to certain expenses related to preparing and sharing meals, including indigenous foods as part of ceremonial response to crime victims, and purchasing supplies and materials for traditional healing practices and ceremonies. Making it possible for Tribes to use grant funds for construction costs such as renovations, purchase of modulars, and, in some cases, new construction.

We've been deploying or had deployed for the first time last year, Tribal Division grant managers to Alaska to meet with Alaska Village grant applicants to assist with developing their applications through in-person interviews. Grant managers also conducted virtual interviews with Tribes in both Alaska and the lower 48 states.

Replacing the competitive grant process with a formula-based grant program in response to concerns of Tribal leaders about competing with Tribes for funding. This administrative formula approach was first of its kind in our Office of Justice Programs.

We've revamped the complex grant application process that was keeping Tribes from applying for victim service funding. The Tribal Division now offers grant applicants the choice between developing a written project design narrative, completing a checklist, or having an interview with OVC staff to develop their project design plans. This change has been widely praised by Tribal leaders.

We're extending or have extended over the past several years the project period timeframe in which Tribes can spend their grant funding. Applicants have the flexibility of choosing an award period between 12 and 60 months.

We've expanded the purpose of the grant program to support victim services in missing or murdered indigenous person cases, an issue that we know to be a top priority for many Tribal communities. And this year, we eliminated the 3% budget cap on the use of awarded grant funds for costs associated with generating awareness about individuals who are missing.

We listen, and we've applied what we've learned. So we appreciate your interest in the TVSSA program, as demonstrated with the submission of population certificates in February, and we know your participation in today's webinar will provide you with the information to enhance your awareness of the components of the TVSSA program.

Over the next few weeks, we've scheduled a series of webinars to ensure you are supported in preparing your program narrative, budget and budget narrative, and to highlight critical information for Tribes interested in using funds to support construction projects. Thank you for joining us for today's webinar.

We know that some of you have been TVSSA recipients over the past several years, and we also have some new Tribes that are joining and with making application in 2024. So again, thank you for joining. Feel free to reach out to the grant managers and our training and technical assistance providers should you have any questions or need our assistance.

At this time, Mary Atlas-Terry and Dawn Hill, OVC Tribal Division grant management specialists, will provide you with information related to the pre-application process. Again, thank you for joining and have a wonderful day, Mary and Dawn.

Mary Atlas-Terry: Hello, everyone. My name is Mary Atlas-Terry. I'm a grant management specialist at the OVC Tribal Division within the Office for Victims of Crime, and we're really happy to welcome you to today's webinar on preparing and submitting your FY 2024 Tribal Victim Service certified application. I'm going to turn it over to Dawn so she can introduce herself.

Dawn Hill: Hello, everyone. I'm Dawn Hill. I'm also a grants management specialist in the Tribal Division for the Office of Victims of Crime. We welcome you and we hope that you learn a lot today. We're excited that you have applied or will be applying. Thank you.

Mary Atlas-Terry: Great. So this slide provides an overview of what we're going to be talking about today. Today's webinar is for federally recognized Tribes, their authorized designees, and Tribal consortia that have already submitted a population certification to OVC signaling your interest in applying for a new Tribal Victim Service Set-Aside award. And right now, you are preparing to develop and submit your application.

During this presentation, we're going to provide the basic information that you need to know to apply for the award, including an explanation of the purpose and scope of the Tribal set-aside funding, an overview of the application submission process, what documents you need to submit with your application, and tools and resources that can assist you along the way.

As we're going through the slides, we're going to pause at certain points to make sure we capture, we take time to address all of your questions. Our goal today is to address as many questions that you might have as we can during the webinar.

We're going to be respectful of your time, so we're going to end at 3:30, and as was mentioned previously, the slide presentation materials and a recording of this webinar will be available on OVC's website in 10 days. And I'm going to turn my camera off because I have lots of notes here and I want to be able to focus on the slides for you. So I'm going to turn my camera off, and next slide, please.

LeBretia mentioned this quite a bit, but I just want to say again that the mission of the Office for Victims of Crime or OVC is to enhance the nation's capacity to assist crime victims and provide leadership in changing attitudes, policies, and practices to promote justice and healing for all victims of crime. OVC leads the nation in supporting victim-centered and trauma-informed programs, and policies, and resources that promote justice, access, and empowerment for victims and survivors of crime. Next slide, please.

First, I just want to provide the basic federal award information that's provided in the solicitation that's really critical for you to know. This year, in fiscal year '24, OVC has slightly over 55.6 million in funding available to distribute in grants through our Tribal set-aside program. This year, over 236 Tribe and Tribal serving entities expressed interest in applying for funding when they submitted their population certification.

On April 23rd, OVC emailed invitations to apply to those 236 eligible applicant Tribes with a link to the solicitation and a link to the allocation chart, which listed the name of the Tribe and the amount of funding allocated for that individual application. The allocation chart is available on the OVC Tribal Victim Service Set-Aside web page. And if you're looking at the chat, we're going to be posting a list of that allocation chart. Again, this provides you with the name of your application, your Tribe, and the amount that you can apply for. Next slide, please.

This slide includes the formal name of the solicitation and the funding opportunity ID and the CFDA or assistance listing number that you were going to need when you apply for this or you submit your forms in Grants.gov to apply for the grant. Please review the solicitation very carefully because it provides so much information about the project and it provides access to all the information you're going to need to develop and submit the application, including links to forms and all of the different websites that are involved.

