Frequently Asked Questions Next Generation Warning System (NGWS) Grant Program

Application approach and components

When can we apply for funding?  

CPB is currently accepting applications until Wednesday, November 8, at 5 pm ET. Grant awards will be approved on a rolling basis. 

Who is eligible for funding? 

All public broadcasting entities as defined in the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (47 U.S.C. §397(11)) are eligible to apply. Eligibility is not contingent upon whether a public broadcasting entity qualifies for CPB’s Community Service Grant (CSG) program. 

Can applications be partially funded, or is this all-or-nothing?  

CPB will not reject an application entirely for a line item that is not eligible. Your application should include your complete list of needs, and CPB will evaluate what meets the priority metrics of the Notice  Of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). 

Is there a limit to the size of grant requests?  

While there is not a cap on the amount any given station can request, overall funding is limited. All requests should detail the impact in the project narrative and budget worksheet to justify the requested funding. 

How are NGWS grants prioritized? 

CPB will evaluate each application on the merits of how it establishes or enhances emergency alerting in the underserved communities specified in FEMA’s FY 2022 Notice of Funding Opportunity. Please see the “Selection Criteria” section of the Request for Applications (RFA) for further details. 

How can we determine if our station meets the prioritization criteria? 

FEMA has provided funding to support the needs of underserved communities, including rural communities.If you are not located in a rural area but transmit to rural areas, you may still meet the priority criteria. The information provided in your application should be specific enough to demonstrate that your station meets a specified FEMA priority, including detailed information about coverage areas and known demographics. 

Is it better to submit a single application or joint with other stations? If joint, is there a limit to how many stations one entity can submit? 

In most cases, CPB is expecting to fund the entity holding the station’s FCC license. CPB understands that many stations operate as a joint licensee, or that the organization is structured such that a joint application is consistent with how you have worked with CPB in the past. In these circumstances, please provide specifics of the arrangement between multiple entities within your application. For example, please clarify fiscal responsibilities, who would be using and maintaining the equipment, and any clear delineations in authority.   

Can we submit more than one proposal? Can an application be submitted in phases?  

Stations should submit one application, all at once, that includes all equipment needs that meet the priorities of the RFA. 

Can multiple unrelated projects for a single station be included in a single application?  

Yes. Stations should submit an application that includes all equipment needs that meet the priorities of the RFA.  

Is an Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) review required for minor projects - ex. those not building a tower?  

Yes, EHP review is required for all applications. The DHS Grant Award Number needed for the application is DHS-22-IPAWS-138-00-01.  

Who is considered the grantee, and who the sub-grantee, on FEMA’s EHP form?  

CPB is the grantee, and the applicant is the sub-grantee. 

Where do we find the conflict-of-interest form?  

The conflict-of-interest form is not required for the application. CPB is updating the RFA to reflect this change. 

How can we access CPB’s Grant Management System (GMS)? 

To request access to the GMS, email ngws@cpb.org. One individual per station can be granted access to upload documents, so please specify in your email who that should be (and include their first and last name, email address, phone number, and full station name). CPB will email an invitation to the email address provided. If the individual does not already have a GMS account, the email will instruct the user to create a new account on the log-in page. 

Once an account is created, go to “grants.CPB.org” and log in. The NGWS grant will be listed under “Available Grants and RFPs.” Click on the link “Respond here” to submit an application. 

Once the application, proposal, and all necessary forms are uploaded into the window, and all the information requests in the window are completed, press “Submit.” 

When and how will stations be notified if their application was successful? 

 As subgrants are awarded on a competitive, rolling basis, recipients will be officially notified by email. 

 

Budget and compliance  

When will grants be awarded? How does the rolling awarding work? How quickly will funds be disbursed?  

Since awards are rolling, CPB anticipates announcing awards in late September 2023. Funds are distributed on a reimbursement basis. 

Since evaluations are rolling, if we wait to apply, will our application still be competitive? 

Grants will be awarded on a rolling basis, so the sooner a completed application is received, the sooner it can be reviewed. However, applications will not be evaluated strictly on a “first come, first served basis.” CPB will consider applicants’ alignment with the prioritization criteria as listed in the RFA. Once all the grant funds are allocated, no additional awards will be made. 

How precise do the application's equipment cost estimates need to be?  

Please submit vendor quotes with your application. The quotes help CPB understand that prices are fair and reasonable. You should include an estimated contingency as part of your request to cover any unforeseeable cost increases when you procure equipment.  

Can the grant be used to fund projects currently underway?  

No, the grant may not be used to reimburse money already spent. However, work on an upcoming phase of a project that has not been started may be eligible. 

Can a study that was commissioned for a project be submitted as proof of cost for the application? 

Yes, the proof of pricing for the application can include studies if they are recent and include cost details. 

Does the grant require a funding match?  

No. 

How does reimbursement work? And would the money go to the station or the licensee?  

This grant will be reimbursed according to 2 CFR 200 guidelines and the obligations of the FEMA award. Each grantee will have a signed agreement that allows them to spend funds for a project, and then be reimbursed from CPB for allowable costs. This is usually within 30 calendar days after receipt of the billing. Any funds will be distributed to the contracted awardee. 

What are the overhead expenditure restrictions?  

Limits on overhead costs (indirect) will be consistent with Uniform Guidance requirements and FEMA grant limitations. 

How will impact and performance for stations be measured?  

Geographic maps, details on the populations served, information on past disasters and emergency alerting, in addition to other metrics determined by the station, will support an application.  

Is there a deadline to install the new equipment? 

All funding for this award must be spent before the award close date. This includes any purchase, installation, or services costs associated with the project. 

How firm is the equipment installation deadline?  

The equipment installation deadline is Tuesday, September 30, 2025.  

What kind of long-term requirements are attached to the funds/equipment?  

This award falls under Uniform Guidance standards (2 CFR 200), which must be followed for proper administration of funding. This includes federal retention policy guidelines, audit requirements and application of federal cost principles. The “Eligible Scope, Allowable Costs, and Funding Restrictions” and “Procurement Guidelines” sections of the RFA provide additional details regarding these guidelines. 

Will there be another round of funding, and do we need to reapply to be considered for those funds?  

CPB is currently focused on FY22 NGWS funds.  

 

Technology  

What kinds of equipment and services does the grant cover?  

Generally, applications should focus on transmission equipment that would improve a station’s airchain infrastructure or improve the resiliency of the airchain in establishing or enhancing emergency alerting. Please see the updated list of allowable equipment. 

Are technological upgrades optional? Are non-IPAWS proposals at a disadvantage?  

CPB is prioritizing projects that increase IPAWS emergency alerting, Digital Radio, and ATSC 3.0 projects. Resiliency projects will also be considered. 

Should we write this technical equipment application for an audience of engineering managers or an audience of other managers?  

Please submit the desired equipment and services and explain your reasoning. The equipment requests should meet the priorities listed in the RFA. Provide as much detail as possible, and if CPB needs additional technical explanation or clarification, it will be requested. 

Is help available to determine what kind of equipment to ask for and how to apply for the grant?  

CPB is contracting with a technical vendor to assist stations who need help determining the scope for their project proposals. Please note that technical assistance is not guaranteed. If granted, it will extend the evaluation period of the application. Therefore, it is recommended that the application be as complete as possible.    

If you need technical assistance to complete the application, please indicate as such in the relevant question on p. 8 [“Would your organization like to be considered for technical assistance with scope development of its project and evaluation of its airchain (pending funding availability)?”] You can find the RFA and application file linked here: NGWS Grant-Program.