Office for Victims of Crime - Justice for Victims. Justice for All
Justice for Victims. Justice for All
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Grants & Funding

Help Applying

Grants 101 and Online Tools

Before applying, all prospective grantees are strongly encouraged to visit Grants 101, a step-by-step tutorial on the complete grant process. This tutorial is made available from the Office of Justice Programs (OJP), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). OVC is one of the six components within OJP.

The Grants 101 tutorial provides–

  • an overview of the OJP grant process from the moment a solicitation is posted until the grant is closed out,
  • instructions for locating funding opportunities,
  • required steps for advance registration to apply for an OJP funding opportunity,
  • expert tips to help grant applicants write strong applications,
  • grant submission instructions, and
  • a description of the application review process.

Through Grants 101, prospective grantees will learn about Grants.gov, the Grants Management System (GMS), DUNS numbers, and System for Award Management (SAM) registration, and when to access each of these resources. Each of the following websites provide additional instructions for utilizing their services.

  • DUNS number: All applications for federal funds must include a DUNS number (Data Universal Numbering System, from Dun & Bradstreet).
  • System for Award Management (SAM): Any government, business, organization, or individual applying for federal grants, cooperative agreements or other forms of federal financial assistance through Grants.gov, must be registered in SAM.
  • Grants.gov: Grants.gov is a "one-stop storefront" that provides a unified process for all customers of federal grants to find funding opportunities and apply for funding. This site provides an overview of the process to apply for grant opportunities.
  • Grants Management System (GMS): Some funding opportunities managed by OJP require submitting grant applications through GMS, and all grant recipients are notified of an award through this system. Additionally, GMS is the tool through which grantees manage their grants and complete required post award activities. The GMS Online Training Tool provides step-by-step instructions on how to complete various tasks within GMS as well as administrative policies associated with grant adjustment notices, progress reporting, and closeouts.

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Tips for Grant Applicants

The following tips address the most common oversights applicants make during the application process. Visit Grants 101 for additional tips on writing proposals!

  • Read the entire solicitation and follow submission instructions.
  • There are registration steps that all applicants must complete before applying for OVC grants. Visit the Get Registered section of Grants 101 to learn more. Processing delays may occur and so we recommend that all applicants complete the registration steps as soon as possible.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the goals and objectives of the solicitation and include details on how each will be accomplished.
  • Provide a timeline of expected dates by which these goals will be reached and the staff that will be involved.
  • Address programmatic requirements set forth in the solicitation.
  • In addition to the programmatic capacity, describe the administrative and financial capacity of your organization to administer a federally funded grant project.
  • Develop realistic budgets based on the amount of projected funding. Research costs associated with proposed activities. Format budgets as required and provide details about expenses. Be sure the budget does not exceed the dollar amount stated in the solicitation. Sample budget sheets are available in Grants 101. Additionally, refer to the DOJ Grants Financial Guide to check allowable expenses and special requirements.
  • Include all required documentation (reference the Application Checklist section of the solicitation).
  • Contact the National Criminal Justice Reference Service Response Center or the applicable OVC Victim Justice Program Specialist noted in the solicitation to ask questions or obtain clarification.

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Samples of Funded Applications

The following applications were submitted by successful applicants who met the specific requirements of previous OVC solicitations. These sample proposals may serve as a guide for prospective grantees as you draft your own applications.

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Formula Funding—Applying for Grants

OVC receives applications and awards annual the VOCA crime victim compensation and victim assistance formula grants online through the OJP’s GMS to eligible states and territories.

Applications for VOCA formula grants may be submitted online only by the state agency designated by the Governor to administer the VOCA victim compensation and assistance program. For step-by-step instructions, visit OJP’s Training Support Center for GMS.

Applicants are encouraged to also view the 2018 Crime Victims Fund Compensation and Assistance Allocation Chart.

Previous allocation charts and performance reports can be found in the Formula Grant Allocations Archive.

High-Risk Designation

Every OJP applicant (other than an individual applying in his or her personal capacity) is required to download, complete, and submit the OJP Financial Management and System of Internal Controls Questionnaire.

Among other things, the form requires each applicant to disclose whether it currently is designated “high-risk” by a federal grant-making agency outside of DOJ. For purposes of this disclosure, high-risk includes any status under which a federal awarding agency provides additional oversight due to the applicant’s past performance, or other programmatic or financial concerns with the applicant. If an applicant is designated high-risk by another federal awarding agency, the applicant must provide the following information time of application submission–

  • the federal awarding agency that currently designates the applicant high-risk;
  • date the applicant was designated high-risk;
  • the high-risk point of contact name at that federal awarding agency (name, phone number, and email address); and
  • the reasons for the high-risk status, as set out by the federal awarding agency.

OJP seeks this information to ensure appropriate federal oversight of any grant award. Unlike the Excluded Parties List, this high-risk information does not disqualify any organization from receiving an OJP award. However, additional grant oversight may be included, if necessary, in award documentation.

Required Forms and Certificates

Prior to receiving grant funding, successful applicants must agree to comply with some additional requirements. Required application and reporting forms are available in portable document format (PDF), which allows them to be filled in, viewed, and printed with their original appearance preserved.

Additionally, DOJ regulations require that a Privacy Certificate be submitted as part of any application for a project in which information identifiable to a private person will be collected for research or statistical purposes (i.e. focus groups, surveys, etc.). Sample Privacy Certificates provided below can be used as a guide by prospective grantees.

Managing Grants

View the Managing Grants section of our site to learn about the programmatic, financial, and administrative requirements for managing grant projects.

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