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Grant Applications

The Tennessee Office of Criminal Justice Programs (OCJP) announces grant opportunities on this webpage. 

 How to Write an Application: Project Narrative Overview *NOTE: This Power Point  was used during a live WebEx training. Some slides may lack specific context without the addition of the webinar live recording. OCJP is working to publish the training in its entirety as soon as possible. Once published that training will be available under the Grants Management Resources section of our website.

FAQs NOTE: All questions must be sent to the email address. Questions will be answered on this page under the applicable solicitation – so it is very important to include this information in your email. There is also a section of typically asked General Questions below.

Turn around for posting responses to questions is 2-3 business days. OCJP can elect not to respond to questions which are too specific to an agency’s application. All solicitations posted on this page are open and competitive, and as such, agencies should reference the available solicitations materials, General FAQs, and the OCJP Subrecipient grants manual available online prior to submitting a question.


Upcoming Funding Opportunities

The solicitation details the amount of funding which can be requested. This amount does not include match.

Federal Amount + Match Amount = Total Budget

Example with 20% match:

Federal: $100,000 [80% of total] + Match: $25,000 [20% of total]= $125,000 [total]

Child Advocacy Center COVID-19 Response Grant

Eligible subrecipients are limited to Tennessee Child Advocacy Centers who are funded by the Office of Criminal Justice Programs as of April 1, 2020 and who are working to deliver their agency’s contracted services during the Covid-19 crisis.

Allowable requests must address supplies, equipment and technology needed to address the challenges of providing forensic interview services, advocacy services, child sexual abuse medical evaluations and therapeutic services to victims of child abuse and their non-offending caregivers during the COVID-19 crisis. Examples of activities which qualify under this solicitation include but are not limited to the purchase of: laptop computers for mobile work, phone systems to assist in transferring calls to off-site staff, updating website to allow for chat capabilities, technology/software required for telehealth and personal protective equipment.

Intent to Apply due:  4/9/2020

Application due:  4/17/2020

Eligibility is limited to sexual assault programs currently funded by OCJP to better provide nontraditional sexual assault services due to the COVID-19 crisis

Allowable requests must address the supplies, equipment and technology needed to address the challenges of providing advocacy and supportive services and meeting the therapeutic needs of survivors during the COVID-19 crisis. Examples of activities which qualify under this solicitation include but are not limited to the purchase of: Laptop computers, phone systems to assist in transferring calls to off-site staff, updating website to allow for chat capabilities, and technology/software required for telehealth. 

Intent to Apply due:  4/6/2020

Applications due:  4/13/2020

A legal aid agency is an organization whose purpose is to serve financially challenged people who need legal assistance. Such agencies determine if the person has a legitimate need for legal services, give counseling, provide mediation, prepare and file legal documents, and provide attorneys for free legal assistance. These agencies focus on assistance in civil matters, and for the purposes of VOCA funding, legal assistance may only be provided for victims of crime.

Services, for the purpose of this grant, are defined as follows:

·         Those efforts that respond to the emotional and physical needs of crime victims;

·         Those efforts that assist primary and secondary victims of crime to stabilize their lives after victimization;

·         Those efforts that assist victims to understand and participate in the criminal justice system; and

·         Those efforts that provide victims of crime with a measure of safety and security such as boarding up broken windows and replacing or repairing locks.

This solicitation is specifically for non-profit legal aid agencies who demonstrate need for attorney and/or paralegal staff.

Priority will be given to agencies who demonstrate need, at minimum, by addressing the following questions:

·          Does the agency have a waiting list for client services? If so, how long are clients waiting?

·          How many clients were turned away for services in the past year due to capacity issues?

·          Of the counties in the agency’s coverage area, which counties have the most services available and which counties have no services or are lacking services?

·          Does the agency propose to expand services into those counties and/or other counties defined as Distressed/At Risk Counties in Tennessee

·          Does the agency propose a continuation/expansions/startup of a Contract Attorney Program?

