The Covenant
Grants

The Covenant Foundation grants provide funding to help creative Jewish educators develop and implement significant and financially responsible approaches to Jewish education that are potentially adaptable in other settings.

About Our Grants

Letters of Inquiry that fall outside of The Covenant Foundation’s parameters for funding will not be considered. Please read the following information carefully and contact the Foundation if you have questions.

The 2016 Covenant Grants

The Covenant Foundation invites applications for innovative programs in Jewish schools, community organizations, and other institutional settings. These grants will provide funding to help creative Jewish educators develop and implement significant and financially responsible approaches to Jewish education that are potentially adaptable in other settings. Covenant Grants may also be awarded for projects whose purpose is to disseminate particularly effective existing programs.

Jump to: About Signature and Ignition GrantsApplying for a Covenant GrantProject DirectorEligibility |Selection CriteriaPast RecipientsImportant Dates and Links

Eligibility

Any institutions, agencies, or organizations involved in the field of Jewish education (i.e. day schools, congregational schools, central agencies of Jewish education, Jewish community centers, summer camps, or museums) are eligible. Only a tax-exempt, non-profit organization may serve as the sponsoring organization of a Covenant Grant.

The Covenant Foundation only funds programming in North America.

Covenant Grants will not be made to support feasibility studies, assessment studies, or basic research in Jewish education. Nor will The Covenant Foundation contribute to capital expansion projects, student scholarships, or ongoing operating support.

Organizations may only submit one grant application per cycle.

Organizations must use the budget estimate templates provided by the Foundation for Ignition and Signature Grants at the Letter of Inquiry and the Full Proposal stage.

About Signature and Ignition Grants

Although there are two Covenant Grant categories, Ignition and Signature, applicants should submit only one Letter of Inquiry in only one grant category in any given year. Applicants for Covenant Signature Grants may request up to $250,000 for up to five years of support, although this large of a grant is unusual. A more typical grant does not exceed $150,000, with generally no more than $50,000 per year. There is no minimum dollar amount associated with a Signature Grant.

Ignition Grants are designed to explore new, untested ideas or to determine how established practices can become even more effective. An Ignition Grant is appropriate for an exciting idea that is not yet ready for a multi-year Signature Grant, perhaps because it is still in the planning stage or because the organization needs time to develop necessary capacity and expertise. Any organization that receives an Ignition Grant may apply for a Covenant Signature Grant after submission of the final report. Applicants for Covenant Ignition Grants may request up to $20,000 for one year.

Applying for a Covenant Grant

The application process is composed of two parts. First, applicants should submit a brief Letter of Inquiry (LOI) and background information about the sponsoring organization. Letters of Inquiry must be received by Thursday, February 25, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. E.S.T. The Covenant Foundation Grants Selection Committee will then review all Letters of Inquiry.

By the end of May 2016, the Committee will invite those applicants whose letters are judged to be most promising to submit full proposals. The Foundation must receive these proposals, the second part of the application process, no later than Tuesday, June 14, 2016, by 5:00 p.m. E.S.T. The Committee will also notify applicants not invited to submit full proposals by the end of May 2016. The Foundation will notify all those who submitted full proposals of the outcome of the Selection Committee’s deliberations in late December 2016.

Project Director

The role of the Project Director is pivotal to the success of the grant. Each proposal must identify a single Project Director who will supervise all aspects of the project throughout the grant period. The Foundation makes a special investment in each Project Director by providing professional development and support. Every cohort of Project Directors is a community of colleagues. Signature Grant Project Directors should be prepared to attend a two-day meeting of Project Directors in February 2017 and each February thereafter for the duration of the grant. Project Directors for all grants should expect to communicate with The Covenant Foundation throughout the grant period.

Selection Criteria

All proposals will be assessed by The Covenant Foundation Selection Committee for the significance of the issues addressed, potential contribution to the field, the importance and clarity of their educational objectives, the quality of the proposed program, and the feasibility of its implementation. The Committee will also discuss expected short and long-term outcomes of the project. Additionally, the Committee will consider the extent to which the program will benefit other groups beyond those immediately served and whether there are any plans for dissemination.

