Great Families 2020

Great Families 2020 is United Way’s four-year initiative to improve family stability for vulnerable children and their parents living in five neighborhoods in Indianapolis.

Addressing family instability

Great Families 2020 aims to establish neighborhood support networks that provide integrated services in postsecondary education and workforce development, early childhood education, financial support, and health and well-being to families living in poverty.

Funding for Great Families 2020

United Way of Central Indiana was awarded a three-year, $7 million grant by The Corporation for National and Community Service. With matching funding from the community, Great Families 2020 will make an impact of approximately $20.6 million to central Indiana families in need.

Using the promising practice of the Two-Generation Approach, Great Families 2020 focuses on early childhood education and family economic stability. The idea is to provide opportunities for and meet the needs of parents and their children together.

Why? Because when children enter kindergarten ready to learn while their parents acquire the skills they need to be successful in the workforce, the whole family has a greater chance at achieving self-sufficiency.

Two Generation Model Map of Target Neighborhoods


Please review our Frequently Asked Questions below and this Fact Sheet for more information.
If you have any questions about Great Families 2020, please contact us at

The Social Innovation Fund (SIF) was a program of the Corporation for National and Community Service that received funding from 2010 to 2016. Using public and private resources to find and grow community-based nonprofits with evidence of results, SIF intermediaries received funding to award subgrants that focus on overcoming challenges in economic opportunity, healthy futures, and youth development. Although CNCS made its last SIF intermediary awards in fiscal year 2016, SIF intermediaries will continue to administer their subgrant programs until their federal funding is exhausted.

Great Families 2020 Additional Information

  • Important


Edna Martin Christian Center
2605 E. 25th Street Indianapolis, IN 46218

Proposal: Edna Martin will serve 135 adults and 135 children through its Center for Working Families and Childcare Ministry. Edna Martin will provide both financial stability and early childhood education programming, while contracting with targeted partners in the neighborhood to provide the additional capacity needed to bring the project to scale.

Mission of organization: To encourage, empower and engender a vision of hope for all people. Since the 1940s, Edna Martin Christian Center has been Indiana’s training ground offering education, social and faith services, age-appropriate activities, mentoring and guidance. Their programs focus on the holistic needs of the community – spiritual, physical economic, social and mental.

Award: $1,050,000 ($350,000 per year for three years)

John Boner Neighborhood Centers
2236 E. 10th Street Indianapolis, IN 46201

Proposal: John Boner Neighborhood Centers will utilize its Center for Working Families to provide workforce development, financial coaching, income supports, and asset building services for 150 adults. Boner Centers will partner with Englewood Christian Church and East Tenth United Methodist to provide a collaborative approach to serving families in their neighborhood.

Mission of organization: John Boner Neighborhood Centers responds creatively to the needs of the people on the Near Eastside of Indianapolis through comprehensive services which encourage individuals and families to recognize their own strengths and abilities as they move toward self-reliance and an improved quality of life.

Award: $900,000 ($300,000 per year for three years)

East Tenth United Methodist Children and Youth Center
2327 E. 10th Street Indianapolis, IN 46201

Proposal: East Tenth will serve as one of the providers of early childhood education services for 75 children. East Tenth will partner with Englewood Christian Church and John Boner Neighborhood Centers to provide a collaborative approach to serving families in their neighborhood.

Mission of organization: To provide a safe place where the spiritual, emotional, educational, and physical needs of children, youth, and their families are responded to in a holistic approach.

Award: $450,000 ($150,000 per year for three years)

Englewood Christian Church
57 N. Rural Street Indianapolis, IN 46201

Proposal: Englewood Christian Church is one of the providers of early childhood education services for 75 children. Englewood will partner with East Tenth United Methodist and John Boner Neighborhood Centers to provide a collaborative approach to serving families in their neighborhood.

Mission of organization: To provide a safe, loving, developmentally appropriate environment for children of diverse backgrounds throughout the greater Indianapolis area.

Award: $450,000 ($150,000 per year for three years)


Community Alliance of the Far Eastside (CAFÉ)
8902 E. 38th Street Indianapolis, IN 46226

Proposal: CAFE will serve 100 adults and 100 children in the Far Eastside neighborhood. CAFÉ will utilize its Center for Working Families to provide workforce development, financial coaching, income supports, and asset building services for adults, while contracting with targeted partners in the neighborhood to provide early childhood education programming for children.

Mission of organization: CAFE offers direct aid to residents who are in desperate need, provides support by connecting the unemployed with job training and counseling, and give working families peace of mind by providing a safe, quality after-school environment for their children.

Award: $1,050,000 ($350,000 per year for three years)

Hawthorne Social Service Association
2440 W. Ohio Street Indianapolis, IN 46222

Proposal: Hawthorne will serve 115 adults and 115 children in the Near West neighborhood through its Center for Working Families and early childhood education programming. Hawthorne will partner with MCCOY to provide a collaborative approach to serving families in their neighborhood.

