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Grants to New Jersey Community and Faith-Based Organizations for College and Trade Readiness, Youth Entrepreneurship, and STEM Programs

Social Innovation Grant


GrantWatch ID#

Funding Source
New Jersey Department of State (DOS) - New Jersey Office of Faith Based Initiatives (OFBI)
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Geographic Focus
USA: New Jersey

Important Dates
Deadline: 02/23/24 4:00 PM Save

Grant Description
Grants to New Jersey nonprofit faith- and community-based organizations for creative programs and projects that benefit low-income populations. Funding is intended for programs in the following focus areas: STEM, trade readiness, college readiness, and youth entrepreneurship.

The mission of the New Jersey Office of Faith Based Initiatives (OFBI) is to eliminate barriers to funding and other resource opportunities, create greater access for partnership and enhance the capacity of faith and community-based organizations (FBCOs) to create and implement innovative approaches that are designed for community and economic transformation. 


  • College Readiness Program: The College/Trade School Readiness grant is designed to create greater access to college and/or trade schools between 16 years and 25 years. Funding can be used but not limited to subsidize a minimum of five college/trade school applications fees, acceptance fees, coordinating college/trade school tours, and conduct trade school assessment and utilize funds to help subsidize tuition, search for scholarship to trade and/or college. The project must report on how many college/trade school applications were submitted, how many program participants were accepted and how many will be entering college/trade school Fall of 2024.
  • Trade Readiness Program: The Trade Readiness Program is designed to educate and create access to trade schools and/or apprenticeship opportunities for program participants between 16 years and 30 years. Funding can be used but not limited to the following:
    • Support create paid internship opportunities with specific trades in partnership with local trade businesses.
    • Launch trade fairs
    • Help program participants access vocational high schools and/or access county colleges that provide trade skills opportunities.
  • Youth Entrepreneurship: The Youth Entrepreneurship grant is designed to develop skills and strategies that equip youth that attend middle school or high school. The goal is to promote entrepreneurial literacy among at-risk youth and to help each start his/her own business. OFBI funds can be used to provide start-up capital (cannot exceed $500 per business idea). The organization will steward the startup capital for program participants. Organizations applying for this grant must indicate in the application which existing youth entrepreneurship curriculum will be used and why was it chosen.
  • Science, Technology, Engineering, Math (STEM): The STEM grant will create opportunities for at-risk youth to creatively explore career pathways in STEM fields. The goal is to provide high-quality STEM programming that encourages students to incorporate STEM learning in their everyday lives, academic careers and professional endeavors by providing hands-on experience and education in low-income communities. Organization applying for this grant must use relevant, real-world applications of STEM content and involve professionals within the STEM fields as part of the program delivery. Activities may include but are not limited to fashion design, arts, coding, robotics, astronomy, STEM conferences and gaming, etc. 


Additional Eligibility Criteria
Applicant must:
- Be a non-profit Faith and/or Community-Based Organization serving low-income residents;
- Must be tax-exempt by determination of the Internal Revenue Service in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) and upload their IRS Determination Letter that states that the organization is created for charitable purposes and not for religious purposes;
- Must be registered with the NJ Division of Consumer Affairs and have a valid Charity Registration Number and be IN COMPLIANCE with the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, Charitable Registration and Investigation Section
- Be registered with the NJ Department of Treasury - Division of Revenue and Enterprise Services and must have a valid Business Revenue Number;
- Be IN GOOD STANDING with the Department of Treasury - Business Service Center
- Applicants must have their Certificate of Incorporation

Ineligible Applicants:
- Houses of Worship;
- Colleges/Universities;
- Public schools, charter schools, or private schools;

Pre-Proposal Conference
The OFBI has scheduled a series of grant specific Zoom training and technical assistance webinars that will provide you with step-by-step instructions on how to register in Blue SAGE, Organization Information, Accessing the Application & Introduction to Logic Modeling. These sessions are designed to answer questions you might have regarding the OFBI grant guidelines and the application process.

Social Innovation
12/13/23: 12 pm

Pre-Application Information
Application Due Date: February 23, 2024 @ 4:00PM

Estimated Size of Grant
- College Readiness: Maximum request: $20,000; total funding: $100,000
- Trade Skills Readiness: Maximum request: $20,000; total funding: $80,000
- Youth Entrepreneurship: Maximum request: $20,000; total funding: $80,000
- STEAM: Maximum request: $20,000; total funding: $80,000

Term of Contract
Funding period is from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024.

Contact Information
Apply online:

NJ Office of Faith Based Initiatives
P.O. Box 456
Trenton, New Jersey 08625
Tel: (609) 984-6952
Fax: (609) 633-7141

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