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AmeriCorps Competitive Grants

Grants to New Jersey Nonprofits, IHEs, LEAs, and Agencies
to Employ Volunteer Staff for Community Services

Agency Type:

State

Funding Source:

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New Jersey Department of State, New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service

Conf. Date:

10/20/17

LOI Date:

11/20/17

Deadline Date:

12/12/17 4:00 PM Electronic Receipt; and 12/14/2017 Hard Copy Receipt

Description:

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Grants to New Jersey nonprofit organizations, LEAs, IHEs, government agencies, and labor organizations to employ volunteer staff to carry out community services. Mandatory technical assistance sessions are scheduled for October 20 and October 23. Applicants must submit a notice of intent to apply by November 20. Applicants are strongly encouraged to attend the November 2 Theory of Change and Evidence session.

AmeriCorps is a national service network that provides full- and part-time opportunities for participants, called members, to serve their communities and build the capacity of organizations to meet local needs. The New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service, New Jersey Department of State, seeks to fund local initiatives and utilize the AmeriCorps model to increase civic engagement and improve New Jersey’s communities by deploying AmeriCorps members to provide services in the six focus areas identified in the Serve America Act.

Through this AmeriCorps Competitive Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO), the New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service (hereinafter, the Commission) seeks submission of applications that demonstrate that they will engage AmeriCorps members in an evidence-informed and evidence-based approach to providing a service intervention that will result in intended solutions to community problems (e.g., based on proposed program’s performance and evaluation data or research demonstrating the effectiveness of a similar intervention). Applicants will be awarded points for providing evidence that their proposal intervention will lead to the outcomes identified in the theory of change (logic model). Applicants shall provide evidence that the proposed intervention is effective for the proposed population and community challenge.

The AmeriCorps Competitive program is federally funded and requires a local combination of significant cash and in-kind match.

AmeriCorps grants are awarded to eligible organizations proposing to engage AmeriCorps members in evidence-based or evidence-informed interventions to strengthen communities. An AmeriCorps member is an individual who engages in community service through an approved national service position. Members may receive a living allowance and other benefits while serving. Upon successful completion of their service, members receive a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award from the National Service Trust that members can use to pay for higher education expenses or apply to qualified student loans. The Education Award can be used for a period of up to seven (7) years following successful completion of a term of service.

Types of Award:

The NJ Commission will accept applications for Cost-Reimbursement Grants including Traditional, Professional Corps and Evidence-based Planning Grants. The NJ Commission will also accept Fixed Amount Grants for Full-time, Education Award Only, or Professional Corps. Please refer to Section II CNCS NOFO for a fuller description of the Grant Types and Sub-Types.

Formula Grants:
The New Jersey Commission anticipates conducting a Formula competition process in the Spring, 2018. Applications submitted for this Competitive funding NOFO will automatically be considered for funding during the Formula competition. If selected for funding in both competitions, the applicant will only be funded under the Competitive application and forego the Formula grant.

Continuation Grants:
The Continuation application process has been revised by CNCS and instructions have not yet been published. Expansions for Continuation Grants will not be possible this year.

CNCS Focus Areas:

The National and Community Service Act of 1990, as amended by the Serve America Act, emphasizes measuring the impact of service and focusing on a core set of issue areas. In order to carry out Congress’ intent and to maximize the impact of investment in national service, CNCS has the following focus areas.

Disaster Services:
Grant activities will provide support to increase the preparedness of individuals for disasters, improve individuals’ readiness to respond to disasters, help individuals recover from disasters, and/or help individuals mitigate disasters. Grantees also have the ability to respond to national disasters under CNCS cooperative agreements and FEMA mission assignments.

Economic Opportunity:
Grants will provide support and/or facilitate access to services and resources that contribute to the improved economic well-being and security of economically disadvantaged people; help economically disadvantaged people, to have improved access to services that enhance financial literacy; transition into or remain in safe, healthy, affordable housing; and/or have improved employability leading to increased success in becoming employed.