The period of performance will vary depending on how you plan to use the funds that are allocated to your Tribe. For most applicants, please plan for your project start date to be January 1st, 2025, and your end date could be a minimum of 12 months or a maximum of 60 months or five years after that. Again, the period of performance is basically determined by you based on the amount of funding that you're allocated and how you want to use that money.

I just want to take a moment to remind everyone that these awards will be made as new grants and therefore applicants should plan to manage. If you have an existing grant already, if you already have OVC funds under this program, this new grant will need to be managed separately from your other federal grants and tracked both financially and your activities would be tracked separately from your existing awards.

Funds can be used to expand and enhance the existing programs and services or create new programs or services, but they can't be used to supplant or duplicate what you already have state or federal funds to do. Next slide, please.

OVC, this year, received population certificates from Tribes in 28 states. The highest number of population certifications came in from Alaska with 86, followed by California, Oklahoma, Washington State, Michigan, and New Mexico. We are welcoming 12 new Tribes into the TVSSA program this year. So we have 12 new Tribes from Alaska who are applying for the first time. So we're really excited to work with you.

And I think now we are moving into a poll question. So what we'd like to do is we want to poll the audience and find out if this is your first time applying for the Tribal Victim Service Set-Aside program. We're interested in knowing, "Is your Tribe or Tribal serving organization a current recipient of OVC funding?" You can respond with a yes or no, or you're not sure.

Now I see a lot of the responses coming in from the chat, and yeah, so I see here, 87 percent are folks that have already submitted at least one application and have one grant, at least with OVC under the set-aside program. And 3 percent are new, and 10 percent aren't sure if they have another grant with OVC, and that's wonderful and understandable. So thank you for that. Thank you for sharing that. It's really great to know. So, next slide, please.

Okay, so LeBretia covered this quite a bit, but as she mentioned, the funds under this program are predominantly to support Tribal communities in enhancing services for victims of crime, and funds can be used to improve services through activities like direct services for victims of crime.

But in addition to direct services, a lot of grantees also use the funds for conducting a community needs assessment, strategic planning, like I said, creating new programs or expanding existing ones, conducting community outreach and education, and training for other professionals in your Tribe, training them about crime victimization and the services that are available.

You can use the funds to purchase or procure tangible items or supplies related to victim services and other kinds of activities that are needed in your community to address the individualized needs of victims. Applicants are encouraged to use grant funding to support trauma-informed and victim-centered services that really reflect your Tribe, Tribal communities culture, values, and traditions. Next slide, please.

LeBretia mentioned this as well, but I'll just reiterate. The grant funds for this program are designated by law from the Crime Victims Fund, which are not taxpayer dollars, but from fines and fees paid by persons convicted of crimes in federal court. The sole purpose is to improve services for victims of crime. It's non-competitive and an administrative formula.

Some grant programs have a very short window of time that you can spend the grant funds, but we allow grantees to use funds up to 5 years or 60 months if you need to. It's a 2-phased application process, including the population certification. And then now, this final full application submission in Grants.gov and JustGrants.

And we offer a variety of options for the proposal narrative, a checklist, an interview with OVC staff, or a traditional project narrative. And Dawn is going to be discussing these options in detail for you later. Next slide, please.

LeBretia mentioned the wide range of crime victims that can be served under this funding or with this funding and these victims on this slide or these victim types on this slide are just a few of the crimes that could be addressed with this funding. An applicant may choose to submit a grant proposal that simply addresses all types of crime in their Tribal community, or they could choose a specific type of crime or develop a specific new service to address that kind of crime.

Funds can also be used to access training and professional development to build your staff's capacity to serve a particular type of crime victim. Next slide, please.

This slide describes the types of services that our grant funds are often used to support. It provides some examples of allowable activities and services and support that can be provided to victims. It's not exhaustive, but it gives you an idea of the different types of services crime victims often need. And as you know, some victims might need many of these services, other victims might just need one or two to help them in the aftermath of a crime.

We support you in trying to tailor your services to meet the individual needs of victims that are in your community. Just to give you some more examples of other things that grantees are doing with funds. Again, a lot of the funding is used to pay salaries of victim advocates, including this could be a victim advocate based in a law enforcement agency or a Tribal law enforcement agency.

It could be used to pay for transportation, medical care, and shelter for victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. It can be used to fund culturally relevant support groups and counseling for adult survivors of child abuse or sexual abuse, including elders and adults who are abused at residential boarding schools. It could be used to develop multidisciplinary teams to respond to certain types of crimes, including responding to missing or murdered indigenous persons.

It can be used for legal services for victims or it could be used to amend a Tribal code to ensure stronger protections for victims in your Tribe. It can be used for remodeling or renovation or construction related to the space where victim services are provided.

Grantees are encouraged to use these funds to fill gaps in services that are needed in your community. So we really encourage you to think what is it that crime victims in your community needs that you can't provide through existing programs. Could this grant be used to fill those gaps for you?

LeBretia mentioned two things in the solicitation that I wanted to highlight for you. Please, please, please look at pages six and seven of the solicitation for an outline of the specific activities related to the use of grant funds for individual cases related to missing or murdered indigenous persons.

On pages eight and nine of the solicitation, there's also detailed information about renovation and construction and how funds can be used to support that. And what special conditions would be placed on grant awards who are requesting funds for renovation and construction. And I want to mention that there will be a separate webinar for construction projects provided in the next couple of weeks. Next slide, please.

