ARPA FAQs

Nonprofit Grant Application FAQs

What is a Subrecipient Versus a Beneficiary?

A Subrecipient is an entity that administers funding, while a beneficiary is someone (individual or another entity) that directly benefits from the funds. In the instance of our nonprofit ARPA grant applications, the City of Scranton is the Recipient of the federal funding. In the first round of funding that nonprofits could apply for through August 12, for example, the Scranton Area Community Foundation (SACF) functioned as the Subrecipient administering the funds on behalf of the City to the nonprofits, which makes the nonprofit entities the Beneficiaries.

Flowchart depicting the difference between a beneficiary and subrecipient

Who is Eligible for the Current Funding?

Eligible entities for the current funding are 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) nonprofit organizations. The current program being administered by SACF is designed specifically to provide aid and recovery to nonprofit organizations that were negatively impacted by the pandemic. 

Additional programs will be rolled out in the near future for nonprofits and other organizations and businesses to apply for focused on providing social programs such as domestic abuse and violence prevention programs, behavioral, mental health, and wellness programs, as well as educational, literacy, and finance programs.

How Much is the Nonprofit Eligible to Receive?

Nonprofits are eligible to receive up to $50,000 per grant application and specified need. However, if a non-profit can provide proof of a larger loss or demonstrated impact greater than $50,000, they may receive funding for this demonstrated impact, up to a maximum of $100,000.

Nonprofits who receive an amount larger than $50,000 will require a SAM.gov ID number. For information on how to receive or update a SAM.gov ID number, please click here to download an instructional PDF.

What are the Eligible Uses of Funding?

This round of funding will be used to support eligible nonprofits impacted by the pandemic to mitigate financial hardships including, but not limited to, decreased revenue, financial insecurity, capacity to withstand future financial hardship, increased costs, and challenges covering other costs, other operation costs, mitigation for social distancing, cleaning, barriers, and other health and safety investments or upgrades. In addition, funding may be used for non-profit developments such as websites, technology, or marketing. 

Additionally, nonprofits are also eligible to receive funding for eligible capital expenditures. For a capital expenditure to be eligible, it must respond directly to the pandemic and be proportional to the demonstrated impact. Applicants must also detail how the capital expenditure ultimately serves or provides benefit to the residents and communities within the City.

What is a Capital Expenditure, and How Would I Apply for One?

A capital expenditure is money spent on acquiring or maintaining fixed assets, such as land, buildings, and equipment. Funding applications may also be submitted for eligible capital expenditures. Capital expenditures are subject to the same eligibility standard as other eligible uses: they must be related and proportional to the pandemic impact identified and designed to benefit the impacted population or class.

How Long will Applications be Open?

Applications for nonprofit recovery grants will open online Monday, July 18, 2022, at 9 a.m. and will close Friday, August 12, 2022, at 11:59 p.m.

What Documentation am I Required to Submit?

In general, all applicants will need to provide evidence they have experienced negative economic impacts due to COVID-19, or that COVID-19 has created an economic impact that makes this grant request necessary to support the ongoing operations of the organization. Examples of general documents that may be required for organizations, businesses, and agencies submitting an application include:

  • Last 2 fiscal years’ bank statements for the organization
  • Proof of Nonprofit status (if applicable)
    • Copy of IRS letter or certificate, verifying tax-exempt status
    • Copy of Annual IRS 990 Form
  • Federal Tax Identification Number
  • Current copy of IRS W-9 Tax Form
  • Copy of Tax Returns for the three most recent years
  • List of Board of Directors or business owners/partners
  • Articles of Incorporation (if applicable)
  • List of monetary and/or in-kind donations from the City of Scranton (if applicable)
  • Disclosure statement if Owner(s) hold greater than a 10% interest in the company/organization
  • Copies of invoices showing an increase in administration or program costs since March 3, 2021 (If applicable)
  • Past-due Mortgage/Rent Statements (If applicable)
  • Past-due utility bills (If applicable)
  • Evidence of reduced or inhibited fund-raising activities due to COVID-19 (if applicable)
  • Copies of invoices or evidence of COVID-19-related expenses incurred (if applicable)
  • Evidence of lost funds or income due to COVID-19 (if applicable)
  • If applying for funding for an eligible capital expenditure project, applicants will be required to fill out and send back “Beneficiary Award: Exhibit 2 Eligible Capital Expenditure Budget Sheet” with their application
  • If an applicant is approved for funding for eligible capital expenditure, the applicant will be required to:
    • Provide evidence of and adhere to their own internal procurement policy or adhere to the City of Scranton’s procurement policy for purchasing goods, services, and/or supplies. The City’s procurement policy requires goods, services, and/or supply contracts over $21,900 undergo a competitive sealed bidding process. It also requires that for goods, services, and/or supply contracts in the amount of $11,800 – $21,900, a minimum of 3 written or telephonic price quotes are received, and the lowest, most responsible bidder be awarded.
    • Provide invoices or bills to substantiate final capital expenditure costs for reimbursement by the City. The City nor SACF will pre-pay applicants. All funds will be distributed as reimbursements after proof of payment is provided by the applicant.

