NJCIC round 2 public info session #1 (08FEB22)
2:36AM Feb 9, 2022
cremation. And as you just saw, I got a notification on your screen, we will be recording this session. Everything that the consortium does most everything is part of the public record. And we will post this recording on their website so that you or any of your colleagues could review it later. If you have a question that you want to go back and look at the answer for or share something so the chat, and the recording will be made available to you. I'm Stefanie Murray. I'm the director of the Center for Cooperative Media at Montclair State University. And we are the host institution for the Civic information Consortium, which means we assist with the back office support, such as helping them host information sessions like this. Today, you will hear from three board members, Molly Daniyar, John C. Locke and Chris Daggett about the current open grants opportunity, and you'll have lots of time to ask questions, they will do a quick overview introduce themselves. And then we'll open the floor up to questions. And I'll hand it over to my colleague, Joe, who will talk a little bit about how we're going to run the q&a today.
Surprise him behind the sign. Oh, hi, everybody. My name is Joe Amditis. And I'm just going to remove your spotlight there, Stephanie, I'm going to be running the tech behind the scenes here we have a chat open, if any, would like to ask a question or make a comment, feel free to use that. Just make sure that the two selector there right above you where you type is on the correct indicator, whether it's sitting to the everyone in the meeting or your DMing someone. If you have any issues or technical problems, please drop them in the chat or DM them to me directly. And I will do my best to help you out behind the scenes. You can also use the reactions feature if you want to just sort of silently Express approval. And you can raise your hand if you'd like to ask a question, unmute, and ask it out loud. We'll try to get to as many of those as we can. And we'll try to get to the questions in the order that they come in the chat, that that does get a little tricky with the hand raising and stuff. So we'll try to do the best we can to make sure everybody goes in order. And with that, I believe 70 I turn this over to board members, correct? Oh, I'm gonna introduce our board members here. As they come up. We have Molly dagger, we have John C. Locke, and we have Christopher Daggett. So I will step back now into the void. I will turn that text off and we can go Christine, do you want to start?
Since Chris has muted, he probably shouldn't start.
We're all doing the same thing. Sorry about that. Just wanted to say welcome. And that we look forward to your questions and a good sense of what's going on. We really appreciate your interest in the consortium and in applying for a grant. So let the let the session begin. And I think we're going to start with John giving an overview. But first, Molly, do you wanna introduce yourself quickly? Sure. Hi,
Chris. Hi, everybody. Thank you for joining us tonight. We're happy to be here. I'm Molly de Aggie are happy to be on this board. And, and happy to answer your questions tonight.
John saw yours. Alright, uh, Joe, are you doing a face? Any kind of screen? Yes,
I am. I'll go ahead and just share my screen here. And you can walk yourself through the website or wherever however you'd like to, to do that look good, everybody.
Yep, I can see it clearly. Okay. Okay, so my name is John C loc. I'm one of the board members. Great to be here this evening. I just want to give a quick overview of just some of the stuff that we're doing. And the grant guidelines for this round of grants is our second round of grants. And all this can be found on the website at NJ cific info.org. Just click on grants at the top of the homepage. Ah, this round we are doing grants of up to $75,000 As you may it for those of you who may remember last year's first round of grants, they were up to 35,000. We have 14 grants that we gave out during that first round. Now this time around we are we've tweaked the call of what we're looking for a bit. As you can see, we're looking at projects so the things we're interested in are projects that grow and strengthen the local news ecosystem. particular focus on new and existing and projects and serving communities of color immigrant communities, non English speaking communities and others. There's systematically marginalized communities, diversifying the state's journalism pipeline. So that's media education, journalism, storytelling training, and ways just to get more people involved. And we are slowly giving preference to support middle and high school journalism projects. As part of that, obviously, one of the big things when you look at Civic information is civic voter information, election reporting, election related projects, so and making sure there's not disinformation out there. So we're looking at nonpartisan projects along those lines, and then seeking to report on projects, civic engagement and reporting focused on the ongoing pandemic and on the climate crisis. Obviously, if you do apply and are not within that realm, we are very interested in looking at other types of projects as well. So don't be discouraged if you don't necessarily fit the exact