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Subject 110-26-1 HANDS ON GEORGIA CHALLENGE GRANT PROGRAM

Rule 110-26-1-.01 Purpose

The purpose of the Hands On Georgia and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs State Challenge Grant is to build capacity within current and proposed Hands On Georgia organizations to implement Hands On programming. Pursuant to O.C.G.A. Sec. 50-8-8, the State Challenge Grant Program shall be administered by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs.

Rule 110-26-1-.02 Definitions

(1) Department means the Department of Community Affairs.
(2) Hands On Georgia means the statewide network supporting volunteerism in the state of Georgia.
(3) ExistingAffiliate means any organization, either stand alone or part of an existing nonprofit organization utilizing the Hands On model.
(4) Emerging Affiliate means organization, either stand alone or part of an existing nonprofit organization not yet affiliated with Hands On Georgia.
(5) Hands On Programming means a calendar of service opportunities in partnership with multiple agencies and providing team-based volunteer opportunities that are led by a trained volunteer leader.
(6) State Challenge Grant means a grant provided to Hands On Georgia affiliates who present a clear vision of the growth and development that is anticipated, as well as precise methods for demonstrating the level of growth and development that has been achieved.

Rule 110-26-1-.03 Grant Competitions

(1) The Department and Hands On Georgia shall hold one competition period per fiscal year.
(2) Applications must be received by Hands On Georgia no later than the closing date of the competition.

Rule 110-26-1-.04 Allocation of Appropriated Grant Funds

Funds appropriated or otherwise made available to the Department and Hands On Georgia for the State Challenge Grant Program will be disbursed from the Department to the grantee in two installments. Twenty-five percent of the grant amount will be disbursed within 10 business days upon receipt of the signed grant agreement. The remaining disbursement will be made upon satisfactory demonstration of the match requirement.

Rule 110-26-1-.05 Eligible and Ineligible Activities

(1) Eligible activities include, but are not limited to: building organizational capacity (including expanding or developing staff resources) to implement Hands On programming; creating one-time and ongoing service projects with a variety of agency partners, addressing a diverse array of issue areas; engaging volunteers as leaders in all aspects of hands-on programming: project leaders, committee members, etc.; organizing large-scale "day of service" events; engaging corporate partners, including employee volunteer programming, customized project development and management; developing volunteer leaders, including issue-education, project reflection, infusion of civic engagement strategies, and skill-building opportunities for volunteers.
(2) Ineligible activities include, but are not limited to, parades, celebrations, or cash awards. A State Challenge Grant cannot be used for any activity that would violate the gratuities clause of the State Constitution.

Rule 110-26-1-.06 Grant Award Amounts and Matching Requirements

The maximum amount for an application will be $10,000. In cases where the applicant can demonstrate that the activity to be funded with the State Challenge Grant is particularly innovative or exceptional, the Department or Hands On Georgia may choose to award up to the maximum grant of $10,000. Eligible applicants receiving a grant award will be required to provide a match no less than dollar for dollar of the grant amount. This matching requirement must be met by cash contributions only.

Rule 110-26-1-.07 Review of Grant Applications

Eligible applications received during a competition period will be reviewed by a grant review committee. The grant review committee will determine the merit of each application and make a recommendation as to whether such affiliate shall receive a State Challenge Grant. In determining whether an affiliate shall receive a grant award, the grant review committee will consider the following factors:

(a) The needs to be addressed by the project and the project's potential to effectively meet these needs;
(b) Project costs in relation to benefits derived; the number of people affected;
(c) Feasibility of the proposed strategy for carrying out the programming, including: likelihood that the programs can be successfully implemented as described; provision for adequate technical assistance to ensure quality work; the reasonableness of the budget; and indication that key actors who will carry out the programs are ready to proceed and demonstrate ability to make the programs succeed;
(d) Evidence that volunteers will be involved in the programming, as appropriate;
(e) Degree to which the proposed programs are consistent with the goals, policies and implementation strategy of the affiliate's comprehensive plan;
(f) The affiliate's demonstrated commitment to ongoing implementation of its comprehensive plan;
(g) Evidence that the programs are supported by community partners;
(h) Reliability of other funding commitments (i.e., city, county, schools, civic groups, other grants or loans, etc.);
(i) Other information submitted by the applicant and deemed relevant by the Grant Review Committee.

Rule 110-26-1-.08 Awarding of Grant Funds

(1) Within 45 days of the close of a grant competition, the Department and Hands On Georgia will select grant recipients based upon the review criteria outlined at 110-26-1-.07.
(2) Upon selection by the Department and Hands On Georgia to receive a State Challenge Grant, the applicant will enter into a contract with the Department specifying the terms and conditions for the receipt of grant funds. At the time such contract is signed by the applicant, the Department and Hands On Georgia, the Department will disburse grant funds to the applicant based on a predetermined payment schedule. Final payment of grant funds shall be contingent on the applicant fully satisfying the terms of the contract.

Rule 110-26-1-.09 Application Procedures

Eligible applicants must apply for the State Challenge Grant in a format and manner prescribed by the Department and Hands On Georgia. Grant applications may be received by accessing handsongeorgia.org or writing to Hands On Georgia at the following address:

Hands On Georgia

ATTN: State Challenge Grant Program

600 Means Street, Suite 110

Atlanta, Georgia 30318