BSK Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
The BSK Expanded Learning Initiative request is open to nonprofit organizations, including religious organizations, community-based organizations; tribes and tribal organizations; and public or governmental agencies serving communities in King County. Small nonprofits and community-based organizations are encouraged to submit proposals. Applicants must meet one of these eligibility requirements:
These are individual organizations that are embedded within culturally-specific or cross-cultural communities of color. BIPOC-Led Organizations provide, or plan to provide, expanded learning opportunities for King County young people (ages 5-13).
Place-Based Collaboratives comprise at least three partner organizations, in which a school or housing community is a collaborative lead, partner or champion. Place-Based Collaboratives provide, or plan to provide, expanded learning opportunities for King County young people (ages 5-13). Place-Based Collaborative partners must designate a lead partner organization, which will complete and submit the application on behalf of all the partners in the Place-Based Collaborative. Non-lead partners in a Place-Based Collaborative must submit a short supplemental application to provide organizational information.
Please direct questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. All questions received in the information sessions or via email will be posted to this section.
[NEW] Can an organization be considered community-based if their work is committed to supporting BIPOC identities/youth?
Yes, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria as a non-profit organization, which includes religious organizations; community-based organizations; tribes and tribal organizations; and public or governmental agencies serving communities in King County.
[NEW] Do we understand correctly that Place-Based Collaboratives must have a minimum of three partners, but that there is no partnership requirement for BIPOC-Led Organizations?
That’s correct, but it does not preclude BIPOC-Led Organizations from partnering informally with other organizations as part of the programming they offer young people.
Our organization and two other partners are interested in applying for the Place-Based Collaborative model. The program will be housed in a community space, but the space will not be ready until April 2023. Is that date within the timeframe for funding or is that starting time too late?
That timing is too late. Programming for this initiative should start in the fall, with the commencement of the 2022-2023 school year.
My school is open Thursday/Friday/Saturday. Is it eligible to apply? Will SOWA fund proposals to provide weekend programming?
The intent of this funding is to provide programming for young people that expands their learning opportunities beyond the school day: before school, afterschool, and summer. Weekend programming is not a priority. Organizations that propose to offer weekend programming must make the case within their proposals that they also will meet the program requirements set out in the RFP – for BIPOC-Led Organizations or Place-Based Collaboratives. If the proposal is recommended for funding through the peer review process, then SOWA and the successful applicant(s) can discuss the possibility of supplemental weekend programming when developing contracts.
Is our organization eligible if we predominantly serve young people ages 14-25?
This grant opportunity specifically supports expanded learning opportunities for youth ages 5-13. It falls under the broader 5-24 age strategy for King County Best Starts for Kids Initiative. Check out the King County Best Starts for Kids page for other initiatives serving youth ages 14-24.
Our organization is a great fit for the BIPOC-Led application, however, we are an independent nonprofit that partners with schools to provide programming during the school day (not after school). Would this make us ineligible to apply?
This funding opportunity is intended to support programming happening outside of the school day: afterschool programming and summer programming.
Would a staff leadership that is 50% BIPOC be eligible for BIPOC-Led? Also, how should we count technically vacant positions that are currently filled by interim staff? Two positions are currently filled by white staff persons but they are not yet the permanent appointees.
BIPOC-Led Organizations are defined as single organizations which center communities of color, in which the majority (more than 50%) of leadership, board, staff and engaged youth are BIPOC. This would include interim staff members.
Is it okay to be a BIPOC-Led model and still have your program at a school site?
Yes, there is no requirement for where the programming happens for the BIPOC-Led model. School-based programming is welcomed as long as programming happens outside the regular school day.
If one partner withdraws from the Place-Based model, what does that do the eligibility of the rest of the partnership during the cycle? Does it impact the evaluation?
SOWA will set up an individual contract with each organization so that SOWA can support each partner individually and so that the collaborative members don’t need to have conversations about contract accountability. This will be addressed on a case by case situation and SOWA will be a partner in thinking about how to address any gaps should this occur.
If a Place-Based Collaborative proposal is neighborhood-based, could they work with multiple schools in the neighborhood?
Do all organizations need to be 501c3s to qualify?