letter of those items. One of the things that, you know, we can ask me and talk about this a little bit more, as we go through is the state law that created the consortium requires that the groups that received the grants have a faculty member or graduate student, one of our member universities, which are Montclair State, NJIT, Rowan College of New Jersey, Rutgers and brand new to the consortium, we would like to welcome Kane university that they would have to have a faculty member or graduate student from one of these programs to be working with you as your academic partner. Ah, this basically is and we have information we can provide you is the your partner, your versity partner, the role they play is up to you in them if you receive a grant, so it can be very hands on it can be very hands off, it can be a serving as an occasional resource or really taking a lead. So that's up to you to determine with them. So we are looking at, we look at that, and we are going to get some preference to applicants that have already have an agreement or partnership in place. But we can answer some of those questions. And you have to be a 501 C three, a nonprofit to receive a grant, we can't make grants to individuals. But we will consider where a for profit is working with a not for profit. And in the past, the university partners have served as the fiscal agents for grant recipients. So that can all be worked out. And the deadline is 1159. Eastern Time on March 4. So and I'd like to stress 1159 Eastern Time on March 4. So if you want to go visit your friends out in Seattle, that's great. Remember, the consortium is still in the eastern time zone, even if you're not and just as a quick reminder is we receive funding from the state of New Jersey which makes us that would just put us under the guidelines of the open Public Records Act. So these materials that you submit can be opened so I couldn't can fall under an open request from the States or from individual contacting us so just wanted to let you know on this
and obviously if you want to if you have follow up questions afterwards, info at NJ cific info.org. And remember to also keep an eye on our Facebook account at NJ civic info or our Twitter account at NJ civic info where you'll get a we're pushing out information and sharing various memes from the from 80s movies. So that that let's get to the first questions. And Stephanie, by the way, put some information in the chat feature. In addition to that, so you might want to just take a look there just as some other aspects. Since
there's nothing in the chat, I'll just say one of the questions biggest questions that we get is about the relationship between the partner university and the grantee, can you can you break down, Chris or Molly maybe break down a little bit? What that experience has been like from the first cohort and what you've learned and what that actually looks like in practice in some cases. Go ahead, Molly. We're actually
maybe John, I think has had actually more interaction with the the issue on a day to day basis. I mean, I can give you the general overview. But John, I think you've had more experience with the specifics of that
case. So it's a combination, it really does vary based on the relationship that you in the faculty member. And by the way, as a faculty member, we are open to university staff, as well who are not Technically faculty, A, it can be just serving as a resource, answering questions pointing you in the right direction. I know one of our projects in the first round in Blairstown, their university partners really served as a, there's creating a new local news site out in Warren County, they're serving it really as a resource in pointing them in the right direction, providing them with expertise, I was talking to another of our projects and their faculty partner at TCNJ is really working, you know, just answering the occasional questions. Some are really taking a hands on approach in that regard. Others it is, you know, the occasional question, and I think it really does vary. So one of the things that is important when you're looking at different university partners, what type of expertise are you looking for, from that university partner? And what? You know, what are you trying to get out of that relationship? So we are really wanting to talk about those things. And, you know, obviously, that's something that you should really think about is that type of relationship. So key, I think, except,
Jeff had a question. He raised his hand.
Yeah, Jefferson, he dropped his question in the chat, too.
I did. But I can talk.
Take a walk. I
thought my question was simply this if you have applied in the past, alright, and been turned down? Is it silly to apply for the same program again? Or you will? Will you reconsider that?
We will definitely reconsider it? And an answer to your second question, is there more money from the state this time around? Yes. Last time we had in fiscal year 21, we had 500,000. This year, we have a million dollars. The so now we're not making fewer grants for more money. We're hoping I'm not sure how the balance would come out yet. We're trying to do it in a way that works for everyone involved, recognizing that at the end, million dollars doesn't go as far as you know, everybody would like it to.
Great, thank you. You're welcome.
