2020-2021 NJEA Grant Cycle

The New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), as a Sustainable Jersey for Schools program Underwriter, is contributing $180,000 to support a Sustainable Jersey for Schools Grants Program cycle. With this contribution, NJEA has provided $1,500,000 to support a sustainable future for children and communities across the state. 

In recognition of the radically altered environment schools face due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the national movement for racial justice, project proposals that support teaching and learning in a virtual or hybrid environment and those that address equity and anti-bias initiatives are encouraged. Additionally, Sustainable Jersey will be flexible with all grant recipient requests to modify their project scope, timeline, and budget due to changing circumstances.

Eligibile Applicants

  • Be a New Jersey Public School District or School that is registered with the Sustainable Jersey for Schools program with a NJEA local association, AND have appointed a Green Team that meets the Green Team action standard.  The $2,000 grants are only for registered schools with green teams.
  • For more detailed requirements, visit the Eligibility Requirements page.

Online Application Information

The 2020-2021 Sustainable Jersey for Schools Grants Program cycle funded by NJEA will award:

  • Ten (10) $10,000 project grants to school districts and schools

  • Forty (40) $2,000 grants to support school green teams

Online Application Deadline EXTENDED: Friday, December 4, 2020 at 11:59pm

  • For more information download the Application Information Packet here


Click HERE for the $10,000 School District and School Grant Application
Click HERE for the $2,000 School Grant Application

All applications must be submitted using the online application portal (shown below) via the links above. In order to apply, an applicant must first sign up for an application. This is true for both new applicants and those who have previously applied in past cycles.

Each Sustainable Jersey for Schools Grant cycle is unique. Information on previously submitted applications including the login information is not carried over. However, the same login information (email and password) that was used previously can be used to sign up for a new application.


Additionally, if a person is submitting multiple proposals, they must sign up for an application for each proposal using a different email address. For example, if one person is charged with completing a $2,000 grant application for three schools in their district, the email used to sign up for each application must be different.

You may save your work, log out, and resume your in-progress application at any time by using the login feature. However, once submitted, you will no longer be able to access the application. Drafts of the application will automatically save every 5 minutes and a "save draft" button is available at the end of the application form. It is encouraged to save manually using the button often.

Be sure to record the email address and password for each application. Grant recipients will need that information to log into the system to complete the required reports.

Grant Award Notifications

Grant applicants will be notified of the status of their grant via email in mid-February 2021. A press event for grant recipients will be held in mid-March.


Informational Webinar

Watch the recording of the informational webinar that includes an overview of the grants cycle, tips on crafting a successful proposal, a walk-through of the online application and time to answer participant questions. You can watch the webinar here and review the presentation slides here.


Use of Grant Funding

Eligible grant expenses include staff stipends, consultant or contractor service fees (e.g., for content expertise, marketing, and/or technology), equipment, training and educational materials or related expenses, project supplies, and promotional items. Promotional items should not comprise more than 10% of the proposed grant budget. Promotional items include “give-aways” such as refillable water bottles, t-shirts, bags, etc., and incentives or awards such as prizes, gift cards, refreshments, etc. Facilities and administrative (overhead) costs may NOT be charged to the grant. Matching or in-kind contributions are encouraged, but not required.

NOTE: Energy-related projects ARE NOT eligible for funding.  However, they are eligible for funding under Sustainable Jersey’s separate grants cycle funded by the Gardinier Environmental Fund that is focused specifically on energy initiatives. More information on energy-related grants can be found on the Grants and Resources page of sustainablejerseyschools.com once the cycle is announced.


$10,000 Grants

  • $10,000 grants must be used to fund all or part of a project that will earn points for an action in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Program.
  • The project should leverage partnerships with parents and community resources and include an outreach component focused on promoting community awareness of the project.
  • Recipients of a $10,000 grant must have fully expended all of their grant funds, completed their project, and submitted their final report by August 31, 2021.

$2,000 Grants

  • $2,000 grants can be used for general school green team expenses or for a specific project that will contribute to earning points for an action in the Sustainable Jersey for Schools Program.
  • Recipients of a $2,000 grant must have fully expended all of their grant funds, completed their project, and submitted their final report by February 28, 2021.

Grant Writing Resources

Grant writing resources that provide tips on how to write a good grant proposal and additional in-kind and funding resources to explore are available here on the Sustainable Jersey for Schools website.

Successful grant applications often represent innovative projects underway throughout the state, and can act as a model and generate ideas for other municipalities.  Grant applications should always relate to the completion of a Sustainable Jersey for Schools action, or an innovative project. 


Evaluation Criteria

Always make sure to carefully review the evaluation criteria, as this is what the selection committee bases their application reviews on.


This Grants Program cycle is funded by:

If you have any questions, please contact grants@sustainablejersey.com

or call Kaitlyn Vollmer at 609-771-3189.


The Grant Management System is provided by WizeHive