No, they do not necessarily need to have a 501(c)3. The application is open to nonprofit organizations, including religious organizations; community-based organizations; tribes and tribal organizations; and public or governmental agencies.
Is a Place-Based Collaborative made up of 3 organizations including the lead? Or 3 organizations in addition to the lead?
Place-Based Collaboratives must have a minimum of 3 organizational partners including the lead.
If the school site will not provide funding but is providing space are they considered a champion? As a Place-Based Collaborative would we need two additional partners in addition to the champion?
Place-Based Collaboratives must be three or more partner organizations (minimum of 1 lead, 2 partners), including the lead organization. All partners must offer programming. A school or housing partner may be a formal partner in the collaborative and receive funding from SOWA if they offer programming and participate fully in the initiative. But if a school or housing site is not applying to offer programming but is connected to the work, they will not be a formal member of the collaborative but will be considered a champion and will need to submit a letter of support as part of the application.
Could a school serve as one of the 3 organizations? Or would a school serve as the “place” with three additional CBOs?
A school could serve as one of the three partners if the school is offering programming. If the school is not offering programming, it could serve as a “champion” and offer space to the additional partners who are offering programming.
If you have more than two partners, can you apply as the whole cohort vs just naming 2 alternate members? For example, we are a school with many partners that we want to support in building their capacity and don’t want to pick just three partners. Can we all step forward or is it just two or three that are named?
The ideal structure for the collaborative is to have one lead and several partners, with the lead organization supporting coordination and structure for the partnership. SOWA will contract individually with each organization in the collaborative, so each partner who is applying for funding will need to be identified and will need to apply as part of the collaborative.
Is our organization eligible to apply if our expanded learning program is summer only or are we required to provide school year programming as well? Our org provides school year programming, however, the programming we are seeking to expand in particular is for summer months only.
All grantees are required to offer school year programming. For BIPOC-Led Organizations, the minimum requirement is to offer 2 hours per day of programming for at least 2 days per week over 32 weeks during the school year. Providing summer programming is optional.
We are interested in doing some virtual programming with our youth. We had some success with virtual programming during the pandemic. Is virtual programming an option? Will programs that are 100% virtual be competitive for funding?
Programs that are 100% virtual would not be competitive for funding. We understand that many programs have developed virtual programming over the last two years. Given that virtual programming is no longer required due to the lifting of COVID restrictions, in-person programming is the priority for the BSK Expanded Learning Initiative. Applicants should review the days/week and hours/day requirements for the model they intend to offer and ensure that fifty percent or more of their programming is conducted in-person.
If programs choose to do virtual programming, it must be less than 50% of the total hours of programming offered. All virtual programming must be interactive and offered in real time.
Providers may use asynchronous programming to complement their in-person or virtual services. Such asynchronous programming will not be considered to meet program requirements, but may be offered as optional opportunities for young people.
What is the definition of BIPOC-Led Organizations?
BIPOC-Led Organizations are single organizations that are embedded within culturally-specific or cross-cultural communities of color in which the majority of leadership, board, staff and youth engaged are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) and which have an expressed and demonstrated commitment to racial equity and/or communities of color as reflected in their missions and program strategies.
What percentage of the board must be BIPOC to qualify as a BIPOC-Led organization?
To qualify as a BIPOC-Led Organization, a majority of the board must be BIPOC. In addition, a majority of the leadership, a majority of the staff, and a majority of the children and youth served must be BIPOC.
Are tribes eligible to apply?
What types of organizations are eligible for this funding?
The application is open to nonprofit organizations, including religious organizations; community-based organizations; tribes and tribal organizations; and public or governmental agencies serving communities in King County.
We are a brand new organization. We are BIPOC-Led and serve a specific BIPOC community. Are we eligible to apply?
Yes, as long as your expanded learning program meets the requirements outlined in the RFP.
Could a licensed child care center apply to cover programming for the kids we serve after school and in the summer?
Yes. We encourage licensed child care providers to apply if they meet the criteria for either the BIPOC-Led Organization, or Place-Based Collaborative models.
We are a BIPOC-Led religious organization that offers a small expanded learning program for our community’s youth after school and during the summer. Given our mission in our community, we include religious discussion as part of the activities we offer young people. Would we be eligible?