I would just add a little bit to that. So we're obviously we're getting larger, we are making larger grants available in this round. Right. You heard John say that in the past, we did the last round we did 35,000 Was our limit this year. $75,000 is our limit, it doesn't mean that you have to apply for the full amount. And, you know, we don't know what's going to come in for the proposal. So it's hard to say, well, we give a lot of big grants, we give a lot a little grants, it kind of depends on on what comes in through the door. And Chris, correct me if I'm wrong, but But it's about 850,000. Total for grant dollars this year.
Yes, it's probably going to be right that because we have a whole million costs, right?
Yeah, cuz we have some overhead costs that we use for, you know, we take some of that money for overhead costs, but um, it's about I think it's about 850,000 in grant dollars.
And just to be clear, the reason it's it's a, that is last year, the statute allows us to or actually calls for us to hire an executive director and program staff. Because we only had half a million dollars, we decided that first year to review all the grants through the board members themselves on a, you know, it's a volunteer board, but they agreed that we'd rather put the money into grants. So we literally put all the money last year into grants and some training. And this year, we'll probably be bringing on an executive director. I don't know the timing of that. But the point is, we're reserving some of the money to cover those costs.
Question from Natalie, can you talk about the evaluation criteria that you use when reviewing the grant proposals that you receive? Molly, do
you want to take that?
Yeah, sure. I mean, it's kind of a complicated answer. It might be a little unsatisfying. So I apologize ahead of time, but we're looking for a number of different things we're looking for, you know, how well does it fit the guidelines that John just outlined for you, we're trying to make sure that the final grants that are made represent sort of geographically the whole state you know, we tend I can just share like in the first round, we got a whole lot of proposals from Newark, and we had to turn some of the ones that we would normally otherwise fund we had to turn down because we were trying to make sure that that money got all throughout the state. We obviously a university having it says in the guidelines having a university partner is a preference but not requirement. So that's helpful logistically. For us. It's just helpful if there's a university partnership already in place. And what am I missing? John? I feel like I'm missing something,
I think you've covered it, I think the only other one would be as we try to spread around. So it's not all training programs or stuff like that. So it's sort of like, well, to keep into account what the different projects are, so we can, right we there is a balance on
that regard. Right. It's like a variety of media making projects. It's not just all like, civic motor projects, or, you know, other, like too heavy in any one category, we really try to, to make sure there's a variety.
I was gonna say Christine's question, how big of a disadvantage is to be submitting from new work? I don't see it as a disadvantage. It was just we happen to have a lot from Newark in the last round. And we were trying to balance because we they were all really good projects. And we're trying to balance it out with the rest of the state, but where, you know, there's no disadvantage.
And let me go back if I made to, to the question about a university partner, I'm not sure if it's clear, or if you all are familiar with the fact that statute called for this to be made this consortium to consist of five member universities, which are the public research universities of the state of New Jersey. So we had and they each have a board member on the on the board, I represent Montclair State, actually, for example. But then, last year, the state also passed a law creating a sixth public research university in Kane University. So Kane is now also a member of the the consortium and has a board seat, the we have tried to begin the process of getting a cadre if you will, of people willing to partner in case we come up with people, or we have applicants who need a grant partner, because last year, there were some real difficulty in matching people, partly because we were just starting up partly because some universities weren't really plugged into it yet. I mean, it was all new, and we're getting better at it, we probably aren't as good as we ultimately will become. But we're getting there. And that's why I think Stephanie put in something that says, if you don't have a partner, reach out to Stephanie, and we'll do our best to try to connect you with somebody who can act as a part of the university. And, and to the question about other universities becoming members. No, it's just a statutory provision. And that's why we have these six public research universities there are, you can partner with another university, but that person that university would in turn have to partner with one of the six member universities.
There is we never
have that. Yeah, it was Stockton and stories of Atlantic City did that last time. Right. Yes. Question from Christine, are all grants for projects that must complete in one year?
Yes, but we have we have granted extensions, on a case by case basis for past that one year.
