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The NCEMGVA 2022 Inspire Connect Empower Grants Application is CLOSED.

The Executive Committee is reviewing applications to make sure they are complete.  

Successful applicants will be notified by the end of April 2022.


NCEMGVA 2022 INSPIRE CONNECT EMPOWER GRANTS GUIDELINES

Please read through the following Grant Guidelines prior to beginning your Grant Application.  Grant Application Link (Link becomes active on Feb 5, 2022.  Please note that prior to that time you'll see a message that the form is no longer accepting responses.  It will open for responses on Feb 5th)

Click here to see a list of the information you'll need to provide on the grant application.

Got questions?  Check out the FAQ's!

Overview:

1.  The application process opens February 5, 2022 and ends March 31, 2022  The Application form is not available until February 5th.

2.  Two coordinators who are current NCEMGVA members must be listed (including contact information) on the grant Application. These members are the point of contact for any questions that may arise.

3.  All information on the Application must be completed. Incomplete forms will not be considered.

4.  The total amount of the grant Fund available is $10,000.

5. Each grant application submitted must be prioritized by the county making the submission.

a.  If submitting only one grant application, assign priority 1 to the application

b.  If submitting more than one grant application, the county must assign a priority to EACH application.  NCEMGVA does not assign a priority.

6.  First priority grants will be awarded on a first come, first served basis prior to considering all second and then third priority applications.

a.  Grants will be awarded until the Fund is exhausted or all applications have been awarded.

b.  A maximum grant of $500 will be awarded to activities less than 2 years (24 months or less) in conception / progress.

c.  A maximum grant of $300 will be awarded to activities more than 2 years (25 months or more) in conception / progress.  There is no upper time limit on this grant application.

7.  No limit to the number of applications each county / program may submit.

8.  Only one application per activity/project may be submitted.

9.  A separate application must be submitted for each grant request.

10. The project must be approved by the local Agent or County Extension Director.

11. If more than one grant is submitted by the county/program, each grant must be ranked by priority.

12. Application is open beginning February 5, 2022 and is completed by filling out this Google Form application.

13. Applications must be submitted no later than March 31, 2022.  Applications are submitted by filling out this Google Form application.

14. Applicants should tell us a story about the project and its intended impact in the community.  This will help NCEMGVA showcase how our funds are supporting local communities.

15. Successful applicants will need to provide NCEMGVA with information that will allow us to submit a local news release about the grant.

16. As a condition of receiving a grant, the county must agree to:

a.  Provide NCEMGVA with contact information that will allow us to submit a local press release

b.  Include NCEMGVA as a sponsor or as a source of funding in any publicity related to the project

c.  Provide a written follow-up report at six months and one year after the grant, describing the impact of the project in the community

Questions may be sent to Edna Gaston at ladybug.gang@gmail.com.

All entries will be reviewed by the NCEMGVA Executive Committee.  Grant recipients will be notified in April 2022

Details:

Background:

NCEMGVA Awards and Grants Program have enabled local Master Gardener programs to have a greater, positive impact in their communities.  In the period 2019 – 2021, we’ve provided only minimal funding to local programs.  This has been largely due to the COVID pandemic.  County Extension offices closed to the public and many county programs scaled back activities as community members and volunteers alike dealt with the many disruptions of the pandemic.

Local Master Gardener programs are increasingly finding ways to serve their communities; finding ways to mitigate continuing challenges.   Many are planning to either begin new projects or expand and revitalize existing ones.

However, COVID has significantly impacted fundraising for county programs.  Many have had to cancel or scale back their main fundraising efforts such as plant sales or symposia. Many programs faced low levels of participation in their communities.

Though NCEMGVA is in a period of transformation and we lack an Awards Committee Chair, the Executive Committee proposes a short time line Inspire Connect Empower Project Grant program to support as many local Master Gardener programs as possible this spring.  Edna Gaston, Past President, has served previously on the awards committee and is willing to be the NCEMGVA point of contact for this program.