How will my Application be Prioritized?

Eligible applications from 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(19) nonprofit organizations that are located in a Qualified Census Tract (QCT) area or assist disproportionately impacted populations will be prioritized over those that do not.

What Does Disproportionately Impacted Mean?

The Treasury’s definition is as follows:

“Disproportionately impacted” entities are those that experienced disproportionate public health or economic outcomes from the pandemic. Treasury recognizes that preexisting disparities, in many cases, amplified the impacts of the pandemic, causing more severe impacts in underserved communities. Entities or individuals located in QCT areas are automatically identified as disproportionately impacted according to Federal guidance.

Please click here for a PDF map of the City’s disproportionately impacted areas and other areas in the Qualified Census Tract.

What if my Organization Already Received COVID-19 Funding?

Organizations that received other COVID-19 funding assistance are eligible to apply for ARPA funding, so long as the benefits applied for are not duplicated.

Who can I Contact with Questions?

Please ensure you have reviewed the eligibility guidelines and if further clarification is needed, questions can be emailed to the city at OECD@scrantonpa.gov, ARPA Communication and Information Manager Chris Hughes at chughes@scrantonpa.gov, or to Scranton Area Community Foundation at grants@safdn.org

Where can I Find More Information on Future Programs?

Further information can be found on the City of Scranton website at www.scrantonpa.gov/arpa.

Can one Entity use the same Email/Username for Multiple Organizations on the Grant Lifecycle Manager (GLM)?

The system only allows one email per organization. If the entity runs multiple organizations, it is advised to create a different email per the organization.

Does the Organization Need to be Located in the Scranton City Limits?

No, the organization can be located outside city limits, as long as they serve Scranton residents and can prove it.

Can I Only Apply for More Than one Round of Funding?

Yes. Organizations may apply for multiple rounds of funding.

However, grants cannot support any expenses or programs that have received other forms of federal funds, including but not limited to CARES Act funding or the Paycheck Protection Program.

In short, federal ARPA grant dollars distributed by the City of Scranton cannot support the same program or expense a second time.

What is the Expected Timeline of the Nonprofit Application Process?

  • August 12, 2022—Deadline for nonprofit application submissions
  • September 9, 2022—Application review period
  • September 26, 2022—Award determinations
  • October 1, 2022—City staff begin drafting grant agreements

Questions from the August 4 Webinar

I am having trouble uploading documents. What are the file size limits?

Following are the document file size limits in the Scranton Area Community Foundation grant portal:

  • Detailed itemized budget: 10 MB
  • Current copy of IRS W-9 form: 5 MB
  • Annual IRS 990 form: 5 MB
  • Copy of IRS letter of certificate, verifying tax-exempt status: 5 MB
  • Tax returns for 3 most recent years: 40 MB
  • List of Board of Directors: 5 MB
  • Articles of Incorporation: 5 MB
  • List of monetary and/or in-kind donations from the City of Scranton: 5 MB
  • Audited financial statement: 40 MB
  • Bank statement of the last 2 fiscal years: 40 MB
  • Copies of invoices showing increase in administrative or program costs: 10 MB
  • Past-due mortgage or rent statement: 10 MB
  • Past-due utility bills: 10 MB
  • Disclosure statement if owner(s) hold a 10% interest in the company or organization: 10 MB

Please consolidate/condense documents to the best of your ability. There are how-to documents linked in the application portal for your utilization. If you still need assistance, you can email Frank Caputo at frank@safdn.org.

Only one document may be uploaded per question. Additional details on merging PDF files into a single document can be found at https://www.adobe.com/acrobat/online/merge-pdf.html

I have data for the number of City of Scranton residents impacted by our services, but not data on the number of households. How do I address this?

The application asks which group (residents or households) the organization counts as its served population. You only need to provide data for one or the other.

Do I have to show a financial loss in 2020-21?

