Coming Home: Connecting to Community

Eligibility:

Open to CSG-qualified TV and Radio Stations.

Deadline:

October 25, 2019

Request for Grant Proposals

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (“CPB”), is supporting a new public media initiative, Coming Home: Connecting to Community, to increase and promote authentic local storytelling through multi-platform media (original television, radio and digital-first) and engagement that develops and delivers a renewed narrative about life in rural America. New multi-platform content, created by local stations with local voices and talent, will celebrate the diversity, culture, traditions, and richness of small-town America, not being told by commercial media.
As part of this new initiative, CPB is offering local planning, pre-production and engagement grants to identify and utilize local talent, producers, filmmakers and local citizens in rural communities to share their stories about what “home” means, in terms of pride of place, culture, belonging and shared values. With the goal to increase local multiplatform production and dialogue as well as increase national television distribution for stories from rural America, these grants will be up to $50,000 for ten select public media stations to develop a full proposal for a local-to-national project. Submitted proposals will be able to clearly articulate how $50,000 will be used to conduct various pre-production tasks such as, but not limited to, environmental scans, local listening sessions or focus groups, talent pipeline assessment, story ideation, target audience research, preliminary shooting and editing, treatment and budget development, travel costs, partner and stakeholder engagement or identifying and collaborating with outside consultants.

Please download the Request for Grant Proposals below for detailed information, including application requirements.
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PDF icon Request for Grant Proposals249.18 KB

Application Procedure and General Questions:

Applicants must submit their proposals through CPB’s electronic grants management system. CPB will acknowledge by email receipt of each proposal.

To gain access to the electronic grants management system, please send an email request to Mari Nerbovig, mnerbovig@cpb.org, no later than October 21, 2019, 12:00 PM ET. CPB will provide access to eligible applicants within two business days. Please note: even if you already have an account in the CPB Grants system, you must contact Mari to request access to this specific RFP.

Submissions are due no later than Friday, October 25, 2019, 5:00 PM ET. CPB will not consider applications submitted after this time. All proposals, including the budget, should be under 10 pages.

All questions must be submitted in writing to John Celestand, Director of Engagement at jcelestand@cpb.org by September 27, 2019. CPB will answer all questions during a webinar on October 1, 2019.

Questions from Potential Respondents, with CPB Answers:

FAQ Topic: 
General
FAQ: 

How many of the full production awards are expected?

CPB will be evaluating submitted proposals individually to identify those that will be funded for production following the pre-planning period.

It looks like we can plan a combination of short-form content, engagement and potentially long-form content. If we focus on short-form, are you envisioning that several shorts would be pulled together into a long-form broadcast for national air? Are you expecting a long-form show from each participating station for national broadcast?

CPB does not produce or distribute content. Selected applicants will submit a final full production and distribution plan at the end of pre-planning and production.

It’s unclear to me how much the proposed project needs to be fleshed out at this stage. I see that the planning proposal requires a summary of the proposed project, but I also understand that the planning phase includes a deep environmental scan, listening sessions, etc. Do we need to have the project identified before doing those things?

For this project, the “Scope of Work”, detailed in Section II of the RFP, is defined as deliverables that any selected applicant will be responsible to execute during the eight-month planning and pre-production contract term. The environmental scan, initial story ideas and identification of intended staff, would be done if an applicant is selected for funding.

If we have an online community journalism platform, could the funding be used to upgrade the online platform?

Applicants should submit proposals for pre-planning and production to identify and utilize local talent, producers, filmmakers and local citizens in rural communities who will share their stories about what home means.

What story topics will CBP be looking for?

This RFP is seeking proposals for funding on stories about what “home” means, in terms of pride of place, culture, belonging and shared values.

Will all ten of the grantees from the project automatically get funding in the next stage to actually produce the content developed in this project?

CPB will be evaluating submitted final production proposals individually to identify those that will be funded following the pre-planning period.

When applying for the grant must each station use the budget template supplied by CPB?

Yes, please use the template provided. https://www.cpb.org/grants/Coming-Home-Connecting-Community

Is the total amount of money on the table for both planning/pre-production and the actual production of the proposed project?

