Funding Opportunities

1: Vermont Mentoring Grants

MENTOR Vermont envisions a future in which every young person in Vermont has the supportive mentoring relationships they need to grow and develop into thriving, productive, and engaged adults. In order to achieve this goal, we have collaborated with our funding partners to create the Vermont Mentoring Grants. With funding support from the A.D. Henderson Foundation, The Vermont Community Foundation (funded in 2020 through the COVID-19 Response Fund), and the Vermont Department for Children and Families, MENTOR Vermont strives to support, expand, and enhance the quality of existing mentoring programs, while also to helping to establish new adult-to-youth mentoring programs. We support this critical work by making grants and providing technical assistance, with the ultimate goal of sustainably increasing the quality and quantity of mentoring matches statewide.

The 2020-2021 Vermont Mentoring Grant Process is Now Open!
Download the RFP Here

This grant opportunity is designed to fund the first-year implementation of a new mentoring program or established one-to-one adult-to-youth mentoring programs serving youth in Vermont that are run by nonprofit organizations and schools. With remote learning and social distancing orders affecting the lives of young people and limiting their connections with caring adults, now is a critical time to maintain relationships between mentors and mentees. This grant round will help mentoring organizations around the state continue to adapt to COVID-19 and safely provide services.

Eligible programs will:

  • Operate at least 25 weeks of programming a year.
  • Have matches that meet in-person or are mentoring via remote means (i.e. mail, email, text message, phone, and/or video chat) due to safety concerns in regard to COVID-19, but strive to resume in-person mentoring when the mentee’s family, mentor, and program decide it is safe to do so.
  • Meet at minimum one hour a week or four hours a month (depending on program model) when matches are safely able to meet in person and consistent and sustained communication for matches that are mentoring remotely due to COVID-19 safety concerns.
  • Meet best practices as defined by The Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring and MENTOR Vermont’s Quality Mentoring System.

2020-2021 Vermont Mentoring Grants Timeline:

  • June 1, 2020: RFP Released
  • June 12, 2020: Email of intent to apply due
  • June 22 – July 31, 2020: Pre-grant writing meetings (most likely done via GoToMeeting)
  • August 7, 2020: Grant applications due
  • August 31, 2020: Grant decision letters sent out
  • September 1, 2020: Start of grant year and funds released (if available) once signed grant agreement is received
  • January 15, 2021: Interim grant reports due
  • May 31, 2021: End of grant year
  • June 15, 2021: Year-end reports due  

If you have questions about applying for a future grant in 2020-2021, please contact [email protected] to learn more.

Previous Funding Cycles:


2: OJJDP COVID-19 Response Grants

MENTOR Vermont: OJJDP Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative – COVID-19 Response Funding

ISSUE DATE: May 4, 2020
BIDDERS’ CONFERENCE: May 8, 2020: Watch the Recording
QUESTIONS DUE BY: May 12, 2020
RFP RESPONSES DUE BY: May 20, 2020 and 4:30 PM

Download the Full RFP HERE
Responses to Bidders’ RFP Questions

Summary: In the fall of 2019, the Vermont Department of Children and Families (DCF) received a three-year, $1.25 million OJJDP Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative Category 5 grant (OJJDP grant). DCF made a sub-award to MENTOR Vermont to manage the delivery of mentoring programming to underserved rural communities inordinately impacted by the opioid epidemic in four regions of Vermont, the Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and Southwest, which includes nine counties: Bennington, Caledonia, Essex, Orleans, Franklin, Grand Isle, Rutland, Windham, and Windsor. The original grant goal was to provide evidence-informed mentoring services to rural youth (ages 6 to 17) with Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES) and other known risk factors for substance abuse, including poverty, and to increase the number of active mentoring matches in the regions mentioned above by 200 over three years.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, MENTOR Vermont and DCF are reallocating the first portion of this funding toward one-time response grants to mentoring agencies in these counties to fund match support to existing adult-to-youth mentor matches and build organizational capacity and develop organizational improvements to ensure their program(s) can not only maintain the number of mentor matches during this time of physical distancing but help the organization to be poised to expand their program(s) once social distancing guidelines are lifted and in-person mentoring can resume. 

Respondents should meet the following criteria:

  1. Operate an existing adult-to-youth one-to-one mentoring program
  2. Meet best practices as outlined in the Quality Mentoring System
  3. Provide mentoring services in one or more of the following counties: Bennington, Caledonia, Essex, Orleans, Franklin, Grand Isle, Rutland, Windham, and Windsor

The maximum award amount is $50,000. The award period is June 1, 2020 through September 30, 2020. Funds are contingent on final approval from OJJDP for MENTOR Vermont and DCF’s change of scope request. All sub-grantees will be required to meet all OJJDP Special Conditions

Any potential bidder requiring clarification of any section of this RFP or wishing to comment on any requirement of the RFP must submit specific questions in writing by May 12, 2020.

A non-mandatory bidder’s conference was held via GoToMeeting on May 8, 2020. You can watch the recording of the conference here.

Proposals are due by 4:30 p.m. on May 20, 2020.

MENTOR Vermont would like to thank Senator Patrick Leahy and his staff for all of their support in helping MENTOR Vermont and DCF gain access to this federal funding opportunity! After several years of advocacy work led by Senator Leahy’s office, the OJJDP Mentoring Opportunities for Youth Initiative grant criteria was adjusted to enable individual state governments to apply for funding, through a new category dedicated to supporting rural communities inordinately impacted by the opioid crisis. Without the existence of this new category, this grant would not have been possible.