A link, there's a link in the solicitation and a spot on our TVSSA or Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside website that links to this allowable and unallowable cost chart. As we mentioned, the set-aside funds can be used for a wide range of programs and activities, and to assist applicants in determining what's allowable and what's not, we developed this list of examples.

We actually broke down the examples based on where it might fall in a proposed budget. So if you're thinking of a contract, you can look to the contract category. If you're looking at supplies, you can look in the supplies category of this chart, but it's a really helpful resource. We update it every year. So please, please access it and print it out and keep it on hand. It's really handy.

There's three questions, when you're thinking about if a cost is going to be allowable or unallowable for your grant, there's basically kind of three questions that you want to ask yourself. Is the cost or activity related to supporting or assisting crime victims? How is it related to the proposed project you want to develop? Meaning is the cost that you want to add to the budget in alignment with what program or goals and objectives you're writing about in your proposal narrative? How does the expense help crime victims?

So those are the things you want to keep in your mind and always be able to answer those questions when you're adding something to a budget and using this chart. Dawn's going to talk a little bit about the budget, but I also want to put a pitch in for a webinar on developing your budget. It's going to be on May 15th, so you can see it in the chat, but also there's a place where you can register for that webinar. Unallowable costs. The next slide, please.

TVSSA funds can be used to provide a wide range of services, but there are statutory limitations and there are some things that cannot be used to pay, cannot be used or applied to the grant. So some examples that are included, offender services not related to victimization, costs associated with law enforcement investigation or a prosecution activity, equipment that support law enforcement activities, particularly equipment that would monitor perpetrators, costs associated with operating a court or correctional facility are not allowable.

Legal services with regard to criminal legal defense or tort actions are not allowable. Primary prevention activities are not allowable because this grant is for crime victims. But I just want to always say, outreach and education to the community is allowable as long as it increases awareness and understanding about crime victim issues and informs the community about the availability of services, particularly your services.

Food and beverages, meals, refreshments cannot be provided at meetings, conferences, or trainings of other professionals. So multidisciplinary team meetings, conferences, trainings, food cannot be provided, but it can be provided as a service for a victim or at a cultural or traditional activity or event that's reasonably incorporated into victim services. But yeah, this is just highlighting no food at meetings, conferences, or training events that you might be hosting.

Just a note here, I think I'll just end here on, OVC staff are on standby to answer questions you might have at any time about allowable or unallowable costs or activities. So, if you are an existing applicant, you can certainly always call your grant manager.

If you are a new applicant, you can certainly contact the OVC main email address that you've been using, or we've got a contact of the Tribal Financial Management Center. Either way, we'll make sure that we're always able to answer questions you have about costs as you're planning to apply.

Okay. So right now, I think we are going to move into questions and answers, and I will turn my video on just to talk to you a little bit and see if anything comes through that I can help answer.

Alexis Polen: So one question we've had, Mary, is an ask for an example of what would be considered a primary prevention activity.

Mary Atlas-Terry: Well, I would say it would be an activity that would be pretty much open to everybody in the community and it would be centered around how to stop crime or how to avoid being a victim of a crime or something like that. And it's open to the entire community and no information about available crime victim services is being provided at this event, no information about sexual assault or domestic violence is being provided at the event.

It's all about preventing a crime before it happens. It's not educating about it. It is very nuanced, and I do think any outreach or public awareness activity that can include information about the impact of crime victimization and the available services would be allowable. 

Alexis Polen: Thank you, Mary. 

Mary Atlas-Terry: Dawn or Alexis, do you have anything else to mention? 

Alexis Polen: Another example would be, for example, human trafficking prevention education curricula for all students of a grade in a school system or something like that.

Mary Atlas-Terry: Yeah.

Alexis Polen: Okay. We had another question come through at the Q&A. The question was, "Last year, MMIP funds were capped at 3% of total budget. Is that the same this year?"

Mary Atlas-Terry: No. And LeBretia mentioned that in her opening remarks, and it's not capped. So as a result of last year's consultation where this issue was discussed at length, we've removed the cap on activities related to MMIP so Tribes can do what they need to do.

But again, I just want to ask you to please look at the solicitation and see the different types of scenarios where Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside funding can be used to support families related to MMIP. And again, one of the biggest things is that funds can't be used for investigation activities, that kind of thing. But please, there are some nuances to this issue that are available in that solicitation.

Alexis Polen: Thank you, Mary. We have another question and is posed by Louise. So Louise, you might need to clarify your question if we don't quite get at the answer you're looking for. But the question is, "Do we have to stay within the set-aside amount? Are there any exceptions?"

Mary Atlas-Terry: The allocation amount, I think you're talking about the amount of the allocation that we have provided to you and that we've invited you to apply for. At this particular moment, that is the allocation amount.

We ran that amount based on a formula, and it's very specific to the size of your Tribe. So at this particular moment, that is the cap. That is the most that you would be able to apply for this year, is that allocation amount.

If you want to apply for less than that, you could submit an application for less than that allocation amount. That's up to you. But you can't exceed that. Or we would not make an award greater than that unless something changes, which we don't know if that will happen. So right at this time, I'd say there will be no changes.

Alexis Polen: Thank you. "Can you clarify that food is allowable for traditional and cultural events and activities, and is it allowed to be purchased for victims?" Two-part question.

Mary Atlas-Terry: Food, sure. Food can definitely be purchased as a service for a victim. So in a number of different ways. You can take a client to the grocery store and pay for their groceries. If they need help with groceries, you can. If you have a policy on how to give out gift cards to a grocery store to a victim of crime, you can provide a gift card to a grocery store. 