The Committee seeks to know how the program will be funded after the grant period ends, if it is to continue. Grants are generally not eligible for renewal at the end of the grant cycle.

Past Recipients

The best guide to the range of projects that receive Covenant Grants is the list of current and past grant recipients on our website. Over the past 25 years, The Covenant Foundation has awarded 232 Signature Grants and 57 Ignition Grants to support innovation and excellence in Jewish education. We encourage you to add to this wonderful enterprise.

Important Dates and Links

The Letter of Inquiry is due on Thursday, February 25, 2016, by 5:00 pm E.S.T. Due to the volume of letters received we cannot make exceptions to this deadline.

The Covenant Foundation will be in contact with all applicants in May 2016 regarding the status of their grant application.

All applicants invited to submit a Full Proposal must submit the complete Full Proposal via e-mail and hard copy by Tuesday, June 14, 2016, by 5:00 pm E.S.T.

The outcome of the 2016 Covenant Grants process will be announced in December 2016.

Links:

Contact information:

2016 Grants Selection Committee 
The Covenant Foundation 
1270 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 304 
New York, NY 10020-1702

grants@covenantfn.org
212-245-3500

How to Apply 1: The Letter of Inquiry

How to Apply for a Covenant Grant

Please be sure that you have read all of the information under “About Our Grants” before proceeding.

Letters of Inquiry that fall outside The Covenant Foundation’s parameters for funding will not be considered.

Part 1. Letter of Inquiry

The process begins with a Letter of Inquiry (LOI), which has three parts: a cover sheet, a brief description of the proposed project, and an approximate budget. The description of the proposed project should not exceed 700 words on 8 ½” x 11″ double-spaced, typed pages, using 12 pt. Times New Roman font with 1″ margins. The pages must be numbered. At least one copy of the LOI must include a cover sheet printed on the applicant’s letterhead and signed by the person authorized to approve the submission. This cover sheet is generated using the information you provide to us on the online form (under Step 4), and is e-mailed to you with your confirmation of submission.

The LOI must be submitted both online and in 6 printed hardcopies. The applicant should review all guidelines thoroughly and prepare all sections of the LOI before submitting it online. Both online and printed applications are due by Thursday, February 25, 2016, at 5:00 p.m. E.S.T., without exception.

Instructions for preparing the three parts of the Letter of Inquiry are as follows:

  1. Cover Sheet. The first part of the LOI is a cover sheet containing the following background information, which the applicant creates by completing the online form in Step 4. You will receive an email confirmation, which includes your downloadable cover sheet once your submission is completed.
    • Most current name, mailing address, telephone numbers, website, and approximate annual operating budget of the sponsoring institution. Please note that this is the contact information we will use to contact the Project Director for the duration of the grant process
    • Note: If you will be using a Fiscal Sponsor, you must provide information from the Fiscal Sponsor indicating that it is committed to serving in this capacity for the length of the grant as well as the name and email address of the individual there who will serve as point person for the length of the grant.
    • Name of the person who will serve as the Project Director and the e-mail address where he or she can be reached. This person will be responsible for all correspondence with the Foundation.
    • Proposed project information:
      • Type of grant (Signature or Ignition)
      • Length of grant
      • Dollar amount of grant
    • Title of the proposed project. If there is no official title at this time, please create a tentative title.
    • One sentence that explains what the organization hopes to accomplish with a Covenant Grant: “[name of institutionrequests $[xover [xyears to fund [or support, disseminate, create, expand]…[x].”
    • A brief description of the institution running the program.
    • The signature of the person authorized to approve the submission of the proposal, such as the Executive Director of an organization or the principal of a school. This is only required on printed copies.
  2. Brief Description of Proposed Program. The second part of the LOI consists of a brief description of the proposed program, which should not exceed 700 words. This description must include the following: 
    • Overall goal(s) of the program
    • Individual steps planned to achieve goal(s)
    • Intended audience for the program
    • How participants will be recruited
    • The need in the Jewish community fulfilled by the program
    • How the program fulfills that need
    • How the proposed program differs from existing ones
    • If the proposal is to disseminate a program already in existence, please provide a brief history of the program and list intended sites for adaptation.
  3. Budget Estimate. The third part of the LOI consists of an approximate budget. In order for an application to be considered, the Signature and Ignition budget templates provided by the Foundation must be used. Please divide costs into per-year expenditures and list them under the following categories: “Personnel,” “Consultants,” “Supplies,” and “Other.” The budget should explain which portions of the project would be paid for using Covenant Grant funds and it should include an estimate of other proposed sources of income to support the program including in-kind support.