Yeah, typically, you know, what's kind of tough about the Civic information consortium is being funded by the state, we don't know from year to year, what, what money they might give the consortium. So we typically want it to be, you know, we think about these projects in terms of a year long project. But we also understand that sometimes it takes a while to get something off the ground, maybe you're hiring somebody, it takes a while to get someone on board. So we are flexible about that. But you should be thinking about it in terms of at least, you know, a year's worth of funding, it may be that your project has already been happening. And it's a long term thing. And this is helping you get funding for this particular year. It's really helpful in in the proposal, to give us a sense, give us a bigger picture of your project. Is it brand new? Are you trying to get something off the ground? Is it something that exists? Is it something that you're trying to get off the ground, but you think it's a five year project or a 10 year project? Like give us that? That horizon right to help us understand it better? Because a lot of these you know, we're going to be very unfamiliar, maybe we'll be familiar with some of them, but most of them we won't be and it's really helpful to give us as much context there as possible. And to help us understand how the funding would help you in this moment in time. Right, like help us understand what you need right now and and how it's gonna keep your work going and how you're thinking about the future.
Christina's answer? Yes. Thank you. Awesome. Josie had a follow up to what we were discussing earlier about the evaluation metrics that are used. She wanted to know what the is the matrix public anywhere? Which I don't think we have it up anywhere.
No, but we have offered, you know, as best we can, as a as an all volunteer organization, we've tried to offer some custom feedback to those who were not offered grants. We try very hard to talk through that. There was a question A while back, Darren asked about, um, do they see now I've lost it?
Yeah, he asked about every had to be COVID-19 or climate related.
Right. And that's just one area.
And and I just made a clarify, Stephanie, you responded to Josie about the university, let me just make sure that everybody understands that concept is Stephanie mentioned as the university is the lead applicant. That is if the if you are not a 501, C three, and the university is your fiscal partner, they must put in the 10%. But if it's not a fiscal partner, they do not have to put in the 10%.
No partners, if they're the lead applicant, yes, it's yours. If let's say same thing,
that and I also want to add in is when you're, if you're are seeking out a university partner on your own, is don't just think of journalism department or communications department, it may be the best fit for you is in political science, or government or sociology or someplace else in the university. So definitely think outside the box a little bit.
And show me let me try to answer the question another way, the lead applicant. If you are a 501, C three, I think we recommend you be the lead applicant and not be not have the university be that. But if you're not a 501, C three, and the university becomes the lead applicant by virtue of that, and therefore the fiscal sponsor, that is what triggers the 10%. Match.
You question, sorry, I was gonna offline there. So Georgia had a question about better would it be we talked about this briefly earlier, would it be beneficial for the applicant if partners are determined before submitting? And yet the answer was, yes. Because that does help in your score. And you're talking about that really with evaluation? Right, John? And Molly? Yeah. Jeff wants to know, is there a preference for print journalism or for broadcast journalism?
No, the preference being bolttech. Anything? We prefer ever anything and everything?
Josie responded a second ago, something's not clear. Do you want to unmute and ask? If you can? If not, I'm happy to.
I know. Yeah, sure. I just I know, last year, sorry. Last year, that I think, post, post the results, I'm not sure. But we talked about a more transparent evaluation process. So it just gives you clarity, and it's on how you make those decisions. and on what basis you make those decisions so that those those in the community during this work are sort of clear about what gaps are you attempting to fill. So it's not just a gap that we don't have a lot of people of color doing news, but rather, where and how are you able to spread the monies? And so what kind of sort of what kind of entities and so how you make those decisions is sort of helpful, in understand better understanding the news ecosystem and sort of better understanding your objectives with these grants. So last year, there wasn't any evaluation matrix or follow up, and I was just asking if there was, because if everything is accessible publicly, then is that part of what we can access to sort of read more about the process and the grants etc. And so I wasn't clear about Molly's response.