If you are running a support group and you've got victims of crime attending a support group meeting or an event, you can provide food as a service during that event, during that activity or event with crime victims. It can also be used for larger community events that are directly related to crime victimization. 

So if you are hosting a traditional cultural community event and you know for certain and are targeting survivors of crime to attend that event and you're doing outreach to victims and survivors and you are passing out brochures about your program and highlighting your services, yes, food can be provided at that cultural traditional event, but it has to be connected to something related to crime victim services. If Alexis or Dawn have anything to add to help with that?

Alexis Polen: No, I think that was a good answer.

Dawn Hill: Yes, it was.

Alexis Polen: And there was another question of, "Can you give examples of food or water that are exceptions in activities or trainings," but I think you incorporated the answer to that question in your previous answer. And we have a question. This question might need a little clarifying. Oh, they did clarify. Thank you, Bliss.

So the question was, "Would training to recognize key details about victims of crime, like their behaviors or how to spot individuals who are currently under abduction, be something we are able to fund?" So I asked a follow-up question and asked, "Is the training for staff," and they clarified, yes.

So again, I'm going to restate the question. "Would training for recognizing key details about victims of crime, like their behaviors or how to spot individuals who are currently under abduction, be something we are able to fund?"

Mary Atlas-Terry: If by abduction you possibly mean maybe a victim of trafficking or a victim of kidnapping and you want to host a training for professionals to spot red flags, like, you know, what are key indicators, red flags of a potential victim of trafficking or a potential victim of kidnapping. Yes, that would be allowable.

You could host a training. You can host a training to identify victims of crime. And that could be similar to any kind of crime victim. How to identify a victim of elder abuse, how to identify a victim of child abuse. What are red flags? Red flag indicator trainings for professionals would be appropriate. 

Alexis Polen: Thank you. Next question is, "Can these funds be used for completion of an ongoing project that was not completed under the old grant?"

Mary Atlas-Terry: I do believe it could work that way. What I would recommend is to talk to your grant manager about how to do it. But I would say that would be allowable. 

Alexis Polen: Yeah, the caveat I would throw in here is to make sure that the old grant is another TVSSA grant. If it's a different grant from a different office, that might be more complicated to answer. But you would want to speak to your grant manager. Another question. Go ahead.

Mary Atlas-Terry: I was actually wondering if we should stop now and move to Dawn just for purposes of time and then we'll have another opportunity for Q&A in a little bit. Is that okay?

Alexis Polen: Yes.

Dawn Hill: Next slide. All right. I'm going to discuss the application documents that are needed and how to submit it. Next slide. Now, here is a roadmap on how to apply. Our roadmap isn't a, you know, yellow brick road, but it's green. But green means go, so you should be ready. So step one is to register in SAM.gov. So SAM stands for system of award management.

So if we look at our roadmap, let me back up, anybody who is doing business with the federal government, if you're an entity or if you are a person, you must register on SAM.gov. So if you're new, you register at SAM.gov. If you are a current grantee, you would renew your registration, and registration expires yearly.

So, it's been more than 12 months, you need to go back in SAM.gov and renew your registration. If you are a current grantee right now and it's been within 12 months, just go back into SAM.gov and confirm that your registration is current. After you register in SAM.gov, you'll obtain or confirm a UEI. UEI means a unique entity ID. All grantees or applicants are assigned a UEI. You're going to need this. 

Step two, you're going to then go to Grants.gov. And in Grants.gov, I'll get into this in a little bit, there going to be two forms that you have to complete. The SF-424 and our lobbying form, all right? So once you're in Grants.gov, you see the SF-424, then the SF-LL which is the lobbying form, which I'll talk about in a minute. Once you're in Grants.gov, Mary mentioned the funding opportunity number. And on my next slide, I'll go into it a little more. 

You can either copy and paste that in the search engine in Grants.gov, or you actually, if you forget it, when you're in Grants.gov, you can just put OVC in that search engine and there are going to be a whole list of OVC grants that are available. You're going to have to look for the one for TVSSA. So it probably would be better if you had that funding opportunity number. 

All right, step three, after you get out of Grants.gov, because we have three sites, SAM.gov, Grants.gov, and the last one is JustGrants, okay? So here's where you're going to complete all of your application documents and then you'll submit. But I'll get into that a little more. 

I just want to remind you again, go into SAM.gov, if your SAM.gov is expired, if you're current, you must, must renew that. And we are a little over 30 days before our first deadline, so this is very critical because it can take a while to get cleared for SAM.gov. So you're going to want to do this within the next week or two, because you don't want to bump up against that next deadline. All right, next slide. 

So that's the funding opportunity number. You've seen it, the assistance listing number is also located in the solicitation. And remember I said the first deadline, you want to make sure that you register in SAM.gov because the Grants.gov deadline is June 14th, okay? 

And then the JustGrants deadline, it's June 28th, and we have two different dates because it takes time. Once you get into SAM.gov, it takes a few days, Grants.gov, it takes a while for them to register you, and then to get into JustGrants, all right? 

And DOJ expects to award grants, hopefully, by September 30th, 2024. Mary also mentioned that the project start date should be January 1, 2025. We do know that we have current grantees. So let's say you have a grant right now, it ends September 30th, 2024, and you're worried about that lapse between October 2024 until January. Speak with your grant manager.