    Budget Estimate Templates can be downloaded here: Signature and Ignition.

    Sample budget for Signature and Ignition grants can be downloaded here: Signature and Ignition

To submit a LOI, begin by filling out the online form found at Step 4: Apply for a Covenant Grant, which will create a cover sheet. Please upload The Project Description in Microsoft Word format (.doc or .docx) and the Budget Template in Microsoft Excel format (.xls or .xlsx). Data cannot be saved from one session to another, so please do not attempt to complete the online application until all materials are ready for submission. Questions about the process may be directed to the Grants Administrator at grants@covenantfn.org or 212-245-3500.

After submitting the online application, please mail 6 printed copies of the LOI, including all three parts listed above, to The Covenant Foundation in time for arrival by 5:00 p.m. E.S.T. on Thursday, February 25, 2016. Applicants are requested to keep a copy of the original submission. Please send applications to the following address:

2016 Grants Selection Committee
The Covenant Foundation
1270 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 304
New York, NY 10020-1702

At least 1 copy of the LOI must be written on the institution’s letterhead and must include an original signature in order to be considered by The Covenant Foundation. Faxes will not be accepted. Although the LOI is initially submitted online, electronic submission is not a substitute for sending paper copies.

The Covenant Foundation does not review draft proposals. However, our staff is available to answer questions regarding eligibility and to provide limited feedback on project design. Please feel free to contact us at  grants@covenantfn.org, or by calling 212-245-3500.

To read the guidelines for preparing a Full Proposal, go to step 3: The Full Proposal. To submit a LOI, go to step 4: Apply for a Covenant Grant.

How to Apply 2: The Full Proposal

How to Apply for a Covenant Grant

Part 2. Full Proposal

By the end of May 2016, The Covenant Foundation Grants Selection Committee will invite those applicants whose letters are judged to be most promising to submit full proposals. As with the Letter of Inquiry, The Covenant Foundation requires submission of 6 hard copies of the full proposal as well as the emailed copy.

Full proposals for Ignition or Signature Grants should include the following:

  1. Cover Sheet. The cover sheet for the Full Proposal is based on the cover sheet for the Letter of Inquiry but also contains additional information. The first page should be submitted on the sponsoring organization’s letterhead. The cover sheet should be
    2-3 pages long in total.

     
    Applicants should begin by copying the following information from the cover sheet of their Letter of Inquiry and making any necessary corrections:

    • The name, mailing address, and telephone number of the sponsoring institution. This is the contact information we will use to contact the Project Director for the duration of the grant process.
    • The name of the Project Director and the e-mail address where he or she can be reached.
    • The type of grant being requested (Ignition or Signature).
    • The title of the proposed project.
    • One sentence that explains what the organization hopes to accomplish with a Covenant Grant: “[name of institution] requests $[x] over [x] years to fund [or support, disseminate, create, expand]…. [x].” Please make sure that the total dollar amount matches the “Amount Requested from The Covenant Foundation” on the Project Budget Form.
    • A brief description of the institution where the program will be housed. Please add a brief description of any partnering organization that will be critical to the completion of this project.
    • An approximate annual operating budget for this institution.
    • The signature of the person authorized to approve the submission of the proposal, such as the Executive Director of an organization or the principal of a school. This is only required on printed copies.
       