Do you want to add anything? Um, I guess I would just add that. That it's, it's, it's, it's not black and white. How, you know, there's, there can be guidelines about how we try to make these decisions and do our best to, you know, we we know, we know that we're trying to make sure that we're getting grants sort of across the different guidelines and geographically and that we are being true to our values around supporting bipoc led organizations and projects. I am you'll have to forgive me because I just don't Remember, if we specifically had a rubric that we I know, we had some forms that we filled out, but I'm not sure if we had a, like a matrix. I don't remember if we did that. I know we did some scoring. So and I don't know, I'll be honest, I don't know, like, what the, I don't know what the the law says about, if we have to make everything public, if we make, you know, like, if there's some part of this, that we don't make public, it's it can be a very delicate process when doing grant making, so it's, it's, it's not quite so it's not quite as cut and dried as you hoped it would be. And
I'll let Molly and John correct me if I'm wrong, or add to it in some way. But one of the difficult parts too, as you eat, let's say we had a good matrix that we made public and, but but we're trying to tell everybody, we're, we're not trying to tell you what we want, we are asking you for your ideas. And sometimes an idea may be something that comes in and we go holy cow, that is really an interesting idea. And it doesn't fit the same, it's just hard to put a matrix to it in some way. But it grabs people and, and that's why we have more than one person read a grant proposal, for example, we, we try to get a sense of things. So while we hold as much as we can towards some sort of a matrix or some sort of a rubric that we're following. It's we don't want to put it in such a way that it looks like we're telling everybody what to do.
I know, follow up on what Chris was saying is, I know if you would ask me last year, what I was expecting to come in versus what came in, I think I would you would bet definitely be my guess would have been different from what came in. Because there were a lot of really creative and innovative projects from around the state. And I know we had a lot we put a lot of time into evaluating and really discussing these, and trying to figure out the you know how to make these decisions, you know, it was not, it was not a cut and dry process. So it's definitely we're trying to sort of like, balance out like these really innovative projects, and also trying to see, you know, fit the needs across the state. And then really, you know, hitting all corners of the state is one of the things we are concerned because obviously, as a taxpayer funded organization, we want to make sure were helping people from you know, all across the states, that's something else.
I'm going to add one more thing, and not to sorry, not to beat a dead horse. But I think another way of sort of thinking about it is when you put a rubric out in the world, and you say this is these are the these are the rules are not rules. But you know, sort of the guidelines that we are evaluating any given proposal, for those who there are lots of proposals that meet those guidelines, that still do not get a grant. And the reason why is because there might not be enough grant money, there might be another organization that is doing something really similar, and we have to choose one over the other. It might be that we have too many proposals from Newark, and we need to pick one. So there are a lot of reasons. So it's really I think, I have found I've been in philanthropy for a long time. And it's really challenging when people say, Well, I fit your guidelines, why didn't I get a grant. And I feel for that, because you know, you probably do meet the guidelines. But there are all kinds of other factors around that decision making that just make it a little bit more challenging to balance all the various factors to try to do the best you can to make to make those grants and a lot of times you have to you do have to turn down a lot of really awesome stuff. And a lot of times when people come to us and say, well, what didn't you like about the proposal? The answer might be your proposal was great. But like we just we didn't have enough money to do all the things that we wanted to do. Or, you know, we we just had to make a choice and we ended up with this choice instead of this one.
Nearly as a question about what is needed to establish or formalize a partnership with the University
Hey, you can you know, obviously that's you know, could be done on a one on one basis with the university and obviously what the university's policies in regards to forming that relationship, but some were established through just an email back and forth with a faculty member. And maybe they brought in their dean or someone or department chair, we just had to finalize and approve it. I know in terms of the couple of groups are using Robin as their fiscal agent, and there is an entire there is some documentation to establish that relationship that was done with RA when and that we were able to try to work to try to keep that so it can be utilized that other member universities around the state. So if you're using them as a fiscal agent, so some of that, you know, it's a little bit of a variable in that regards, but in terms of the most formal thing is when the the fiscal agent becomes the universities, the university is, there's definitely a lot more formal regard. But a lot of it is done, can be done just through simple email exchanges and stuff like that.
