Eligibility of Communities

Q: What is the probability of a farmers market that is not in a low-moderate income community being considered for an award? My market is in a fairly high income community but it does serve a nearby low income senior citizens building with gleaned food at the end of market day.

A: If your market primarily serves a middle-to-higher income community, there is much less chance for your market to receive funding. If your program is focused on improving access to the market for lower income communities, than there is a chance that you will receive funding. In other words, your market does not have to be in a shifting sands community itself, as long as it is serving customers from such neighborhood.

Q: The term “shifting sands communities” while referenced in the RFP information, is not clearly defined. It is referencing “low/moderate” income places or is it also inclusive of places experiencing significant demographic changes, such as population increase? It would be very helpful to better define this term for potential grantees.

A: A population increase is by itself not evidence of a shifting sands community. Please see page 8 of the RFP for the full definition.

Eligibility of Organizations

Q: Would an organization such as a Farmers’ Market Association be eligible for funding?

A: State Farmers Market Association, if it is a 501c3 organization or Government entity, can apply if the project is for one market. The grant cannot be for association development.

Q: Are state non-profits eligible applicants?

A: No, applicants must be a 501c3 organization.

Q: Can grants be made to a group of markets? I know the RFP explicitly says “a single market” but the collaborative nature of market planning and promotion here really precludes a single market making the application.

Q: Can multiple markets collaborate on an application? Or, can an organization apply for funding in order to support more than one market?

A: The grants are for individual markets. An association which works with multiple markets can be the sponsor, but the grant can?t be for association development or to work in more than one market. It must be for work on an individual market. A pilot project in one market that can be expanded to other markets in the future would be eligible.

Q: We operate the same market (the same vendors and the same management) at more than one location. It would be difficult for us to do a program at one market and not the other. What should we do?

A: We would interpret this as one market in this case. However, the proposal may be strengthened if the market focuses more on the issues of the neighborhood around one of the markets. For specific situations like this, please contact PPS in advance.

Q: If a market in the past has had essentially no operating budget, does that preclude it applying? This describes most rural markets around here ? volunteer managed, minimal vendor fees, minimal promotion.

A: Yes, the market can still apply. However, the size of the grant would not be very large and the market would have to demonstrate financial capacity through its strategic partner or fiduciary agent.

Q: We are a quasi governmental organization. A Special Services Tax district – our funds come from taxes collected from property owners within the district and we raise every penny to put on our events such as this market. Does that work or should I still try to get another 501(c) 3 partner?

A: Quasi-governmental organizations are eligible to apply.

Q: Can a “strategic partner” apply for funds? Can the “strategic partner” receive funds for services provided to the market?

A: Yes, a strategic partner can be the applicant and the fiscal sponsor if it is a 501c3 organization or government entity.

Grant Questions

Q: What is the average size (dollar amount) grant you anticipate making this round?

A: There is no average size of the grants. There is $400,000 for 10 to 12 grants; the amount will vary.

Q: Question #3 on page 13 of the RFP asks: ?Is the project budget commensurate to the size and annual operating budget of the market? Can you explain how you determine the proper size of a project budget? Can it be a certain percentage of the operating budget? If so, what is that percentage?

A: The amount of the grant will be in accordance with the operating budget of the market, as smaller markets might not have the capacity to carry out a project of a scope that a larger market might be able to. There is no fixed percentage involved, but the market, again, should have the capacity to complete the project in one year.

Q: Are indirect costs allowed?

A: On pages 19 and 20 of the RFP we give some information on Overhead and Indirect costs:

Overhead : Funds may not be used to cover general allocations of overhead
such as utility bills, general maintenance, general supplies, or any other
expenses that would exist in the absence of the project. Funds may be used,
however, to cover labor and expenses that are directly attributable to the
Request for Proposals Diversifying Public Markets and Farmers Markets
Individual Market Grants project. For practicality, some pro-ration of costs is acceptable, providing there is a reasonable justification for allocating the cost of the particular goods or services. For example, phone charges may be a combination of both directly attributable costs and a pro-ration. However, these pro-rated (or indirect) expenses may not exceed 10% of the total grant.

Q: Can Grant Funds be used…

…to build a permanent pavilion for the farmers market?

A: no

…to buy property on which to hold our farmers market or to pay for rent of property where we hold our farmers market?

A: no

…for printing costs for a brochure to educate our customers/potential customers about our market and the vendors? to pay for advertising expenses (newspaper ads, radio spots, signage)? to pay for promotional/advertising items (t-shirts, ball caps, ink pens, etc.) for the vendors and/or customers?

A: yes, but not more than 20% of the overall grant request and these items must relate to your overall project goals.

Q: What can we NOT use the money for?

A: Please see page 13 of the RFP.

Q: Is there a deadline that the money has to spent?

A: All funds must be expended within one year of grant award, which we expect to be as of early February, 2007.

Q: If the money isn’t all spent, does it have to be returned? Or can it be used towards the next market year’s expenses?

A: It must be returned. The lesson is not to overestimate how much you can accomplish in one year.

Eligibility of Markets or Programs

Q: Would you elaborate more in-depth on the three year requirement to qualify for a grant. For example, if the market meets all other criteria and program goals, but has been operating for less than a year can it apply?

A: We want markets that have operated for three years so that they have proven capacity to sustain themselves, but are positioned to grow and increase their impacts.

Q. Our partner is not at this time a multiple vendor market, but they do work closely with members of the community and other area farmers. Is this acceptable?

A: The market must have multiple vendors – one farmer does not constitute a market.

Q: Are other markets where the main products sold are not necessarily fruits and vegetables eligible for a grant?

A: The grants are not intended to support flea markets, markets focused on crafts or hand-made goods. The focus is on markets with farmers and local food producers. There can be some part of the market that is not selling local food or producers, but that can not be the majority of vendors.

Q: The major constraint on the growth of our fledgling farmers’ market network is the limited number of farmers growing food for market. Would you support efforts to “grow growers” by training low income workers in urban areas to grow and market food, so that growing for market will become a viable option in under-served communities and farmers’ markets can expand into more areas of the city?

A: Unless the project is framed as a pilot project for one market, it is not eligible.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for the 2007 RFP, Diversifying Farmers Markets Grants Program was last modified: March 6th, 2012 by Project for Public Spaces