Posted By: Department of the Treasury
Category: Ideas Skill: Ideas Interest: Finance Submission Dates: 1:30 p.m. ET, Jun 16, 2016 - 5 p.m. ET, Jul 29, 2016 Judging Dates: Aug 03, 2016 - Aug 31, 2016 Winners Announced: Sep 30, 2016
The Community Development Financial Institutions Fund (CDFI Fund) plays an important role in generating economic growth and opportunity in some of our nation’s most distressed communities. By offering tailored resources and innovative programs that invest federal dollars alongside private sector capital, the CDFI Fund serves mission-driven financial institutions that take a market-based approach to supporting economically disadvantaged communities.
The FY 2016 CDFI Fund Prize Competition seeks to stimulate innovation that will build capacity to expand CDFI investments and increase access to capital in underserved rural areas, particularly those that are characterized by persistent poverty. The CDFI Fund will reward selected applicants with monetary prizes, totaling up to $1,000,000, for innovative proposals that (1) identify and promote new ideas and practices, thereby facilitating their implementation by CDFIs that serve rural areas, and/or (2) create value during and after the competition by encouraging CDFIs that serve rural areas to develop new skills or practices that may have beneficial effects on the rural areas they serve.
The CDFI Fund envisions there will be two types of applicants:
- An innovative idea or strategy, implemented within the past two years, that helped increase CDFI investments and access to capital in underserved rural areas; or
- An innovative idea or strategy that has not yet been implemented, but is reasonably expected to increase CDFI investments and access to capital in underserved rural areas.
Judges will select the winning entries according to judging criteria. Please click on the following link to view the evaluation criteria: FY2016 CDFI Fund Prize Evaluation Criteria. The CDFI Fund may choose to distribute the prize in one or more payments. In addition, the CDFI Fund may require prize awardees to submit reports detailing progress implementing the proposed solution and/or any outcomes.
Judges may also select entries for Honorable Mention based on the judging criteria in order to highlight and promote success stories and best practices. Applicants listed as Honorable Mention will not be awarded a financial prize. The Winning Entries, and Honorable Mention applicants, will be recognized on the contest and CDFI Fund websites. The CDFI Fund may invite contest winners and honorable mention applicants to participate in post-award events or communications.
For purposes of this competition, a “rural area” is defined as a county or counties that are considered non-Metropolitan Areas under the CDFI Program’s regulations (12 CFR 1805.104). An area that is characterized by “persistent poverty” is defined as any county or Native community that has had 20 percent or more of its population living in poverty over the past 30 years, as measured by the 1990, 2000, and 2010 decennial censuses. Please click on the following link to view the Rural Area and Persistent Poverty Lookup Tables: CDFI Fund Prize Challenge Rural and PPC Lookup . **Please note: the Rural Area and Persistent Poverty Lookup Tables have been updated as of July 21, 2016 to include eligible areas for the U.S. Territories based upon alternative census data other than the decennial census due to data limitations.**
The CDFI Fund’s definition of a “Native Community” is an American Indian, Alaska Native, or Native Hawaiian community. The CDFI Fund uses the Office of Management and Budget’s definitions of “American Indian or Alaska Native” and “Native Hawaiian”: “American Indian or Alaska Native” refers to “a person who has origins in any of the original peoples of North and South America (including Central America) and who maintains tribal affiliation or community attachment,” and “Native Hawaiian” refers to “a person having origins in the original peoples of Hawaii”. (OMB Statistical Policy Directive No. 15, Race and Ethnic Standards for Federal Statistics and Administrative Reporting, 62 Fed. Reg. 58782, October 30, 1997)
Please review the evaluation criteria carefully for further guidance on how your application will be judged.
Participants will register for the Competition and will submit the application to the Competition via www.challenge.gov.
To be considered for an award through the proposed FY 2016 CDFI Prize Competition, the CDFI Fund requires applicants to upload a Microsoft Word or PDF document of not more than 10 pages that, at a minimum, includes the following items:
- A description of the problem(s) creating barriers to accessing capital in the targeted rural areas (and, if applicable, that are characterized by persistent poverty;
- A description of the innovative idea or strategy for solving the problem(s) described above, including any proposed evaluation and the likelihood that it has yielded or will yield meaningful insights into the effectiveness of the solution;
- The depth of need for investment capital and the lack of access to such capital within the targeted rural areas;
- The rural areas to be served or that have been served through the proposal;
- If the idea or strategy has not yet been implemented, expected short-term outcomes (within one year of implementation) and expected long-term outcomes (within five years of implementation);
- If the idea or strategy has been implemented, outcomes achieved ;
- An explanation of any partnerships that have or will be created to increase capacity and leverage private, public, and philanthropic capital to expand investments in the rural designated areas, including the roles of each partner (submission must include a Memorandum of Understanding or other formal partnership agreement documenting the terms of the partnership); and
- The scalability and/or replicability of the idea or strategy.
Please use the documents listed below to better understand the evaluation criteria and look up rural areas and persistent poverty counties.
Add to the Discussion
To be eligible to win a prize under the Challenge, an individual or entity—
(1) Must comply with all the requirements under this section.
(2) In the case of a private entity, shall be incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States, and in the case of an individual, whether participating singly or in a group, shall be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States.
(3) Shall not be a Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their employment.
(4) Federal grantees may not use Federal funds to develop Challenge applications unless consistent with the purpose of their grant award.
(5) Federal contractors may not use Federal funds from a contract to develop Challenge applications or to fund efforts in support of a Challenge submission.
(6) All applications must propose or present ideas or solutions that have been implemented or are proposed to be implemented in rural areas; bonus points shall be given to ideas or solutions that have been implemented or are proposed to be implemented in rural persistent poverty areas. Please click on the following link to view the Rural Area and Persistent Poverty Lookup Tables: CDFI Fund Prize Challenge Rural and PPC Lookup .
(7) All applications must propose or present an idea or solution that directly addresses the issue of increasing CDFI investments and access to capital in underserved rural areas and/or rural persistent poverty areas.
(8) Applicants must be certified CDFIs, a collaboration of CDFIs, or a non-CDFI partnering with certified CDFIs. Joint applicants as part of any collaboration or partnership should select a primary applicant to submit the application.
An individual or entity shall not be deemed ineligible because the individual or entity used Federal facilities or consulted with Federal employees during a competition if the facilities and employees are made available to all individuals and entities participating in the Challenge on an equitable basis.
Entrants must agree to assume any and all risks and waive claims against the Federal Government, its related entities, except in the case of willful misconduct, for any injury, death, damage, or loss of property, revenue, or profits, whether direct, indirect, or consequential, arising from participation in the Challenge, whether the injury, death, damage, or loss arises through negligence or otherwise.
Entrants must also agree to indemnify the Federal Government against third-party claims for damages arising from or related to Challenge activities.