No. Funds to religious organizations may not support religious programming or materials, nor can participation in religious activities (such as prayers or discussions with a religious purpose) be a required component for youth participants.
We are a nonprofit independent school, interested in submitting our proposal to receive funding for our afterschool and summer programs. We currently offer after school activities for kids from PreK to 5th grade but we are looking to expand and improve our program. Are we eligible for the grant as a school that already offers an after-school program?
Yes. We encourage organizations to use these funds to expand and improve existing expanded learning programs. However, your school must either meet the criteria for a BIPOC-Led Organization to apply as a single organization, or must partner with other organizations through a Place-Based Collaborative.
Are there restrictions on the size of organizations which can apply? Can larger organizations apply?
There are no restrictions on the size of organization that can apply, provided they are able to meet the requirements for programming and numbers of youth served. Small and large organizations are both encouraged to apply.
For Place-Based Collaboratives, do all partners have to provide expanded learning services or can they offer other types of services?
All Place-Based Collaborative lead partners and non-lead partners must provide programming. Organizations participating in Place-Based Collaboratives must only include expanded learning programming in budgets submitted as part of their proposals.
[NEW] Our organization is planning to submit a proposal as the lead partner in a Place-Based Collaborative. We have one partner confirmed and we reached out to a third potential partner. That organization is writing a BSK BIPOC-Led proposal. If they join us as a partner for our Place-Based Collaborative application, will that preclude their chances of their other BIPOC-led proposal?
Participating as a partner in a Place-Based Collaborative does not preclude an organization from applying as a BIPOC-Led Organization. However, there are key considerations. The young people the partner organization serves as part of the Place-Based Collaborative must be a separate group from those they would serve through the funding they might receive as a BIPOC-Led Organization. Also, to some degree, the organization would be competing against itself. The ratio of Place-Based Collaborative proposals and BIPOC-Led proposals awarded funding will be determined through the peer review process.
Is there an option to submit letters of support on behalf of BIPOC-Led applicants as well, even if it’s not required?
No, there is no option to submit additional supplemental materials.
Would it be possible for me to chat with someone at SOWA about my organization’s potential for applying?
Our team does not have capacity to have individual conversations about the application process, however you can reach out to the BSK technical assistance supports at King County.
Where can we find the information session slides?
The slides and a recording of this session will be shared on the Expanded Learning Initiative page.
Does the budget produced by each placed-based collaborative need all 3 components (overhead; evaluation and planning; staffing time)?
Staff time for participation in the program quality initiative should be included in applicant budgets. Organizations should have up to 10% of funding dedicated to evaluation. Overhead costs are not a requirement, but if overhead funding is budgeted it cannot exceed 15%.
Is an external evaluator encouraged or is it required?
It is encouraged, but not required.
Is it possible to download the application and submit a hard copy of the proposal?
No. All applications must be submitted online. However, templates of the applications are available if applicants choose to draft narrative offline before submitting the online application.
Is each partner in a Place-Based Collaborative required to write a narrative application?
No. We are requesting one narrative application for each Place-Based Collaborative describing the proposed collective work, which will be completed by the lead partner. Non-lead partners must submit a short supplemental application to provide organizational information.
The lead-partner will also be responsible for submitting the budget workbook. However, the lead partner and each non-lead partner will be responsible for completing their own budget pages.
How many proposals are you expecting?
We are expecting a large response.
Can an organization collaborate in two places, being the lead partner on one project, and a non-lead partner on another?
Yes. An organization may participate in more than one collaborative as long as each application plans to serve a different/unduplicated cohort of children and youth from any other application which the organization submits, or in which it is a partner.
May organizations submit more than one application?
Yes, an applicant may apply as an individual BIPOC-Led Organizations (if applicable) and as a member of a Place-Based Collaborative as long as each application plans to serve a different/unduplicated cohort of children and youth from any other application which the organization submits, or in which it is a partner. However, organizations that submit multiple applications will essentially be competing against themselves, since each application will be considered on its own merits.
We plan to operate expanded learning programming in different geographies (different cities) with different partners in each. Should we submit multiple applications based on the unique partnerships in each area or just one application with many partners, some of whom will not work/relate to each other (i.e. different schools or housing communities)?