    Below this information, the applicant should add:

    • The dates of the requested grant period: “from [month, year] to [month, year].”
      Please note that Covenant Grants commence January 1, 2017.
    • The estimated number of participants involved in the program during the grant period.
    • A brief abstract of the proposal. In 3-5 short paragraphs, please provide the following:
      • Need addressed by the project
      • Target population
      • Summary of the project, including the proposed activities
      • Intended outcomes
      • Staff/leadership of the project
      • Planned partnerships with other organizations or communities, if any
      • List of other Foundations from which you are currently seeking funding,
        if any
         

    Please be diligent in your preparation of this document. It will be used by The Covenant Foundation as a distillation of your proposal.

  2. Narrative. The narrative portion of the Signature Grant Full Proposal should not exceed ten 8 ½” x 11″ double-spaced typed pages, using 12 pt. Times New Roman font with 1″ margins. The narrative portion of the Ignition Grant full proposal should not exceed five 8 ½” x 11″ double-spaced typed pages using 12 pt. Times New Roman font with 1″ margins.
    Please complete your proposals using the following outlines for Signature and Ignition Grants respectively:

    For the narrative portion of a Covenant Signature Grant
    Full Proposal please use the following outline:

    • Statement of Need. Document the need for the proposed project. Statements of need must be supported by consideration of available research. Where possible, applicants should provide statistical or numerical data. Avoid using conjecture or opinion.
    • Description of the Project. Include specific activities (i.e. recruitment, hiring, marketing, courses, sessions, or curriculum development). What, specifically, will be done during the course of the project, who will do it, and in what order?
    • Project Timeline. Include a timeline for the proposed project with
      approximate dates, outcomes, deliverables, major activities, and milestones.
    • Intended Results. Document the specific, measurable, attainable results or outcomes of the proposed project. Indicate which results are likely to be attained in the short, intermediate, and/or long terms. Specify the likely indicators and evidence that will be used to measure the proposed project’s success.
    • Innovation. Explain, using concrete examples, the innovative aspects of the proposed project and how it differs from similar existing programs. In what way does the proposed project represent an innovation in current practice?
    • Challenges/Pitfalls. What are the biggest challenges you anticipate facing in executing your project? Consider the contextual factors that are likely to impede progress toward your goals and explain how you plan to account for and overcome them.
    • Contribution to the Field. Describe the potential contributions of the project to the field of Jewish education (i.e. if the project is successful, how might other Jewish educational institutions and organizations benefit from your experience in ways that would enable them to improve their own programs?).
    • Staff. List the project staff and institutions involved, including any outside partnering institutions.
    • Mission Relevance. Discuss the relationship of the proposed project to the overall activities and mission of your organization.
    • Organizational Capacity. Describe and provide evidence of
      the applicant’s ability to execute the proposed project.
    • Sustainability. If the proposed program is to continue after the grant period ends, indicate the plans for sustainability.
       

    For the narrative portion of a Covenant Ignition Grant
    Full Proposals please use the following outline:

    • Statement of Need. Document the need for the proposed project. Statements of need must be supported by consideration of available research. Where possible, applicants should provide statistical or numerical data. Avoid using conjecture or opinion.
    • Ignition Rationale. What will the proposed work ignite? The narrative should explain how this grant will serve as a catalyst for further work that you are considering and/or already planning.
    • Description of the Project. Include specific activities (i.e. recruitment, hiring, marketing, courses, sessions, or curriculum development) and timetables for those activities. What, specifically, will be done during the course of the project, who will do it, and in what order?
    • Innovation. Explain, using concrete examples, the innovative aspects of the proposed project and how it differs from similar existing programs. In what way does the proposed project represent an innovation in current practice?
    • Staff. List the project staff and institutions involved, including any outside partnering institutions.
    • Mission Relevance. Discuss the relationship of the proposed project to the overall activities and mission of your organization.
    • Organizational Capacity. Describe and provide evidence for the applicant’s ability to execute the proposed project.
    • Learning. Explain what you envision learning from this Ignition Grant and how this learning will take place.
  3. Staff Information. Please attach a brief résumé or CV for each key member of the project staff that includes:
    • Name
    • Current position in the organization (or partnering organization)
    • Education
    • Last three professional positions held
    • Community service, including dates performed
    • Awards, including dates received
    • Listing of up to three recent publications
  4. Appendix. Applicants may submit an appendix with information about their organization’s history and record in the area of the proposed project. The appendix should not exceed ten 8 ½” x 11″ double-spaced typed pages. All paper materials, except for printed brochures, must be on 8 ½” x 11″ paper. Note that appendix materials printed on larger paper may not be sent out for review.
  5. Project Budget. Applicants who are invited to submit full proposals must complete the Foundation’s Full Proposal Budget Form. The Project Budget must supply details of expenditures for salaries, supplies, travel, etc. Please note that the Foundation’s fiscal year runs from January to December.
    The Foundation does not fund evaluation, scholarships, or overhead. Please feel free to contact us with questions about completing the Budget Form by emailing grants@covenantfn.org or by calling 212-245-3500.

  6. Narrative Budget Statement. The Narrative Budget Statement should explain the basis used to estimate all costs and how the major items requested relate to the proposed project activities. Please reference specific line items in your completed Full Proposal Budget Form. A sample Narrative Budget Statement is included with documents available for the preparation of the full proposal.
  7. Audited Financial Statement. Please mail 1 copy of the institution’s two most recent years’ audited financial statements. Please also e-mail the statements in PDF format to grants@covenantfn.org along with the Full Proposal.
  8. Financial Statement Form. Please include 1 copy of a brief financial review of the sponsoring organization, based on the audited financial statement. Please use the
    Financial Statement Form that is included with the Covenant Full Proposal Budget Form, following the instructions in that document.

  9. IRS Tax Exemption Letter. Please include 1 copy of the IRS tax exemption letter or another document showing the institution’s tax identification number indicating that the institution is exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code and is not classified as a private foundation under section 509(a) of the Code. Canadian applicants must supply proof of nonprofit status from Revenue Canada.

    Important notes on formatting and submitting your proposal:

    • All pages submitted, aside from the Proposed Project Budget and Financial Statement
      Form, must be numbered continuously.
    • Proposals must be securely bound, whether stapled, placed in a sturdy three-ring binder, or held together by other means.
    • All sheets of paper submitted, except for printed brochures, must be 8 ½ ” x 11″ double-spaced pages, using 12 pt. Times New roman font with 1″ margins.
    • You must submit 6 copies of the entire Full Proposal, except for the audited financial statements and the IRS tax exemption letter (1 copy of each).

    The full proposal with all appendices should be mailed in a single package, in time for receipt by 5:00 p.m. E.S.T. on Tuesday, June 14, 2016 to:

    2016 Grants Selection Committee
    The Covenant Foundation
    1270 Avenue of the Americas, Suite 304
    New York, NY 10020-1702

    The Full Proposal, Budget Form, and Audited Financial Statements must also be submitted via e-mail to grants@covenantfn.org. The Full Proposal must be attached in Microsoft Word format, and the budget must be attached in Microsoft Excel format.

    Materials not received by 5:00 p.m. E.S.T. on
    Tuesday, June 14, 2016 will not be considered.

    Review of Full Proposals

    The Covenant Foundation staff, professional, academic, and lay leaders of Jewish education, and The Covenant Foundation Selection Committee will review all complete proposals in the summer and fall of 2016. During the review process, members of the Covenant Foundation staff may visit prospective institutions to discuss aspects of the proposed program. The Foundation staff might also ask for additional materials to supplement your proposal. The Executive Director of The Covenant Foundation will advise all applicants of the final determinations in late December 2016.

The grant application form is now closed.