Forward Observer — Important Funding Opportunity from Department of Military and Veterans Affairs

Request for Proposals Finally Issued

 LVMAC Poster Art 2005On 8 January, the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs (DMVA), after unexplained foot-dragging resulting from the budgetary impasse, finally announced the availability of up to $550,000 in competitive grants.  It gives the Lehigh Valley community of nonprofits an opportunity to do more for its military veterans and their families.  The suspense for submitting a proposal is 5 February 2016, 4 p.m.

The source of the funding is through the Veterans Trust Fund, which was created to expedite or expand services to veterans and their families using an alternate source of PA DMVA VTF Logofunding.  Over the years, the gears of state government have ground far too slowly to be responsive to their needs.

Currently the fund is being used to build and expand partnerships with charitable organizations, veterans service organizations and county directors of veterans affairs, according to PA Brigadier General Jerry G. Beck Jr., the Deputy Adjutant General (Executive Director) for Veterans Affairs, who went on to say, “By awarding these grants in specific areas of emphasis, we can ensure that organizations who serve our veterans will be able to continue their good work.”

The Fund has grown significantly thanks to citizens who have voluntarily made $3 donations when applying for or renewing their driver’s license or photo ID or renewing a motor vehicle registration, as well as through proceeds from the sale of the Honoring Our Veterans license plates for cars and motorcycles.  Since the VTF was established in 2012, more than $830,000 has been disbursed.

This year, grants will be considered in the following areas:

  • Up to $400,000 in competitive grants to veterans service organizations and 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations with a mission of serving Pennsylvania veterans, focusing on four areas of emphasis: homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), employment and workforce development initiatives, and other programs or services that address newly identified, unmet or emerging needs of veterans and their families.
  • Up to $150,000 in competitive grants to County Directors of Veterans Affairs or the Pennsylvania Association of County Directors of Veterans’ Affairs, focusing on three areas of emphasis: veteran outreach initiatives, veterans’ court initiatives, and other programs or services that address newly identified, unmet or emerging needs of veterans and their families.

The grant announcement (NOFA) and application form can be found through hyperlinks on the upper right hand corner on a page of the DMVA website.  Grant applications must be received at DMVA by 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Friday, Feb. 5, 2016. Late submissions will be administratively rejected without review.

Do not let the “… statewide charitable organization …” terminology found in the NOFA dissuade you.  Apply anyway.  Looking at the awards for last year, that criterion was loosely interpreted after LVMAC questioned it.  Frankly, there are too few, if any, such “animals” out there.

The awards for last year can be found by clicking here.  Unfortunately about $190,000 per year of the donations continues to be lost to the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation for poor reason and poor legislation.

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RJH
As of 9 January 2016

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