·          Does the agency propose service expansion to other vulnerable adults; including but not limited to financial crimes, elder abuse, sexual assault, hate crimes?

·          Are the positions requested Full – Time 100% funded positions?

Intent to Apply due: 3/9/2020

Applications due: 4/6/2020


Q: If our Legal Aid receives STOP and VOCA funding which expires in FY 2020, should we combine the request into one application for FY 2021?

A: Yes. Legal Aids will now be funded solely under VOCA.

Q: If our Legal Aid has more than one program under the current VOCA grant, which expires in FY 2020, should we include both programs in our application?

A: Yes.

Q:  We would like to apply for a MATCH Waiver-what is the process, and how can we expedite it?

A: Match waivers are no longer offered.  All grantees must be able to make match.  OCJP Subrecipient Manual Section III. Financial Requirements outlines match sources applicant agencies may use.

Q:  Section 1.1 of the solicitation states that “only positions that are preforming 100% VOCA allowable activities will be funded.” Does this mean that all VOCA funded positions must be at 100% VOCA funding, rather than full time positions being funded with VOCA and a combination of other domestic violence specific funding? For example- we have some legal staff 25% funded under VOCA and 75% funded under a local grant and they are assigned to full-time domestic violence work.  Can that person continue to be funded by VOCA at less than 100% while we continue to leverage the additional outside funding to give domestic violence victims more legal advocacy?

A.  Agency applications should include the percentage of funding being requested for each position. Applications with positions who are 100% funded by VOCA OR 100% on the grant project through VOCA grant funding and other non-federal funding are given priority.

Q:  Could you please explain the provision in Section 1.3 of the solicitation that states: “Legal aids will be required to keep any positions assigned to the local Family Justice Centers..”?

A:  Legal Aid agencies who currently have grant funded positions housed in Family Justice Centers (FJC’s or the like) are required to maintain those positions going forward. Agencies should not request to move grant paid positions housed in FJCs and relocate those positions to other offices.

Q:  OCJP has stated that STOP funds will not be available to legal aid programs. We currently have a STOP grant under which we perform significant legal casework that is completely separate from our VOCA cases and staff. Will there be funding available for a transition time to address this, for example- through December 2020 so we can transition staff and the legal casework?

A:  No. All agencies whose current STOP grants expire in FY 2020 will not receive additional STOP funding in FY 2021.  The STOP project should be eligible to be funded under VOCA, that is why we are allowing agencies to restructure your funded project to best fit the needs of your agency and the community.

Q: The SAR report is required for each organization that receives VOCA funding. The information in the report is a projection of how funding will be allocated to victim services for the year. Do we wait until June 1st, 2020 to complete this form or do it prior to submission NOW, since we know the amount we are applying for?

A: SARS should be completed as part of the application process. This is a projection of how the funds will be allocated based on the project narrative.

Q: Section 4.3.1 states that depreciation is a non-allowable cost for VOCA funds, but the form budget provided includes a line titled “depreciation.” Can depreciation be used as a match?

No. Depreciation is not an allowable expense under these grants.

Q: We learned late last year that the developer of our case management system was going out of business. We have been treading water for the last few months while we’ve tested potential replacement products. We expect to make a decision in the next few weeks about which program we plan to move to. Moving all of our case data and setting up a new system is a huge expense. We will be moving VOCA-funded client data to the new system and the system will need to be set-up to record VOCA activities and reporting fields. We will also have to work with the new developer to set up a VOCA-report tool for us to gather the data needed for the quarterly VOCA reports. Section 4.2.18 of the solicitation discusses Advanced Technologies as an allowable expense if we have OCJP Program Manager approval before the purchase. Could the VOCA pro rata share of the cost to move data, set up the new system, and development of the VOCA report be utilized as a match?

Yes, this is an allowable expense.

