What level of funding is available for carrying out these enrichment activities?
The cluster’s activity budget is composed of $150 for each CBYX student and $300 for every YES student to carry out a minimum of six cluster activities (three for CBYX students). Thus for example a cluster of 5 YES students and 1 CBYX student would have a budget of $1650 for the entire year
Does this mean that the budget for each activity is fixed at $50 per student?
No, cluster activity funds may be pooled together and used over the entire year. Some clusters choose to do a few costly activities such as an overnight trip to the state capitol and make up for the high cost by complementing it with less expensive activities. The cluster activity budget is best seen as a budget for the whole cluster. IT does not need to be broken down by each individual student.
Can CBYX students be included in all six activities?
Yes. This should be encouraged.
Can enrichment activity funds be used to include non-sponsored AFS students?
Only in the instance that including the non-sponsored students in the activity would not result in additional costs. For example, if cluster activity funds are being used to rent a van to transport the cluster to a soup kitchen where the group will be volunteering and lunch will be provided, other non-sponsored AFS-ers could fill any extra seats in the van. However, enrichment activity funds should not be used to purchase a museum ticket for a non-sponsored student for instance.
What can the funds be used for?
The funds should be used to cover the expenses of the students to participate in the activity as well as the volunteer(s) chaperoning the activity. The expenses may include transportation, entrance fees, meals, lodging and communication expenses in connection with planning or implementing the activity, copying or materials for the activity, etc.
How will I be reimbursed for the costs of enrichment activities?
You will find a Cluster Coordinator Expense report and a Cluster Coordinator Activity Report Form in the Cluster Coordinator Guide and also here. For each activity reimbursement, you must supply a detailed expense report, original receipts and an activity report (in the Global Link Sponsored Programs module). These should be sent to the SP Grand Administrator at the National Office for processing. In addition a Mileage Reimbursement Form has been included in the Cluster Coordinator Guide and here for you to use to get reimbursements for fuel costs incurred when driving. In order to ensure the smoothest possible processing and quickest reimbursement it is essential to fill out the expense and activity reports carefully and clearly, including all necessary documentation, original receipts, etc. Please also remember to keep a copy of your expense reports just in case of any mishap and mail them promptly after each activity. Please do not “save-up” expense reports.
Can I receive an advance?
Yes, for one activity at a time. Should you need to request an advance, you should present a project outline and estimated budget to the SP Grant Administrator, in the National Office. The SP Grant Administrator will work with you directly to arrange the advance. Please allow for a three week processing time when requesting an advance. It is important that you provide the expense report and documentation immediately after the activity is completed in order to avoid confusion. If there is money left over, please include a check made payable to AFS for the amount left over. Should the advance not cover all of the expenses, you will be reimbursed for the difference.
Why not just give us the money all at once?
In working with the U.S Department of State-sponsored programs, AFS must provide extensive documentation of activities and expenses on a quarterly basis, which is one of the reasons it is important to submit reports as soon as possible. There are strict reporting requirements for all grant-funded expenditures.
Is it possible to request additional enrichment activity funds?
In April, the Sponsored Programs Team in the National Office will begin to release additional funds to clusters that have depleted their funds as some clusters traditionally assess by that time that they will be able to organize all of the required activities at less than the full budget. Clusters, which have depleted their resources, may request additional funds for enrichment activities at this time. Requests for additional funding prior to April will be considered on a case-by-case basis.