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General Questions and Answers

What substantiation will we need to provide Blue Cross in order to be reimbursed for our project-related expenses?
Funded entities will submit invoices to Blue Cross for reimbursement. You do not need to submit receipts to Blue Cross, but you should keep them in case there are questions about those expenses.
Does Blue Cross make a bidder's list available?
No.
We missed the intent-to-apply deadline. Can we still apply?

New answer, January 2007:  Please refer to the specific RFP.  Some RFPs require that all applicants submit an intent-to-apply notice by the deadline.  Other RFPs encourage, but do not require, submission on an intent-to-apply notice.

May our proposal include an appendix with attachments?
Yes, although all essential information that our reviewers should know about your organization or your project should be included in your narrative.  If you choose, you may include a reasonable number of substantive attachments that enhance the narrative (please omit items such as t-shirts).  Make sure all copies of your proposal include the attachments you want reviewers to see.
Can I review a sample proposal?

We do not have sample proposals for any of our funding programs.  If you have a question regarding our funding program in general, or regarding a specific RFP, please email your question to prevention_funding@bluecrossmn.com. We will answer your question in our Question and Answer section.

Must we use the budget format provided in the RFP? I need more lines in some sections.
We do require all applicants to use the budget format provided along with the RFP.  However, you are welcome to add additional lines within any section to give you adequate space.  (Likewise, you may delete lines from unused sections if you wish.)  You are responsible for making sure that your altered spreadsheet correctly calculates subtotals and totals.
Do we also need to put the name of our organization on each resume and letter of commitment?
No.  That instruction only applies to the proposal narrative.
How does Blue Cross define "Small Business, Small Disadvantaged Business, Women-Owned Business participation?"

Here are definitions that Blue Cross' purchasing department uses.

Small Business
A business, including its affiliates, that is independently owned and operated for profit, is not dominant in its field of operation, and is not an affiliate or subsidiary of a business dominant in its field of operation.  A small business concern must be qualified as a small business under the criteria and sizes standards in [federal regulation] 13 CFR Part 121.

Small Disadvantaged Business
A small business concern that is at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned by one or more individuals who are both socially and economically disadvantaged.

Women Business Enterprise
A women-owned business that is a continuing, independent, for profit business which performs a commercially useful function, and is at least fifty-one percent (51%) owned and controlled by one or more women; or in the case of any publicly owned business, at least fifty-one percent (51%) of the stock of which is owned and controlled by one or more women and whose management and daily business operations are under the control of one or more women.

We do not have "Articles of Organization" because we are a unit of government. How do we handle this in the proposal?
On the required proposal checklist, you can just write "N/A" next to Articles of Organization.
To whom should the letters of commitment be addressed?
Letters of commitment can be addressed either to Jacob Bland of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota or to a contact within the applicant organization.
The signature lines ask for a "fed. id no." Is this the Federal Tax Identification Number?
Yes. Public and nonprofit entities should provide a Federal Tax ID Number; for-profit entities provide an Employer ID Number (EIN.)
Are you asking for our Federal Tax ID Number under the "Employer Identification Number"?
Yes. Public and nonprofit entities should provide a Federal Tax ID number; for-profit entities provide an Employer ID Number (EIN.)
We have a 501(c)3, but are a new organization. Are we eligible to apply for funding, even though we do not have a historical tax record?
Yes.  All organizations selected to receive funding will be subject to a financial review before we enter into a contract with them to determine whether or not they have the capacity to administer funding.
We are a government agency. Do we need to send a tax determination letter?
No.  Tax determination letters are relevant only for nonprofit organizations.
What does “legal entity” mean, in terms of eligibility?
Applicants are required to be formalized legal entities (for example, a corporation, partnership, limited liability partnership, unit of government, trust.)  The only type of applicant not considered a legal entity would be an informal association of people or groups who have come together but do not have any legal relationship to each other with respect to liability issues.
What is a tax determination letter?
It is a letter to your organization from the State of Minnesota, indicating your organization has a tax-exempt status such as 501(c)3. 
This is a contract rather than a grant, so how will Blue Cross draw down the money? Is it possible that we would have no start-up money?
We apologize for the delay in answering this question.  We are still working out the specifics of funds distribution with other internal Blue Cross departments.  We will post an answer to this question as soon as we have one.
Are the "Articles of Organization" you refer to in the RFP the same as our organization's Articles of Incorporation?

Yes.  There are multiple kinds of Articles of Organization an organization may have; Articles of Incorporation are one of the most common types.

I'm having trouble tracking down our organization's "Articles of Organization" as required in your RFP. Would our Charitable Determination letter suffice?
No, it would not.  They are not the same.  You can obtain a copy of your organization's Articles of Organization through the Minnesota Secretary of State's office.  Contact information: 651.296.2803 or www.sos.state.mn.us
Since the funding for these programs is contract based rather than grant based, how will the disbursement of money work?
We are currently finalizing our contract process. It will be communicated once awards have been offered and the contracting process begins.
Who else was part of Minnesota’s lawsuit against the tobacco industry?
The State of Minnesota and Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota were the only two co-plaintiffs in that lawsuit.
Is the postcard all we need to submit as a letter of intent?
Yes.
Is the Intent to Apply postcard a formal commitment?
No. We are using the Intent to Apply cards (or forms you can download from our web site) simply to anticipate the number of applications we might receive, so we can plan to have sufficient reviewers available. If you submit an Intent to Apply card and then decide not to apply, please just let us know by sending a note to Prevention_Funding@bluecrossmn.com or by leaving a message at 1-800-760-0052.
How many applications can one organization submit?
We have not established an upper limit for how many applications one organization can submit for each RFP. However, because we are striving for geographic representation and a diversity of applicant organizations, we are not likely to select more than two proposals from any one applicant organization.