Education:
Grants will provide support and/or facilitate access to services and resources that contribute to improved educational outcomes for economically disadvantaged children; improved school readiness for economically disadvantaged young children; improved educational and behavioral outcomes of students in low-achieving elementary, middle, and high schools; and/or support economically disadvantaged students prepare for success in post-secondary educational institutions.

Environmental Stewardship:
Grants will support responsible stewardship of the environment, while preparing communities for challenging circumstances and helping Americans respond to and recover from disruptive life events: programs that conserve natural habitats; protect clean air and water; maintain public lands; support wildland fire mitigation; cultivate individual and community self-sufficiency; provide reforestation services after floods or fires; and more. AmeriCorps programs support activities, such as conservation and fire corps, which may also help veterans and others learn new job skills through conservation service.

Healthy Futures:
Grants will provide support for activities that will improve access to primary and preventive health care for communities served by CNCS-supported programs; increase seniors’ ability to remain in their own homes with the same or improved quality of life for as long as possible; and/or increase physical activity and improve nutrition in youth with the purpose of reducing childhood obesity.

Veterans and Military Families:
Grants will positively impact the quality of life of veterans and improve military family strength; increase the number of veterans, wounded warriors, military service members, and their families served by CNCS-supported programs; and/or increase the number of veterans and military family members engaged in service through CNCS-supported programs.

Funding Priorities - CNCS seeks to prioritize the investment of national service resources in the following areas:
-Disaster Services - improving community resiliency through disaster preparation, response, recovery, and mitigation
-Economic Opportunity - increasing economic opportunities for communities by engaging opportunity youth, either as the population served and/or as AmeriCorps members, to prepare them for the workforce
-Education - improving student academic performance in Science, Technology, Engineering, and/or Mathematics (STEM)
-Healthy Futures - reducing and/or preventing prescription drug and opioid abuse
-Veterans and Military Families - positively impacting the quality of life of veterans and improving military family strength
-Governor and Mayor Initiatives
-Rural intermediaries - organizations that demonstrate measureable impact and primarily serve communities with limited resources and organizational infrastructure.
-Safer Communities - programs that focus on public safety, preventing and mitigating civil unrest, and/or partnerships between law enforcement and the community
-Evidence Based Intervention Planning Grants
-Encore Programs - programs that engage Americans age 55 and older

In order to receive priority consideration for submitting an application within a Notice priority(ies), applicants must demonstrate that the priority area is a significant part of the program focus and intended outcomes and must include a high quality program design. Responses that propose programs for the purpose of receiving priority consideration are not guaranteed funding.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 139958

Estimated Size of Grant:

Grant awards have two components: operating funds and AmeriCorps member positions. Grant award amounts vary – both in the level of operating funds and in the type and amount of AmeriCorps member positions – as determined by the scope of the projects.

Term of Contract:

The Corporation for National and Community Service and the NJ Commission are offering the opportunity to compete for a three-year cycle of Competitive AmeriCorps programs. Awards from this competitive NOFO will implement the first year of the program which runs from September 1, 2018 to August 31, 2019.

For New or Re-competing applications, this is Year 1 of 3 of a multi-year grant period covering the following funding periods:
-Year 1: September 1, 2018 to August 31, 2019
-Year 2: September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2020
-Year 3: September 1, 2020 to August 31, 2021

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

The following Non-Federal entities (as defined in 2 CFR §200.69) who have DUNS numbers and are registered in System for Award Management (SAM) are eligible to apply:
-Indian Tribes (2 CFR §200.54)
-Institutions of higher education (2 CFR §200.54)
-Local governments (2 CFR §200.64)
-Nonprofit organizations (2 CFR §200.70)
-States (2 CFR §200.90)

Eligibility is open to public or private nonprofit organizations, including community organizations and faith-based organizations; Local Education Agencies (LEAs) including charter schools; institutions of higher education; government entities within the state (e.g., cities/municipalities, counties, state departments); labor organizations; and partnerships or consortia consisting of the aforementioned.

