Depending on the sources of funds raised by the VSJF and our strategic market development focus at any given time, our grant making is done in three ways: 1) competitively solicited rounds through a Request for Proposal (RFP) process; 2) staff directed grants for projects where we seek specific outcomes; and 3) VSJF-partner projects where funds are raised for a particular initiative with one or more of our partners.
Each RFP issued by the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund has specific eligibility criteria, submission requirements, deadlines, and evaluation measurements for program outcomes. Please refer to the guidelines of open RFPs before submitting a grant proposal. Click on Apply for a Grant to the right to see if there are any open RFPs →
General Eligibility and Grant Requirements
- Projects must be based in Vermont.
- Work performed must comply with applicable federal, state and municipal law, codes and regulations.
- None of the funds provided may be used to influence legislation or appropriation matters at the state or federal level.
- Equipment records shall be maintained accurately. Recordkeeping protocols are made available upon receipt of a grant award.
- Award recipients shall be responsible for any tax implications resulting from grant funding.
- Quarterly reports and a final written report will be required of all awardees.
- VSJF will retain up to 10% of the award pending receipt of the final report.
SAMPLE: General Timeline and Application Process
|Deadline for Submitting Questions||3 weeks after RFP issued|
|Deadline for Grant Applications||4 weeks after RFP issued|
|VSJF Biofuels Committee reviews applications||6 weeks after RFP issued|
|Notice of Funding Decision||8 weeks after RFP issued|
|Funds Available (if funding source is the US DOE)||20 weeks after RFP issued|
Applications may be submitted via mail, courier, or e-mail. Applications must be received by the grant deadline (i.e. not a post-mark deadline). Applicants submitting hard copies shall submit an original and four double-sided copies. Applicants submitting applications electronically shall provide the application in Microsoft Word and Excel, or Acrobat PDF. Applications should be sent to:
Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund
3 Pitkin Court, Suite 301E
Montpelier, VT 05602
How VSJF Makes Funding Decisions
First, proposals are screened by VSJF staff to make certain they meet the basic eligibility criteria. These include:
- Is the application complete?
- Is the applicant eligible?
- Is the amount requested within the dollar limit identified?
- Does the budget meet the match requirements as detailed in the RFP?
- If a hard copy submission, did the applicant provide the correct number of copies? If an electronic submission, was the application provided in the proper format?
All proposals meeting basic eligibility are reviewed by the Grants Committee comprised of VSJF staff and members of the VSJF Board of Directors. Review may include a request for a site visit or applicant presentation. Reviewers score the proposals based on the evaluation criteria described below. The evaluation will determine which proposals will be recommended for funding to the full VSJF Board of Directors.
Proposals are evaluated on the following:
- Project definition and relevance: Is the project clearly defined? Does the project fit within the goals of the specific RFP? Is the project replicable? Scalable?
- Management capacity: Can the identified personnel make the project happen? Do the applicants have a successful history of running a similar project?
- Leverage and collaboration: Does the project leverage additional financial resources? To what degree are other organizations (e.g., businesses, famers, academia) involved in this project? Does the application have a plan for disseminating information on the project?
- Market build-out: Does the project look to the future of building out Vermont’s biomass-to-biofuels markets?
- Budget: Are the assumptions behind the budget reasonable? Have the project participants secured additional funding to complete the project, if necessary? Can the proposed project happen within the proposed budget?
- Potential impacts: What are the likely positive and negative ecological, social, and economic impacts of the proposed project?
- Experience: Do the project participants have a history of success in the biomass-to-biofuels or related industries? Do the project participants have specific experience based on the RFP?
- Technical feasibility of the project: Are the project objectives feasible? If applicable, does the applicant hold the necessary permits to complete the project or have they outlined a plan for obtaining them? If applicable, does the project offer a creative and innovative approach?
NOTE: Specific RFPs may have additional evaluation criteria; see RFP guidelines for more information.