[Sticky] TA2020 Grant Listserv Messages
I'll be posting all messages sent to through the TA2020 grant listserv here.
I have a project I’d appreciate your help with. Right now, the story maps the TA grant webpages are very basic. We’d like next year’s update to flesh them out with more information. (Our plan is to update them next summer.) In particular, we’d like each grantee’s listing to include up to three pieces of information.
- A picture – Something related to your grant work would be our first choice, but something your organization is known for or even a picture of your staff would be wonderful. At this point, we don’t have any guidance on picture size etc.
- A short (optimal 100 words) description of what you are doing/did with the TA grant. I believe the space will limit you to about 150 words max.
- Links to any posted media coverage. We have the stories that are posted within NACD publications, but if you have any local/other coverage you’d like to share, we’d love to include them. You are welcome to share multiple links if you have them. (This may require accessing the form multiple times.)
Even if your grant is closed, we’d love if you’d spend a few minutes supplying the information. When you are ready to enter the information, here is the link. - https://nacd.formstack.com/forms/ta_grant_story_map
You can visit the link multiple times and enter the information separately, or go once and complete all of it. Anything submitted through next June should be able to be included with the 2021 update. After that, it will need to wait until the 2022 update. I will be sending out occasional reminders over the next eight months, but I’d suggest that you bookmark the link.
Happy Fall All,
The main reason I’m sending you an email, is to remind you that with September ending, your Quarterly Report (QR) for July to September 2020 needs to be submitted. It is due by October 20. The reporting link is: https://nacd.formstack.com/forms/ta_quarterly_report
- That at least a simple report explaining it is incomplete must be submitted by the due date. A supplemental one can follow later with the missing information.
- When you tap submit, a pdf of the completed form will be sent to the email entered. If you don’t get the email, check with the Region Rep or myself to see if it was submitted.
- The reporting website can be sluggish, especially on pages 1 through 3. The best solution is to give it about 5 mins to load. It also works better in Chrome or in incognito mode if either is an option. Personally, I often find that noon to 5 PM (ET) is when it gives me the most issues.
This email has a bit of information for grantees (resources and news) as well as some clarification in regards to the reporting form. Please read closely. The sections are numbered to help you find the parts you need.
Here’s what’s included:
- Guidance on whether a QR is due (Mostly for TA2020 grantees)
- Closing your TA grant
- CRP work within NACD TA grants
- QR Report – COVID Impacts
- QR Report – Contracts Obligated with Historically Underserved Population guidance
- QR Report – Entering EQIP Practices updates
- QR Report – Staff Title guidance
- QR Report – Narrative guidance
- Resources for TA Grantees – NACD website organization
- Resources for TA Grantees – NACD Forum
- Story Map
- Looking ahead to TA2021
Plenty to cover.
- Do you owe NACD a QR at this time? - The basic rule of thumb is if we have issued you a check advancing funds toward an agreement and you haven’t submitted a final report, then I am expecting a Quarterly Report from you. In practical terms, that means that if you currently have two open grants (say, TA2019 and TA2020) your TA2020 report may amount to just telling us that you are still working under the older grant. The other side of this is that if you haven’t received your first grant advance (or just received it the last week of September) then no reporting is due. Two things to keep in mind –
- There isn’t an issue if you submit a report anyway.
- Your Region Rep, the NACD Forum or myself can let you know if we aren’t expecting a report. Just check.
- Closing your TA grant – Each TA grant (TA2018, TA2019 or TA2020) is a separate agreement and as such, should be tracked separately and when you reach the end of the funds, you need to close it before starting work under the new agreement. (There are a few situations where you might have both grants open at the same time.) To close a TA grant, use the same link as the QR, just choose “Final” for the reporting period.
- A Final report covers the same pages 1 to 8 of the normal report. Only include information that wasn’t in a previous report.
- A Final report adds a page 9 with the information we need to close your grant. If you want a preview of page 9, it is part of the sample PDF you can download on page 1.
- CRP work as part of NACD TA grant – NACD TA grants do NOT include CRP Technical Assistance. And while some CRP might happen as part of being the staff in a busy office, PLEASE make sure that any CRP work is not included in the accomplishments (metrics) entered on page 4. You are welcome to mention it in the “Explanation of Work Entered” or the “Reporting Period Narrative” on page 8 (preferred), but don’t include the work in the EQIP, CSP or COTA numbers.
- QR Report – COVID Impacts – I just wanted to let you know that the check box options for COVID impacts has been expanded based on your reporting. And to remind you to use this section so I can share what you are dealing with back to other partners.
- QR Report – Contracts Obligated with Historically Underserved Population guidance – Just a reminder that the number of EQIP Contracts Obligated (and acres) should always be larger than the number of EQIP Contracts Obligated with Hist. Underserved Population (and acres) because the first should include the second. Looking over the data set, that hasn’t always been the case.
- QR Report – Entering EQIP Practices updates – Last quarter’s trial run with the new EQIP practice format went pretty well. This quarter it is required of anyone entering EQIP practices. And you have to answer all four questions for each practice code. I’ve made two minor adjustments based on the trial.
- First, there is now room to enter up to 15 practices in each of design, installed and certified. If you still need more room, use the “Explanation of Work Entered” space as before.
- Second, the practice code text now includes the measurement units, so you won’t need to check the FOTG. You will still need to answer that question, but I’m hoping it will help.
- QR Report – Staff Title guidance – These changes also went well last quarter, but I still got many more actual titles than I wanted. To address that, I’m now asking for “Staff Category” instead of title. I’ve also added a couple of additional options for Technical Specialist.