Each proposal for a Place-Based Collaborative must be submitted separately and each must meet the program requirements for Place-Based Collaboratives detailed in the RFP.
If our Place-Based Collaborative will be working in multiple places – but with the same partners – must we submit multiple applications?
No. A Place-Based Collaborative working in multiple places with the same partners only needs to submit one application, but it must still be within the budget range for Place-Based Collaboratives.
Will there be a webinar?
Yes. There will be four information sessions presented as webinars. For dates and times, and to register, please consult SOWA’s website.
What technical support is available?
Full information on technical assistance is available on SOWA’s website. SOWA will partner with Youth Development Executives of King County (YDEKC) to provide optional training opportunities.
Technical assistance is also available through BSK. Learn more about BSK’s TA consultants.
Will the opportunity to apply be available again next year for organizations that don’t apply this year?
We do not expect additional BSK funding to be available next year. Funding available through this RFP will cover 2022-2025.
If we are applying as a BIPOC-Led Organization to fund the expansion of an existing program at a school, do we need a letter of partnership from the school if they are the only partner?
No. Letters from schools are not required for BIPOC-Led proposals.
Can the online application be saved so that we can do part of it and then return to finish it later?
Yes. There are directions provided in the application on how to save your work part way through, and return to finish it later. However, the application also provides a template for downloading which allows you to compose all of your answers offline, and then paste them into the online application.
Is it possible to get a copy of our application once we’ve submitted it?
Yes. Applicants will get a PDF copy of their applications after they hit submit. Wait on the confirmation page for one minute as it downloads.
What is a UBI (unified business identifier)?
A UBI number is a nine-digit number that registers you with several state agencies and allows you to do business in Washington State. A UBI number is sometimes called a business license number. You apply through the Washington Department of Revenue. Business Licensing and renewals FAQs | Washington Department of Revenue
What is an EIN (employer identification number)?
An EIN is a federal tax identification number.
If we do not collect data about our young people, will that hurt our application?
We know that some programs don’t collect data about their young people. We want to make this funding as accessible as possible, while also understanding the populations being served. For organizations that do not collect data, the narrative response in the application will be particularly important. In your answer, be as specific as possible about the youth you serve and what you know about them.
What if we collect some data on our young people, but others are estimates?
We understand that for some organizations, data collection is a mix. In the application, please indicate the data source that describes your organization’s data collection currently. Explain the distinctions in your narrative.
What time on April 27th is the application due?
The online application must be submitted by 11:59 PM on Wednesday, April 27, 2022.
[NEW] Can you provide a little more explanation of the cohort-based training approach?
Because trainings are not one size fits all, SOWA has developed a cohort approach which we believe will be responsive to the needs of grantees across a range of experience and needs.. The cohort-based training structure will support greater customization, allowing grantees choice in determining which cohort works best for them, based on their goals and capacity.
[NEW] Will grantees be required to complete a program quality assessment (PQA) regardless of their cohort?
Yes. We expect that the frequency of PQA’s may vary by cohort, but the opportunity for a point-in-time snapshot of programming will be important in identifying successes and pain points, and will inform how grantees’ maximize resources across YPQI.
[NEW] Will trainings be in person?
We expect that we’ll continue to provide trainings virtually for at least the first part of year one. Over time, we’ll work with grantees to determine the best ongoing approach, which we hope will include in-person training, provided we’re able to prioritize safety and accessibility.
[NEW] How many staff can/should attend trainings?
At least one staff member must attend but we’ve found that trainings are more successful when organizations are able to send more than one person – perhaps a direct service staff member and one from management/leadership. We’ll also communicate with grantees about the ideal audience for trainings so that grantees can determine which staff member(s) should attend.
[NEW] Does serving more youth make an application more competitive?
Not necessarily. SOWA’s strategy for administering BSK’s expanded learning investment is to provide funding that will offer more and better programming in under-resourced communities and/or geographies, and that will further quality in King County’s expanded learning system. “More” programming will look different among grantees but may include offering more programming slots, thus engaging more youth, more geographic availability, more culturally-specific programming options, more hours of programming, keeping programming open that would otherwise close, or making programming available to youth for multiple years.
[NEW] What’s the difference between an external assessor and an external evaluator?