The following proposal was approved at the January 2022 Board and Delegates meeting.

The Inspire Connect Empower Project Grants program will be open to all county Master Gardener programs.  There will be one lump sum of money from which the project grants will be made.  The total dollar amount of this fund is $10,000 and was approved by the NCEMGVA Board and Delegates at the January 20, 2022 meeting. 

Grant applications must be submitted by two Master Gardeners who are current members in good standing of NCEMGVA.  The application must be complete in order to be considered.  The project must have the approval of the County Agent or County Extension Director.  Having agent or CED approval for the project will signify that it is worthy of funding, so there is no need for NCEMGVA to evaluate the merits of the project.

There is no limit to the number of applications each program may submit, however only one application per project may be submitted.  If a program submits multiple applications, they must prioritize their submissions. 

The Executive Committee will review all complete grant applications submitted by the deadline.  Grants will be made on a first come, first served basis. 

First priority applications will be awarded, on a first come, first served basis, prior to considering all second and then third priority applications. Grants will be awarded until the Fund is exhausted or all applications have been awarded.

Amounts of Individual Project Grants:

  • Maximum of $500 for a startup project (new to 24 months old)
  • Maximum of $300 for an existing project (25+ months old)

Application will open on February 5, 2022 and close by March 31, 2022.  Awards will be made in April 2022.

The application process will include asking the applicants to:

  • Tell us a story about the project and its intended impact in the community so that we can showcase how NCEMGVA funds are supporting local communities.
  • Provide information that will allow us to submit a local news release
  • If the grant is awarded, include NCEMGVA sponsorship or as a source of funding in any publicity related to the project.
  • Provide a follow-up report at six months and one year after the grant describing the impact of the project in the community.

Communication:

Information about the Inspire Connect Empower Project Grants will be communicated to NCEMGVA members by email blast, an announcement placed on our website, an announcement placed in the newsletter, and an announcement placed on the EMG Intranet.  The Executive Committee will prepare announcements and  ask Charlotte Glen to circulate these to Extension Agents and through the EMGV Google Group.

Announcement:

Awarded Grants will be announced first to the county receiving the award and then through the same channels used to communicate about the Grants.  Grants will be “presented” to the county virtually; exact mechanism to be determined.


FAQ's

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  1. What does it mean to say the grants are first come, first served?
  2. Who assigns the priority to the application?
  3. When there is such a large amount in the fund, why are the maximum grant amounts not larger?
  4. How do we know if any of our Master Gardeners are members of NCEMGVA?
  5. Can the same two NCEMGVA members be listed on the application for more than one grant?
  6. What is expected of someone listed as a point of contact on the application?
  7. What kind of follow up reports are expected if we receive a grant?
  8. What are some ways that we can measure and communicate impact?
  9. Do we have to submit all of our applications on the same day?
  10. Why can't I access the Application Form?
  11. How will I know what information is needed for the application form?
  12. We have a project in mind, but the start date will be after than April 2023.  We won’t be able to measure impact until 2024.  Can we apply for a grant for this project?
  13. Why does our Agent or Cooperative Extension Director need to approve the project?
  14. Can I submit a paper application?
  15. I don’t see my question here.  Who can I contact?






What does it mean to say the grants are first come, first served?

After the grant application period closes on March 31, 2022, the NCEMGVA Executive Committee will organize all priority one grants in the order they were received.  We will review those applications for completion and then make awards in the order they were received. 

If there is still money remaining in the fund after that all priority one grants are awarded, we’ll proceed in the same fashion (by the date submitted) through priority two applications.  We’ll continue this process through each priority of applications until the entire fund is exhausted.

Priority one applications will be processed first, then priority two applications, etc.

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Who assigns the priority to the application?

It is up to the county to assign priorities to applications.  Each application must have a unique priority assigned by the county.  Because NCEMGVA will review all priority 1 applications first, the county should assign priority 1 to the project that is most important to them. 

