When the CFA app closes the REDC then begins to evaluate each entity/project that has applied and then scores applications on several criteria. See previous post on an explanation of the CFA.
The first thing they look at is if your project is eligible for funds through the grants you are requesting. It is important that you understand the grants you are applying for, what they will grant, what the match requirements are as well as other criteria for a successful application.
You also need to not only make sure that your project fits into the region’s strategic plan, but that you clearly and concisely build the case as to WHY it fits into the strategic plan. This must include the outcomes that you expect and how they will have a positive impact on the region via the goals set by the council.
Projects are evaluated for viability, feasibility and a quick turnaround. The REDC is looking for reputable organizations with an established track record that will be able to provide the match dollars needed as well as the talent and resources needed to complete the project and grow the region in a timely fashion.
Finally, most grants are competitive. You are up against other projects that may or may not be applying for the same funds using similar criteria and goals. Each region is allocated a set amount of money and is also competing for additional awards granted to half of the regions, so projects are scored in a two-tier system.
The REDC scores projects up to 20 points. Realistically only projects that score a 20 go on to the next round of evaluation by the agency who holds the funds for the state. On rare occasions projects that score a 15 in a region that gets the additional allocation of funds will get funded.
The remaining 80 points granted to each project is scored by the agency (ie: ESD for Development Funds DEC for Storm water Management funds or Ag and Markets for Farm to School funds, etc). But as stated above, they only consider the highest scored projects from the REDC’s. So, while the REDC score is only 20% of the final score, it is also a make or break score in moving your project to funding.