External assessors are contracted by SOWA to periodically complete program quality assessments for grantees that will complement the self-assessments that grantees also complete. PQA’s assist the grantee and the SOWA team in ensuring the most productive use of the coaching, training, assessments and peer learning opportunities available.
External evaluators are individuals who may be contracted by grantees. Ideally, external evaluators work with grantees over the full course of the Expanded Learning Initiative – from setting goals and identifying measurement tools for data collection, to making meaning of data and preparing reports to SOWA. External evaluators are not required, but many grantees have found them useful. Applicants that do not choose to contract with an external evaluator must still have an evaluation plan.
We would like to propose offering four weeks of programming in Summer 2022, rather than six weeks. Is this an option?
Reviewers will want to see that Place-Based Collaboratives have the capacity to provide six weeks of summer programming. It is not required that applicants propose summer programming for this coming summer. Programming provided as part of the BSK Expanded Learning Initiative will officially begin in September, 2022. However, if programming is offered in Summer 2022, it must last for six weeks.
We are considering a Place-Based Collaborative with the housing partner as lead. We are planning to have programming run concurrently at the housing site and at the local elementary school, which is about a 1/2 a block away, while also having some additional evening programming at the housing site. While youth could move freely between programs at each site, is it a requirement that youth be able to move freely between the housing and school site as well?
Where we’ve seen the most success is where all young people can access all aspects of programming. If there’s going to be programming at two locations, the goal is that young people can easily walk between them.
Are there guidelines for how late in the day programming can be offered
No, although the hours of programming should be responsive and appropriate for the young people and families being served, and must meet the dosage requirements (number of hours, number of days) detailed in the RFP.
As a Place-Based Collaborative serving multiple sites, does the programming need to be the same at each site?
No, the programming does not need to be the same at each site, but all young people must have access to the programming offered, and all partners must participate in providing programming. While delivering concurrent programming at multiple sites is possible, it may not be ideal. Partners must ensure that there are opportunities for collaboration and cross pollination among their organizations, and that the programming available is responsive to the needs and interests of all the young people served
Seattle Public Schools is going to be shifting bell times for elementary schools next fall. If our programming is impacted by the changes, is there flexibility in meeting minimum requirements for programming hours?
SOWA will work with grantees on a case by case basis to develop scopes of work that accommodate factors outside of the grantee’s control (such as school schedules) while prioritizing high levels of programming access for young people.
Is there flexibility around the minimum number of youth served daily or virtual programming if there is another COVID surge and public health recommendations dictate a pivot to mostly virtual programming?
In the event of COVID restrictions, SOWA will work with grantees to adjust scopes of work to prioritize youth and staff safety and align with public health recommendations.
For the 3 hours per day of programming during the school year does this have to be all in the afternoon, or can we combine morning and afternoon? Some schools start at 9 a.m. and don’t get out until 3:40 p.m. so it’s difficult to imagine programming until 6:40 p.m. at those elementary schools.
The 3 hours per day of programming can be combined in the morning and afternoon as long as the programming is offered outside of the school day.
Does each partner in the Place-Based Collaborative need to serve 50 youth or is it 50 youth served by the collaborative as a whole?
The requirements for the place-based collaborative are collaborative requirements, met by all the partners collectively.
Can we include creative, intentional in-school opportunities during the school day for students who aren’t able to access afterschool programs due to transportation limitations?
This funding opportunity is intended to support programming happening outside of the school day: afterschool programming and summer programming. Organizations are welcome to use funding to offset transportation barriers or other addressing other barriers to participation.
For the Place-Based Collaboratives, do all the partners need to offer summer programming together?
All partners who are funded as part of the Place-Based Collaborative needs to offer programming. The amount of programming and schedule for each partner can be different, but collectively the collaborative must meet the minimum requirements. Some organizations may only offer a portion of the collaborative programming. It’s up to the collaborative to determine what the breakdown is and ensure that it is clear for all.
Does the 3 hour per day requirement mean that each student needs to be provided with 3 hours of services? Or can it be one hour per person?
Ideally, all youth have access to the 3 hours of programming offered.
For Place-Based Collaborative model, can there be multiple locations for programming?
