Background and Overview

The Office of the Massachusetts Attorney General (AGO) is pleased to announce the opportunity for funding for Local Consumer Programs (LCPs). Funding is available under the Local Consumer Aid Fund, created by M. G.L. c. 12, § 11G. Grants will be awarded for the period from July 1, 2017 to June 30, 2018. All funds must be expended by June 30, 2018; unexpended funds must be returned to the Commonwealth. Eligible grantees include programs that attempt to resolve consumer problems through mediation and advocacy.

Funding is anticipated to be awarded in amounts ranging from $15,000 to $95,000. Funding is based upon service area, history of funding, prior performance under this grant and the provisions of this Call for Applications.

Applications are due on April 21, 2017 by 4:00 p.m. Subject to receipt of all necessary documents and reports, successful applicants will be notified by May 8, 2017. In the absence of any special conditions, successful applicants who have correctly completed and returned all required grant contract documents (with original ink signatures) will be awarded one quarter of the funds on or about July 1, 2017. The rest of the funds will be distributed on a quarterly basis, provided compliance with all reporting and other requirements is met.

Qualifications

Applications will be accepted from any 501(c)(3) organization (in good standing with the AGO Non-Profit/Public Charities Division and the Internal Revenue Service), local governmental agencies (e.g., District Attorney's Office, Mayor's Office, Town Office of Elder Affairs), or colleges or universities. 

Program Standards and Responsibilities

Applicants must accept and implement in full the LCP Program Standards and Responsibilities.  By accepting funds, applicants agree to follow these Program Standards and Responsibilities in their entirety. Deviation from the Standards and Responsibilities or program plans and expenditures outlined in the organization's application may be grounds for termination, reduction, or suspension of funding. Disbursement of funds may be conditioned upon programmatic or budgetary changes requested by the AGO. If a grantee fails to implement these standards and responsibilities at any point during the grant year, the grantee may forfeit additional disbursements under the grant and be precluded from consideration of future grant opportunities.  Applicants should go to www.mass.gov/ago/grants to review the LCP Standards and Responsibilities prior to submitting their applications.

Grant Proposal Submission

The AGO utilizes a grant management software system which allows for organizations to submit their grant applications online.  Applicants should allow sufficient time to register online and complete the application by the deadline.

Applicants must complete the online application in its entirety; however, applicants will defer ink signatures until funding is awarded. After successful applicants are chosen, the necessary contract paperwork will be provided to the successful applicants for original ink signatures.

Payments will only be made via Electronic Funds Transfer.

Budget

Applicants should provide a budget, outlining in a separate line-item budget, each expenditure the applicant plans to make and accounting for any dollar the applicant plans to spend and all in-kind donations and additional funding sources.

Selection Process

This call for applications is subject to and contingent upon the availability of funds. Applicants will be considered for funding based on the organization’s capacity to meet and adhere to the requirements outlined in this call for applications and LCP Standards and Responsibilities, demonstrated need, and availability of funds. Prior LCP grant recipients will be evaluated further on the timeliness and accuracy of their required reporting, the quality of their outreach events, and their satisfactory implementation of the LCP Standards and Responsibilities.

Applicants should have a demonstrated ability to work with underserved populations in their communities as well as a strong history of community engagement.  Please note that past award of a similar grant, or any prior grants from the AGO, is not a guarantee of award under this RFP.

Any application that does not meet the submission requirements may be considered non-responsive and may be disqualified without further evaluation. The AGO may, at its discretion, determine that non-compliance is insubstantial and can be corrected, or that an alternative proposed by the applicant is an acceptable substitute.  In such cases, the AGO may seek clarification, allow the applicant to make minor corrections, apply appropriate adjustments in the evaluation, or apply a combination of all three remedies.

All applicants will be notified as to the status of their application by May 8, 2017. A listing of successful applicants will also be posted on the AGO website, www.mass.gov/ago/grants on or about June 1, 2017. 

Reasonable Accommodation

Applicants that seek reasonable accommodation, which may include the receipt of the call for applications information in an alternative format, must communicate such requests in writing to the Grant Manager at LCP@state.ma.us, no later than 4:00 p.m. on April 18, 2017.

Public Records

All responses and information submitted in response to this call for applications are subject to the Massachusetts Public Records Law, M.G.L. c. 66, sec. 10 and c. 4, sec. 7, cl. 26. 

Conflict of Interest

M.G.L. c.hapter 268A (Conduct of Public Officials and Employees) may apply.

Equal Opportunity Statement

The Attorney General's Office is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  As the representative of the Commonwealth and its residents, the Attorney General's Office strives to ensure that those working with our office reflect the diversity of the communities we serve.  Women, minorities, veterans, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

Questions

Please submit questions by email to: LCP@state.ma.us. The deadline for questions is April 18, 2017 at 4:00 p.m.

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