Mission of organization: Strives to meet the economic, educational, financial, social, recreational and civic needs of the entire Hawthorne community.

Award: $750,000 ($250,000 per year for three years)

Marion County Commission on Youth (MCCOY)
1375 W. 16th Street Indianapolis, IN 46202

Proposal: MCCOY will serve families in the Near West neighborhood in partnership with Hawthorne. MCCOY will provide wraparound services for 115 families, focusing on social capital and health and well-being.

Mission of organization: To champion the positive development of youth through leadership on key issues and support of the youth worker community.

Award: $300,000 ($100,000 per year for three years)

Martin Luther King Community Center
40 W. 40th Street Indianapolis, IN 46208

Proposal: MLK will serve 100 adults and 100 children in the Midtown/Near West neighborhood. MLK will provide workforce development, financial coaching, income supports, and asset building services for adults, while contracting with targeted partners in the neighborhood to provide early childhood education programming for children.

Mission of organization: The mission is rooted in the values we have established as a neighborhood leader of individual and family support for our residents: To create a meaningful impact on the lives of those we serve, through quality, multi-generational programs that build community, invest in youth, empower families, advocate for our neighbors, and provide a peaceful space to connect.

Award: $675,000 ($225,000 per year for three years)


If you would prefer a PDF version of the weekly FAQ, click the links below:

Questions are answered weekly. No new questions were submitted the weeks of April 7, 21, 28, and May 12. Please send all questions to

Added May 26, 2017

Q: Will the award amount be budgeted for 12 months or 16 months?
A: Awards may be $100,000 -$350,000 per 12-month period. UWCI has asked for a 16-month budget, so this may include 1.33 times the annual award amount limit ($133,000-$455,000).  Please note that match must be met every 12 months.

Q: We have an agreement with a hospital to have one of their workers at our site free of charge. How can we best show the value of that position?
A: This partnership and the value of the role should be described in the narrative. The hospital staff person would be considered in-kind, which is not allowed as part of the match requirement. Because it is not counted as match, you should not include it on your budget but you may include a note on the budget narrative that reminds the reader that this role is important to the project but already covered by another source outside of the budget.

Q: Our organization doesn’t have a CFO, who should sign the letter of commitment to match?
A: The organization’s Board Treasurer should sign in place of a CFO.

Added May 19, 2017

Q: If an organization proposes a single subgrantee project, where the subgrantee provides FES services and multiple contractors provide ECE services, does the proposal need to include a draft MOU as part of the submission? 
A: Because there is only a single subgrantee, no MOU is needed at the time of submission. Contractors cannot be determined until after a contract is executed with UWCI and a procurement process is undertaken for selection.

Q: If an organization did not submit a letter of intent on May 1, can that organization still apply?
A: The letter of intent was optional so any organization is still eligible to apply.

Added May 5, 2017
Questions submitted via technical assistance session on May 1

Q: How should contractors be described in the application narrative?
A: Contractors must be selected through a competitive procurement process after the start of the grant period. For the application, you should acknowledge that you understand the procurement guidelines, but also mention potential contractors that may meet your needs.

Q: Can you explain the availability of barrier buster funds?
A: Barrier buster funds may be included in the application budget and explained in the budget narrative. If selected, there will be guidance on allowable costs from United Way of Central Indiana and the Corporation for National and Community Service which may include limitations on the extent of use of barrier buster funds.

Added April 14, 2017
Questions submitted via session on Apr. 11 & 13

Q: What has changed in the RFP and/or process since round one?
A: A fifth target neighborhood – Northeast – has been added (see map on website). The four neighborhoods that are not being served by round one applicants will be given priority in round two. Also, to encourage partnerships across organizations working on the same project (either across multiple subgrantees or with contractors), additional points for partnerships has been added to the rubric used for application review.

Q: Recruitment was mentioned as a priority at the Bidders’ Conference. What do we need to include?
A: Please describe the methods and tools that you will use to identify, attract, and retain enrolled your target number of families in the program.

Q: What needs to be included under program leadership in the program description section of the RFP?
A: Describe the current leadership of the organization and planned leadership for the program itself. Identify any potential leadership changes and be specific about your plans for those transitions.

Q: How do we identify organizations with whom we could potentially partner?
A: At there is a contact list of high quality early childhood education providers and a list of Centers for Working Families.

Q: What does it mean to serve the “whole family?”
A: Subgrantees will be providing services for both the child (ages 0-5) and the custodial parent/caregiver of that child simultaneously. UWCI encourages subgrantees to use a coaching model to engage the family in setting a vision and goals for itself and to provide support and accountability over time to meet those goals. Strong applications will describe how the program will integrate the services (early childhood education, postsecondary pathways, economic assets, health & wellness, and social capital) for children and adults across organizations.