Out of the previous grantees, just to give a little more context, only one, the ones that work with Rowan had lengthy agreement, because there's actually a sub grant. And so if anyone's familiar with pursuing grant funding, that's like, make ICFO people nodding, yeah, that you may end up a situation where you will be a sub grant for university and other cases is just a yes, we'd love to work with you. Here's how we'll work together. And it's much more informal. So I just want to add that sub grant in there. Josey had raised her hand a second ago, to clarify something. Josie, do you want to unmute? Sure.
Um, so I didn't mean to create any sort of strain in answering the question. It was simple. Just if it you know, if you're following Oprah guidelines, will this regardless of what the matrix says, whether it's, it's it's a quantitative analysis or qualitative analysis? To what extent would it be available? It was a very narrow question simply because that is a new sort of component on the grant guidelines. And I have been, I've been a grantor, I've been on the side of having to use a matrix create one and explain it to grantees. And you're absolutely right. Everyone can fit into guidelines, but not everyone can be funded. And that comes with a whole host of sort of analysis, right. And a lot of it has to do with with monies. And also, sort of, you know, and it's true, you can have many grants on the same thing in the same area. And so that becomes a little difficult. My question was simply, narrowly, you know, if if everything is accessible publicly, will that be accessible as well? It was a very narrow question and not meant to create any, any anxiety around how do you explain yourself and your actions? And, and forgive me, because I think that I could see it expressed by all three of you. It's simply if it's Oprah, is this part of Oprah yes or no, the other part of it, we can certainly discuss it another time. But coming out of the last year, this was a big part that I observed with grantees who were funded and those who were turned down the challenges around better understanding this particular grant process, this particular grant. And that's the only reason I raised that. So not to cause any stress or belabor the point any further. I just wanted to clarify. Thank you.
Thanks, Josie. Thank you. Someone. Let's see question from Angelina, can a grant work with multiple cities to city? She asks?
Yes, we actually have. And one of our first round grants is a regional it's creating a regional online Spanish language radio program for geared towards a seasonal agricultural workers in South Jersey. I know another one is bridge 10 in the Bridgeton. area. So some of them are very centralized in one community, others are centralized to a region or more than one. So we're vaccinate n j, which is a totally a statewide program. So
GA editor Quick clarification, if the news outlet is not a 501 C three, but you don't want to have the university to be the fiscal agent or they don't want to, then can you still apply and seek perhaps another fiscal agent? I do know that we have Yeah, John, as you want to go ahead and take this we have a couple examples of that currently,
yes, you can work with community foundation, a Rotary Club, a another any type of nonprofit that can serve as your fiscal agent in this regard. I know in another case, they it was actually a nonprofit and then they created a separate entity to be the news for profit, sort of be the news and or nonprofit to Blairstown ratio. So. So there are definitely ways to work around that. So definitely talk to maybe your other foundations or nonprofits that you know in your area, and definitely deal with a community foundation in your neck of the woods, babydoll serve as your fiscal agent. That's one of the things Community Foundation's are very much they do a lot of so
example, artworks Trenton is the fiscal agent for vaccinate and j, because they're, you know, based close and they know each other. And then Chris, you know, I don't know, if you want to mention at all that the board was seeking at some point to help with this fiscal agent.
Issue? Oh, well,
I mean, we're trying to we're trying to identify an organization that'd be willing to be a fiscal agent for any number of groups. So and make it easier than to have to go through, believe me, the idea of doing having a university be the fiscal agent, can be a very difficult process, we went, what we went through to negotiate the sub award contract with one of the universities was just painful. And and I don't mean that in a negative way, other than we're just we ran up against the bureaucratic process of a governor of a university grant. And it was very challenging. So if you can find a fiscal partner, that is not a university, you will probably be able to get things done much more quickly. And while I've got the floor, I will answer Josie one last time Josie to tell you that, if we make a if we use a rubric of some kind, our goal is transparency, we'd be happy to make that available through whether it's through Oprah or whatever way, if somebody just asks us, we'll share it with them. So we really are trying to be as transparent as possible with this, but understanding all the things that you mentioned, and we mentioned with respect to the difficulties of grant making.
