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Funding Opportunity

Funding Opportunity: DOJ Office on Violence Against Women Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program

The US Department of Justice (DOJ) Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) is accepting applications for its Legal Assistance for Victims Grant Program (LAV). Nonprofits, tribal organizations, and education institutions are eligible to apply for grants of up to $500,000 to “increase the availability of civil and criminal legal assistance needed to effectively aid adult and youth victims of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking.” The deadline for applications is January 30, 2014.
 
LAV makes awards to law school clinics, domestic violence victims’ programs and shelters, bar associations, rape crisis centers and other sexual assault services programs, private nonprofits, Indian tribal governments and tribal organizations, and legal aid or statewide legal services. Grants must be used to help provide legal advice and assistance free or at low cost to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, dating violence, or stalking.
 
Please take note that this is an especially competitive grant process. So many exceptional applications were received in FY2013 that a portion of the FY2014 funding has already been set aside to “top-tier” 2013 applicants that were denied funding. Anyone who is interested in applying may register to attend one of two upcoming conference calls offering more information on the grant program and the application process. Calls will be held Tuesday, January 7 and Wednesday, January 8, 2014. See the additional information section for more information on registering for the calls. You can also view a list of past grantees on OVW’s website.

Civic Engagement Fellowship Program Now Accepting Applications

The Alliance for Children and Families is now accepting applications for its fourth cohort of New Voices Civic Engagement Fellows to be selected in January, 2014. The fellowship is designed to recognize and fuel the leadership of individuals who are involved in civic engagement work at the local and regional level. Selected fellowship projects are designed to embolden staff and community leaders, while simultaneously building the civic engagement capacity of the human service sector.
 
Successful applicants will receive $8,000 to implement a civic engagement project at their sponsoring organization. The 2014 New Voices Civic Engagement Fellows will implement a self-designed action plan for boosting community advocacy, convene with the cohort four times during the year, participate in a two-and-a-half-day cohort gathering, and organize and host one civic engagement training opportunity for Alliance members.
 
Applications are accepted now through December 13, 2013, and are open to individuals connected to Alliance for Children and Families and United Neighborhood Centers of America (UNCA) member organizations. Individuals can be staff, volunteers, partners, or have some other connection. If you or someone you know is a budding civic engagement leader, consider this opportunity to increase engagement and advocacy in your community. Apply now!

More Details Emerge About President’s Proposed “Promise Zones”

In April, the White House released its FY2014 budget proposal which included a new neighborhood revitalization program dubbed Promise Zones. Few details emerged until recently, when HUD’s Office of Community Planning & Development posted more information, along with some helpful FAQs, online.
 
The interagency, place-based Promise Zones program is inspired by the existing Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative. Communities suffering from intransigent, high poverty may propose projects and must “identify a set of outcomes they will pursue to revitalize their communities, develop a strategy supporting those outcomes, and realign resources accordingly.” Promise Zone projects must be individualized and responsive to local community needs. The role of the federal government will be to “partner with and invest in communities to create jobs, leverage private investment, increase economic activity, expand educational opportunities, and improve public safety.”
 
Up to 20 communities will be selected for Promise Zone assistance over the next four years, including up to five communities this year. Promise Zone designees will also receive competitive preference in existing NRI grant programs, such as Promise Neighborhoods, Choice Neighborhoods, and Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation. For 2013, designees will be chosen to apply from a list of 75 existing grantees of NRI and similar programs. Based on the pilot application process, draft qualifying and competitive criteria for future Promise Zones competitions will be released for public comment later this year. For more information, email promisezone@hud.gov.

Funding Opportunity: 2013 HUD Choice Neighborhoods Implementation Grant Competition Announced

The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced the FY2013 Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant competition. Choice Neighborhoods is HUD’s “signature place-based initiative” and is a part of the interagency Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative (NRI). HUD plans to award approximately $109 million for the FY2013 competition, in the form of four grants of up to $30 million each. Eligible applicants are public housing authorities (PHAs), local governments, nonprofits, tribal entities and for-profit developers that apply jointly with a public entity.  Applications must present a plan to “revitalize a severely distressed public or HUD-assisted multifamily housing project located in a distressed neighborhood into a viable, mixed-income community.”  Applications are due September 10, 2013.

Choice Neighborhoods is about more than fixing up housing, though. The end goal is create sustainable, vibrant neighborhoods where children, adults, and families have the opportunity to thrive in integrative, supportive communities. NRI seeks to establish federal partnerships to foster place-based policies that are response to local needs and assets. A great deal of community partnership is required to meet these goals and examples of past grantees’ projects demonstrate the extensive community cooperation.

Ultimately, successful Choice Neighborhoods applicants must be able to demonstrate that their projects have created sustainable, accessible housing; high quality learning, employment, health, and other opportunities; and public-private investment in neighborhood amenities and public safety. Find out more about the Choice Neighborhoods Implementation grant program, application process, and available resources from the complete Notice of Funding Availability (NOFA).

Funding Opportunity: Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Program

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has announced the grant competition for the Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Program for 2014. Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are non-profit organizations independent from the IRS that serve low income taxpayers involved in tax disputes with the IRS, or educate non-native English speakers about their taxpayer rights and responsibilities for free or for a nominal fee. For more information about LITC services, please see LITC criteria for assistance and this map to find LITCs in your area. The IRS will award a total of up to $6 million in matching grants to qualifying organizations. Each organizational recipient is eligible for up to $100,000 for a one- to three-year grant. Eligible applicants include public or private institutions of higher education and non-profit organizations with 501(c)(3) status. The application is open until July 12, 2013. Note that all grants will be matching grants. Details are available in the grant announcement. In February, 2013, the IRS published the first Low Income Taxpayer Clinic Program Report along with an LITC infographic which details the valuable services that LITCs provide nationwide. For example, in just six months in 2012, LITCs helped their low income clients to secure more than $3.2 million in tax refunds and eliminate $16.2 million in outstanding liabilities, penalties, or interest. In the same span of time, more than 1,900 LITC volunteers contributed more than 36,500 hours of service. These pro bono tax services help bring lower-income families into compliance with tax law without burdensome or predatory fines or fees, and are a valuable component in creating financial literacy and security within communities.

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by Dr. Radut