Before writing your proposal, consider the following parameters of the Challenge Cost Share (CCS) program to determine if your project is a good fit:
1. Program Description and Objective. CCS funds are appropriated funds that may be used to pay for no more than 50% of the cost of Challenge Cost Share (CCS) projects on Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) or private lands. The objective of the program is to encourage partnerships with non-Federal governments, private individuals and organizations, educational institutions, and businesses to support the mission of the Service. The matching 50% cost share is provided by non-Federal sources, state/local governments, private individuals/organizations, business enterprises, philanthropic and charitable groups.
2. Cooperator. Cooperators are defined as any state or local government, private individual or organization, business enterprise, philanthropic or charitable group that provide any tangible consideration for the benefit of the Service and the public. The CCS program requires assurance to the Service that a cooperator, or group of cooperators, has contributed no less than 50% of the total cost of each project. The cooperator share may be a non-monetary contribution. The cost share value can be derived from labor, material, equipment, land and water, and cash. No portion of the cooperator contribution can be of Federal origin. This does not, however, preclude the participation of other Federal partners.
3. Field Offices. The primary role of the field office (station), in the CCS agreement process, is to plan and facilitate projects. Another function is to perpetuate and coordinate cooperator interest and involvement in CCS projects. Field offices are recognized as the first point of contact with cooperators; therefore, they are principally responsible for initiating, promoting, and securing project cost sharing.
4. Challenge Cost Share Agreements (CCSA). All CCS projects will be supported by a documented CCSA. These agreements will be maintained by the Regional Office. Refer to the Challenge Cost Share Policy for more information (055 FW 6).
5. Examples of how to determine a good funding match. The examples below illustrate how to determine a good funding match for a Challenge Cost Share Agreement (CCSA):
- Project A – The Service identifies a project need. Three Cooperators are interested in getting involved and getting this project done. Each cooperator says they will provide $1,000 each for a total of $3,000 from Cooperators. The estimated cost of the project totals $4,000; therefore, the Service will contribute $1,000 toward the project. This 3 to 1 match would rank this proposal with a higher chance of CCS funding than a project with a 1 to 1 match. GOOD MATCH.
- Project B – The Service identifies a project and contributes $1,000 of CCS funds toward the project. The Army Corps of Engineers says it will contribute $500 and Company XYZ says it will contribute $500. Total Project Cost $2,000. This project would be rejected by the committee because the total of federal funds would be $1500 while non-federal contributions would only total $500. REJECTED.
- Project C – Same project as B with the service contributing $1,000 and the Corps of Engineers contributing $500. This time Company XYZ contributes $1,000. Total Project cost is $2,500. This would be a good match because the Service contribution was matched by Company XYZ. The Corps of Engineers’ contribution is an acceptable extra to the project. GOOD MATCH.
- Project D – A fishing access point is reached by crossing a portion of gravel road on refuge fee land. The road connects with a minor county spur road that also connects to a major county gravel road. A fishing club suggests that the access point road and county ‘spur’ road be graveled. The club will provide $500 if the County provides $500 for spreading and the Refuge provides $1,000 for the gravel. The Refuge station does not have $1,000 in their budget to fund the project; therefore, they submit a CCS proposal for a grant to fund the project. The total project cost (Club $500 + County $500) plus (CCS $1,000) or $2,000. This project meets the 50-50 match requirement under the CCS program requirements; therefore, it would be a good match to receive funding and complete the project. GOOD MATCH.
- Project E – Same as project D except the County will give $500 for gravel but will not spread the gravel. Spreading gravel is estimated to cost $250. The Refuge station says it will spread the gravel and submits a CCS proposal for $1,000. The project would be denied because a match is not made. County and Club gave $1,000 in cash. CCS gave $1,000 and Station would give a $250 value for gravel spreading. Total Service funding $1,250 ($1,000 CCS + $250 "goods and services" for grading) vs. $1,000 from Cooperators. REJECTED.
- Project F – Same project as D and F except that the Fishing Club President is a contractor with a grader. Club will give $250 cash plus $250 worth of grading value for a total value of $500. County gives $500 for gravel, Service funds via CCS gives $1,000 towards gravel purchase. This would be a valid CCS project because the Club is allowed to co-mingle cash contributions plus the value of their machinery and labor. GOOD MATCH.
Note: Ensure all contributions from the refuge as well as the cooperators are reflected on the CCS proposals.
Please direct any comments or questions to the CCS Coordinator at 303-236-4307