Thanks, I see, Molly answered a couple questions in the chat about had another question about how do you find the right university partner, instead of point a point person on that the university partners, we have actually talked about this amongst ourselves. And you can consider the info at NJ civic info or contact us at the center. And we'll serve as your point person to help you get to the right university partner, or help you find some options to explore.
And we may put you in touch with the University Board Member for that university. And I'll just clarify now. And Chris, maybe you can, I know you've had some meetings with them is, it may be a little tougher, just with cane initially in this round, since they're brand new to our organization. And there's no board member from Kienzle. We could try actually,
I actually have a board member. But I haven't made any announcement about a party because I don't have a formal letter to that effect from the university which I need to get. But yes, they've identified the person they want to serve. The person is very excited about it wants to be involved. I think it'll be very good. And I think a person can jump right in. But I just as I said, I'm waiting for the formal process to play out. I just in fact that I made a note to myself during this call that I've got to circle back to them because I asked them for that about three weeks ago or two weeks ago, and I haven't heard from them. So
I'll do it again. Okay, so you came maybe a little bit easier now with that information. But definitely, I'd say, you know, it's just we'll definitely work with you on that. And also, if let's say you just decide to reach out on your own,
feel free to do that. Yeah, I met recently with the president of Kane University. Who is, as you may know, the former education commissioner and former superintendent of schools in Asbury Park. He was most excited about this, as were the I don't know, he had four or five staff members in the meeting as well. So they're very interested in this whole consortium and how they can participate. I'm sorry, Molly.
Yeah, I saw Christine's we're getting there. Christine, thank you for re asking that question. We were just about to get to it. So she asked about dates, critical dates for this process. I mentioned March 4 is the deadline. I'm here to ask you to please not submit it at 11 o'clock at night on March 4. We are an all volunteer group who are reading your proposals and any thing that we can read before March 4, we will be very happy before March 4 and not get a gigantic stack of them all at the very last minute. So that is our request to you. We we will have a few meetings In a while, hopefully we can start reading some this month. And then we'll have to have some meetings after the march 4 deadline to read all the proposals, discuss them make some decisions. And I think we're aiming and please, John and Chris, if I'm wrong about this, I think we're aiming to bring decisions to the March board meeting of the consortium. Unless I'm, unless that's ambitious, I don't know. Maybe it's April, is it gonna be the April one?
Yeah, March might be all too ambitious. If Well, if you want to give up sleep for the March, then we can do it. But
okay, so April, so mid April would be our board meeting. So we would we, you know, the grants committee of this board would bring recommendations to the full board at our April board meeting, the Board will review those, review those and make final decisions. And then we will be able to immediately notify folks, yes or no, we will let everybody know, you won't not hear from us, after decisions have been made so late April. So keep that in mind for your timeline of your project. That's a an important you know, thing to note about about that. And then we would get payments out probably in May, I'm guessing
it took a couple of weeks after and that was just if you have a partner in place, or if you're just trying to be a fiscal agent in place. Sometimes there's a slight delay on that one. But I think the bulk of the first round in Chris, correct me if I'm wrong, the checks were able to go out within four to six weeks after the decision.
Yeah. And to be honest, we did for those who are given a grant, the faster they can do some paperwork to demonstrate, for example, their 501, C three, and then some, there's a few things, but the faster they get it out literally as soon as we get that information, we don't send all the checks out at once we get that once the grants are decided we get that announcement out all at once. But who gets the money first is who can get back to us quickest with the paperwork. And and it literally goes out the same day, or the next morning, from when I learned from Stephanie, that we've got everything in place.
The your question, does it hurt chance of being funded? If a nonprofit spends more than one program? No. We can, we're going to consider every application on its own merits individually. So if nonprofit, a submits one application, for one, project, nonprofit B submits four applications for four projects, it may be that a gets a grant and project three from B gets a grant type deal. But you're not, we're not going to be penalizing type deal, where we look at each individually. But obviously, we don't want to necessarily give all the money to one to like 25 projects from one organization type deal.