Q: Why do you collect social security numbers?
A: Only the last four digits of the client’s social security number is collected and it is used as an ID only. If a client is unable to give their social security number, another ID can be assigned.

Q: Do we need to resubmit the data survey if we already submitted it during round one?
A: No, if you have already submitted a data survey during round one you do not need to resubmit.

Q: If we are awarded in September, when do you expect subgrantees to be serving families?
A: There will be a ramp up period from September 1-December 31. Programs should be fully operational and data collection beginning by January 1, 2018.

Q: Is flexible spending for families and allowable expense?
A: Yes, organizations may budget to use funds as barrier busters or flexible spending for families to help them through a crisis or provide incentive for success.

Q: When will the site visits be?
A: Site visits will take place June 26-28. Please make sure that members of your team are available during these dates. Specific times will be scheduled in early June.

Q: How does housing stability fit into the Two Gen model?
A: Housing is a small but mighty part of the Two Gen model under economic assets. The full model can be seen on the Ascend graphic included in the Bidders’ Conference PowerPoint. Housing stability is an important part of financial stability and should be included in applicants’ overall program design.

Q:  Is the Client Information & Demographics list provided in the Bidders’ Conference PowerPoint a list of data requirements?
A: No. This is an ideal list, but at a minimum we need the clients name, address, race, and gender.

Q:  Did all three of the partners in the Near East group that was awarded in Round One apply together or separately?
A: Boner, Daystar, and Little Dove submitted one narrative that explained their joint program design and separate attachments including budget and budget narratives.

Q: Do you collect data separately from each subgrantee or does one subgrantee handle it?
A: In a joint application, multiple subgrantees applying together will need to describe in the program narrative how they will collect data. This can be a shared task across organizations but all subgrantees must collect and report data.

Q: Have the TA Sessions been scheduled?
A: Yes. They are May 1, 2017 at 2 pm and May 24, 2017 at 9 am. Both will be held at United Way of Central Indiana at 2955 N Meridian Street, Suite 300.

Added January 5, 2017
Questions submitted via session on Jan. 4

When are the applications due?
Completed applications are due via electronic submission by 5:00 PM January 9, 2017.

Is CCDF federal money?
Yes and therefore it can’t be used as match.

Should a separate budget narrative be submitted for each application?
Yes, we will change the formatting of the online application to require this as an attachment for each potential subgrantee instead of as part of the overall project narrative. The overall narrative page limit will remain the same.

We have had trouble with the data capacity survey form. Is there another option?
Yes, some potential applicants have messaged that some Adobe software doesn’t allow for the form to be written and saved. We have uploaded an electronic survey link on the application page that you can submit in lieu of submitting the PDF version.

Will United Way provide any assistance to subgrantees in securing matching funds?
United Way is currently exploring ways to coordinate and leverage local philanthropic and corporate funds to help subgrantees meet the dollar-for-dollar match requirement. However, subgrantees are ultimately responsible for securing 100% of matching funds.

Do all early childhood education providers need to be Paths to Quality Level 3 or 4 at the time of application?
No, but applicants need to describe a plan of how they will reach it during the first year. We recognize that getting to 100-175 children served may be a stretch goal in some areas and we want to be supportive of building that local capacity to provide quality early childhood education. If facility expansion is part of the plans to expand capacity, note that UWCI facility funds may also be available through a separate application process. 

Can an applicant have a fiscal agent? If so, what sort of documentation needs to be submitted to support that role?
There have been no exclusions made regarding the use of a fiscal agent. We would want to see a description of that relationship and how it has worked in the past, as well as a formal signed agreement between the service provider and fiscal agent organizations that specifies roles and responsibilities and describes accountability of each party.

When will a subgrantee be expected to begin providing GF 2020 services?
Grantees will need to take a sufficient amount of time to “ramp up” before beginning services. Staff will need to be in place, policies and procedures required for compliance will need to be developed, training will be required, etc. Subgrantees should plan to begin service delivery no earlier than July 1, 2017 and no later than September 1, 2017. Data collection will begin September 1, 2017.

How will the evaluation work?
United Way and its 3rd party evaluator are responsible for the design and implementation of the evaluation plan. Subgrantees should not budget for conducting an evaluation. However, subgrantees should determine budget needs for the staff and technology required to collect and share data with United Way.

How are you defining family?
We are moving forward with a working definition of a family being a custodial parent(s) and their child(ren) who are in the same house. We understand the value of serving the non-custodial parent and connecting them to the family goals and the future of the child. We encourage you to build that into your overall service model beyond SIF. However, those non-custodial parents will not be included in our enrollment numbers or engaged in our evaluation process at this time. This decision is based on our mandate to evaluate the process and impact of Great Families 2020, which necessitates specific confines around what constitutes a family.

