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DD Council Innovation Grants

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Request for Applications (RFA): Innovation Grants for FY21

The application period for this round of Innovation Grants is closed, but we will leave this information here until grant awards are announced. Thank you!


The Pre-Application Call Recording can be accessed here: https://youtu.be/TJZ8Hi4E_CY 

The transcript from that call is linked at the bottom of this page.

Section I: Funding Opportunity Description

The DC Developmental Disabilities Council (DDC) is soliciting applications for FY21 Innovation Grants. The purpose of these grants is to support creative ideas in DC that will build inclusive communities where people with and without disabilities thrive together. Project funds must be used to benefit DC residents.

The mission of the DDC is to strengthen the voice of people with developmental disabilities and their families in DC in support of greater independence, inclusion, empowerment, and the pursuit of life as they choose. We strive to create change that eliminates discrimination and removes barriers to full inclusion through our advocacy.

The DDC’s current Five-Year State Plan focuses on the major goal areas of self-determination, advocacy, and leadership; education; employment; community living; and cross-cutting initiatives that touch multiple areas of life. The complete plan can be found here: https://ddc.dc.gov/2019-State-Plans

Strong applications will include the following:

  • A clear connection between the proposed project and the DDC mission and goals
  • New and innovative ideas for building community, supporting disability employment, creating inclusive educational opportunities, and generally supporting people with developmental disabilities and their families to live their best lives
  • Involvement of people with and without disabilities
  • A plan for promoting cultural and linguistic competence within the project

The DDC is a Mayoral appointed body established in accordance with the mandates of the Developmental Disabilities Assistance and Bill of Rights Act of 2000, Public Law 106-402. The DDC promotes systemic change, capacity building, and advocacy activities in efforts to promote a consumer and family-centered, comprehensive system, and a coordinated array of services, supports, and other assistance for individuals with developmental disabilities and their families.


Section II: Award Information

The amount available for this award period is $10,000 and it is anticipated that the DDC will fund 2-3 new awards at between $2,000-$8,000. Grant awards will be made in early FY21 and last through September 30, 2021.


Section III: Eligibility Information

  1. Eligible Organizations: Public and private entities, nonprofit organizations, education institutions, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, and fiscally sponsored unincorporated groups are all eligible to submit applications.
  2. Cost Sharing or Match: Applicants must include a 25% match in their proposal, which may be provided as cash, in-kind contributions, volunteer hours, etc.
  3. Other: Applicants must be able to provide a Clean Hands Certificate if their proposal is chosen for funding. More information can be found here: https://otr.cfo.dc.gov/page/certificate-clean-hands.


Section IV: Application and Submission Information

  1. There will be an informational meeting to share the purpose of the Innovation Grants, explain the application procedure, and answer any questions. This call will take place on Zoom on Monday, February 1st from 12-1pm. Interested parties should register in advance at https://zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEkcO-spj0jEtNqK0xySlln4eVzrSAPm1bL. To request reasonable accommodations to participate in this call, email [email protected] or call/text 202-340-8563. This call will be recorded and the video and transcript will be posted at https://ddc.dc.gov/page/dd-council-innovation-grants.
  2. Application and Submission: The grant application can be found at https://www.ddsuite.org/?nofa_id=1805 and applications should be submitted through DD Suite. All grantees must create an account on DD Suite in order to apply for this grant. More information about how to get started on DD Suite can be found here: https://www.ddsuite.org/TA.
  3. Submission Dates and Location: Applications must be received by 5pm EST on Wednesday, February 10, 2021. Applications received after this time will not be accepted.
  4. Funding Restrictions: Indirect costs should not make up more than 10% of the overall funds being requested. Indirect costs that exceed 10% of the overall budget may be counted toward the 25% match requirement. We will not consider applications for general operating costs.


Section V: Application Review Information

  1. Criteria: Applications will be rated on a 100-point scale with the following categories and possible points:
    1. Connection to the DDC mission and goals – 20 possible points
    2. Innovativeness – 20 possible points
    3. Support for Inclusion – 20 possible points
    4. Cultural and Linguistic Competence Elements – 10 possible points
    5. Evaluation Plan Quality – 10 possible points
    6. Budget Plan Quality and Feasibility – 10 possible points
    7. Overall Quality of Application – 10 possible points
  2. Review and Selection Process: Applications will be reviewed by a Grant Review Panel made up of not less than three people who are appointed members of the DDC. All Grant Review Panelists will be required to sign an affidavit stating that they have no conflicts of interest with the applicants. Grant Review Panelists will independently complete an evaluation for each application and submit these evaluations to DDC staff. DDC staff will compile the information and average the scores of all panelists to determine the overall score. The DDC staff and Grant Review Panel will then meet as a group to discuss the results and the Grant Review Panel will deliberate on final decisions.
  3. Anticipated Announcement and Award Dates: Applications selected for funding are anticipated to be announced by Wednesday, February 24, 2021. Funded applicants are anticipated to receive the initial grant amount in March 2021.


Section VI: Award Administration Information

  1. Award Notices: All applicants, including unsuccessful applicants, will be notified via email of the funding decision. Applicants that are chosen for funding can begin drawing down funds as soon as the grant agreement is fully approved in the DC government procurement system. It is anticipated that this will occur in March 202
  2. Programmatic, Administrative, and National Policy Requirements: Successful applicants will be required to submit an affidavit indicating whether the entity has complied with the filing requirements of District of Columbia tax laws and whether the entity has paid taxes due to the District of Columbia, or is following any payment agreement with the Office of Tax and Revenue (OTR). The affidavit shall be in a form (Clean Hands Certificate) approved by the Director of the OTR and shall acknowledge the penalty provided by law for making false statements. Please see the following link for more details: https://otr.cfo.dc.gov/page/certificate-clean-hands. Grantees will also be required to obtain a Certificate of Good Standing from the DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs (DCRA). Grantees will also be required to submit an affidavit indicating that they are current on all taxes, including Unemployment Insurance and Workers’ Compensation premiums, and not be debarred from procurements by the federal government, the Government of the District of Columbia or any governmental entity.
  3. Reporting: The required Final Report template is attached to this RFA. A mid-way report will also be required and will contain the same questions as the Final Report to assess progress.
  4. Payment: Upon approval of the grant agreement, grantees may draw down 90% of the grant award. Grantees may draw down the remaining 10% of the award upon completion of the project.


Section VII: Pass-through Entity Contact(s)

Alison Whyte, Executive Director

DC Developmental Disabilities Council

441 4th Street NW, Suite 729N, Washington, DC 20001

202-727-8005 (office), 202-340-8563 (cell)

202-727-9484 (fax)

[email protected]


For additional information regarding this competition, including to request reasonable accommodations for the conference call or other parts of the applications process, please contact Alison Whyte, Executive Director via email at [email protected] or phone 202-340-8563.