Subject to annual appropriations, there is established a grant program to assist sheriffs required to transport persons to a hospital or treatment resource for emergency mental health transport under Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) §33-6-406 .The Department of Finance and Administration, in consultation with the Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services and the Division of TennCare, shall develop and administer the grant program. Assistance from this grant program must not be provided for emergency mental health transports where a physician, psychologist, or designated professional determines that the person can be transported by one (1) or more friends, neighbors, or other mental health professionals familiar with the person, relatives of the person, or a member of the clergy pursuant to Tennessee Code Annotated (TCA) § 33-6-901.

Eligible subrecipients are limited to:  Sheriff’s Offices in the State of Tennessee who conduct secondary transports as described under TCA § 33-6-406.

The purpose of the Mental Health Transport program is to provide funding to Sheriff’s Offices that:

A.         Accomplishes the mission of treating transported parties as patients, not as prisoners; and

B.         Conduct mental health transports pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 33-6-406; or

C.         Designate a secondary transport agent pursuant to Tenn. Code Ann. § 33-6-901.

Intent to apply due:  04/01/2020

Applications due: 06/01/2020


Q: How will funding be divided among the counties? Is it worth it for smaller counties to apply?

A: There is an equitable formula for funding as listed in section 1.2 of the solicitation. While it is true that larger counties with more transports will get the bulk of the money, we do not know at this time how much money each transport will be valued at. Until we receive all the applications in with the number of transports each agency has performed, we will not know what the final number is. The total grant is worth 3.9M for this year. We will take the total number of transports for FY19 and divide it into that and then each county would get that much money. Hypothetically speaking, if there were 15,000 transports done statewide in 2019 (again, nobody has this data today statewide so this number is used as an example only), then this is how that formula would be figured: $3,900,000 / 25,000 = $260 per transport.

Q:  How does this work? How do I apply?

A:  To apply for a grant is easy.  On our website where you found the grant information (, you’ll see an Intent to Apply and an Applications link. The Intent to Apply directs you to a Formstack website which is like a survey where you will be asked who your Authorized Official is (the Sheriff Or Mayor or whomever signs contracts for your agency), who  your Project Director is (the person in charge of this mental health transport program for your agency), and who your Fiscal Director is. Once the intent to apply is completed, you’ll fill out the application. The key to the application is ensuring that everything on the checklist (page 15 of the solicitation .PDF) is submitted to us by the deadline of June 1, 2020. The checklist contains:

i.  The intent to apply – which you should have submitted by April 1, 2020

ii.  Scope of Services – a word document that asks six questions about your agency, its agreements related to transporting mental health patients for other agencies, how many transports you completed between July 1, 2018 and June 30, 2019, and how many employees you have performing those transports.

iii.  Other Grant Funds Table – a list of all the grants you currently receive from federal, state, and local sources.

iv.      High Risk Designation Certification – a document that certifies that if you are currently deemed high risk or if you are ever deemed high risk during the course of your contract with us you are obligated to tell us that,

v.      Certifications and Assurances – Government – a series of certifications related to lobbying, Civil Rights, and Debarment that the agency must sign confirming that they will not lobby using this grant money, that they will follow Title VI requirements, and that the agency and its principals (executive leadership) are not debarred or suspended from transactions covered by any Federal department or agency (and much more – please read the form for the full details).

Q:  Who should I put as my Fiscal Director? The local guy who handles procurement or someone at the county finance office?

A:  We recommend the person at your county finance office who can answer tax questions or other complex finance related questions that our Office of Budget and Finance might have.

Q:  Is there a max amount of money that a county will get?

A:  Yes, but it is based on a formula. Please see our FAQ #1 above.

Q:  Do you have any guidance on how we can pull the most accurate data on the number of transports we did in the July 1, 2018  - June 30, 2019 time frame?

A:  Unfortunately, as each agency has a unique process for tracking and classifying their transports, the OCJP cannot provide advice here. The agencies we have spoken with have indicated that their transports have a report-code or dispatch type and have been able to get these records from their RMS or dispatching center and go through them to determine which transports apply.

Q:  What type of documentation do you need on these mental health transports?