Can there be contracts with providers that do not have funding attached to them? 
If the providers are in or near the neighborhood and part of the overall collaborative effort, then yes this is possible. We do not want to have multiple providers in other areas of town serving just one or two children. For the purposes of evaluating the process and outcomes of our efforts, we need to confine the provider list to those fully participating in the Two Generation Approach at the neighborhood level.

We have non-federal grant funds on hand for financial stability work. These are restricted on our financial statement, but they are for the very same activities as we intend to undertake as part of Great Families 2020 efforts. Can these be used as match?
Yes, we have recently received further clarification from our SIF program officer on this subject. Please note that these matching funds will be held to federal funding and compliance restrictions. If selected as a subgrantee, we will require that you get a letter from the funders of that work to acknowledge the use as match and accepting these restrictions.

When it comes to the documentation of match, if sufficient funding is shown in the financial documents, for example through private payments made by church members to support an ECE, then what other documentation do we need that the funding is available for the match? Would a letter from the ECE or the church be needed to commit those private payments?
Yes, a letter from the organization committing those private payments for the purpose of match and agreeing to the restrictions and compliance that go along with that commitment.

Added December 16, 2016

1. Will children “age out” of the program once they reach kindergarten?
Yes, but GF 2020 will continue to track them (assessing academic indicators) beyond kindergarten. Services will continue to be provided to these families (e.g., FES services) as long as the families’ case plans are active. New families with young children will need to be enrolled to maintain the overall caseload of the project.

2. What children in enrolled families count as participants?
Only young children who are engaged with a ECE provider that is either a subgrantee or contractor.

3. Do families have to reside within neighborhood boundaries to be enrolled in GF 2020?
United Way expects that the vast majority of enrolled families will be residing in the targeted neighborhoods. However, we recognize that there will likely be a few families that resided outside of the neighborhoods’ boundaries, but are actively engaged with services provided in the neighborhood.

4. Can families that move out of the target neighborhoods remain in the program?
Yes, as long as they have an active case plan and remain engaged in the program.

5. How should applicants address other metrics identified in the RFP other than the core outcomes for ECE and FES?
The 3rd party evaluator will work with subgrantees to identify relevant outcomes in other domains (e.g., health/wellness, social capital) as part of development of the overall evaluation plan. There will be opportunities for subgrantees to include outcomes that may be unique to their projects.

6. Can On My Way Pre-K and/or Indy PSP scholarship money be counted as subgrantee match?
No these cannot be counted as match by the subgrantees because they will be counted as part of the $7 million United Way match.

7. If a parent is in prison, can their child participate in the program?
The child can only participate in the program if a parent or guardian is also engaged in the program. In this case, the child would not be able to participate unless the subgrantee was providing services in the prison to the parent or the child’s other local parent/guardian was enrolled in the program.

8. What are the threshold criteria that each application has to meet in order to be considered?
Each application will be reviewed for the following criteria before being passed on to the review team: subgrantees are 501(c)3 organizations, focused on services in the targeted neighborhoods, documentation for 10% of required match, letter of commitment from subgrantee board chair, registered and in good standing with federal System for Award Management (SAM), application received on time (by 5:00 PM January 9, 2017), and application is complete with all necessary attachments.

Added December 9, 2016
Questions submitted via sessions on Dec. 5 and 7 

1. Explain the matching requirements.
United Way must match federal SIF grant funds dollar for dollar and each subgrantee must match all funds awarded by United Way dollar for dollar.

2. Can a United Way partner agency’s use United Way funds as part of its subgrantee match requirement?
The portion of your UWCI base allocation that is used toward this initiative can be counted as match. However, the UWCI strategic allocation of CWF funds cannot be counted as match. United Way may identify portions of CWF strategic allocations directed to Great Families 2020 programs as part of its match.

3. Can United Way capital funds be used as match?
No. Federal regulations prohibit use of both SIF grant funds and match funds for capital expenditures. Please note that UWCI has capital funds available and prioritized to possibly support the expansion and/or rehabilitation of facilities to support Great Families 2020 subgrantees. If capital funds would be needed, a separate application would need to be submitted for consideration by UWCI’s Capital Projects Fund Committee.

4. Can other federal funds of subgrantees be counted as match?
No. Federal regulations prohibit counting other federal funds as match.

5. Will United Way help subgrantees obtain match funds?
Ultimately, the subgrantees are responsible for securing the full match. However, United Way is currently working with local funders to develop a strategy for leveraging local philanthropic funds in a coordinated fashion to help with subgrantee match.

6. Is an applicant required to have secured 100% of match funds at the time of application?
No. Applicants must document that 10% of year one’s match is either cash-in-hand or committed.

7. Does a subgrantee need to be registered with
No, but a SAM registration is required. Sometime this can take some time so it is highly recommended that applicants take care of this as soon as possible.

8. Do applicants need a A133 audit?
An A133 audit is not a requirement unless the agency has more than $750,000 in federal funds. Audited financials are strongly encouraged for each applicant. If this is not available, unaudited financials should be submitted along with the Form 990.

