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Multistate Mentoring Programs Initiative


Additional Links

Notice of Funding Opportunity (


Application Deadline: Mar 23, 2021

Sponsoring Organization

Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP)


Awards funding to strengthen existing multistate mentoring programs and increase the number of young people who benefit from having mentors. Supports multiple mentoring approaches, including one-on-one, group, or peer mentoring, to promote positive behaviors and outcomes for youth ages 17 or younger at risk for juvenile delinquency, victimization, and justice system involvement. Programs should directly address the issue of bullying and aim to reach a broad, diverse youth population, including youth affected by drug addiction, children of parents on active military duty, children of incarcerated parents, and youth in rural communities.

Program consists of two grant categories:

  • Category 1 grants support organizations that provide youth mentoring services in at least 5 states but fewer than 45 states.
  • Category 2 grants support organizations that provide youth mentoring services in 4 or fewer states.

Applicants must provide mentoring services to youth who are 17 years old or younger at the time of admission to the program.

Program objectives and deliverables include:

  • Increase the number of youth receiving mentoring services
  • Increase or maintain the number of well-trained mentors
  • Provide high-quality mentoring services to meet the needs of the target youth population
  • Identify and implement strategies to enhance program design in one or more of the 6 core practice areas listed in the Elements of Effective Practice for Mentoring
  • Promote family engagement as part of the program design or mentoring approach
  • Demonstrate Category 1 applicants' ability to provide mentoring services with the broadest reach and organizational capacity

For this opportunity, rural is defined as all populations, housing, and territory not included within an urban area, as determined by the Office of Management and Budget.

Amount of Funding

Award ceiling:

  • Category 1: $4,000,000
  • Category 2: $500,000

Estimated number of awards:

  • Category 1: 10
  • Category 2: 12

Project period: 36 months
Estimated total program funding: $26,000,000

Who Can Apply

Eligible Category 1 applicants are mentoring organizations that have operated an established mentoring program for at least 3 years and have active chapters or subawardees in at least 5 states but fewer than 45 states.

Eligible Category 2 applicants are mentoring organizations that have operated an established mentoring program for at least 3 years and have active chapters or subawardees in four or fewer states.

Priority is given to applicants who propose to address challenges in rural communities, benefit individuals in high-poverty areas or persistent-poverty counties, and enhance public safety in economically distressed communities or Qualified Opportunity Zones. Priority is also given to applicants who partner with a law enforcement agency.

To receive a rural priority consideration, applicants must describe:

  • What makes the geographic service area rural using U.S. Census Bureau or other appropriate government data
  • How isolated that area is from needed services
  • How they will address specific public safety challenges in rural communities

To receive a poverty priority consideration, applicants must provide information to demonstrate that the individuals who are intended to benefit from the requested grant reside in high-poverty areas or persistent poverty counties.

For this funding opportunity, high-poverty areas are described as any census tract with a poverty rate of at least 20%, as measured by the 2013-2017 5-year data series from the American Community Survey. Persistent poverty counties are described as any county that has had 20% or more of its population living in poverty over the past 30 years, as measured by the 1990 and 2000 decennial censuses and the most recent Small Area Income and Poverty Estimates.

To receive a priority consideration for a Qualified Opportunity Zone, applicants must include information that specifies how the project will enhance public safety in a specified Qualified Opportunity Zone.

To receive a priority consideration for partnership with a law enforcement agency, applicants must submit a memorandum of understanding (MOU) or analogous document and describe how they will incorporate opportunities for youth and law enforcement engagement into their program model.

In fiscal year (FY) 2021, all state, local, and university and college law enforcement agencies must be certified by an approved independent credentialing body or have started the certification process in order to be eligible for grant funding.

Geographic Coverage


What This Program Funds

Capacity Building • Operating Costs and Staffing • Training Providers

Application Process

Application instructions, requirements, and other information about the online application process can be found in the funding announcement.

Eligible organizations may only apply under one funding category.

In FY 2021, there is a new two-step application submission process. To be considered timely, the applicant must have received a validation message from the submission and the full application must be submitted in JustGrants by the respective deadlines.

  • Step 1: Applicants will submit an SF-424 and an SF-LLL in by the March 23, 2021 deadline.
  • Step 2: Applicants will submit the full application, including attachments, in the JustGrants grants management system by the April 9, 2021 deadline.

Applicant webinar recording
Applicant frequently asked questions


For questions on submitting in

For questions on submitting in JustGrants:

For programmatic and technical questions:
National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) Response Center
TTY at 301-240-6310
Live chat

Topics This Program Addresses

Community Supervision • Justice System • Substance Use Disorder • Youth