In some counties different people may be sending the applications. The county must prioritize them, NCEMGVA will not assign a number based on the order received. If a number is not submitted on the application then the application will be considered incomplete.

The order of submission does not determine the priority.  It is possible that a county could submit their priority 2 application before submitting a priority 1 application.

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When there is such a large amount in the fund, why are the maximum grant amounts not larger?

NCEMGVA hopes to be able to support as many North Carolina Master Gardener Programs as possible.  We realize that it isn’t likely that NCEMGVA will be the sole funding for any of the projects.  It is our hope that we can Inspire and Empower our fellow EMGVs by providing a financial boost to your projects.

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How do we know if any of our Master Gardeners are members of NCEMGVA?

If you are a Master Gardener volunteer in a North Carolina county or multi-county program and don’t know if any of your fellow Master Gardeners are members of NCEMGVA, please email doreen_browning@necemgva.org

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Can the same two NCEMGVA members be listed on the application for more than one grant?

Yes, they can.  Please make sure that they have agreed to be listed as points of contact for the applications they are listed on.  NCEMGVA will look to them to be our point of contact for each award they’re listed on.

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What is expected of someone listed as a point of contact on the application?

NCEMGVA expects the point of contact to be aware of and familiar with the project that the grant is for.  We’ll expect them to be willing to communicate with us by email to provide news release contacts, to make sure that NCEMGVA is listed as a sponsor or funder on publicity related to the project, and to provide NCEMGVA with follow up reports at the six month and one year intervals.

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What kind of follow up reports are expected if we receive a grant?

NCEMGVA would like to be able to promote the project that the grant was awarded for and talk about the impact it has had on your community.  We’d like you to tell us a story about how this has been important to the community that you serve and to your Master Gardener program and include how you’ve gauged that impact.

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What are some ways that we can measure and communicate impact?

You might measure impact by numbers of participants or visitors.  While those numbers are fairly easy to measure, consider the quality of the impact. 

You might gather testimonials from participants to demonstrate quality. 

Images are another good way to show impact. 

You might quantify the impact of the project on your Master Gardener program by describing the enthusiasm of EMGVs who participated in the program, or number of volunteers who worked on the project. 

Perhaps your project gained recognition within your greater community because you partnered with another organization. 

There are many ways to measure and describe your impact.  Since it will vary depending on the project, and we know that you care deeply about your project, we trust that you will know best how to describe the impact.

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Do we have to submit all of our applications on the same day?

No.  Since the total fund is limited to $10,000 and we have no way of knowing how many applications we will receive, it makes sense that a county or multi-county program would submit their first priority application first.

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Why can’t I access the Application Form?

The application form will be open until February 5, 2022.  If it is after this date and you are still not able to access the application form, please email doreen_browning@ncemgva.org

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How will I know what information is needed for the application form?

This document provides you with the questions that are on the application form.

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We have a project in mind, but the start date will be after than April 2023.  We won’t be able to measure impact until 2024.  Can we apply for a grant for this project?

No.  We understand that some projects may not be completed within one year after the grant is received, but a project that is not started or implemented until one year after the grant is received would not be eligible for one of the 2022 ICE Project Grants. 

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Why does our Agent or Cooperative Extension Director need to approve the project? 

Support of program projects is essential to the success of the project.  NCEMGVA realizes that Master Gardeners in the county  or multi-county program who are NCEMGVA members along with the Agent or Cooperative Extension Director are in a far better position to determine the merits of the project and whether it is worthy of funding,  whether a project falls within the scope of their Master Gardener program, and whether the project will have a positive impact on the local community. 

Since the purpose of the 2022 Inspire Connect Empower Project Grants is to support as many projects as possible across the state, NCEMGVA wanted to make sure we put as few additional limitations on projects a possible.

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Can I submit a paper application?

No.  We are only accepting online applications for these grants.  All communication will be done by email.

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I don’t see my question here.  Who can I contact?

Please email Edna Gaston at ladybug.gang@gmail.com

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