Frequently Asked Questions About Filling Out the NEPP Application
These are answers to common questions about the NEPP application and how to fill it out. These FAQs cover the following topics:
- How to Fill Out the Application
- Who Can Apply?
- What Are Eligible Projects and Project Requirements?
- What’s Allowable for the Volunteer Labor Match?
- How Are Proposals Evaluated?
- How Long Do I Have to Complete the Project?
Q: Do we need to submit the W-9 Tax Identification Form at the time the application is due?
Q: What does “vendor” mean before Legally Authorized Signature?
A: “Vendor” is synonymous with “organization.”
Q. May applicants include supplemental documents with their application? (i.e., pictures, maps)?
A. Yes. Applicants may include supplemental documents with their application, and every application must include the NEPP application.
Q: Should applicants include vendor quotes in their application?
A: Applicants must submit their proposals to the best of their ability.
Q: Does the county maintain a listing of vendors used by past recipients?
Q: What is the average size, or number of pages, for an application, Form 2?
A: There is no average. Applications previously submitted have been various lengths.
Q. What types of groups are eligible?
A. Please see the application, Page 3, Eligibilty Guidelines.
Q. Are City of Fairfax community organizations eligible for this grant?
Q: Can related but separate organizations serving the same neighborhood apply separately for the NEPP?
A: Distinct organizations pursuing grants for projects may apply for separate projects, or may jointly submit a single application for one project. Two or more organizations should not submit separate applications for the same project serving the same neighborhood in order to be awarded more than $5,000.
Q. Can the project be the creation of the community organization itself?
A. Yes, explanation should be provided in the application.
Q. Is a neighborhood watch that is a part of a community association eligible to apply if the community association also applies?
A. If the organizations are both under the same tax identification number, they will be considered the same organization. They may submit more than one application, but will only be eligible to receive one award.
Q. Our neighborhood center is run by a nonprofit organization in partnership with the county. Are we eligible to apply for a project that is not currently funded?
A. Nonprofit or faith-based organizations that have an active partnership with a neighborhood or civic association are eligible to apply; however, the project must not duplicate privately or publicly-funded programs in that neighborhood.
Q. If we submit for 2 projects, and one receives an award, can we choose which project to complete?
A. No, award decisions will be made by the selection committee.
Q: Can a project be part of a county program, such as marking storm water drains?
A: If the project is an existing county-sponsored volunteer opportunity, then NEPP funds are not necessary; however, if storm drain marking project is part of a larger neighborhood initiative, then the project would be eligible for NEPP funds.
Q. Can projects include work to clean-up property not owned by the HOA/community association? (i.e., county park land)
A. Yes, however, organizations should communicate with the landowner to ensure that the project will not duplicate existing efforts and to obtain permission.
Q: Can we fund a project that has already begun or that needs to before award in order to complete on time?
A: The intent of the NEPP is to stimulate and fund new projects, rather than supplement on-going projects or operating expenses.
Q. If we have already done some work on removing invasive plants and want to do more, is this eligible?
A. Yes, community associations may apply for NEPP funds to renew previous community efforts, but not to reimburse previously completed tasks.
Q: Can we plan a party after to celebrate and include the costs?
A: Yes, if the celebration aligns or supports your stated Vision Elements.
Q: Can applicants submit a proposal that includes multiple projects within one community?
A: Applicants may choose to submit an application for 1 or more tasks within their community.
Q: If a total project cost is much higher than $5,000 or $10,000, is this acceptable?
A: Yes. There is no limit on the total project value. The Neighborhood Match is required to be at minimum the amount requested from the county. The volunteer hours, or sweat equity, should be at least 25% of the minimum neighborhood match required.
Q: How is payment made to awarded applicants?
A: Please review the Project Award Provisions, on pages 3-4 in the NEPP application.
Q: How long does it take to receive payment?
A: It takes 30 days to receive payment from the date the request for payment (invoice) is received and approved.
Q: How is payment reconciled for projects that comes in under or over budget?
A: If a project exceeds the budget, the original award amount shall be remitted. If a project comes in under budget, the award amount shall be reduced.
Q: Do we need to submit all permit approvals within 60 days or just show evidence that we have applied for the permits?
A: Please show evidence that your organization has initiated the process to obtain any necessary permit approval(s) within 60 days of an award.
Q: How can community groups ensure compliance with various county ordinances?
A: Organizations are encouraged to use existing county resources, such as:
- Invasive Management Area (IMA) Volunteer Program
- Fairfax County Permit Application Center: Read about when a permit is required or call the application center for more information on Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 703-222-0801 or 703-324-1555. Or contact the permits center Ombudsman, Shetal Kapoor, at 703-324-1898, TTY 711
- Stormwater Management
Q: Can volunteer labor include students’ or boy scouts' community service hours?
Q. Can we include the project management as volunteer hours?
Q. Can applicants count the hours used for planning as part of the volunteer hours?
A. Applicants may record their estimated total of hours for planning and preparation. However, NEPP projects should align with the NEPP goals, listed on Page 1 of the NEPP Application.
Q. Can having a fundraiser be part of the labor match?
A. Yes, provided that the overall project meets the Evaluation Criteria on page 5 of the application package.
Q. If we have a professional donate his/her services to the project (electrician, architect, etc.) is it valued at the volunteer hourly rate?
A. You may estimate the value of pro bono professional services at the rate for which they would charge for their services.
Q. May organizations record the hours of paid staff as volunteer hours?
A. No, the hours of paid staff may not be counted as part of the volunteer hours.
Q. When can an awarded applicant begin to county volunteer hours?
A. Upon notice of award.
Q: How are proposals evaluated?
A: Proposals are evaluated by a selection committee, consisting of graduates from the county’s community leadership programs (including, but not limited to, groups such as the Neighborhood College and Citizen Police Academy). The selection committee will be assisted by an advisory team of county staff who will provide administrative support for the application process.
The evaluation of all eligible applications shall be conducted on the basis of the information provided with the application and the evaluation criteria on page 5 of the application package. Applications may receive up to the maximum points allowed based on the ability to respond to each criterion element.
Q: If there are questions about the application, will the selection committee seek additional information or clarification from the applicant?
A: Your application should be clearly written for the selection committee to understand. The selection committee will not consult with the applicant during the review process.
Q: Are you going to consider the district or neighborhood the organization is located in when making award decisions?
A: No, proposals for organizations that meet the eligibility requirements are rated based on the Evaluation Criteria on page 5 of the application package.
Q: Will the selection committee members vote on a project if they are from that neighborhood?
A: No, they will not vote in the case of a conflict of interest.
Q: How are funding recommendations awarded? Does the selection committee have the option to award less funds than requested?
A: The selection committee will make all funding recommendations, and may award partial funding.
Q. You have a question where you ask to describe the vision element the project will address, but none where it asks how the project meets the county goals, yet the evaluation criteria measures how well the project fits within the goals of the NEPP. How will you rate how well the project fits within the NEPP goals?
A. The NEPP goals should be reflected in the narrative of your project description on Form 2 of the application package. Scoring will follow the evaluation criteria on page 5 of the application package.
Q. How are applicants notified of the result of the review?
A. Each applicant will receive notice via email of the result of the review process.
Q. Can we get feedback if our project is not awarded?
A. Yes, County staff will meet with you upon your request to summarize the scoring and evaluation of the committee.
Q. How long does each applicant have to complete the project?
A. Each applicant has 12 months to complete the project.