9. Will all of the subgrantees need ETO licenses?
No, but they have to have some sort of data collection system that allows for files to be pulled in an easily accessible format (ie. Excel).

10. Clarify enrollment requirements.
100-175 young children and 100-175 adults is the annual enrollment requirement. Children and adults will be enrolled as family units. Recognizing that adults and children in families may not begin participating at the same time, subgrantees will have 60 days to engage both the child and adult in each family.

11. Are school districts eligible to be subgrantees?
No. Subgrantees must be 501(c)(3) organizations

12. Can contractors (e.g., for ECE and FES services) be secured during the application development period?
No. Subgrantees are required to follow applicable federal procurement requirements to select contractors after funds have been awarded. Subgrantees can identify potential contractors in their applications and should include estimated contract costs in their budgets.

13. Will there be training and technical assistance provided re: procurement and other compliance regulations?
Yes, United Way will provide training and assistance regarding compliance after the selection of subgrantees.

14. What is the difference between a subgrant and a contract?
Subgrants are program awards to subgrantees, and contracts are payments to contractors for goods or services. Like grant recipients, subgrantees measure performance against program objectives, comply with award requirements, use funds to carry out program activities, and make programmatic decisions. Collaborating partners often receive subawards to carry out grant activities for the applicant. Contractors, on the other hand, provide goods and services “that are ancillary” to program operations. Contractors are not subject to compliance requirements of the grant. There is more distance in this relationship, often characterized as procurement.

In the example where a subgrantee “purchases” ECE services from a contractor, the subgrantee is the accountable entity for program performance, facilitating the evaluation, and assuring compliance for all federal requirements.

Contractors must be selected through processes that adhere to applicable federal procurement rules. For contracts valued between $3,000 and $150,000 (“Procurement by small purchases procedures”) price or rate quotations must be obtained from an adequate number of qualified sources.

15. Can a subgrantee budget for evaluation?
United Way and its 3rd party evaluator are responsible for the design and implementation of the evaluation plan. Subgrantees should not budget for conducting an evaluation. However, subgrantees should determine budget needs for the staff and technology required to collect and share data with United Way.

16. When will a subgrantee be expected to begin providing GF 2020 services?
Grantees will need to take a sufficient amount of time to “ramp up” before beginning services. Staff will need to be in place, policies and procedures required for compliance will need to be developed, training will be required, etc. Subgrantees should plan to begin service delivery no earlier than July 1, 2017 and no later than September 1, 2017. Data collection will begin September 1, 2017.

17. How many subgrantees will be selected?
CNCS has recently given United Way permission to award up to 12 subgrants. The range of grant awards will remain $100,000 - $350,000 and the total pool of grant dollars will not increase. United Way will carefully assess applicants’ capacity to match, estimates on the number of families that will be served, and budget justifications for multiple subgrantees in a single application.

18. Where can applicants find information on the Two Generation Approach and on other successful SIF projects?
On the Great Places 2020 website ( ), there is a document describing Aspen Institute’s two generation model under “Important Documents.” Information on successful SIF projects can be found at

19. Will subgrantees be responsible for linking ECE and FES within families?
We are seeking strong integration across all five areas of the Two Gen approach in the program design. In particular, we will be looking for coaching/case management and the development of a family plan that shows family goals and the integration of service. For outcomes, subgrantees will have to track and pull data from across the five areas of the Two Gen approach, but will not have to integrate or analyze this data because it will be handled by the third party evaluator.

20. Will subgrantees be responsible for tracking educational outcomes of children after they “age out” of the program?
No, the 3rd party evaluator will use State Test Numbers (STNs) to gather educational outcomes for these children.

21. Can Head Start engage as an ECE partner?
Yes, Head Start can be a subgrantee and/or (procured) contractor, but their federal funding cannot count toward match.

22. Clarifying the application submission process.
On the Great Families 2020 website, applicants will first complete the Applicant Face Page. Other required parts of the application (e.g., the narrative, budget, etc.) will be uploaded at the bottom of the Applicant Face Page. Once all required documents have been uploaded, the applicant will click the submit button. If all required documents have not been uploaded, the automated system will not permit the application to be submitted. Once an application has been successfully submitted, the applicant will receive a confirmatory email. This system is not yet in place, but will be live within the next week.

Added December 1, 2016

1. In the bidder’s conference, United Way emphasized that all Great Families 2020 project costs, including federal grant funds and matching funds, must be allowable, reasonable, allocable and necessary. Please define these terms.
ALLOWABLE: No unallowable activities can be charged to the grant, such as: general advertising, public relations, demonstrations, lobbying, or fundraising.

REASONABLE: Employs generally accepted and prudent business practices with no significant deviations from organization’s established policies and practices.

ALLOCABLE: Incurred specifically for the grant, and not transferred to other
Federal awards to cover some deficiencies

NECESSARY: Costs are essential to the accomplish objectives of the grant project.

