Who Can Apply?

A nonprofit entity.  Faith/values-based organizations, houses of worship, community nonprofits and nonprofit entities associated with a for-profit business are eligible.  If the lead applicant is a community nonprofit or nonprofit associated with a for-profit business, a faith/values-based organization must be included as a partner. 

Examples of Collaborations:

  • If your organization is a community nonprofit, you will need three additional entities:  an eligible school district, a faith/values-based organization or house or worship, and a business. 
  • If the lead applicant is a faith/values-based organization or house of worship, two additional partners-a business and eligible school district-are required.

What is an eligible school district?

Eligible school districts are those in which at least 40% of the student population is economically disadvantaged or has a graduation rate below 92%.  All students from the eligible district, regardless of socioeconomic status, will be eligible to participate in the program.  Local partnerships will develop programs that serve students grades 5-12 (programs may serve students in one or more grade levels).  Click here for the list of eligible school districts.

How many projects may a school district be a partner?

A district can partner with as many applicants as their capacity will allow. 

Can I submit more than I application?

While nothing prohibits multiple grant applications, organizations should be aware of the time and resources necessary for each successful program.  Additionally, each application must meet the program's requirement for collaboration for each grant submitted and include all required documentation and paperwork for each submission.

Is the mentoring curriculum provided or is it up to the applicant organization to develop a program that follows the core principles? 

It is up to the organization to adopt or develop a program that addresses the Community Connectors core principles and meets the needs of students served.  

Are there limitations on the use of funds?

Yes, funds must be spent in accordance with state and federal laws. Specific limitations are outlined in the Community Connectors Grant Assurances document that must be signed by each lead applicant. The program plan and budget will also serve as a limitation because programs must adhere to terms of their grant award. To the extent an applicant proposes to use funds in a manner otherwise prohibited, a grant may still be awarded on the stipulation and agreement of the lead applicant that such usage will not occur. The Department of Education will work to notify any potential applicant prior to the grant award to ensure the program is workable under such restrictions.

What documentation is required as verification of non-profit status?

For non-profit organizations that are required to file the Form 990 –

  • IRS determination letter of non-profit status
  • Copy of current Verification of Registration with the Ohio Attorney General as a voluntary, not for profit organization as required by sections 109 and 1716 of the Ohio Revised Code.
  • Copy of most recent Form 990

For non-profit/faith organizations that are exempt from filing the Form 990 –

  • IRS determination letter of non-profit status and statement of exemption from filing the Form 990
  • Copy of most recent financial statement of the organization.

What are allowable expenses for the grant?​

  • Grant Administration:  (Salaries or purchased services)
    • Includes administrative costs associated with volunteer coordination and costs associated with mentor and mentee matching.
    • Evaluation expenses.
    • Interpreter services.

  • Safety:

    • Includes background checks for mentors and staff.  Could also include CPR and First Aid training.

  • Training:
    • Includes training for mentors and limited training for staff.  All training needs to directly related to the mentoring process.  Some parent meetings and training is also allowable.  Travel expenses for training are permissible under the 800 category.

  • Essential Supplies:
    • Needed office supplies and any supplies that directly support the proposed program.  Such as:
      • Basic office supplies, printing, copying, etc. 
      • Program supplies - binders, workbooks, etc.
      • Arts and crafts supplies.

  • Travel:
    • Travel is permissible only when both mentors and mentees are involved and the activity is directly related to the mentoring process (buses to mentoring activities). These field trips could include college or business trips.
    • Some student travel has been allowed if the program shows that the program and student participation is dependent on the travel being provided.
    • Other travel costs may be allowed under the 800 category.  Discuss with your program consultant.

  • Miscellaneous cost: (Coded to 800 category)
    • Cannot exceed 5% of the total award amount.
    • Can include, but is not limited to: travel expenses, T-shirts, admission to field trip activities, banquets. These items are all budgeted in the 800 category in the budget grid.