The grant funds, which will be up to $50K, should be used for planning and pre-production.

What is the budget?

CPB will grant up to $50,000 of funding for ten select public media stations each, for a total budget of $500,000.

How important is it for a proposal to have a national distribution partner interested in the project?

Selected applicant's final production proposals must include a national distribution plan.

Our station is in a town of approximately 70,000 people. Would we be disqualified even if other stories could come from smaller rural areas in our region?

Applicants should look at their total service area when considering story ideas.

What does CPB mean by a deep environmental scan?

This would entail gathering information (i.e. interest, needs, challenges, gaps in media coverage) on the community that a station serves. The environmental scan will help inform their choices on story ideas, formats, distribution and other efforts.

Do you accept joint proposals from two or more CSG qualified organizations? If so, does the proposal need to designate a primary applicant? How would this affect the distribution of grant funds?

We encourage collaboration. However, CPB will enter into an agreement with one entity.

Is CPB interested in community profiles, more issue-driven stories, or a hybrid?

Applicants should propose stories about what “home” means, in terms of pride of place, culture, belonging and shared values, whether that is community profiles and/or issue-driven.

Should the stories that are being pre-produced be a series (all connected with a common voice/host) or is there freedom for several filmmakers and journalists to create stand-alone pieces about rural America from this grant (e.g. mini-docs like Field of Vision)?

The decision to create a series or stand-alone piece is up to selected applicants.

How much emphasis does CPB place on creating national stories through this grant? The writing process and tone is a little different for reporting locally vs nationally. We want to know if we should plan on creating two versions of each story, one serving a local audience and one serving a national audience?

Emphasis will be placed on both an increase in local voices and storytelling in rural areas and access and appeal regionally and nationally to these stories.

Will there be a follow-up grant from CPB to support production costs for Coming Home, or do applicants need to secure that funding independently?

CPB will be evaluating submitted proposals individually to identify those that will be funded for production following the pre-planning period.

Is this grant only for pre-production work? Could it be used for producing a pilot as well?

The grant funds, which will be up to $50K, should be used for planning and pre-production. If a pilot or other means for proof of concept is deemed necessary for this phase of the work, then it can be included in the plan and budget.

Could the extension of educational content include workshops, teaching and providing equipment to rural residents so they can create digital media and tell their own stories? Or is this clause in the Scope of Work limited to distributing and sharing content made by the grantee for television and radio?

Final proposals can include education elements. Applicants should ensure cost-effectiveness when creating a budget (i.e. renting vs. buying equipment) for this specific production proposal.

Does the grant recipient need to remain CSG qualified throughout the entire term of the grant?

Yes.

If there is a coalition of organizations working on the grant, some of which directly serve rural communities and some of which are community media stations for urban areas, is an urban-based organization that is leading that coalition eligible to apply?

Applicants should showcase strong connections to rural communities.

For the purpose of this project, how is CPB defining “rural”?

The U.S. Census Bureau defines urban as either “Urban Areas” of 50,000 or more; or an “Urban Cluster” of at least 2,500 and less than 50,000 in a densely settled area (At least 1,000 people per square mile). Any population, housing, and territory not included within an urban area are considered rural. The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Rural Health Information Hub houses a tool called “Am I Rural?”: https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/am-i-rural

Do stations need to demonstrate that we have worked with rural communities? If our station has not produced work about our rural communities, but we partner with an organization that has, does that qualify?

Applicants should showcase strong connections to rural communities.

Which costs qualify as indirect costs?

For a definition of indirect costs, please refer to the CPB’s Guidelines for Indirect Costs.
https://www.cpb.org/sites/default/files/Indirect-Cost-Guidelines-3-20-2014-revisions.pdf

Are we required to plan and submit treatments for all of the production segments? Is there a required length for the segments/stories?

Selected applicants will be required to submit a full production plan. Length and story ideas will be decided by the applicant.

Can we allocate funds from the grant towards work that was conducted before the grant was awarded (i.e. researching and producing a 5-minute sample piece)?