- QR Report – Narrative guidance – I’ve been doing a deep dive into what you submit in “Explanation of Work Entered” and “Reporting Period Narrative” on past reports and there a few things I feel the need to address
- Explanations of Work Entered is not required. It is a space for you to add information about anything you’ve entered for EQIP, CSP or COTA accomplishments above. For example, that doesn’t mean I want to hear the details of your August 5, 2020, CSP presentation to 50 people. (Put that in the Reporting Period Narrative) I want to hear about that accomplishment/activity that didn’t fit neatly into a box. Basically, this is space for you to ask me ‘what do I do with this?’
- The Reporting Period Narrative is required and here is where I want to hear about the details. In fact when it comes to suggesting a grantee is highlighted in a publication it is often based on the details included here.
- Please do not enter the same text in both spaces. Hopefully this makes sense given a. and b.
- And most importantly, do NOT include your clients’ names, operation names, farm/field/tract numbers or contract numbers in either space. We don’t need them and I don’t want to get anywhere near privacy concerns.
- Resources for TA Grantees – NACD website organization – Very minor, but if you are looking for the TA grant webpages they have been moved to the ‘What We Do’ tab. (Remember that there are links you might find useful on the webpages, including the QR form.)
- Resources for TA Grantees – NACD Forum – NACD’s website has a general member forum and we’ve set up a section of it to handle TA grant discussion. You get to it through the ‘Member Login’ tab. I’ll be sending a second email later this week with more detailed instructions. In particular, I’ll be posting my emails to it going forward, so you have access to older emails. And as I noted in #1 above, I posted a list of those TA2020 grantees who don’t need to submit a report at this time on the forum.
- Story Map – Thank you to those who submitted their information for next summer’s story map update. For the rest of you, please consider doing your submission - https://nacd.formstack.com/forms/ta_grant_story_map For anyone trying to remember what I’m talking about, the Story Map request email is posted to the Forum.
- Looking ahead to TA2021 – Yes, we can let you know that there will be a TA2021. Details are still being worked out, but the preliminary steps are far enough along. While details might change, we are intending that there will be a priority request (PR) track prior to a general RFP. The PR should happen about February, but that can shift either way. I feel pretty solid about the following guidance:
- Generally, any active TA grant recipient will be eligible for the PR. So, no matter which grant you have currently, you can use the PR track.
- We will include any TA grant that closes between now and the PR for consideration. (though I’ll need to know of your interest if you don’t have an active grant.)
- Any grantee with a track record on reporting non-compliance (i.e. late) can expect to be heavily penalized during PR. Get your QR submitted on time.
NACD is pleased to offer the opportunity to receive your grant payments via ACH/Direct Deposit! This provides the opportunity receive your TA grant payments a bit quicker than regular mail. To keep your information confidential, please send the form to Finance at finance[at]nacdnet.org and put “TA ACH Form Submission” in the subject line.
Taking advantage of this service is optional. If you decided to participate, please note the instructions on how to return your form. Do NOT send the completed form back to me or your NACD Region Rep. If you do not return the form, we will continue to use USPS to send your advance to you.
Lastly, when you complete the form, the “Name” at the top should match the name on the account the funds will be deposited into (and that should match the name on your MOA.) That way we can make sure to match up the authorizations correctly. I will not know who has sent the form back and who has not.
Your Region Rep and I are happy to answer any other questions you might have in regards to this opportunity.
I have three items I want to give you all a heads up about.
- To address the performance issues people have been having with the Quarterly Report, we deconstructed the form into multiple pieces that you now access from a Portal on our website. The forms are at https://www.nacdnet.org/technical-assistance-grants/technical-assistance-grants-reporting/ What you need to report will determine which forms you complete. The Financial Report now has the link that many of you may have bookmarked.
- I would appreciate everyone completing the Staffing Update and Contact Info Reports within the next 30 days. This will create a baseline of everyone’s info. You can go ahead and complete them now and not wait until you are submitting your Quarterly Report.
- TA2021 funding requests are just around the corner! Priority Requests will be accepted from January 8 through February 21. I’ll be sending more info after the New Year, but I attached a preview of the PR form so you can start thinking about what info to start collecting.
Anyone with an open TA grant may apply for additional funds through the PR. You may make changes in your local partners or project focus. There will be a RFP in April with any unallocated funds remaining if you should miss the PR window.
- We are hosting a webinar on January 7. Registration is limited and required - https://nacdnet.z2systems.com/np/clients/nacdnet/eventRegistration.jsp?event=718& The webinar, Introduce Field to Market Opportunities to TA Grantees, might open up some ideas of sources of match for your TA Grants. These ideas could also be used outside of your TA Grants. The webinar will be recorded and Lexi is also speaking at the NACD Annual Meeting in February.
There is a lot of interest in finding ways to get conservation on the ground. Field to Market is focused on harnessing locally led work to deliver sustainable outcomes into the food supply chain. The structure of their system opens up opportunities for local conservation organizations to tap support that will allow them to expand the technical assistance to their growers and producers. These opportunities could be used with NACD TA grant funds to expand their impact.
This webinar with Lexi Clark, Field to Market Program Director, will introduce Field to Market, showcase a district already involved with the program (Leslie Fisher, Benton County, IN, SWCD) and then open discussion on how you might explore this opportunity for yourself.
Please let your Region Rep or myself know if you have any questions or concerns. I am planning on taking off from December 21 and will be back in the office on January 4th.