Funding Opportunities for Faith Based and Community Organizations
Faith and community-based organizations (FBCOs) can leverage several grant programs offered by the New Jersey Office of Faith-Based Initiatives (OFBI) to enhance their services and reach within the community.
Freedom School Planning Grants: These grants aid organizations in the planning stages of establishing NJ Freedom Schools. The funding supports efforts to assess organizational capacity, build infrastructure, recruit certified teachers, and develop parent-focused educational resources. Organizations must form a Freedom School Leadership Team to guide the planning process and engage in mandatory OFBI training.
Social Enterprise Entrepreneurship Development (SE2D) Project: SE2D offers two types of grants: 'Growth' for existing social ventures looking to expand and 'Start-up' for new ventures in the early stages of development. Growth grants require ventures to be revenue-generating and in operation for 1-3 years, while Start-up grants focus on intensive training and business plan development.
Special Projects: This category includes:
- Civic and Community Engagement: Projects that educate residents on effective community collaboration and advocacy, with activities like organizing training and immigration services.
- Food Security: Projects supporting organizations providing consistent food services at least four times a week to reduce food insecurity.
- Services to Seniors: Projects that support aging in place, preventing isolation, and improving the quality of life for low-income seniors.
Social Innovation: This category includes:
- College Readiness: Help students aged 16-25 gain access to college or trade schools, covering costs like application fees and arranging college tours.
- Trade Skills Readiness: Educate and provide access to trade schools and apprenticeships for individuals aged 16-30, including paid internships and trade fairs.
- Youth Entrepreneurship: Develop entrepreneurial skills in middle and high school students and provide startup capital for their business ideas.
- S.T.E.A.M.: Encourage at-risk youth to explore careers in STEM fields through hands-on experience and education in low-income communities.
Project ATLAS: This capacity-building program offers grants, technical assistance, and coaching to strengthen the sustainability of FBCOs. It focuses on enhancing organizational viability and the capacity to provide quality social services. The program involves forming a leadership team, working with a coach to develop sustainability assessments, and implementing a pilot project based on community needs.
How to Apply
An organized application supported by documentation helps OFBI evaluate your project more quickly. Here’s a quick overview of submitting a successful application.
- Confirm Your Eligibility: Verify your organization's eligibility as a non-profit Faith and/or Community-Based Organization serving low-income residents, with the necessary tax-exempt status under IRS Section 501(c)(3). Your organization must be registered with the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs and the Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services. Confirm that you have a current Charity Registration Number, Business Revenue Number, and good standing with the Business Service Center.
- Document Preparation: Collect all required documentation, including the IRS Determination Letter and Certificate of Incorporation.
- Participate in Training: Attend the OFBI's technical assistance training webinars for insight into the grant application process.
- Application Submission: Complete the application via the System for Administering Grants Electronically (SAGE) before the deadline.
- Develop a Comprehensive Proposal: Draft a detailed proposal that includes an overview of your organization, a project summary that aligns with the OFBI's mission, and a clear depiction of organizational capacity.
- Highlight Potential Partnerships: While not required, if applicable, describe any collaborative relationships that could enhance your project's reach and effectiveness.
- Outline Project Details: Provide a thorough description of your project, including design, target population, project goals, and methods of evaluation.
- Ready Post-Award Actions: If awarded, be prepared to engage in necessary communication, adhere to reporting schedules, and fulfill all post-award requirements as outlined by the OFBI.
Applications are due February 23rd, 2024 at 4:00pm.