Challenge Cost Share

To increase participation by qualified partners in the preservation and improvement of NPS natural, cultural, and recreational resources in all authorized Service programs and activities.

Examples of Funded Projects

Fiscal Year 2010: Great Smoky Mountain Archaeological Field Project with University of Tennessee Archaeological Research Laboratory involved 10 high school Cherokee students in the research of their cultural past at the Cherokee site in Smokemont.

Booker T.

Washington Community Stewardship Student Exchange Program with Race to Knowledge, Inc., and Bridge to Life brought together 60 students from Chicago and rural students from Franklin County, VA to become active participants in the stewardship and preservation of BOWA and the Michigan Boulevard Garden Apartments (Chicago).

Fiscal Year 2011: No Current Data Available Fiscal Year 2012: No Current Data Available

Agency - Department of the Interior

The Department of the Interior protects and provides access to the Nation's natural and cultural heritage, including responsibilities to Indian tribes and island communities. Departmental goals include resource protection and usage, overseeing recreational opportunities, serving communities and excellence in management.

Relevant Nonprofit Program Categories

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2010: 138 projects funded. Fiscal Year 2011: Not available. Fiscal Year 2012: No Current Data Available

Uses and Use Restrictions

This program supports small-scale partnership projects with units of the National Park System, NPS centers and program areas, and National Trails.

All projects and activities receiving these funds must meet a minimum 50:50 match of cash, goods, or services from a non-Federal source.

Applications must be approved by appropriate NPS park, program, center, or trails staff.

The maximum CCS award is $30,000.

For more specific information contact the regional office.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Applications are considered on a regional basis and are submitted by NPS park, center, or program staff for competitive selection by the Regional Directors.

Applications must also contain a non-Federal partner.

Non-Federal partners include.

Beneficiary Eligibility

General public, trail system users, and organizations with conservation missions.


Equal or greater eligible non-Federal contribution with appropriate letter(s) of partner commitment documenting match, and approval of supporting NPS unit, center, program, or trail staff. OMB Circular No. A-87 applies to this program.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Contact Regional/Trail offices for more specific application information.

Some projects may be subject to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

An environmental impact statement is required for this program.

An environmental impact assessment is required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

OMB Circular No. A-102 applies to this program. OMB Circular No. A-110 applies to this program. Applicants must complete an application. Applicants should contact the appropriate Regional or Trail office for information regarding more specific project selection requirements. All applications must be approved by the appropriate park, center, program or trails staff. Project proposals are forwarded by parks, centers, program, and/or trail offices for competitive selection by the Regional Directors.

Award Procedures

Project proposals received are forwarded by parks, centers, program, and/or trail offices for competitive selection by the Regional Directors. To be eligible for competitive evaluation, the applicant must meet the selection criteria as outlined in the Challenge Cost Share Program guidelines. Additional Regional criteria may apply. Within each region, projects will be ranked and rated. Available funding will be divided among the highest ranking projects.

A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) or the CCSP application can be used as the initial Partnership Agreement to establish the relationship and the intent of the partnership. If CCSP funds are transferred directly to a partner, a cooperative agreement or contract must be used. Direct procurement may be used if the award is used to purchase goods.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


Cost Share Arrangements with Partners Public Law 103-333 (16 U.S.C. 1f).

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

Regional approval times vary. Contact the appropriate Regional or Trail office Challenge Cost Share Coordinator for more information.


Not Applicable.


For those projects for which (1) planned work has not been completed during the fiscal year for whatever reason; or (2) work was intended to be phased or staged, a project status from must be filed with the appropriate Regional or Trail office for continuation of the project. All awards are dependent on appropriations.

Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

Statutory formulas are not applicable to this program.
Matching Requirements: The non-Federal contribution(s) is at least 50% of the CCSP share and all costs detailed in the budget.
MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Funds must be used within the fiscal year during which they are allocated. Selected projects are intended to be completed within one year. A status report may be filed if a project is unable to be completed during the time allocated and projects funds can be extended into the next fiscal year. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Contact the headquarters or regional office.

Post Assistance Requirements


Regional Offices are expected to receive and maintain Project Completion Forms for all funded CCSP projects at their completion.

Upon receipt, Regions are to ensure that the Form is complete and accurate.

Copies of Project Completion Forms should be forwarded to the National CCSP Coordinator.

A status report may be filed if a project is unable to be completed during the time allocated and projects funds can be extended into the next fiscal year.
In cases where CCSP funds are awarded to develop publications, videos, pamphlets, displays, exhibits, and signs and/or the recipient disseminates the findings or products developed from the project in professional journals, books, film, videos, or conferences, a copy must be sent to the park, trail or program office; Regional Office; and National CCSP Coordinator as soon as these become available, even if they appear after completion of project work.

Cash reports are not applicable.

Progress reports are not applicable.

The SF-425, Federal Financial Report interim and final are required.

Performance monitoring is not applicable.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A-133 (Revised, June 27, 2003), "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.


Project partners must provide a final listing of the matching share that was used to complete the assisted work. This includes records of cash contributions, donated supplies or loaned equipment, and volunteer services.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Direct Payments for Specified Use) FY 10 $2,344,000; FY 11 $0; FY 12 Estimate Not Available - CCSP funds were requested in the President s budget; FY 12 No data available.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

The range is $125 - $30,000; Average $15,680.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Not Applicable.

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office


Headquarters Office

Charlie Stockman National Park Service, National Challenge Cost Share Coordinator, 1201 Eye St., NW, 9th Floor -Org Code 2240, Washington, District of Columbia 20005 Email: Phone: 202) 354-6907 Fax: (202) 371-5179.

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

1. PROPOSED PROJECT MEETS A CRITICAL NEED: The proposal must demonstrate that, if funded, the project will address a critical resource or visitor use management need or issue faced by the park, site or NPS program.

2. PARTNER PARTICIPATION: The proposal ensures and demonstrates active full support, partnership, and participation by non-NPS entities ensuring a strong collaborative effort. All parties involved in the project benefit from its completion with work potentially strengthening a cooperative relationship between NPS and the partner(s). New partnerships, innovative/creative partnerships and multi-partner projects are encouraged. NOTE: Supporting letters from potential partners must accompany the proposal to document their willingness to participate in the project if funded.

3. TANGIBLE RESULTS: The proposal adequately addresses the outcomes and products of the project, in addition, the quality and usefulness of the products are adequately described. Within reason, the project adheres to a one year time frame.

4. COST EFFECTIVE: The budget narrative details sufficient, necessary, and reasonably valued costs for materials and services to complete proposed work within the scheduled time frame.

5. EQUAL OR GREATER ELIGIBLE NON-FEDERAL CONTRIBUTION: The non-Federal contribution(s) is at least 50% of the CCSP share and all costs detailed in the budget narrative are directly related, necessary, eligible, and properly valued in accordance with 43 CFR 12. The contribution may be cash or in-kind.

6. COMPLETE APPLICATION PACKAGE: The application proposal must be complete.

7. PROJECT COMPLETION FORM: If applicable, the applicant has submitted a Project Completion Form or Project Status Form for a prior project. If one has not been received, or has been found unacceptable by the Regional Office CSSP Coordinator, then the proposal is not eligible for consideration for a new CSSP award until the deficiency is remedied.

8. ADDITIONAL REGION-SPECIFIC SELECTION CRITERIA: At a minimum, projects must meet the items listed above. However, Regional Directors may, at their discretion, develop additional criteria.

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