No. Funds must be used for work done within the eight-month grant term.

Are there, if known, follow-up funds for the completion of the project post planning.

CPB will be evaluating submitted proposals individually to identify those that will be funded for production following the pre-planning period.

After the August completion of the plan and scope is there a time deadline for full completion of the project? Meaning, once we have the full plan in place as per the RFP, do you have a deadline for the actual development of the project?

Any timeline developed should be created according to the applicant’s ability to fulfill their project proposal and distribution strategies.

Some states have a broad spectrum of folks who call our state “home.” From Mennonite communities and nine Indian reservations to growing immigrant/second-generation communities to families who have farmed the same land since the 1800s. Is it preferable that the national deliverable(s) present this wide focus or is a narrower focus preferred?

It is up to the applicant to select stories that have the widest appeal for local and national distribution.

Some stations have content producers with experience producing 30-60 min TV documentaries. Is it preferable to use our in-house staff or to contract with local filmmakers?

CPB has no preference for in-house or contracted professionals. If an applicant does not have experience producing for a national audience, CPB encourages contracting with established local filmmakers. If applicants seek connection or resources to identify local filmmakers, national organizations such as AIR, ITVS or National Multicultural Alliance, may be a resource.

What is the process of sharing the project nationally?

Selected applicants will produce a final full production proposal during the contract term which must include a national distribution plan. CPB will be evaluating submitted proposals individually to identify those that will be funded for production and potential distribution, following the pre-planning period.

What formats should our deliverables take? For example, a 60-minute documentary, 6-minute audio pieces, 4-minute digital shorts shared on our social media? All of the above?

If funded, selected applicants will be expected to deliver a multi-platform content proposal that includes plans for a nationally distributed television program. Applicants should consider the strategies and format that will coincide with the specific distribution outlet under consideration. For more information please go to https://www.cpb.org/grants/content-and-producers-grants.

Can we partner with another station or stations for this first round, or is it better to do it once funded?

We encourage collaboration. However, CPB will enter into an agreement with one entity.

Can we provide more than two examples of work?

Yes. Please keep in mind that proposals should be no more than 10 pages in length.

In the pre-production and planning proposal outline, Section III 3c, does the timeline for the proposed project refer to this first round, or the next phase of full production?

The timeline in Section III, 3c refers to the planning and pre-production phase. This timeline would articulate the workflow, including deadlines, over the eight-month contract period, if funded. There is also a timeline, mentioned as part of the Scope of Work in Section II, that will be developed by selected applicants during the planning and pre-production contract term. This timeline refers to the creation of a full production proposal during the planning and pre-production contract term if selected.

What is CPB’s definition of a deep environmental scan? Can it build upon work already done by reputable agencies and partners?

A deep environmental scan would entail gathering information on the community that a station serves, which could include demographic info, community challenges, environmental issues, etc. Deep environmental scans would be completed during the planning and pre-production phase if an applicant is selected for funding. Applicants can build on work already done by other professional agencies and partners.

What is the definition of “targeted geographic area”? Can this proposal address the American South, or does it need to reflect a specific state or a region of a state?

The targeted geographic area is rural. The U.S. Census Bureau defines urban as either “Urban Areas” of 50,000 or more; or an “Urban Cluster” of at least 2,500 and less than 50,000 in a densely settled area (At least 1,000 people per square mile). Any population, housing, and territory not included within an urban area are considered rural. The Health Resources and Services Administration’s (HRSA) Rural Health Information Hub houses a tool called “Am I Rural?”. https://www.ruralhealthinfo.org/am-i-rural. Proposals can address a region, but it is imperative that the storytellers be local and connected to the community.

Would you confirm that the expectations for this proposal are limited to questions in Section III, 1-4 in the RFP and the elements outlined in Section II, “Scope of Work” refers to the second phase of the project?

Section III of the RFP outlines elements that must be included in all applications. For this project, the “Scope of Work”, detailed in Section II of the RFP, is defined as deliverables that any selected applicant will be responsible to execute during the eight-month planning and pre-production contract term.