COVINGTON — A new cycle of Facebook’s Community Action Grants program is underway, and for the first time the Newton Data Center will participate in the program. The grants benefit area nonprofits and schools.

Locally, grants are available to projects in the region of the Joint Development Authority, which includes Newton, Walton, Morgan and Jasper counties, that do one or more of the following:

• Address critical community needs by putting the power of technology to use for community benefit;

• Connect people online or off;

• Improve local Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) education.

The application period opens Sept. 14 and applications will be accepted through Oct. 16. Having a Facebook page is not required to apply for a grant.

In addition to this program, Facebook has already distributed $1.3 million in COVID-19 relief grants locally this year.

The Facebook Newton Data Center will be working with Charities Aid Foundation of America (“CAF America”) to award grants to successful applicants. Applications may be submitted via the CyberGrants, LLC (“CyberGrants”) platform.

The online application will open on Sept. 14, and the full terms and conditions can be found at https://bit.ly/32li536.

Organizations are permitted to submit one application per grant cycle, with the exception of schools who may apply for multiple grants. Schools are encouraged to notify the superintendent of desired grants to ensure the most competitive and feasible applications are submitted.

Facebook Community Action Grants are intended for registered 501c3 organizations. For-profit companies are not eligible to receive funds through this program.

The funds allocated are intended to be used during the grant cycle in which they are awarded. The project must have demonstrable metrics that can be publicly reported. We ask that an annual report be provided on how the funds are being used and their impact in the community.

This grant program is in partnership with CAF America and CyberGrants LLC.

Grant applications will be reviewed by a committee of Facebook employees and recommended to move forward based on their overall merit and adherence to the guidelines. Facebook partners with CAF America to administer all grant awards.

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I have been editor of the Rockdale Citizen since 1996 and editor of the Newton Citizen since it began publication in 2004. I am also currently executive editor of the Clayton News Daily, Henry Daily Herald and Jackson Progress-Argus.

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