A:  We do not need mental health transport documentation as part of the application process. Applicants will provide a number of transports completed from July 1, 2018 to June 30, 2019 on their Scope of Services document they submit with the application. The State will presume the applicants will provide true and correct knowledge to the best of their ability on their submitted applications.  The state may provide a spreadsheet to help track these transports in the future to help with data collection.

For victims of crime, it may be difficult to express their feelings and receive services from someone outside their perceived community. Underserved populations, such as racial and ethnic minority groups,  the Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual and Transgender (LGBT) community, those with disabilities, and the elderly for example are vulnerable and more likely to be victims of crime, yet less likely to reach out for help. This solicitation supports the expansion of social services provided by public and private nonprofit organizations, including faith-based organizations, to address the critical needs of victims and their families in a manner that affirms a victim’s background and effectively addresses cultural barriers.

Intent to Apply due: 4/3/2020

Application due due: 4/15/2020

Q: I submitted my application’s intent to apply under the wrong category. Do I need to submit a second intent to apply?

A: Please email with an official request to change this information on the Intent to Apply document.

Q. How is match calculated?

A: Match can be calculated two ways:

            (STOP /JAG) Federal $ / .75 x .25 = ____________   

            (VOCA) Federal $ / .80 x .20 = ___________

            (examples: $40,000 x .25 = $10,000)    or   ($40,000 / .80) x.20 = $10,000)

For match in cash, the match amount will go in the line item. For match that is in-kind, it will go in the in-kind line item. Any items purchased over $5000 will go under Capital Expense. For more information on match please see the Grants Manual Ch. 3 Section 1. Match Requirement.

Q: No one at our agency has been trained in uniform guidance and my agency does not have a policy for this. If I don't have this is this going to knock out my application, or can I do some sort of online training pretty quickly?

A: While this will not prevent any application from moving forward in the process, if the agency application is funded, training on Uniform  Guidance is required within the first 6 months.

Q: Regarding the “Other Grant Funds Table”.  We are requesting equipment for this VOCA request.  Are you asking for grants we have received that are not related to our enhancement application?

A: Yes. This table is meant to represent all grant funds that your agency receives or anticipates that is will receive in FY 2019 for all criminal justice or victim service projects.

Q: How do we notate salary, benefits, and taxes on the budget form? Do we separate out each item?

A: There are several ways this can be noted on the budget form. Examples are below:

            Salary estimated at $____________ approximately __________% of time dedicated to project.

            Salary and benefits estimated at $___________ approximately ________% of time dedicated to project.

            Salary estimated at $ _________ Benefits estimated at $ ___________ approximately _________% of time dedicated to project.

            EX.: Salary and benefits estimated at $10,000.00 approximately 25% of time dedicated to project.

Q: Do we need to purchase an accounting system if we do not have one?

A: OCJP Grants Manual, Chapter III, Accounting Criteria ( ) states the subrecipient is free to use any accounting system that the subrecipient has established if the  system meets the following minimum criteria [located below in the chapter].”

Q: We get a lot of questions about supplanting. Does everyone understand what that is?

A: “Supplant” means to “replace” or “take the place of.” Federal law prohibits recipients of federal funds from replacing state, local, or agency funds with federal funds. Existing funds for a project and its activities may not be displaced by federal funds and reallocated for other organizational expenses. This is illegal.

Ex: You are awarded this volunteer coordinator position and you promote Dorothy to this position, you must backfill the position so there is an  increase in FTEs.  In the event your agency is facing a loss of funding, make that clear in your application.

Q: How do we know what our intended outputs will be if we never received VOCA funding before?

A: Intended outputs should be a projection, what you plan to serve. For example, if you know you get 500-600 clients through your door every year you can safely assume that you will serve between 400-700 clients next year. Use this information to establish a baseline of services.

Q: Is it reasonable to base numbers off of what you know and where you think your program will go? 

A: Look at what your agency did this last fiscal year, and where you are today, then project what these grant monies will allow you to do in the next year i.e. – expanding services.

Q: The Authorized Official for non-profit agencies is the Board Chair, correct?