If you're a current grantee, if you need to start a little sooner. The soonest you can really start is October 2024, but contact your grant manager if that is something that you are concerned about. All right, next slide.

Step two, I'm getting into it a little more. Grants.gov, the SF-424. Okay, when you go into Grants.gov, some of the things they're going to ask you on this SF-424, you can't really see that document on the screen. They're going to ask you what type of applicant you are, what your legal name is. Remember again, what is your UEI number? Remember that comes from SAM.gov. So you need to know your UEI number.

They're going to ask you what the funding opportunity number is. We talked about that. Find it in the solicitation if you forget. They're going to ask you what your project title is, what's your funding amount. Go back to the allocation chart if you're unsure, all right? How to confirm that you are finished with everything in Grants.gov? Your status in Grants.gov is either going to say submit it or it may say agency tracking number assigned, okay? So once you submit the SF-424, and if you go on to the next slide, we'll talk about the lobbying.

And once you submit the lobbying form, those two documents are already in Grants.gov. It's a matter of just attaching them, making sure that they're in there. So if you aren't lobbying, it says, "All applicants must disclose to us the existence or nonexistence of lobbying activities by completing this form." And so if you know that you don't have a lobbyist, on number 10, you could just put N/A, okay? So we're just about done with Grants.gov.

Remember, SF-424 needs to be complete, the lobbying form needs to be complete, and access to funds may be withheld if this particular form is not submitted. Current grantees understand that we have to put a special withholding condition if this form is incomplete. If you're a new grantee, your funds will be withheld if this form is incomplete. Okay? So make sure you do that. If you have questions, in the solicitation, there are resources if you need more information. Next slide. 

All right, step three. So go back to step one is SAM.gov, step two was Grants.gov, okay, step three is JustGrants. All right, so if you are a new user, what's going to happen is, once your application is received in Grants.gov, an email will come to you. It will say DIAMD. We call it diamond. So don't ignore it if you see an email with DIAMD-NoReply. 

You'll receive an email once you complete the Grants.gov steps, and it will give you instructions on how to create your JustGrants account, okay? This is for new applicants. If you're a current grantee, you should already have access to JustGrants, okay? 

Now, for the JustGrants portal part of it, the following information must be included in the application. And I will go through these in the next couple of slides. The proposal narrative, if you're proposing construction, there's a questionnaire that you have to complete, budget detail worksheet, including the budget narrative, and then a project timeline. 

If you're proposing to use TVSSA funds for renovation or construction activities, this really includes the purchase, the installation, the site preparation for modular buildings, mobile homes, trailer homes, and other pre-fabricated structures, you must complete that questionnaire. More information to follow. All right, next slide. 

So, options for the proposal narrative. Your application must include a description of your goals and objectives for the project. It may be completed in any of the three formats, and I'll have a slide on each, traditional proposal narrative, the checklist, or you can opt to have a virtual or phone interview with OVC staff. Next slide. 

Let's get into option one, which is the proposal narrative. This one, you complete on your own, okay? So it's a matter of typing in Word or more than likely, I've seen most of the grantees use the Word document. It must be typed, and it must include a description of the issue, your project design and implementation, your capabilities and competencies, the plan for collecting performance data. 

What I will say, you know, this is a webinar, so I'm not getting into each particular bullet, but if you go to pages 16 through 18 of the solicitation, it goes into depth, more detail on exactly what should be including your description, your project design. I mean, there's a lot of information to help guide you, okay? So remember, this proposal narrative, this is on your own. You use Word document and you use this as a guide. That's option one. Let's go to option two. 

All right, option two. Some applicants may opt to use a checklist. This checklist really is, they're targeted questions that are very similar to the proposal narrative. It still asks you about the description of your problem, how to collect data, but they're targeted questions and it drills down for you as opposed to you having to use a Word document and kind of setting that up yourself. Okay? And there's a link to the program checklist. 

So the checklist is included in the solicitation. If you just need to just click on that, it is a fillable PDF. And so the reason why we created it was to meet all the requirements of the proposal narrative, the option one, okay? It just kind of helps you organize and just gives you targeted questions to really help you answer the questions of what are your goals and objectives, okay? 

On May 14th, there actually is a webinar scheduled from 2:00 to 3:00, and you'll get all the information you need, and they've dropped it in the chat on how to complete this checklist. So this is option two, okay? Let's go on to option three. 

Option three is still the program narrative, but it is an interview. An applicant who prefers to have an interview with OVC staff to document their program plans will be interviewed using that same checklist that I just talked about as the interview guide. 

Now, interviews should have been requested by, let's see, that was Monday. Monday, May 6. If you still feel like, hmm, I like option three the best. There is still time, but you have to email us today by close of business to say, "I would like an interview. I would like assistance with completing this checklist." So please email us today. There's no guarantee, but we will try our best to work with you. Let me just say that.

Okay, let me get a little bit into how the interview works. OVC will contact you to set up the interview and reserve a 2-hour block of time. You, the applicant will prepare for the interview by reviewing the program narrative checklist, and we want you to go over the checklist and determine how you will want to answer questions.

Now, it is very helpful if you, as the applicant, if you can start to fill out the checklist before the interview. You don't have to, but it does help because it gives us a better idea of what your outlook is, what your, you know, program goals and objectives will be. So if you can do that prior to the interview, it'll be helpful. If not, it's okay. We will still work with you through this checklist, you know, by doing the interview.