Yes, and the most success has been partners offering programming in the same space. When there are multiple sites engaged, it has worked best for all partners to work together to offer programming together at each of the sites.
Is summer program not expected to start until 2023 if awarded?
Some organizations may be ready to start offering programming in summer 2022 and SOWA would support that. However, as some organizations may not be ready to offer programming yet, so it would not be required for this coming summer. The defined scope of work will be determined in conversation between SOWA and each grantee organization. All funded organizations are required to implement programming in Fall 2022.
About how many hours of training will staff need to go through with SOWA if awarded?
There will be a cohort structure for the Quality Initiative, and SOWA will be in conversation with each organization after awards are made to determine cohort placement. Each cohort has slightly different requirements. Generally, the time commitment will be 35-60 hours minimum of staff time to participation.
Can staff participate in programming if they work for a partner organization but don’t go through the quality trainings?
The minimum requirement is for at least one staff person from each funded organization to participate in coaching, training, and assessment. It is highly recommended to have more than one staff member participate.
Is the goal with this investment to create new programming or expand current programming?
Both. SOWA’s strategy is to provide funding that will offer more and better programming in under-invested communities and/or geographies, and further the level of quality in King County’s expanded learning system. “More” programming will look different among grantees but may include offering more programming slots (and engaging more youth), more geographic availability, more culturally-specific programming options, more hours of programming, keeping programming open that would otherwise close, or extending programming to be available to youth for multiple years.
[NEW] What’s the time commitment for training? Should we include training costs in our budgets or only staff time?
Applicants should assume that staff will participate in training for a minimum of 35 hours, up to a maximum of 60. Budgets should account for this training time, in addition to the time spent delivering or managing programming. The cost for the training itself, including coaches and resource materials, are included as part of what’s provided to grantees who participate in the BSK Expanded Learning Initiative.
Why is there the same funding limit ($300k) on Place-Based Collaboratives as there was five years ago under the old BSK Implementation Plan, when more funding is available overall and costs have increased?
We understand that maintaining the previous funding parameters may mean that Place-Based Collaboratives or BIPOC-Led Organizations that were funded through BSK 1.0 may need to propose serving fewer young people. However, in the interest of engaging additional providers – including licensed childcare – we decided to keep the proposal funding limits the same with the goal of increasing the number of King County programs receiving support to provide high-quality expanded learning programming.
Should we allocate 10% of the budget for evaluation?
Up to 10% of the budget should be allocated for evaluation. It is encouraged but not required for grantees to work with an external evaluator.
For budgeting, should the staff time used for “Professional Development” (specifically, trainings & assessments) be considered part of the “up to 10% to evaluation activities”?
Staff time for the Youth Program Quality work (training & assessment) should be included in the salaries/staffing line item.
Is it okay to propose using this funding to expand a current program in 2022/2023 and then to fund the program as a whole the following years?
Yes, that is allowable. It’s possible to budget for less funding in Year 1 and more in years 2 and 3.
For Place-Based Collaboratives, can more than three organizations receive funding? Or is it that only 3 organizations can receive grant funding but more could be part of the collaborative?
A minimum of three expanded learning programs must partner in Place-Based Collaboratives to serve housing communities or school communities that lack sufficient access to high-quality programs. More partners could receive funding, but the total amount of funding for a collaborative will range from $100,000-$300,000 divided among the partners.
What is the expected breakdown of the funding request allocation between partners? Can the lead agency request somewhat more than partners as they will be leading the collaborative effort?
Budget development should be a collaborative process and all partners should be included in the budget template. It is up to collaboratives to apply for what they need, and SOWA is not prescriptive about how the funding should be allocated between partners. A lead may apply for more funding if it is agreed upon by the collaborative.
Do current 1.0 BSK Out-of-School Time awardees have priority for this funding?
No, there is no special consideration for anyone who has been funded previously. It is an open application process.
Do you have a sense of how long it will take for funding decisions to be made?
Notice for funded and non-funded applicants is expected June 2022.
How many awards do you anticipate giving?
We expect a large number of proposals and anticipate funding many applications from BIPOC-Led Organizations and Place-Based Collaboratives to serve children and youth across King County with high-quality expanded learning programs.
My BIPOC-Led organization intends to request the maximum amount of funds: $100,000. Is it possible that we would receive funding but for a smaller amount?
