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SUSTAINABLE JERSEY GRANTS OFFER A GREAT WAY TO LEVERAGE FUNDING

Triad Associates

The Sustainable Jersey Program recently announced the latest 2013 round of grant funding for its “Small Grants Program”, funded in part through Wal-Mart.
Grants will be awarded in two funding rounds.  The first round application process is open now; with applications accepted through midnight, Sunday, August 4, 2013.  The application package for the second round of funding will be released in September after the award announcements are made for Round 1.
Grants for this round of funding will be awarded as follows (although the Sustainable Jersey Program reserves the right to reallocate the funding based on the quantity and quality of applications submitted):

  • One (1) $50,000 grant
  • Four (4) $20,000 grants
  • Fifteen (15) $10,000 grants
  • Fifty (50) $2,000 grants

This grant program is open to New Jersey municipalities registered with the Sustainable Jersey Program that have an active “Green Team”.  The Green Team is an official municipal entity established based on Sustainable Jersey criteria and charged with overseeing and implementing a community’s sustainability plans and projects. 

Eligible projects include those that are part of a wide ranging list of sustainable actions intended to address some aspect of the Sustainable Jersey Program, or innovative initiatives that could lead to a certifiable action.  Communities that have successfully completed a prior Sustainable Jersey grant award are eligible to submit another project.  Communities that are currently working on a prior award and whose grant reporting is current and up to date are eligible for a $2,000 grant only.

While municipalities need to be registered with the Sustainable Jersey Program to be eligible, they do not have to be “certified” as “Sustainable Jersey Communities”.  Like all grant programs, this one provides an excellent opportunity for municipalities to leverage their Sustainable Jersey Grant with other funds, either public or private, to complete a project that can contribute significantly to a greener, more environmentally friendly quality of life for local residents.

Wal-Mart has contributed over $1,000,000 to assist in this grant program over the years.  A total of 119 grants have been awarded by the Sustainable Jersey Program to date throughout 20 counties.  The Sustainable Jersey Program anticipates that the second round of funding will be inclusive of those applicants not funded in Round 1, so if your municipality is not successful initially, that does not eliminate your project from the funding stream.

Matching funds are encouraged, but not mandatory.  The Sustainable Jersey Program has established a “Blue Ribbon” panel of experts from across New Jersey and representative of both the public and private sectors to review applications and make awards.

This program is increasingly important in an era of declining state and federal program dollars.  The program offers communities a range of potential project concepts from which to choose and considerable flexibility on how to incorporate the project into a larger sustainability mission.  Projects will be judged based on their impact on sustainability goals locally, regionally and globally.

Municipalities interested in applying must go to the Sustainable Jersey website at www.sustainablejersey.com/grants/sj-small-grants/current-opportunities to secure a detailed review of program guidelines and criteria and to access the application forms.

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