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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 and New Jersey Commission on National and Community Service

Conf. Date:

11/27/18

LOI Date:

12/11/18

Deadline Date:

12/18/18 4:00 PM Electronic Submissions; Submit hard copies by 12/20/18.

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. Applicants must attend a technical assistance session and submit a notice of intent to apply before applying.

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.

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, 2019. 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.

Economic Opportunity
Grants will provide support and/or facilitate access to services and resources that contribute to improved economic wellbeing 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; and provide reforestation services after floods or fires.

Healthy Futures
Grants will provide support for activities that will address the opioid crisis; 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 with the purpose of reducing 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 (See Mandatory Supplemental Guidance for further information about some of the priorities) CNCS seeks to prioritize the investment of national service resources in the following areas:

- Economic Opportunity - increasing economic opportunities for communities by engaging opportunity youth to prepare them for the workforce.
- Education - selection of one of the evidence-based interventions in three categories: School Readiness (three evidence-based interventions), K-12 success (nine evidence-based interventions), and Post-Secondary Support (one evidence-based intervention). In order to qualify for this priority, the applicants must be assessed as having Moderate or Strong evidence by the reviewers.
- 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.
- Rural intermediaries - organizations that demonstrate measureable impact and primarily serve rural communities with limited resources and organizational infrastructure.
- Safer Communities - programs that focus on public safety, and/or partnerships between law enforcement and the community.
- Faith-based organizations.

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. For example: Cost Reimbursement applicants cannot exceed the Cost Per MSY of $15,192 (check amount) multiplied by the number of full-time equivalents (MSY’s) for which they are applying. To illustrate, if a program chooses to create a program with a cadre of 10 full-time members they would multiply $15,192 x 10 = $151,920 which is the maximum amount they could request in federal dollars. Requests for planning grant funds cannot exceed $50,000. Planning grants do not include costs for AmeriCorps members.

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, 2019 to August 31, 2020.

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 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 one of the first two NOFO Technical Assistance Sessions is required in order to submit an application.

Friday, November 9 NOFO Technical Assistance Session, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.,
Campbell Soup Company, 1 Campbell Place, Camden, NJ 08103
(Red and White Conference Room next to cafeteria).

Friday, November 16 NOFO Technical Assistance Session, 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.,
Passaic County Community College Public Safety Academy, 300 Oldham Road, Wayne, NJ

Additionally, the Commission has scheduled a technical assistance session on Theory of Change and Evidence. Attendance is optional but highly recommended for organizations that are serious about applying. Attendance at the Theory of Change training does not fulfill the requirement of attending one of the two mandatory general technical assistance sessions.

Tuesday, November 27 NOFO Technical Assistance Session on Theory of Change, Evidence and Logic Models, 10:00 a.m., Mercer County Community College Conference Center, West Windsor Campus, Room 117, 1200 Old Trenton Road, West Windsor, NJ

Pre-registration is requested (See Contact Information below). Registrants requiring special accommodations for the Technical Assistance Workshops should identify their needs at the time of registration.

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.

Timeline:
- Tuesday, December 11 Notice of Intent to Apply due to NJ Commission
- Wednesday, December 12 Date by which the Commission has to advise the Corporation of how many applications are anticipated.
- Tuesday, December 18 Applications due to NJ Commission on eGrants by 4:00 PM
- Thursday, December 20 Hard copies of applications due to NJ Commission
- Wednesday, January 16 Approximate notification of state level selection by NJ
Commission
- Wednesday, January 30 NJ Commission due date for Competitive package submission to
CNCS
- Monday, April 1 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.

To pre-register for a technical assistance session, call 609-633-9627 or email Samirah.@sos.nj.gov.

Please send an e-mail with your Notice of Intent to:
Ivette Ramos
Ivette.Ramos@sos.nj.gov

Send hard copies of the application to:

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