A: For federal purposes, your authorized official is your board chair. The project director and fiscal director should be someone who is willing to take on the responsibilities of the projects implementation.  These duties are listed in the OCJP Grants Manual located:

Q: We would like to use donated space as match. Is this allowable?

A: This is allowable under VOCA. You can find more information in the OCJP Grants Manual Chapter III. Financial Requirements (located at ) states “The value of space may be used as in kind match if space is 100% owned by the agency (either through donation or it has been paid for) and used 100% for victim services.  In this case, you may use the fair market value of the space as in-kind match.  The value may not exceed the fair market value of comparable space as established by an independent appraisal of comparable space and facilities in a privately owned building in the same locality.  Agencies must obtain at least 3 comps from an independent Realtor and the use the average as the fair market value.  The basis for determining the value of personal services, materials, equipment and space must be documented."

Q: What if we submit a budget which is not accurate?

A: OCJP can only encourage agencies to complete the budget using the knowledge and resources available.  OCJP cannot say at this time if budget modifications after applications are reviewed will be accepted or will impact funding determinations.

Q: What is a State (Edison) Vendor ID?

A:  Please visit the State of Tennessee's website regarding Procurement/Supplier Information at

Q: Regarding the “Other Grant Funds Table”.  We are requesting equipment for this VOCA request.  Are you asking for grants we have received that are not related to our enhancement application?

A: Yes. This table is meant to represent all grant funds that your agency receives or anticipates that is will receive in FY 2019 for all criminal justice or victim service projects.

For VOCA funded projects:

Q: The SAR report is required for each organization that receives VOCA funding. The information in the report is a projection of how funding will be allocated to victim services for the year. Do we wait until June 1st, 2020 to complete this form or do it prior to submission NOW, since we know the amount we are applying for?

A: SARS should be completed as part of the application process. This is a projection of how the funds will be allocated based on the project narrative.

For DV projects (VOCA funded)

Q: Since budget amounts were reduced, is the expectation that we continue to fund the same activities as the previous grant term?  Or restructure grant-funded activity to align to the reduction in funding?

A: Agencies should present programming that is victim centered and the level of services should take into account the reduction in funds and the amount of other funds the agency has available. OCJP anticipates that the majority of the reduction will come out of agency travel and supplies. The goal of targeting these areas is to minimize the service impact to victims but how an agency is impacted will vary depending upon their specific grant budget.

Q: Can we to use our shelter building as part of match for our two grants?

A: Please the OCJP Subrecipient Grants Manual Chapter XIV: Allowable Costs, Part 7 Space - The cost of space in privately - or publicly - owned buildings used for the benefit of the program is allowable subject to the conditions stated.

Q: Will VOCA Pay for Administrative Costs associated with the grant?

A: Please the OCJP Subrecipient Grants Manual Chapter XVI Cost Allocation regarding the definition of allowable costs. The grant cannot pay for any costs associated with preparing the application itself.

Q: We were wondering, is it okay to include salary positions in our budget for one fiscal year and not the next in response to the reduced federal allocation amount? 

A: Agencies should apply for what is needed to support the proposed project.

For Law Enforcement Victim Coordinator projects:

Q: Who qualifies as a Volunteer? How many hours are volunteers required to work?

A: The Fair Labor Standards Act defines volunteer as “an individual who performs hours of service for a public agency for civic, charitable, or humanitarian reasons without promise, expectation, or receipt of compensation for services rendered…” 29 CFR 553.101(a). “The1985 Amendments provide that employees may volunteer hours of service to their public employer or agency provided ‘such services are not the same type of services which the individual is employed to perform for such public agency.’ The phrase ‘same type of services’ means similar or identical services.” 29 CFR 553.103.

For more information please see the Subrecipient Grants Manual Section III> Financial Requirement.

There is no minimum threshold of hours provided. Only that an agency who is granted VOCA funding utilize volunteers.


This Page Last Updated: April 3, 2020 at 1:32 PM