OVC will conduct the interview by phone or by video as you prefer, by asking you the questions on the checklist and typing your answers. There may be technical assistant providers at the interview as well, that's outside of your grant manager, to assist with the process. We then will return the completed checklist to you via email, and this is for you to edit as needed and then it's your responsibility to upload the final version of the checklist into JustGrants, because this is all a part of your application documents for submission, okay? All right. Let's go on to the next slide.

Project timeline. This is another requirement for submitting in JustGrants. You must submit a project timeline, which includes project activities and major milestones that will be carried out over the length of the proposed project period. You can see page 16. What I will point out is if you decide to use the checklist, the timeline is already built into the document.

But remember, if you use option one, the timeline is not built in because you are actually typing it yourself. So either you can just, you know, attach a project timeline to your proposal narrative if you're using option one. But option two and option three have that timeline built in.

And your timeline must include all of the tasks associated with your proposed project, identify who will be responsible for the task, and when those specific activities will be accomplished. And this document will help guide your work. So if you decide that you want a one-year project, your timeline should just be for a year. For example, if you decide you want a three-year, et cetera, et cetera, it should reflect three years. All right, next slide.

I won't go over this too much because I'm not the expert in construction, but we have an awesome team that will provide all of this information for you on May 23rd. So I encourage you, if you are thinking about having, you know, adding construction, remember, construction is the purchase, the installation, and site preparation for a modular building, mobile homes, trailer homes, or other pre-fabricated structures, you must complete this questionnaire, but I also encourage you to join the session on May 23rd.

We'll also have two construction related TTA providers, because there's some more requirements when you're doing construction, you have to complete an environmental assessment. So please join on May 23rd if you are thinking about including construction in your budget. Next slide.

Budget detail worksheet. This is, you know, super important. It goes back to, you know, what are you proposing in your narrative, okay? And your budget detail worksheet should include salaries and fringes. You know, for employees working on the grant, include travel for a minimum of two staff to attend at least one OVC required meeting or conference. And the budget should include all costs necessary to fully implement the project.

With the Excel worksheet that we recommend, it is, you know, if you've seen it before, or if you have not seen it before, it's broken down by year, year 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, or how many, you know, years you need. I would suggest that you pull out that unallowable/allowable cost or the checklist, I would say, or maybe a cost chart I should say, as you're doing your budget.

Because oftentimes, us as grant managers receive budgets and we are looking through the budgets and we're saying, "Hmm, that's an unallowable cost." Okay? So if you have that tool, that unallowable/allowable cost chart handy, you'll know what you can and what you can't put in a budget. Another thing that I want to mention is the budget narrative.

Please, please, please, I encourage you to complete the budget narrative. We oftentimes see applicants, they complete the line items, but when it comes to the narrative, there isn't a breakdown of computation there or there isn't a breakdown of how you're really going to spend the funds.

For example, if you're going to buy supplies for $5,000, you put supplies in there, $5,000, but in a budget narrative, there's nothing listed. We need to know what are you planning to buy. What supplies are you planning to buy for those $5,000.

And the webinar we've mentioned before for the budget narrative is May 15th. They're going to go into more detail on how to complete this budget, but that's May 15th. You'll get more information on that. Next slide. All right.

The financial management and system of internal controls. This questionnaire, beginning in 2024, every OJP applicant was required to complete this questionnaire, and it is located in the solicitation. It's not too hard to complete, but you must complete this. We will ask for this. So please refer to the solicitation for this. Next slide. 

All right, we're almost at the end because once you upload all of your attachments, it really now is completing the certifications, disclosures, and assurances. You've already done the lobbying activity form, remember, from Grants.gov. That should be complete. 

We're going to ask you a little bit about the disclosure of the duplication cost items. I'm going to talk about that in the next slide. And then the certified standard assurances, I'll go into that. More lobbying, you just have to really attest that you're going to adhere to DOJ guidelines. All right, next slide. 

Yes, the disclosure of duplication in cost items. It ensures funding, coordination across grant-making agencies, and it helps us to avoid unnecessary or inappropriate duplication among grant awards, okay? Really, what that means is, does funding support the same project or are there identical cost items in this project? So you have to attest to that. 

Let us know, "Hey, yes, I have another grant award out there that's very similar." So it's a yes or no question. So make sure that you read what's in JustGrants when it comes to the disclosure of duplication of cost items. Next slide. 

And declaration and certification. I know you can't see that, but I'll give you a little preview of what this is, especially for new applicants. So what you're doing here is really attesting that you have the authority to make declaration and certification on behalf of the applicant. You're just attesting to that, "Yes, I can apply on behalf of Tribe," or whatever your organization is. You're also attesting that you reviewed the application and supporting materials, and the information is true, okay?

And the third one is, you're declaring that information submitted is not fraudulent and that you understand that there could be consequences if there are some untruths within your application. So a lot of it is just checking that box at the bottom, as you see on the screen, after you've read all of that. Next slide. 

And last one, yeah. Last but not least, you're just submitting in JustGrants. Once all sections are complete, the application submitter will submit the application. Upon successful submission of the application, you'll receive an email from JustGrants. 

And what I forgot to mention on the SF-424, there is a section, I believe it's section F where you have to put in the application submitter, that person is going to receive a lot of those emails. So you need to make sure that whoever you decide is the application submitter has access to the emails and is very good at staying on top of things because they're going to be the ones that are getting the emails to move you through each step.

So, the application submitter will receive an email. There's a space in there for you to add whoever's your entity administrator and your authorized rep is going to be. All right, and last but not least, what to expect after submitting.