Organizations that have been convicted of a Federal crime are disqualified from receiving the assistance described in this NOFO.

Pursuant to the Lobbying Disclosure Act of 1995, an organization described in Section 501(c)(4), that engages in lobbying activities is not eligible to apply.

New Applicants:

CNCS encourages organizations that have not received prior funding from CNCS to apply. The general practice is to award at least 20 member positions (slots) but no more than 50 member positions (slots) to organizations receiving an AmeriCorps grant for the first time.

New applicants are eligible to apply for Cost Reimbursement and Education Award Program (EAP) grants but are not eligible to apply for Full-Time Fixed Amount grants. Existing subgrantees/operating sites of Fixed Amount and Cost Reimbursement grantees who can demonstrate a successful history and current capacity to manage a Fixed Amount grant are considered to have AmeriCorps experience and therefore can apply for Fixed Amount grants. See Mandatory Supplemental Guidance for more information.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Attendance at a technical assistance session is mandatory in order to be considered for funding.

The technical assistance sessions are scheduled as follows:

Friday, October 20, 10:00 AM
Passaic County Community College
Public Safety Academy
300 Oldham Road
Wayne, NJ

Monday, October 23, 10:00 AM
The College of NJ
Education Building (Central), Room 115
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ.

In addition to the general technical assistance sessions, there will be a session on Theory of Change and Evidence. Attendance is optional, but highly recommended for agencies seriously planning to apply. It will be held as follows:

Thursday, November 2, 10:00 AM
The College of NJ
Trenton Hall, Room 123
2000 Pennington Rd.
Ewing, NJ.

Call Vanessa McCall (details below) to register for a technical assistance session.

Pre-Application Information:

Fixed Amount Grants: There is no specific match requirement for Fixed Amount grants. CNCS does not provide all the funds necessary to operate the program; therefore organizations should raise the additional revenue required to operate the program.

Cost Reimbursement Grants : A first-time successful applicant is required to match at 24 percent for the first three-year funding period. Starting with year four, the match requirement gradually increases every year to 50 percent by year ten.

Alternative Match: Under certain circumstances, applicants may qualify to meet alternative matching requirements that increase over the years to 35 percent instead of 50 percent as specified in the regulations at 45 CFR §2521.60(b). To qualify, applicants must demonstrate that the proposed program is either located in a rural county or in a severely economically distressed community as defined in the Application Instructions. Applicants who plan to request an alternative match schedule must submit a request at the time the application is submitted. State programs submit requests for alternative match to the Commission.

The Continuation application process has been revised by CNCS and instructions have not yet been published. If you currently operate an AmeriCorps program in its first or second year please contact the NJ Commission at Ivette Ramos for notification of application availability.

Applications must be submitted electronically on eGrants no later than 4:00 PM ON Tuesday, December 12, 2017.

Hard copies of the application should arrive at the Commission office by Thursday, December 14, 2017.

Timeline:
-Friday, October 20: NOFO Technical Assistance Session
-Monday, October 23: NOFO Technical Assistance Session
-Thursday, November 2: NOFO Technical Assistance Session
-Monday, November 20: Notice of Intent to Apply due to NJ Commission
-Tuesday, December 12: Applications due to NJ Commission on eGrants
-Wednesday, December 13: Notice of Intent to Apply due to CNCS from NJ Commission
-Thursday, December 14: Hard copies of applications due to NJ Commission
-Tuesday, January 9: Approximate notification of state level selection by NJ Commission
-Wednesday, January 17: NJ Commission due date for Competitive package submission to CNCS
-Monday, May 15: CNCS notifies applicants selected for funding

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

Rowena Madden
Rowena.Madden@sos.nj.gov

Ivette Ramos
Ivette.Ramos@sos.nj.gov

Vanessa McCall
609-633-9627
Vanessa.McCall@sos.nj.gov

NJ Commission on National and Community Service – AmeriCorps
NJ Department of State PO Box 456, 4th floor
33 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08625
ATTN: Ivette Del Rio Ramos

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: New Jersey