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Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Grant

Grants to Massachusetts Nonprofits, Agencies, and Tribes for
Volunteer Community Service Projects on MLK Day

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Massachusetts Service Alliance (MSA) and Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS)

Deadline Date:

08/30/19 5:00 PM


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Grants of up to $3,500 to Massachusetts nonprofits, local and state governments, and tribes for volunteer community service projects taking place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Funding is intended to support high-quality projects that strengthen communities and reflect the state's diversity.

Initiated by Congress in 1994, the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service is a nationwide effort to transform the federal holiday honoring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. into a day of community service in order to help solve our nation’s critical issues. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a beloved community.

MSA is excited to offer this grant to expand volunteer service opportunities for people of all ages to address pressing community needs throughout the Commonwealth in conjunction with the MLK Day of Service. MLK Day of Service projects should:

  1. Be based in Massachusetts and engage Massachusetts residents as volunteers;
  2. Include meaningful service that addresses an identified community need;
  3. Occur during the week of the MLK Day of Service (January 15-25, 2020). Priority will be given to proposals that include a project taking place on the actual MLK Day of Service, Monday, January 20, 2020;
  4. Recruit a diverse cross-section of the community as volunteers, and be open to volunteers from the general public;
  5. Engage volunteers in a minimum of 3 hours of service;
  6. Incorporate education on the life and work of Dr. King; and
  7. Provide volunteers with opportunities for sustained service and ongoing community involvement.

Funding priority will be given to:

  1. Organizations that will engage volunteers in youth development service projects or within a program that serves youth;
  2. Organizations that will provide family or intergenerational volunteer opportunities to community members (these service projects intentionally engage volunteers who are family members and/or represent a diverse age range); and
  3. Volunteer connector agencies across the state (volunteer connectors include agencies that connect individuals with volunteer opportunities and support organizations in effectively using those volunteers to create meaningful change in local communities).

For details on eligible uses of funds, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 151101

Estimated Size of Grant:

MSA seeks to award matching grants of up to $3,500.

Term of Contract:

The grant period will begin November 1, 2019 and end February 29, 2020. Grant funds expended during this period are eligible for reimbursement.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants are:
- Nonprofit organizations (incorporated with 501(c)(3) status) that have been in existence for
at least one year prior to the date on which the organization submits an application;
- State, municipal, and county governments, including departments and agencies therein; and
- Native American tribes.

Restrictions: Organizations may not replace staff time or other expenses already being covered by existing MSA grant funding with funds to be provided through the grant described in this RFP. Additionally, MSA will not fund projects that engage in the following:

- Provide religious instruction, conduct worship services, or engage in any form of proselytizing;
- Assist, promote, or deter union organizing;
- Finance, directly or indirectly, any activity designed to influence the outcome of an election to any public office; or impair existing contracts for services or collective bargaining agreement
- Displace staff positions with volunteers, or
- Charge volunteers to participate in service projects or MLK Day programming.

For details on ineligible uses of funds, see:

Pre-Application Information:

Proposals must be received no later than 5 p.m. on Friday, August 30, 2019. Your application must be submitted through MSA’s online grant system, which may be accessed here. Applicants will be notified of the status of their grant proposal by the end of October 2019.

Grant payments will be disbursed on a one-time reimbursement basis at the end of the grant period.

Organizations receiving these funds are required to:
- Provide a bottom-line, dollar-for-dollar match to support the project. All grantees will be required to report the resources used to match grant funds. Matching funds can be a combination of cash and in-kind resources. Please note: Volunteer and/or service member time is not an appropriate source of match.
- Participate in a grant management and compliance webinar. Date and time TBD.

Contact Information:

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

Apply online:

Please direct any questions about this RFP to Chris Woods at 617.542.2544 x214 or

Massachusetts Service Alliance
100 North Washington Street, 3rd Floor
Boston, MA 02114

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Massachusetts

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