The entity will be notified that they've received an application. You know, when all applications have been, I should say received, hopefully, before, you know, September 30th. And the system will notify you if the deadline has changed, or you know, when everything's been received in JustGrants and Grants.gov.

Remember that application submitter will receive that as well as the entity administrator. And the entity administrator will get notification when the award has been sent. I think that is it. Just don't forget, SAM.gov. You need to get on that, especially if you're a new grantee.

And that is it from me. Any questions? I know that my colleagues have been in the chat answering, but we're pausing here for more questions before Mary is going to close us out for this webinar.

Alexis Polen: Yeah, I'm going to take a moment and read out loud some of the Q&A just to make sure that everyone knows the questions and answers. So one question was, "If we're doing an interview with OVC staff for the TVSSA grant, will we still need to submit it in Grants.gov and JustGrants?"

Dawn Hill: So once you do the interview where you're completing the checklist, you just upload that, that will be considered like your proposal narrative. You just upload that into JustGrants. The only thing that goes into Grants.gov, is remember is your SF-424 and the lobbying form. Everything else, all the other documents that I talked about should be uploaded into the JustGrants.gov website.

Mary Atlas-Terry: Hi. And Dawn, I'd like to just support your answer a little bit as well, just to add a little bit. If you do an interview, a virtual interview or an in-person interview, after the interview, OVC staff is going to be providing you with the completed checklist, or at least what we documented during the interview, you will have an opportunity to edit that and make sure it's correct because it is your document, it becomes your program narrative.

And then you would upload that into JustGrants along with a budget that supports that project and all of the other attachments that are required in the application process. So, the interview is just helping to complete the program narrative checklist portion of the application, but you still need to work on a budget and then submit the whole package into JustGrants.

Alexis Polen: Thank you. We have a budget related question that came in through the chat. Should we address that now or wait?

Mary Atlas-Terry: We could probably address it.

Alexis Polen: Okay, yeah. "How many OVC required meetings are there in a year and where are they located? So we can have that already for the budget."

Dawn Hill: I would say at least one, just maybe put in for Washington, DC. I mean, right now, I would say we don't know exactly where one would be, but a good point of reference would be to budget travel for DC and of course, you know, if there are any OVC-related conferences, we'll let you know way ahead of time. So if you need to adjust, then that will happen. So, yeah.

Alexis Polen: Thank you, Dawn. And there are no more questions.

Mary Atlas-Terry: Okay. And before I start on the next slide, I just wanted to say one more thing about the Alaska in-person interview. Some people from Alaska are requesting interviews. We are working on locations now on where we could possibly do in-person interviews at one or two cities in Alaska. But I just wanted to give you a heads up that to prepare for that interview, we would love it if you could prepare a good part of the checklist on your own.

Think about the answers to the questions that we're going to be discussing in in-person interview. Send your draft, you know, ideas in the checklist to the grant manager that you'll be meeting with before the meeting. If you could send it a week before your in-person meeting, that would be fabulous.

But you'll get all of that information when we're reaching out to you to schedule. But I just wanted to put that out there for people in Alaska who might want to meet in person. Try to work on the checklist the best you can before, and send it ahead of time so we can maybe work on some things even offline before we meet in person. So, thank you. Thanks. I think I'm ready for the next slide.

Tools and resources. We've got about 15 more minutes left in our presentation. I think we need to go back one. Back one slide, please. There we go. One more forward. There we go. Yeah, that's the slide I want. I love this slide only because these are my three favorite things to lead you to for information about this application. 

The first link is the solicitation. It is the basis of where all the information starts. It provides you the scope and links to everything. The solicitation links to the second document listed there. 

The OJP application resource guide. The application resource guide will get into some nitty-gritty detail about certain forms and explain certain forms and standard assurances and that kind of thing. It's really good at explaining the policies and the regulations about certain things. And it has attachments.

But the third document, the OJP grant application submission checklist, that's really great because it gives you the step-by-step. It's a step-by-step guide of moving through SAM.gov, Grants.gov, and to JustGrants. It's a great resource. I would love if you could flag for yourself. Next slide, please. 

Each of those systems has their own help desk. And please use the help desks. And I will say in part, because they're going to be better assistance to you than your OVC grant managers are because they know those systems and they know the questions and how things should be filled out. So please use the help desk information at SAM.gov and Grants.gov. They're listed here on this slide. And next slide, please. 

And here is the JustGrants service desk, email, and phone number and website. And again, this is just a reminder that the Tribal Victim Services deadline for submission is June 28th at 8:59 PM Eastern Time. And if, for whatever reason, you're in JustGrants, you're having trouble submitting and deadline is coming, please reach out to the JustGrants service desk, and let them know you're having troubles and they can talk you through and create a ticket for you. 

That's really critical if you're coming up on the deadline. And again, the Grants.gov people can help you with creating an account or logging in to JustGrants as well and the application submission. Next slide, please. 

These are really cool. These are JustGrants office hours, application mechanics sessions. Every single Wednesday at 4:30 PM Eastern Time, starting May 15th through June 26th. Well, I think they go on even longer, but these are the ones that are like in your application time period. Anyway, please register for a session. You can register for every session and check in with them every week. 

I think they give you personalized assistance while you're there in that meeting. You can ask any random question you have and they'll talk you through it. So, yeah, check out these sessions. They'll really talk you through a lot of the mechanics of things. You can access these trainings on the JustGrants website under the training section. Okay, next slide, please. 

