Grants & Funding
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 seven components within OJP.
The 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.
- A description of the application review process.
Through Grants 101, prospective grantees will learn about Grants.gov, the Grants Management System (GMS), and System for Award Management (SAM) registration, and when to access each of these resources. Each of the following Web sites provide additional instructions for utilizing their services.
- 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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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.
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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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.
- Include all required documentation.
- Be aware of early registration through Grants.gov for online submissions.
- Note that registration with the OJP Grants Management System (GMS) may be required for certain funding opportunities. Creating an initial profile is a one-time process, however, applicants must register and receive an application number for each solicitation for which this is a requirement.
- 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.
- 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 OJP Financial Guide to check allowable expenses and special requirements.
- Contact the applicable OVC Victim Justice Program Specialist noted in the solicitation to ask questions or obtain clarification.
- In addition to the programmatic capacity, describe the administrative and financial capacity of your organization to administer a federally funded grant project.
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.
Several files are required when submitting—
VOCA Victim Assistance Grant Applications
PDF (49 kb) File
VOCA Victim Compensation Grant Applications
PDF (83 kb) File
2015 Crime Victims Fund Compensation and Assistance Allocation Chart
Applicants are to disclose whether they are currently designated high risk by another federal grant making agency. This includes any status requiring additional oversight by the federal agency due to past programmatic or financial concerns. If an applicant is designated high risk by another federal grant making agency, you must email the following information to OJPComplianceReporting@usdoj.gov at the time of application submission:
- The federal agency that currently designated the applicant as high risk;
- Date the applicant was designated high risk;
- The high risk point of contact name, phone number, and email address, from that federal agency; and
- Reasons for the high risk status.
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.
Previous allocation charts and performance reports can be found in the Formula Grant Allocations Archive.
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