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Drug-Free Communities Mentoring Program

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Initial Announcement Back to the Grants Dashboard

Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO)

NOFO Number: SP-14-003

Posted on Friday, March 07, 2014

Application Due Date: Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 93.276

Intergovernmental Review (E.O. 12372): Applicants must comply with E.O. 12372 if their state(s) participates. Review process recommendations from the State Single Point of Contact (SPOC) are due no later than 60 days after application deadline.

Public Health System Impact Statement (PHSIS) / Single State Agency Coordination: Applicants must send the PHSIS to appropriate state and local health agencies by application deadline. Comments from Single State Agency (SSA) are due no later than 60 days after application deadline.


The Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Support Program was created by the Drug-Free Communities (DFC) Act of 1997 (Public Law 105-20).  DFC Mentoring grants were established as a component of the DFC Support Program when the program was reauthorized in 2001 (Public Law 107-82, 115 Stat. 814).  The DFC Mentoring Program was also included in the Office of National Drug Control Policy Reauthorization Act of 2006 (Public Law 109-469). 

The primary goal of the DFC Mentoring Program is to assist newly forming coalitions in becoming eligible to apply for DFC funding on their own.

It is the intent of the DFC Mentoring Program that, at the end of the Mentoring grant, each Mentee coalition will meet all of the Statutory Eligibility Requirements of the DFC Support Program and be fully prepared to compete for the DFC grant on their own.  Grantees will be expected to achieve this goal by meeting the following objectives:

  1. Strengthen Mentee coalition’s organizational structure.
  2. Increase Mentee coalition’s leadership and community readiness to address youth substance use problems in the Mentee community.
  3. Assist the Mentee coalition in working through a strategic planning process that will result in a comprehensive Action Plan.

*For the purposes of this RFA, "youth" is defined as individuals 18 years of age and younger.

The DFC Mentoring Program is a collaborative effort directed by the Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP) in collaboration with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP).   This announcement addresses Healthy People 2020 Substance Abuse Topic Area HP 2020-SA.


Statutory Eligibility Requirements, written into the DFC Act, are inherent in the DFC Mentoring Program.  Read Table 1: Statutory Eligibility Requirements, which contains a summary of the Statutory Eligibility Requirements and the minimum documentation applicants must provide to meet the eligibility criteria.  The “Where to Document” section in the table shows applicants where to include the required information in their applications (e.g., as an attachment, in the Project Narrative, or in the 12-Month Budget Narrative).  Failure to meet any single eligibility requirement will cause the application to be deemed ineligible, and the application will be screened out and will not move forward to peer review.  Should your application fail to meet the eligibility requirements, the person listed as the Business Official on the Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424) will receive a letter stating why the application was deemed ineligible to apply.  No additional information may be added to an application after it has been submitted.  Final authority lies with the DFC Administrator to determine the eligibility of an application.

All DFC Mentoring applications will be jointly screened by ONDCP and SAMHSA to determine whether each applicant meets all the Statutory Eligibility Requirements for the DFC Mentoring Program identified in Table 1.  In addition, the non-profit status of the grantee/legal applicant (if applicable) will be verified along with its ability to fiscally manage federal funds.  Applications submitted by eligible coalitions that demonstrate they meet all requirements will then be scored through a peer review process according to the evaluation criteria described in Appendix O of this RFA. Each year, DFC Mentoring grantees must demonstrate compliance with all of the following Statutory Eligibility Requirements to be considered for continued funding.

The intent of the Drug-Free Communities Mentoring Program is to fund activities in the United States and does not authorize the funding of organizations or activities outside the United States.  Both the fiscal agent and the applicant coalition must be within the United States and/or the U.S. Territories.

Award Information

Funding Mechanism: Grant

Anticipated Total Available Funding: $600,000

Anticipated Number of Awards: Approximately 8

Anticipated Award Amount: Up to $75,000 per year for up to two years

Length of Project: Up to 2 years

Cost Sharing/Match Required?: No

Proposed budgets cannot exceed $75,000 in total costs (direct and indirect) in any year of the proposed project.  Annual continuation awards will depend on the availability of funds, grantee progress in meeting project goals and objectives, timely submission of required data and reports, and compliance with all terms and conditions of award.

Applicants should be aware that funding amounts are subject to the availability of funds. 

To apply for a DFC Mentoring grant under this RFA, the Mentor coalition must:

  1. have been in existence for at least five years (not to be interpreted as having been a DFC grantee for five years);
  2. have an active DFC grant at the time of application; and
  3. be in good standing (cannot be on high-risk).

Grantees will be awarded funds for one year, beginning on September 30, 2014.  Funds for the second year are distributed as non-competing continuation awards.  

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