Again, we're having three pre-application webinars, May 14th, May 15th, and May 23rd, completing a program narrative, developing your budget, and then considerations for construction projects. So please join us on those as well. Next slide, please. 

This is our Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside website where everything is listed. So this is a great website for you to flag for yourself and keep. Everything can be found here on one centralized location. And next slide, please. 

If you need help navigating your application. So if you have questions about how the set-aside works, if you are a new applicant and you don't have a grant manager yet, please reach out to the OVC Tribal Victim Services or Tribal set-aside email, and we will respond to your questions. Or you could reach out to your current OVC grant manager with any questions you have about your new application. 

If you would like some additional help outside of an interview for help with your program narrative or developing a timeline, please contact our Tribal Victim Services Training and Technical Assistance team, T-VSTTA. And there's their email there. 

And lastly, if you need help with any of the financial pieces of the application, including the budget worksheet and narrative, the budget detail worksheet and narrative, the budget narrative, you can contact TFMC, that's our Tribal Financial Management Center, for some assistance. Next slide, please. 

Here, I just wanted to quickly say that OVC does offer a variety of technical training and technical assistance to all grantees. We have hands-on assistance in completing community needs assessments along with your local team's participation in that process, of course.

We help develop customized training. And so we just offer a variety of resources that are free of charge to grantees. And we'd love to get to know you better and assist you in any way as you're developing your projects and implementing them. Next slide, please. 

I'm going to skip this slide. Next slide, please. So this is a good slide about, you know, the different kinds of ways the Tribal Victim Service Training and Technical Assistance Center can support you. Again, these are free, open to all grantees and it's all related to the programmatic aspects of your grant. Next slide, please.

Again, this is the Tribal Financial Management Center, providing grantees with customized financial assistance to support grant compliance and grant management. So these resources are available to you, and their website is wonderful for you to, you know, save on your computer because they do have guide sheets on over 40 topic areas and recordings of webinars and microlearnings that they've done so far. So that's a great resource for you. And last slide, please. 

Again, here are the deadlines for applying this year for funds. So again, today, and as soon as possible, please submit your request for an interview so that we can log it in and then begin reaching out to everyone to schedule.

The deadline for submitting the two forms, in Grants.gov, that's the SF-424 and the SF-LLL, the lobbying form, in the Grants.gov is June 14th, 8:59 PM Eastern Time. And then the JustGrants deadline is June 28th, Friday, June 28th, 8:59 PM. Okay. Can we have some questions before we run out of time? Thank you.

Alexis Polen: Yes, absolutely. So let's see, "Who are the OVC TTA providers in Alaska?"

Mary Atlas-Terry: Well, so our Tribal Victim Services Training and Technical Assistance Center has some individual staff members based in Alaska and also based in other areas of the country. But Alexis, I think I'll just defer to you and see how you want to answer this question.

Alexis Polen: Sure. So the best answer is probably to say that all of our TA providers provide services in Alaska. So we don't have TA providers that only cover Alaska as much as we make sure all of our TA providers are able to provide services to our grantees located wherever they may be. So it's true that our programmatic TA provider does have three individuals that are actually physically located in Alaska. But whatever services you need help with, whether it's finance, construction or other, if you're in Alaska, our TA providers can support you.

Let's see. Trying to see, we don't have a lot of additional questions. One is, "On the SF-424 in Grants.gov, the amount being asked for will be the allocated amount, correct?"

Dawn Hill: Yes, that's correct.

Alexis Polen: Okay. And then, I am not seeing any additional questions.

Mary Atlas-Terry: I think Dawn mentioned this, but I do also know that, so if you start your grant application in Grants.gov, the SF-424, and put the allocation amount in that box, and then later when you're developing your budget and submitting it in JustGrants, there's going to be a screen that populates again, and you can change the award amount if you realize your budget is a little bit under the allocation amount. You can change the amount being requested later in JustGrants. But when you submit in Grants.gov, the best thing to do would be to apply for the allocation amount.

Alexis Polen: I don't see any additional questions.

Mary Atlas-Terry: Well, we're really excited to work with you this year and thank you so much for participating. Oh, there might be a question coming through.

Alexis Polen: You're right. So for multiyear projects, can the budget be adjusted if needed?

Dawn Hill: I'm assuming, meaning once you start, and then let's say if you get into year two, you need to adjust your budget? Yes. You'll just contact your grant manager and we'll review that with you. But there is a process that we use called the grant adjustment modification. So you would have to revise your budget if the activities, you know, after we review, are allowable. So we'll have a discussion with you, but yes, your budget can be adjusted if it need be once you get into your grant.

Alexis Polen: "Will the slides be available to be printed?" So, I know that we will have a link to the recording of this presentation. I'm unsure about slides for printing.

Mary Atlas-Terry: I do think that a PDF of the slides will be made available on the Tribal Victim Services website next to the recording.

Alexis Polen: Excellent. I suppose this is the last call for questions, and I don't see anymore. "Is the allocation chart on the OVC website?" Yes, it is. And so we'll provide the link to that again.

Dawn Hill: It also is in the solicitation on the very first page. So, they have options.

Mary Atlas-Terry: And it was sent out by email on May 23rd to the folks who were in charge of submitting your population certification. Well, thank you again for joining today. It was fun being here with you. And again, we look forward to being of assistance in any way that we can. Dawn, did you want to...

Dawn Hill: No, I was saying, you know, good luck and thank you very much.

Mary Atlas-Terry: Well, thank you, everyone, and have a great day.