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Faith-based & Community Initiatives

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Faith-Based & Community Initiatives

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Our Mission

The Task Force provides assistance to faith- and community-based organizations in identifying funding opportunities within the Federal government for which they are eligible to apply. The DOJ administers programs to provide assistance to victims of crime, prisoners and ex-offenders, and women who suffer domestic violence. In addition, the DOJ has initiatives to target gang violence and at-risk youth.

Please feel free to contact us with your questions:

U.S. Department of Justice
Office of the Deputy Attorney General
Task Force for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives
950 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Washington, DC 20002
(P) 202.514.2987
(F) 202.616.9627

Common mistakes to avoid when applying for Federal grants

Want to avoid some of the most common mistakes that are made in grant applications? Then read "Common Problems Found in Applications."

Effect of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Faith-Based Applicants for Grants

If your organization is a faith-based organization that makes hiring decisions on the basis of religious belief, it may be entitled, under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000bb, to receive federal funds and yet maintain that hiring practice, even if the law creating the funding program contains a general ban on religious discrimination in employment. For the circumstances under which this may occur, and the certifications that may be required by the Department of Justice, please see the “Effect of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act on Faith-Based Applicants for Grants.” For a fuller discussion of the issue, please see the Memorandum Opinion for the General Counsel, Office of Justice Programs, dated June 29, 2007.

How to Write a Quality Grant Proposal

Want some help in writing better grant proposals? Then take a look at the Webcast "How to Write a Quality Grant Proposal" produced by The Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Education. The information presented will help you write a better proposal no matter what Federal department or agency you are interested in applying to.

Conducting Successful Public Relations and Media Interviews

Is your organization interested in learning how to improve its public relations efforts? Do you want to learn how to give better media interviews? Then the new guide "Conducting Successful Public Relations and Media Interviews" put out by the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the Department of Labor is for you. In this publication you will learn about media kits, press releases, letters to the editor, and interviewing tips, among other helpful information.

NEW for Weed and Seed Sites, Partners, and Potential Partners

Are you a Weed and Seed site that is interested in learning how to better partner with faith-based and other community organizations to make your program more successful? Are you an organization that currently partners, or would like to partner, with a Weed and Seed site in your community and would like to know more about the program and the rules that apply to it? Then take a look at this new helpful presentation crafted for the Weed and Seed Program.

Portal to Success

Do you need help in writing grant proposals? Are you interested in learning about private grantmakers? Do you need to improve your organizational management? Do you want to know how to become an official 501(c)(3) organization? Then visit the "Portal to Success" Web site created by the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). While some items on the site are specific to HUD grant programs, much of the information is applicable to other programs as well.

Business Planning Tools for Non-Profit Organizations

Are you a non-profit organization that is interested in building your capacity to serve your community? Then you should read "Business Planning Tools for Non-Profit Organizations" put out by the Senior Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). In this guide you will learn about strategic plans, business plans, operating with an entrepreneurial spirit, and accessing funding sources.

The Equal Treatment Regulations in a Nutshell and Other Helpful Information

Want to learn more about the rules that apply to faith-based and community organizations when they partner (or would like to partner) with the Federal government, but don't have a lot of time to spare? Then check out this new 2-page document that explains in a nutshell the rules and regulations that apply to FBCOs and provides links to more extended treatments of the subjects covered.

New Guidebook for State and Local Officials

The Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the Department of Health and Human Services has put out a new guidebook entitled "Partnering with Faith-Based and Community Organizations: A Guide for State and Local Officials Administering Federal Block and Formula Grant Funds." The guidebook is written specifically for state and local officials as a way to provide practical information on developing and enhancing partnerships with effective faith-based and community organizations.

While the guidebook discusses the ability of faith-based organizations to consider religion when hiring staff for a Federally-funded program, for a fuller discussion of the issue, please visit http://www.usdoj.govdo-dont.html.

Have you ever thought about becoming a peer reviewer of grants/contracts put out by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ)?

Every year DOJ gives out millions of dollars in grants/contracts to state and local governments, Indian tribes, profit and non-profit organizations, including faith-based and other community organizations, and other groups. You learn about many of these grant/contract opportunities through the e-mail blasts we send you. But what you may not know is that the overwhelming majority of applications for this grant/contract money must be reviewed by peer reviewers. Who are peer reviewers? Just regular citizens like you with an interest/expertise in the area a particular grant pertains to.

Grant/contract-making agencies at DOJ include the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Community Capacity Development Office, the Office on Violence Against Women, the Bureau of Prisons, and Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). Among the grants/contracts that must be reviewed every year include those for residential reentry services for ex-offenders, stopping/assisting with the effects of domestic violence and child abuse, helping victims of crime and their families, preventing gang-related violence, and giving our youth positive life choices.

If you are chosen as a grant/contract reviewer for a program at DOJ, the government will pay for your travel, lodging, and meal expenses and provide you with a stipend for your help. (Note: Most reviews are held in Washington, DC.)

So, if you have an interest in becoming a grant/contract reviewer, please send a copy of your resume and your areas of experience (i.e., working with youth, ex-offenders, victims of domestic violence, victims of crime, etc.) to Amy Callaghan and Kirstin Phillips.

The Department of Justice invites you to register with the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS)

NCJRS is a federally funded resource offering criminal justice and drug policy information to support research, policy, and program development. By registering with NCJRS, you can remain informed about new publications, grants and funding opportunities, and other news and announcements. Once registered, you will receive:

  • JUSTINFO: a bi-weekly electronic newsletter that includes links to full text.
  • E-mail notifications: Periodic messages about new publications and resources that match your specific areas of interests.
  • Publications: periodic mailings of select publications that match your interest.
  • The Justice Resource Update: A quarterly publication that highlights NCJRS Partner Agency announcements.

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To learn more about NCJRS, visit:

If you have questions about JUSTINFO or other NCJRS services, please contact us online at or call 800-851-3420.

Additional justice and substance abuse policy information is also available online at

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