NFID Strategic Opportunities Funding Program

Overview

The NFID Board of Directors (BOD) has established a Work Group on Strategic Opportunities (WGSO) composed of four (4) Directors to oversee the NFID Strategic Opportunities Funding Program. The NFID Vice President serves as Chair and members of the WGSO serve two (2) year terms that may be extended for one (1) additional term. Members are selected based on experience and interest. WGSO reviews all submittals and makes recommendations to the BOD for final approval.

The NFID BOD has determined that a portion of reserve funds may be allocated for research or intervention projects that are in alignment with the NFID Strategic Plan. The application, review, and evaluation process for awarding funding for proposals is outlined below. Proposals may be submitted only by current NFID Directors and each Director may submit only one (1) proposal per fiscal year. Submitting Directors must be actively involved in the development of proposal(s) and in project implementation, if approved for funding. Ex-officio members of the BOD are not eligible to submit proposals.

WGSO members may apply but will be required to recuse themselves from discussion and voting regarding a submitted proposal. The NFID Executive Director serves as an ex-officio member of WGSO and votes only if one or more WGSO members are required to recuse themselves from deliberations due to a conflict of interest. WGSO may seek an external review by one or more members of the BOD, as deemed necessary by the Chair.

In the future, NFID may decide to reevaluate and expand opportunities for proposals beyond current Directors.

Purpose

To utilize NFID reserve funds for new initiatives in alignment with the NFID Strategic Plan. Indirect costs may not exceed 10% of total proposed project budget.

Application Guidelines

NFID will consider funding initiatives falling into one or more of the following goal areas outlined in the NFID Strategic Plan:

  • Enhancing educational impact
  • Amplifying messaging to build awareness
  • Driving organizational excellence

Application is a two-step process with an initial Letter of Intent (LOI) followed by a full proposal for selected LOIs. LOIs must be submitted using the online form at: http://bit.ly/wgso-loi and must include the following:

  • Brief summary of the proposal and how it relates to NFID goal(s)
  • Brief description of rationale, target audience, partner organizations (if applicable), objectives and metrics for evaluation
  • Timeline
  • Type of proposal (research vs. intervention)
  • Summary of proposal budget and amount requested from NFID
  • Director role in project implementation
  • Availability of matching funds
  • Total proposal budget
    • Small (<$20K)
    • Medium ($20K-$100K)
    • Large (>$100K)

WGSO will review all LOIs and Directors submitting LOIs that receive an average score of 20 or higher will be invited to submit a full proposal. WGSO will provide feedback on LOIs not selected and proposers may be invited to reapply during a future cycle.

Full proposals must be no more than 5 double-spaced pages and must be submitted using the online form at: http://bit.ly/wgso-fullproposal, with the following information included:

  • Name of Director leading project, proposal title, and description of Director role in project implementation
  • Relevant NFID Strategic Plan goal(s)
  • CME offered (Yes/No)
  • Detailed description of proposed project including rationale, goals, target audience, activities, expected outcomes and metrics for evaluation
  • Impact statement and description of expected outcomes
  • Detailed budget including all expenses related to the project, cost sharing, in kind efforts related to the project, and funds requested from NFID (if indirect costs are required, a statement of acceptance of NFID indirect fund maximum limitation of 10% of total direct costs)
  • Information about the organization seeking funds and qualifications of the individuals involved in the planning and implementation of the project
  • References

Evaluation Criteria and Weighting [0 (lowest) to 5 (highest)]

Quality of proposed project                       0 (poor) to 5 (high quality)

Relevance to NFID goals*                          0 (not relevant) to 5 (on target)

Project objectives/metrics                        0 (weak) to 5 (robust)

Funding requested                                      0 (too costly); 1 (reasonable but high cost); 2 (reasonable)

Time to completion                                    1 (24 months+); 2 (12-23 months); 3 (<12 months)

Director role in project implementation  0 (limited role) to 5 (active, substantial role)

NFID staff/resources required                 0 (substantial) to 5 (limited or none)

Reviewer comments

*Including extent to which the project would advance the field and/or enhance NFID organizational excellence

Evaluation Process

  • Each LOI will reviewed by all voting WGSO members
  • LOIs with an average score of 20 or higher will be invited to submit full proposals
  • Only full proposals with an average score of 20 or higher will be considered against total NFID funds available
  • WGSO members will score, rank, and prioritize proposals for final recommendation to BOD
  • Final recommendations must be approved by BOD
  • BOD will vote on proposals 1x/year in conjunction with scheduled Spring meetings

Submission Process

Applicants are required to complete a two-step process, with an initial Letter of Intent (LOI) followed by a full proposal for selected LOIs. LOIs must be submitted via online form. Deadlines are as follows:

Annual Cycle:
February 1                             Deadline for LOI submittals
March 1                                 Deadline for full proposals
April 1                                     WGSO votes on full proposals
May 30                                   Final BOD review

The Board of Directors will review only full proposals recommended by WGSO for approval.

LOIs and full proposals must be submitted electronically through online application form. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Upon review by WGSO, submitters will be notified of outcome.

Administration Process

  • Agreement is signed, which includes milestones for project and payment schedule
  • Project expenses must be submitted to NFID for reimbursement, and must adhere to budget outlined in the approved proposal. Any exceptions must be approved in advance by staff, in writing.
  • Recipients are required to submit an annual written report to NFID. Annual reports should include: use of funds, compliance with terms of agreement, progress toward achieving objectives of project. Reports will be disseminated to WGSO members for monitoring.
  • Staff will prepare an annual summary of funded projects for dissemination to BOD
  • Upon conclusion of the project, recipients must submit a final report identifying all expenditures of funds and project outcomes