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The Department of Community Affairs (DCA) is dedicated to helping local governments improve the quality of life in every one of the state’s 565 municipalities. Through a variety of programs, DCA’s Division of Local Government Services (DLGS) works with counties and municipalities to streamline government operations and reduce costs and property taxes.  

In 2018, Governor Phil Murphy launched the Shared Services program with the appointment of two “Czars,” former mayors Nicolas Platt and Jordan Glatt, to promote shared services throughout the State. 

In 2019, DLGS established the Local Assistance Bureau (LAB) to provide direct support to local units in a variety of ways. This includes a key collaboration with the Czars and local governments to identify and implement shared services opportunities across the State. 

LEAP is a natural extension of this mission. 

Sharing services offers numerous benefits for participating communities. It reduces costs, delivers municipal services in a more efficient manner, and generates increased value for each dollar spent while ensuring local units remain responsible stewards of the public trust. 

LEAP affords an unprecedented opportunity to incentivize shared services implementation across New Jersey’s local government entities, advancing the mission of the Shared Services Program. LEAP facilitates exploring and establishing shared services. LEAP provides counties, municipalities, school districts, commissions, authorities and fire districts assistance for the study or implementation of promising shared services projects undertaken pursuant to the Uniform Shared Service and Consolidation Act. The program is available to all New Jersey local government units.  

LEAP is comprised of three primary components: Challenge Grants, Implementation Grants, and County Coordinator Fellowship Grants. 

DLGS is responsible for administering the LEAP program. Eligible entities are invited to apply for grant funds under each of the LEAP grants. All information needed to apply is contained in the guidelines and the application package.

Challenge Grants

Allocate funds to the most compelling projects in potentially each of New Jersey’s twenty-one counties, affording municipalities, authorities, and counties the opportunity to compete for grant funding to support efficiency-generating shared services. This grant program is designed to promote innovation among peer communities and counties across New Jersey, and challenge municipalities and counties to collaborate on more extensive partnerships that produce shared services of greater significance than is customary. 

Local units are invited to compete for a share of $150,000 in available funds within each county New Jersey counties, municipalities, school districts, commissions, authorities and fire districts may apply. Any two or more of these entities may submit a joint application seeking funding for a proposal. 

Application Deadline: 2/26/2021 

For further details please see the Grant Guidelines and Application:

Challenge Grant Guidelines 
Challenge Grant Application


Implementation Grants

Allocate funds to help cover costs associated with shared services implementation - including one-time reimbursable costs for project completion or transition support which may include, but are not limited to new technology costs incurred as part of equipping a shared services program, rebranding costs, equipment and vehicle outlays, professional services, rent for facilities, payroll system conversion costs and training. Funding is based on the total transition or implementation cost of a project. 

This grant program also provides for reimbursement of costs associated with school consolidation and countywide school district studies that support the creation of meaningful and implementable regionalization plans. K-12 regionalization and countywide school district studies will be given first priority.

Local units are invited to apply for a share of $3.8 million to offset hard or soft start-up costs related to an implemented shared service initiative. 

Local units are invited to apply for a share of $2 million for costs associated with school consolidation studies. 

Application Deadline: This is a rolling application process. Although there is no deadline for submission, potential applicants are reminded that limited funding is available under the applicable FY2021 appropriation, and any award of funds in the FY2021 funding cycle must be made on or before June 30, 2021.  

For further details please see the Grant Guidelines and Application:

Implementation Grant Guidelines 
Implementation Grant Application
Implementation Grant School Feasibility Study Application


County Coordinator Fellowship Grants

Allocate $50,000 to each county for the purpose of hiring a fellow to work full time with the county and each local unit within the county or any entity with whom they may be able to share services to identify and advance shared service opportunities. 

Each New Jersey county is encouraged to apply for a $50,000 grant for the purpose of funding a one-year full time position. 

Application Deadline: 2/26/2021 

For further details please see the Grant Guidelines and Application:

County Coordinator Fellowship Grant Guidelines
County Coordinator Fellowship Application