2. Is it possible to have a partnership configuration in which a community center acts as the subgrantee for FES and partners with a childcare ministry as an ECE subgrantee, who then in turns contracts with another childcare ministry for additional ECE capacity?
Yes, this is an acceptable partnership scenario within the scope of the grant. Ultimately, the ECE subgrantee would be responsible for managing the scope of work, data collection, and payment for the contracted childcare ministry.

3. Is there another possibility for a partnership configuration in which the community center as the FES sub-grantee partners with a new entity created as a partnership between two childcare ministries to serve as a single ECE sub-grantee?
A subgrantee needs to be its own 501(c)3, have a track record of programmatic success and collaborations, have data collection experience, and have strong organizational capacity. A newly formed organization would be unlikely to meet the threshold to be a successful subgrantee.

4. Finally, as a Level 3 PTQ ECE looking to establish a new site for service provision, is the Level 3 portable to the new site, or does the ECE start again at the new site at Level 1? If the ECE must start at Level 1, then what is the timeline to get to Level 3 or Level 4?
According to FSSA, Paths to Quality Level 3 requires that the program has been in operation for a minimum of one year. Clarification from a long-time Paths to Quality coach confirmed that “program” refers to the overall program and not the site specifically. Therefore, if a program that has been operating for more than a year opens an additional site, it does not have to wait an additional year to meet Level 3 requirements.

5. Are subgrantees expected to achieve the short-term outcomes identified in the RFP in year 1?
Data will be collected quarterly beginning September 2017, which provides five months (Apr-Aug) in the grant term to allow for sites to hire staff, participate in training, finalize program design, and develop data protocol. The short-term outcomes in the RFP are benchmarks for year one. However, outcomes should be viewed in the context of a multi-year initiative with a strong focus on learning from short-term results to adapt the program design for long-term impact.

6. Can organizations with childcare centers in the adjacent area with families coming from the target areas apply?
Organizations from outside the target area can apply if they are serving people in the neighborhood and can show they have “participation in key community coalitions that are authentic and meaningful to the neighborhood.”

7. What are the boundaries (by street) for the initiative?
The target area boundaries were developed based on census tracts. Below is a list of approximate street boundaries. For the most part, they are correct, but there are some instances where there are no streets matching exactly with the census tract or block group boundary.

N: W. 38th Street
E: Meridian Street between 38th and 30th (slight bump to Central Ave between 34th and 32nd); I-65 between 30th and Fall Creek (the actual river, not Fall Creek Pkwy); Fall Creek between 10th and I-65
S: 10th Street/16th Street
W: Kessler Blvd N Drive

Near Westside
N: 16th Street
E: White River (the actual river, not White River Pkwy)
S: W. Washington Street/W. Michigan Street/W. New York Street
W: Olin Ave/Tibbs Ave

Near Eastside
N: I-70
E: Emerson Ave
S: E. Washington Street (small section drops below Washington)
W: I-65/I-70

Far Eastside
N: 46th Street/42nd Street
E: German Church/Mitthoeffer
S: 38th Street
W: Post Road

Added November 23, 2016

1. Is the number of subgrantees firmly set at eight?
There is some flexibility here. If UWCI finds that more subgrantees are needed to best serve the four target areas with quality programming and increased collaboration, we may increase the number of subgrantees to no more than 12. This would most likely be the result of increased collaboration among providers of core ECE and FES services. The grant allocations will still range from $100,000 - $350,000 and the total grant pool will not change.

2. How many children do we need to serve to meet our goals?
The goal is to serve 100-175 children who also have participating parents/caregivers engaged in the initiative. You may have to serve a much higher number of children to get to the bundled participation rate we are seeking. For example, if you are serving 150 children with ECE services but only 50% of them have parents also engaging in FES services, then your total child count is only 75 and does not meet the program goals.

3. Can an agency which primarily focuses on mentoring be selected as a subgrantee?
Subgrantees will be providers of FES and/or ECE services. These subgrantees will need to include in their application the provision of supports to foster economic assets, health & well-being, and social capital. Mentoring may have a place in these supports, but would be handled by the subgrantee either through its own staff or through a contractual relationship. Those organizations interested in providing contractual services of this type or another may reach out to potential subgrantees (see bidder’s conference attendance list) to discuss how these services may strengthen the subgrantees’ applications. However, please note, any contracts will be procured through a competitive bidding process following federal guidelines and cannot be determined prior to application submission.

4. Can two subgrantees in one neighborhood apply under one unified application?
Yes, indeed this is what we are intending to happen. Please submit one application that speaks to two or more subgrantees (that cover ECE and FES services) with a budget template for each subgrantee, an MOU between them, and coordination of wrap around services existing between all subgrantees.

5. If a neighborhood has one application with two subgrantees, would the total served double to 200-350 for the joint application?
The total served should be 100-175 children and 100-175 adults per application.

