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Federal Earmark Request Process: Vetting Questions that Non-profits May Be Asked


  • This project is run by a nonprofit, and they have provided evidence of 501c3 nonprofit status

  • This project meets all requirements in the Appropriations Account it falls under.

Due diligence

  1. This organization’s 990 shows no significant deficits, unusual spending on off-mission line items, or unusual board/senior executive salaries.

  2. If this organization has a rating on Charity Navigator, Guidestar, or other rating aggregator, that rating is satisfactory.

  3. This organization’s website and social media are updated and raise no red flags.

  4. There is no concerning local or national media coverage of this organization.

  5. There are no odd reviews of this organization online.

  6. This organization provides easy access to its financial audits, human resources policy, staff code of conduct, or other values and mission statements.


  1. This organization has provided satisfactory information on oversight and management structure, including accountability measures.

  2. The stakeholder responsible for oversight and management has managed similarly scoped projects before or has an adequate support structure to help them do so if not.

  3. This organization has provided satisfactory information on performance standards and evaluation for this project.

  4. The stakeholder responsible for evaluation has performed oversight for similar projects before.

  5. This organization has committed to collecting adequate oversight data and transparency in releasing that data.

Risk assessment

  1. This organization has provided satisfactory information on potential risks, and contingency plans to mitigate those risks, including financial contingencies.

  2. This organization’s mission and values align with the Representative’s values and vision for the district. 

Scope and funding

  1. Comparing requested funding to established revenues, this project is not a significant departure from the scale of the organization’s past work, or the organization has a clear plan to scale up its operations with additional CPF funding.

  2. The scope of the project seems feasible in a one-year timeline, or the project has a clear plan for securing funding beyond FY 2023.

  3. If there are non-CPF-eligible costs associated with the project, the organization has a clear plan to secure those funds.

  4. The organization has provided a list of partners and other funders, and those partners have confirmed their support.

Community support

  1. The organization has provided strong evidence of broad community support.

  2. There is no significant opposition to this project in the community (or if so, the Representative is aware of and comfortable with the objections)

  3. Other community stakeholders have raised no significant concerns about this project receiving CPF funds.

Ethics and red flags

  1. This organization has answered all questions/provided all materials requested quickly and in good faith.

  2. No stakeholder from this organization has tried to apply improper pressure on any staff member in the Representative’s office and has complied with the CPF application procedure established by the office.

  3. If the Representative’s office has requested any clarification or modification to application materials, the organization cooperated in good faith.

Mission and values

  1. This project clearly advances the Representative’s priorities or issues identified as district priorities, or there is a tangible benefit to the district that outweighs following pre-established district priorities.

  2. If this project is awarded funding and is successful, it will build a foundation for additional opportunities to improve and strengthen this community in the future.

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