The specific dates are not exclusive; as long as the organization can provide documentation of a loss, or an increased need, from March 3, 2021, to the present day.

How would reimbursement grants work for an application specific to the first-listed type of grant for “funds to cover COVID-19 related economic loss”? What do we need to show for reimbursement?

For reimbursement, the documentation required is dependent on what is being reimbursed. For example, a receipt of safety equipment purchases (masks, gloves, etc.) would be sufficient for reimbursement. Another example would be a canceled fundraiser and a quantifiable funding loss because of that cancelation due to COVID.

What time frame is applicable for the grant?

The applicable timeline is intended to capture negative economic impacts sustained from March 3, 2021 up through the date of the application submission. Applicants may also submit projected budget numbers for costs associated with future eligible capital projects or COVID-related expenditures (i.e. HVAC upgrades to mitigate the spread and transmission of COVID-19 or personal protective safety equipment such as gloves, masks, signage, etc.).

Can the funds be used to cover future COVID-related expenses that are different from the basis of the lost revenue?

Yes. See the previous question for details.

Are we able to apply for equipment needed to help better monitor staff and visitors?

As long as the need is directly tied to a need or shortfall created by COVID-19, the equipment purchase would be eligible.

If we have received PPP loans or other funding, are we still eligible for the grant?

Yes, as long as what you are currently applying for is for different uses than previous funding received. In other words, no duplication of benefits.

Our applications are related to increased need/capacity and hiring additional staff to meet that need. Will grants only be approved for those agencies that ran a deficit during the pandemic?

Applications can be submitted to cover costs associated with an increased level of service or a deficit, as long as either is directly related to impacts caused by the pandemic.

How many details need to be included regarding the planned use of funds if awarded?

Preferably, as much detail as possible. There is a template budget sheet for reference (for your use!) linked within the application

If we used another grant to cover costs of Covid expenses such as laptops, etc., can I submit those expenditures and release those previous grant funds back to budget?

Questions like this need to be assessed on a case-by-case basis. In general, applicants are required to disclose information and details regarding any previous grant funding received related to COVID-19 impacts and detail what those funds were or are intended to be used for. The City of Scranton ARPA funds will not be able to be utilized to cover those same intended uses.

Can you clarify where our license must be based, the county or City of Scranton?

This requirement is only applicable to nonprofits that are required, by law, to operate with a current license. If you fit this requirement, you will need to upload a current copy of your nonprofit’s active license to provide services.

How long must a nonprofit be in operation to be eligible?

The criterion for this grant requires the organization to be active for a minimum of (6) six months.

Can a draft version of my organization’s 2021 990 form and audit be submitted?

Yes. Applicants may submit unaudited tax forms and/or financial statements. However, any un-audited information must come with a certification statement from your organization’s president or treasurer stating that the information being submitted is true and complete to the best of their knowledge. 

What is considered a reasonable size request for funding compared to our budget?

A reasonable request is unique to the organization’s budget/losses/increased need that can be demonstrated.

To clarify, the City needs every bank statement from the last 2 years?

Yes. Bank statements are used for eligibility reviews

Can we submit future expenses for this year that are COVID-related such as monthly EHR invoices, cleaning supplies, masks, etc.?

Yes, this would be best to include in the detailed project budget

If our losses occurred only in the last 12 months, would only 12 months of bank statements be needed?

Yes, as long as the bank statements provided clearly identify the value of the loss incurred during that period.

Should we submit financials for 2018-19 to demonstrate revenue loss?

Yes, if applicable

Last year, the County awarded COVID funds based on the size of the non-profit. Would those funds be subtracted from the potential award of this grant?

No, they are not related. As long as no uses of the funds are being duplicated for the same project or expense, there is no impact on this award.

What does the certified statement need to look like that is supposed to accompany the financial statements?

Any unaudited bank statement or tax information must come with a certification statement from your organization’s president or treasurer stating the information that is being submitted is true and complete to the best of their knowledge. 

Are you granting partial amounts? For example, if we request $20,000 and it is determined we are only showing a loss of $10,000, is it possible to only receive the $10,000, or is the grant entirely denied?

Yes, partial amounts may be granted where necessary.

If there are further questions after we submit, will we be able to revise after August 12?

Yes, if clarification is needed, you will be contacted, but you will no longer have access to edit your application. Updates will be noted by the application reviewer.

If we canceled an annual fundraiser, do we show how much we made in previous years to show loss?

Yes, this is one of the acceptable forms of documentation.

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