Added November 17, 2016


1. Will United Way provide any assistance to subgrantees in securing matching funds?
United Way is currently exploring ways to coordinate and leverage local philanthropic and corporate funds to help subgrantees meet the dollar-for-dollar match requirement. However, subgrantees are ultimately responsible for securing 100% of matching funds.

2. Will each of the four targeted neighborhoods be guaranteed an investment?
No. UWCI will award up to 8 grants across up to 4 targeted neighborhoods. Selection will be based on the quality of applications. Selection of the subgrantees for the entire duration of the initiative will happen prior to year one and be renewed annually.

3. Will United Way partner agencies’ annual allocations be affected if any are selected as subgrantees?
No. Any United Way agency that may be selected as a subgrantee will not see their annual allocation changed as a result of participation in Great Families 2020.

4. Can an organization’s existing funds be used for match?
Yes, as long as the existing funds are unrestricted.

5. How much funding can be requested for each application?
Allowable funding for a proposed project depends on the number of subgrantees partnering on an application. The range for each subgrantee is a minimum of $100,000 to a maximum of $350,000.

6. Must each application’s budget include funds for participation in the annual SIF convening in Washington, DC?
Each applicant should budget for at least one team member to participate in the annual SIF convening.

7. What is considered allowable funds for match?
Matching funds can be new or existing dollars as long as they are unrestricted and used for the purpose of the grant. Federal funding cannot be used as match. Please refer to the Uniform Guidelines referenced on the Great Families 2020 website for more details on match requirements.

8. If you don’t apply and/or are not selected in year one, can you apply in future years?
No. Great Families 2020 is a multi-year initiative in which all subgrantees will be selected prior to year one. Applications are for a three-year cycle.

9. Does the optional renewal in years 4 and 5 provide the opportunity to replicate the approach into additional neighborhoods?
No. Years 4 and 5, if awarded, will be for the same projects initially selected in year one. However, UWCI will review evidence from Great Families 2020 to inform its future ECE and FES investments beyond year 5.

10. Is there someone to whom we can direct our questions about the application?
In order to maintain an equal playing ground and promote transparency, all questions need to be submitted via email at No phone calls or personal meetings will be accepted.

11. Must applicants secure DUNS numbers and establish an account with the System for Award Management prior to submission of applications?
At a minimum, applicants must demonstrate that they have applied for a DUNS number and an account in SAM. Contracts cannot be executed with subgrantees until the DUNS number has been obtained and a SAM account established.


12. If I’m already a Center for Working Families, can I use Great Families 2020 to support what we are already doing?
FES is just one piece of the puzzle that makes the Two Generation Approach work for families. Great Families 2020 is not about business as usual. It’s about systems and organizational change. We are focusing on integration versus segregation of services for families. Subgrantees must show an expansion of services and identify the added value that Great Families 2020 will bring to their programs.

13. Must all families who participate in the program include children under age 5?
At the time of enrollment, participating families must include at least one child under age 5. As children “age out” of the program, adults participating in FES should continue to receive services needed for them to achieve employment and income outcomes.

14. Must children and adults in enrolled families begin ECE and FES services at the same time?
Ideally, children and adults will begin participating at the same time. However, it is very likely that there will situations where the child and adult begin at different times. A child or adult should not be the sole participant from a family for a protracted period of time. Subgrantees should strive to keep the gap between initiation of services to 60 days or less.

15. Should adults in families enrolled in the program be a cross section of unemployed and employed?
Adults should meet the criteria for participating in CWF or other FES approach. United Way expects that participants will be a mixture of unemployed and employed adults.

16. If a young child is already enrolled in ECE, can his/her family participate in Great Families 2020?
The ECE provider must be at PTQ Level 3 or 4 and the provider must agree to share data and collaborate with the subgrantees to ensure ECE, FES and wrap around services are integrated. Great Families 2020 funds (SIF or match) cannot supplant funds that are currently paying for ECE services.

17. Must each application address both ECE and FES?
Yes, as well as wraparound services (i.e., behavioral health, social capital development, case management services). Applications will be accepted from single organizations or from partnerships who submit a joint proposal. Each organization identified in an approved application will be a subgrantee, with a separate budget and contract. Subgrantees coming together in a single application will be expected to have worked out details of their collaboration and formalized these in an MOU. UWCI understands the complexity of these relationships and expects that these MOUs may need to be revised as we enter implementation.

18. What evidenced-based practices are acceptable to include in an application?
Subgrantees must implement the pre-defined ECE and FES interventions discussed in United Way’s approved application and in the RFP. These interventions are evidence-based practices that meet the criteria for preliminary level of evidence. During the course of Great Families 2020, the initiative must increase the level of evidence for these ECE and FES practices to moderate or strong and demonstrate scalability.

