Grant Selection and Performance Task Force

PRESENT: Rob Meinders, Becky Hayes-Boober, Ed Barrett, Maryalice Crofton, Michael Moran

The members convened at 8:30 am using the virtual meeting technology.

Discussion items:
Ensuring inclusive and diverse viewpoints on GTF.  From last meeting - thorough discussion of assessing representation. In essence this is setting the core competencies and representation in two key groups engaged in grantmaking: task force members and peer reviewers. Task force members had two files to review. One is a workbook with 4 assessments that could be useful in distilling competencies and representation. The other is a short summary of the very scarce research on peer reviewer competencies. It's affirming and not surprising. The most commonly referenced skills are subject matter expertise, and a track record of excellence and achievement. There was some reference to needing peer reviewers with a broad range of experiences. The goal of TF discussion is to 1) integrate peer reviewers into representation consideration; and 2) identify the core elements for the task force membership, both Commissioners and members of the public.

Discussion clarified that the lens to use is the grant-making process and not full board representation. The essential skills and representation can then be used across both task force and peer reviewer groups. Both do not need to have the full set but, together, the essentials should be present. The homework assignment for members is to review the matrices provided and indicate what is essential by changing the text color. Send it to Maryalice and she will compile for final discussion at the April meeting. Responses are needed by 3/17 which is the board meeting.

National direct proposals.  It is the season for Commissions to provide feedback on national direct applications for AmeriCorps. The Commission policy on this task was reviewed. Staff recommendations were accepted and are listed below. 

  • Campus Compact: Campus Climate Action Corps 
    Recommend: Support  
    Note – ME service site is UMaine Orono for 6 MSY.
  • College for Social Innovation: College for Social Innovation AmeriCorps Program  
    MC note – Agency personnel have tie to Colby and will recruit from those students. Expect about 8 people. 
  • Conservation Legacy: Conservation Legacy AmeriCorps Program   
    Recommend: Support   
    MC note – they put 3 members at Acadia National Park. 
  • Health360, Inc.: Healthy Minds Alliance - ASN  
    Recommend: Support  
    Staff comment: The applicant submitted the same project to 2 national competitions so may be disqualified. We’ll have to see. 
    TF comment – concern about whether they have connected with NAMI which does some of the training this applicant lists. 
  • Lead For America: Lead for America National Hometown Fellows  
    Recommend: Neutral  
  • Local Initiatives Support Corporation: Economic Mobility AmeriCorps  
    Recommend: Neutral

Update on enrollment status of grantees.  The small (rural) programs and UMaine COA are doing well with enrollment. KVCAP is not but there is a reason: when they went competitive and added York County child development services, the department (DOE) did not follow through in terms of funds and they also did not tell the centers that members were going to be coming. KVCAP is not doing well with enrollment because of this reason. In their most recent continuation application they propose to move into Androscoggin County which is a natural fit for them which should help increase enrollment.

The climate corps program in Washington county will enroll members early May as planned.

Formula funding allocation to Maine.  The allocation for formula awards has gone up and there are four continuation programs (Continuations: Main Street Skowhegan, UMaine Center on Aging, Trekkers and Maine Youth Alliance) which leaves some money for new grants. The competitive decisions are still pending. The staff recommendations are to conduct all three formula competitions and the task force agreed. 

There being no other discussion items, the members dispersed at 9:20 am.