CCFP - FY2000 Merge


 

FY2000: Merging the County's Two Major Community Funding Processes


In its 1997 report on Implementation Guidelines, the CFIT recommended the future merger of the Community Funding Pool process with the County's Consolidated Plan process, which includes several federal funding programs (including Community Development Block Grant/CDBG, HOME, Emergency Shelter grants, and Affordable Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS).

Since the inception of the Community Funding Pool in 1997, Fairfax County had considered the possibility of merging these two similar but separate processes. Both processes were designed to provide competitive funding for similar types of programs offered by community organizations and non-profits; and both entailed a yearly planning and priority-setting process guided by citizen committees and based on community input. Despite these similarities, the Consolidated Plan process operated under strict federal guidelines and calendars, and its scope was greater than the scope of the Funding Pool.

At the direction of the Board of Supervisors, the two processes were merged for the FY 2000 funding year. A multi-agency staff team worked with citizens throughout FY1999 to resolve the differences between the two programs and to develop a combined process.

Examples of this work are described below.

 

  • Merging the citizen advisory structure for the two processes
  • Continuing to meet federal requirements
  • Aligning separate planning and priority-setting cycles
  • Developing outcome-oriented priorities
  • Developing a single application and evaluation process where there had been two
  • Resolving conflicting policy issues
  • Building the community's capacity to enhance performance and leverage resources.

 

Merging the Citizen Advisory Structure for the Two Processes

Formerly, the CFIT and the Consolidated Plan Review Committee (CPRC) were responsible for overseeing the Funding Pool and the CDBG processes, respectively. A new citizen committee (the Consolidated Community Funding Advisory Committee, or CCFAC) was appointed to replace these two existing bodies, drawing from members of the two original committees, other human services advisory boards, and civic representatives. The CCFAC is responsible for advising the Board on the development and implementation of the Consolidated Plan and implementing a combined solicitation process for Funding Pool and CDBG funds. The CCFAC also works with the Community Action Advisory Board to oversee the use of Community Services Block Grant (CSBG) funds in the Pool.

 

Continuing to Meet Federal Requirements

Funding Processes

Continuing to meet federal requirements for CDBG, CSBG, and Affordable Housing Funds, as well as satisfying the local policies governing the use of the Funding Pool, throughout the merger process.

 

Aligning Separate Planning and Priority-Setting Cycles

Each funding source followed a different year-long cycle for planning, public input, and priority-setting. The team developed a common timeframe and plan for meeting all the requirements that resulted in one set of shared outcome-oriented funding priorities for FY 2000. The CCFAC continues to conduct the forums, data review, and other planning activities of the former CFIT, plus the public hearings and other requirements of the former CPRC.

 

Developing Outcome-Oriented Priorities

For FY 2000, the CCFAC organized its proposed funding priorities according to the six outcome areas below. The CCFAC believes that an outcome-focused approach better articulates what the funding pool is intended to accomplish; makes it easier for applicant organizations to convey what they wish to achieve through their proposals; and makes it easier for the Selection Advisory Committee to connect individual proposals with the funding priorities approved by the Board of Supervisors.

 

FY 2000 Funding Priority Outcome Areas
(with target funding ranges)

27% -- People Find and Maintain Safe, Appropriate, and Affordable Housing

23% -- People Have the Supports They Need to be self-Sufficient

15% -- Youth Make Safe Responsible Decisions

15% -- Families and Individuals are Health, Stable, and Independent

11% -- Families and Individuals Meet Their basic Needs

9%  -- Communities are Safe, Supportive, Inclusive, and Thriving 

 

Developing a Single Application and Evaluation Process Where There had Been Two

The interagency team developed a combined application that met all the local and federal requirements of all the funding sources, and developed one set of evaluation criteria and expectations for program outcomes based on the common Funding Priorities. Only one citizen Selection Committee is needed to review all of the proposals, supported by one interagency Technical Advisory Committee.

 

Resolving Policy Issues

Through a combination of research and facilitation, County staff supported the CCFAC in resolving a number of policy differences, including the types of organizations and programs eligible for funding. CCFAC continues to resolve policy issues as they arise, such as the CCFAC's recent proposal to shift from an annual to a biennial funding cycle. If approved, this policy change may result in greater funding stability and reduced grant-writing for applicants, less burden on citizen committees for priority-setting and proposal evaluation, and significant savings in staff time to support the process.

In developing the new process and soliciting feedback from participants, the team identified a number of areas where the County could provide training and assistance to improve the community's capacity to manage and leverage resources. Additional training on performance measurement, grant-writing, and financial management has been delivered or planned for the upcoming year.

Over 130 proposals were submitted in response to the combined RFP. Of those, 81 received full or partial funding for the FY 2000 Funding Year.

 

 


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