The two-generation approach is deemed a promising practice with the first experimental-control study design evaluation currently underway. The primary goal of Great Families 2020 is to demonstrate that evidence-based ECE and FES services provided in an integrated, family-focused approach will yield better ECE and FES outcomes than when these services are provided separately.

19. United Way’s approved SIF application indicates that case management services, mental health (behavioral health) services, toxic stress, social capital development and flex funds are to be included in the integrated two generation approach, Should applicants budget for all these services and resources?
Yes, all of these services must be included in an integrated two-generation approach and supported in the budget.

20. What is toxic stress?
Toxic stress is the excessive or prolonged activation of stress response systems in the body and brain which can have damaging effects on learning, behavior, and health across the lifespan. (See Trauma informed care builds awareness of the challenging context in which many children and youth live, helps develop an understanding of the possible multiple trauma exposures that children and youth encounter and helps build understanding of how adults can support youth and help them more quickly return to their normal functioning following exposure to trauma and  toxic shock (See 

21. Is an applicant required to have experience working in the neighborhood(s) selected for the proposed project?
Applicants should have experience in delivering neighborhood services in partnership with other organizations. Experience in the selected neighborhood(s) may strengthen the case applicants make for readiness and capacity to implement Great Families 2020.

22. Can FES providers other than designated Center for Working Families (CWF) sites be a subgrantee or contractor?
Non-profit organizations that operate FES programs that are evidence-based (minimally at the preliminary level) and provide a similar scope of services as CWF are eligible to be a subgrantee or contractor.

23. Must all families participating in Great Families 2020 reside within the strict neighborhood boundaries identified in the RFP?
The intent of Great Places 2020 is to test the hypothesis that evidence-based ECE and FES provided in an integrated, family-focused approach in the targeted neighborhoods will yield better ECE and FES outcomes than when these services are provided separately. United Way expects that there will be some reasonable “blurring of lines” of neighborhood boundaries, but the focus must remain on the targeted neighborhoods.

24. Are there specific requirements for hiring contractors, developing their scope of work, and evaluating their work?
The need for contractual services should be identified in the application, but the actual contractor will not be selected until after the selection process. There are specific guidelines around the procurement of contractors, including a competitive bidding and selection process. UWCI will need to approve all contractors and will provide technical assistance around compliance issues with subgrantees. Please refer to the Uniform Guidance referenced on the Great Families 2020 website for more details on procurement. Developing the scope of work and collecting data for project evaluation will be left to the subgrantee who is ultimately responsible for meeting implementation and impact evaluation requirements.

25. Is there a minimum number of families a subgrantee should serve?
The approved United Way SIF budget requires 600 adults and 600 young children be served in each year of Great Families 2020. Individual subgrantees are expected to serve approximately 100 to 175 per neighborhood. Enrollment of families will obviously occur on a rolling basis. United Way recognizes that a number of factors will create variability in these numbers from neighborhood to neighborhood.


26. What is the difference between implementation evaluation and impact evaluation?
Implementation measures how well the intervention approach (evidence-based practice) was carried out (i.e., was the approach implemented with fidelity and according to plans?). Findings provide information that can improve how services are organized and delivered. Impact evaluation measures the effects that the intervention approach had on the participants (i.e., what percentage of participants achieved specific program outcomes?).

27. What evaluation costs should be included in the budget?
Staff time should be budgeted for data collection and working with the 3rd party evaluator to implement the evaluation plan. Some subgrantees may need to budget technology cost for data collection and sharing.

28. Is there a mandated data collection system that all subgrantees will be required to use? Subgrantees have flexibility on the data collection system they choose to use as long as it has the capability to export data in an accessible file format.

29. How will the Great Families evaluators interface with a subgrantee’s existing evaluation plan? 
The Great Families 2020 evaluators will be looking at implementation and impact across the initiative and will not dig into unrelated aspects of the subgrantee’s work. Subgrantees should not use the Great Families 2020 evaluation plan to replace their own organizational evaluation plans.

30. What are you looking for in the evaluation section of the application?
In the application, we are looking for organizations with a proven track record of data collection and an understanding of the purpose, practice, and value of evaluation as an implementation tool. UWCI and its 3rd party evaluators are designing and executing the evaluation plan and need applicants to show they how they will be strong, collaborative learning partners.


Subgrantee Selection Process

Federal Guidelines

Program Information

Great Families 2020 is available to all, without regard to race, color, national origin, disability, age, sex, political affiliation, or, in most instances, religion. It is also unlawful to retaliate against any person who, or organization that, files a complaint about such discrimination. In addition to filing a complaint with local and state agencies that are responsible for resolving discrimination complaints, you may bring a complaint to the attention of the Corporation for National and Community Service. If you believe that you or others have been discriminated against, or if you want more information, contact:
Nancy S. Ahlrichs, Chief Talent Officer
United Way of Central Indiana
2955 N. Meridian Street, Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46208