Mini-Grants Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Why do I indicate a collaborating partner on my application? 

    The NGCP was created to maximize access to shared resources within projects and with public and private sector organizations and institutions interested in expanding girls’ participation in STEM. To do this, we use Mini-Grants as an incentive to encourage collaboration between existing programs and organizations.

  2. Does my collaborating partner need to be:

    In The Connectory? Yes. 

    All collaborating programs or organizations involved in any Mini-Grant project must be registered in the newly expanded NGCP Program Directory, known as The Connectory. Registration allows programs and organizations in your area to identify and collaborate with one another to build a stronger girl-serving STEM network.

    In my state? No. 

    As long as all programs or organizations involved in a collaborative project are registered in the NGCP Program Directory, collaborating partners can be located anywhere in the United States.

    A new collaboration for my program? It is highly recommended. 

    Preference will be given to projects that include a new collaboration. In addition, NGCP Mini-Grants cannot be used as sustaining funds for existing programs. If you plan to apply for a Mini-Grant with a partner with whom you already collaborate, you must use Mini-Grant funds to enhance or improve the project. For example, perhaps you identify and integrate new evaluation practices or you bring in a third partner who works with girls in a population you would like to target. 

    Your collaborating partner must be from a different organization. Collaborative partners from different departments within an institution (i.e., university) are acceptable; however, an additional partner that adds value to the project from outside the organization must also be selected.

  3. What do you mean by exemplary practices? 

    Exemplary practices refer to strategies, curricula, and resources that have research and/or evaluation data to support their effectiveness. One of the goals of NGCP is to strengthen the capacity of existing and evolving girl-serving STEM organizations by disseminating exemplary practices related to engaging girls in STEM, collaboration, and evaluation and assessment. The NGCP website contains a variety of resources to help Mini-Grant applicants incorporate exemplary practices into their projects.

  4. Can I still apply for a Mini-Grant if my program currently doesn’t do much evaluation? Yes. 

    NGCP Mini-Grants exist to build the capacity of girl-serving STEM programs to incorporate sound evaluation practices in their program activities. If your program currently does not conduct evaluation of program efforts, you can use some of the Mini-Grant funds to identify and incorporate evaluation tools into your efforts.

  5. Can I still apply for a Mini-Grant if my program doesn’t have a source for matching funds? Yes.

    Applicants for NGCP Mini-Grants are encouraged, but not required to have matching funds from other organizations.

  6. How soon do I get the money?

    NGCP Mini-Grants are administered by regional or state teams across the country. Each region determines the Mini-Grant timeline for that area. The leadership team outlines the details of the timeline for your area. Generally, you will receive a check within 60- 90 days of your region’s application deadline. Funding cannot be applied to a project that has already completed activities.

  7. What are my reporting requirements after the project is completed? 

    All funded Mini-Grants are required to participate in NGCP evaluation activities. Project directors will be contacted by the project evaluators via e-mail in the quarter that immediately follows the completion of the funded project. The e-mail will include directions and a link to an online reporting form used by the evaluation team to collect data on Mini-Grant projects. The reports will be used to gauge the impact of NGCP Mini-Grants nationwide and help the NGCP Leadership Team make improvements to the Mini-Grant process.

    The report asks Mini-Grantee program directors to report:

    Basic project facts including the area of STEM focus, frequency of meetings with participants, program duration, number of staff and volunteers involved.

    Basic participant information and demographics including the number of participants, ethnicity and grade level of participants.

    Collaboration activities including the value of the collaboration to the Mini-Grant project.

    Reflection on overall effectiveness and success of the project including description of the use of NGCP exemplary practices.

  8. What are allowable uses for Mini-Grant funds? 

    Generally, NGCP Mini-Grant funds will be allowed for:

    Food (refreshments for meetings, lunches for participants, etc.)

    Transportation costs (buses)

    Educational software

    Hardware related to educational activities (robotics kits, etc.)

    Essential project/activity supplies

    Uses of Mini-Grant funds that are not allowable include, but are not limited to, the following:

    Alcoholic beverages

    Indirect charges/administrative overhead

    Capital expenditures

    Computer hardware (servers, desktops, laptops, tablets, etc.)