Yeah, we will I mean, it's likely it's very unlikely that we would give more than one grant to one organization, not including, you know, if you've applied before, or if you've received a grant before you're still eligible. But in in any given grant making cycle, we're not going to give two grants to the same organization, if you apply, you know, with two or three or four different proposals. My recommendation is if you have a couple of things you really want to apply for and you can't choose, that's fine. I would, I would say probably don't apply for three or three or four, because I think it's going to be hard for us to really understand from you. What is your top priority that you would really like to receive funding for? So that would just be my casual advice. And yes, the application is already open.
And obviously, if you can try to combine some of those projects together within the $75,000 go for that. I know one of our first round grantees put together two projects into one application that were they were able to fund with a $35,000 because they were both they wanted to pursue both and they were able to budget it within the $35,000 Okay, thank you.
Question from Josue next.
Yes, so, Hello, can you saw a news organization headquartered in one city covering stories and work with incubator writers in other cities apply to support? So Josie, maybe you want to unmute so you just wanted to clarify. So it would just be hypothetically, a news organization headquartered in Newark, but they're working with writers covering Hoboken
Paterson Okay, let's say Beth. With coincidentally with different academic partners, for example, right, Keene is doing a project in Paterson that we're going to write about using students in that area. And those students can be part of an overall citizen journalism training program that our boy chair Robin Fisher's designing, and will teach. So we're gonna have students from different geographic locations, we're going to participate in this workshop and writes stories in communities where news and a kind of work that's that we're gonna report on not being covered. So that's the sort of tricky piece for us. I just want clarity. So I know if I have to narrow myself.
No, there's no if you're doing it, where it's you know, you're headquartered in one bar working with Keith, that's totally fine.
Totally fine. Okay. Last question from Natalie, here. Are both program and operational costs eligible? Yes. Two big thumbs up awesome.
We're believers in operational support and understand the need for it.
Does anyone else have any other questions? Can you raise your hand or drop something in the chat? And if not, we'll have some closing remarks and wrap up. All right, anything to close? Chris John or Molly?
Oh, John, anything would add?
Just definitely remember the deadlines. Remember Molly's plea to try to get it in at 11 by 11:59am. On March 4, goodbye use in 12 hours there?
I mean, can we maybe even do it a week or two?
Yeah, I'll underscore that. But making clear though, that the actual decisions we made all at once, even though we're trying to read them as they come in. The only thing I'd add is we want to underscore We are deeply committed to local news and information in New Jersey. And we're deeply committed to doing it in the best way possible. We may not get it right every time. But we are going to give it our level best effort. And we really do welcome creativity. If you have something that you think would be really interesting, and you think it's just off the wall? Doesn't mean don't apply. You may find that there's people on the board that say, Oh, wow, this is the best thing I've seen. So we're not we don't have all the answers, we get a lot of questions like you do. And we're looking to you all to help us find those answers. So we
were super excited for your proposals.
And just two quick things, is just remember if you have any questions besides reaching out to Stephanie and Joe with Center for Cooperative Media, which, actually before we go before I go any further is, we really I think, three of us but everyone on the board. Can't say enough. Thanks to Stefanie and Joe for all of the work you guys do for the consortium? Absolutely. And but definitely besides emailing them, feel free to reach out to us info at NJ civic info.org That is NJ as info at NJ civic info.org. And check out our Facebook ad which is NJ civic info and our Twitter, our fairly active Twitter account at NJ civic info. We'll be posting just different updates and stuff will be on there. So you'll definitely get if there's anything changes in terms of anything you need to know or you want to just be reminded about deadlines and stuff like that. Feel free to check out that because we share a lot of information that way. So feel free. We have one more if you have any follow up questions. 71 just clarify the next info session.
Yeah, that's what I was gonna say there's one more info session if you have other questions. That one
more info session on the 17th. It's in the afternoon that day. It is at 3pm. So we can the same way you signed up for this one, the Eventbrite we can drop that link in the chat and send it to everybody to case you want to come back or since most for your team
and there's a link to sign up in the
playing everyone off. Thank you all have a good night.
Thanks, everybody. Thank you