Yes, it’s possible that even if an application is successful, the amount of funding an organization receives could be less than they request. Adjusting funding may be necessary to fund more programs, and to meet equity goals.
What about Place-Based Collaboratives? Could they receive less funding than they request?
What are the restrictions on uses of funds? Can these funds be used to purchase equipment?
There are a limited number of restrictions. Funds may not be used for lobbying, political or religious activities/instruction. They may not be used toward an expense that is already covered by another funding source. Funds also may not be used for equipment with a per item cost of $5,000 or more. Overhead costs may not exceed 15% of the budget.
Can we apply the funds to transportation expenses?
Yes. Transportation expenses specifically related to your expanded learning program are allowable provided you carry appropriate insurance.
How will SOWA determine which programs receive funding?
Each proposal will be read and evaluated by a small group of peer reviewers. The process for selecting grantees will include reviews of applicants’ data and proposal narratives and budgets. Along with reviewers’ scores, equitable representation among BIPOC youth and youth in poverty, and equitable geographic distribution across the county, will also be criteria in proposal review. Among competitive proposals that meet the review criteria, licensed childcare providers will receive added consideration in SOWA’s final funding recommendations to BSK.
[NEW] When does the 3-year cycle end? June 2025 or December 2025?
This initiative is expected to run July 2022 to June 2025.
If a partner wants to be formally in the collaborative but does not want funding, can a contract still be drawn up with them? Is a budget compulsory to be a formal partner?
SOWA defines formal partners as those that are funded by SOWA to offer programming and engage in the initiative. Additional partners that are not funded are recognized as part of the ecosystem but not a formal partner with requirements – they will not need to submit data to SOWA or participate in the initiative, though there may be opportunity for them to engage in training.
Can you confirm that in a Place-Based Collaborative, the lead partner has no responsibility/accountability for the fiscal, auditing or monitoring of the non-lead partner organizations?
That is correct. The lead partner is not responsible for the fiscal, auditing or monitoring of individual partners.
Will SOWA contract with each organization directly? That means that if organization A is the lead partner, organization A has a contract for its requested budget (if fully funded), organization B has its contract, organization C has its contract and so on? A single Place-Based Collaborative with five partner organizations represents five separate contracts for SOWA. Is that what I understand?
Yes. SOWA will contract directly with each organization in the Place-Based Collaboratives.
We primarily serve young people ages 13-19. Are high-school-age youth eligible for this funding? Or will there be an RFP coming out that targets high-school-age youth?
This funding is directed toward elementary- and middle-school-age children and youth. High-school-age youth are not eligible for this funding. SOWA will not be releasing an RFP focused on high-school-age youth. Best Starts for Kids has other funding strategies that focus on high-school-age youth. Learn more.
Will SOWA contract with multiple organizations?
Yes. SOWA will develop contracts with each organization awarded funding as part of a Place-Based Collaborative, and with each BIPOC-Led Organization awarded funding. We expect to fund many organizations through many Place-Based Collaboratives, and expect to fund many BIPOC-Led organizations, serving many communities, to assure that we are reaching children and youth across King County with high-quality expanded learning programs.
I am interested in applying to be a reviewer. Where do I apply?
Please fill out the Peer Reviewer Interest Form.
Will SOWA accept applications from potential reviewers outside of King County?
We will focus our engagement of reviewers on individuals in King County who, in addition to meeting criteria for representation from the youth and communities to be served, also have experience with application reviews and an understanding of youth development.
Due to conflict of interest would peer reviewers be allowed to apply on behalf of an organization?
Staff and board of applicants organizations cannot serve as peer reviewers, and will need to indicate that they are not affiliated with an applicant organization in order to apply to be a peer reviewer. Reviewers will also be asked to disclose conflicts of interest prior to reviewing applications. The conflict-of-interest information will allow SOWA to avoid conflicts of interest when assigning applications for review. Reviewers would also not review those of organizations to which they or their spouses or partners have affiliations as staff, consultants or board members.
Will reviewers be compensated?
Yes, reviewers who participate in the training, complete reviews on all assigned applications, and participate in the final review meeting will receive a $350 stipend. Lead reviewers will receive a $550 stipend.