General Information for Applicants

What are the mandatory requirements?

All applicants must adhere to the following mandatory requirements. No exceptions, modifications or qualifications to these requirements are permitted, and failure to comply will result in immediate disqualification of your proposal.

  1. Your proposal must be received on time.
  2. You must submit your proposal in hard-copy, printed form. Your proposal must be mailed to the correct office. Use the mailing label found in Appendix C of this booklet.
  3. The proposal must be prepared in the format and include all of the Parts described above.  You must include a Budget Narrative page detailing how money will be spent.
  4. Your proposal must be signed and submitted with seven (7) copies.
  5. You must use the "Title Page" form included in Appendix C of this book. By signing the Title Page, you will be agreeing to the following:
    • You certify that you do not use aversive procedures to modify behaviors, per the detailed policy included in Appendix B.
    • You will abide by the Council’s captioning, logo and copyright policies as described in Appendix B.
    • You have included the disability inclusion and cultural competency descriptions noted in Part 2 Grant Application Instructions of this book.
    • You certify that staff, once assigned, will not be transferred to other projects without the prior consent of the Council.
    • You certify that you are willing to work with other Council grantees as seen as appropriate by the Council.

HOW DO I LEARN MORE? Preproposal Conferences

If you want to apply for a grant and would like more information, you may ask questions of the appointed staff person at the Preproposal Conference. This conference is held about four weeks before proposals are due. Answers given at this conference are then written down in minutes and become an official part of the RFP. These are mailed to everyone who has indicated an interest in that Objective. All Preproposal Conference times and dates, along with proposal due dates, are listed under each Objective.

All Preproposal Conferences may be attended either in person or via webinar. For those attending in person, these meetings will be held in Room 558 on the fifth floor of the Forum Building, 605 South Drive, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. For those who chose to attend via webinar, the appropriate link and call in information for your conference is listed at the end of each objective statement. Direct links to these webinars are posted on the Council’s website at


Proposals should be submitted to the Department of Public Welfare’s Division of Procurement using the mailing label in Appendix C. Those received on time are opened and reviewed for compliance with the technical requirements as described under "Mandatory Requirements". Late proposals are not accepted for any reason. A copy of each proposal is then sent to each member of the independent review committee. Reviewers read and score each proposal independently prior to the proposal review meeting.

The purpose of this meeting is to select and recommend for funding those proposals that best meet the Council's request for a given project and are typically held within a few weeks of the proposal due date. Review Committees typically have five members who are knowledgeable about the given Objective. They must be free of conflicts of interest with any potential bidders. The review committee determines those groups or organizations that the Council will fund to do specific projects.


Your proposal will be reviewed and scored based on a set of questions that are specific to the objective under which you have applied. These questions address four areas.

  1. THE PROPOSED APPROACH - What will the project do and how?
    This section looks at parts one and two of your proposal. Reviewers rate whether your proposed activities are logical, reasonable and are relevant to what the RFP asked for. Does your proposal detail outcomes that make sense and are relevant to the proposed work? Remember that you must show that your project addresses system change. It should detail where on the Route to Success matrix the activities of the project fall. Does your budget fit the proposed activities?
  2. THE PROJECT PERSONNEL - Who will do the work?
    Reviewers will determine to what extent proposed staff have experience, knowledge and a positive reputation for successfully doing this type of work. They also look at whether there are enough people with diverse experience to accomplish the tasks to be done in your project?
  3. THE CONTRACTING ORGANIZATION - Who is 'hosting' the work?
    Does the organization declare its willingness to fully support the project and do they have a reputation for successfully completing similar projects. Reviewers will look for evidence that the organization is administratively and managerially sound.
  4. VALUES AND PRINCIPLES - Does the project adhere to what the Council stands for?
    Reviewers will consider whether the proposed project is consistent with the Council’s Vision, Mission and Statement of Values located in the front of this book.


If your proposal is accepted for funding, you will be notified in writing. Council staff will work with you to coordinate the necessary paperwork to make your proposal a fully executed grant under Commonwealth rules. Once this paperwork is complete, a grant ‘start-up’ meeting will be scheduled with your project representatives, Council staff and the Council’s lead person for your Objective. This meeting provides an opportunity for everyone to get to know one another, review reporting requirements and fiscal procedures, and to answer any questions that you may have concerning your grant with the Council.

Proposers who are not selected are also notified in writing. You are given the opportunity to be "debriefed", to learn how your proposal was reviewed. Council staff schedules the time and location of debriefing conferences. The Commonwealth reserves the right to reject any and all proposals received as a result of this request and to negotiate separately with competing grantees.


Grantees will have many opportunities, both through report requirements and face-to-face meetings, to share the successes and struggles of your project. All grantees are required to submit brief quarterly reports. Report forms are individually developed with each grantee at the start-up meeting and are related to the specific work of your grant. A final report is also required at the end of your grant.