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JAMS Mini-Grant 2017
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JAMS Foundation & NAFCM Mini Grants Program

The JAMS/NAFCM 2017 Mini-Grant/Incentive Support Track IV will focus on the development and refinement of innovative and emerging community mediation center services which will address services for the elder population and care giver issues. These services should be able to be replicated by community mediators throughout the country as a path for sustainability and growth for the field of community mediation, as well as to inform the development of training, evidence-based strategies, policy and research at the national level as well.


 This 2017 opportunity is for those Community Mediation Centers wishing to enhance or expand services that addresses one or more of the issues confronted by the elder/aging population, including care giving. This is a growing population experiencing a growing number of unresolved disputes. Many times, issues of care and finances are based on relational issues that have never been resolved and the values that may be in conflict between the children, parents, and care giver/guardian. The role changes involved when the children rather than the parents act as care giver are not always smooth, and the conversations regarding what is needed from issues such as healthcare and estate resolution are not always easy. The JAMS Foundation/NAFCM support encourages Community Mediation Centers to increase their skills in the broad array of issues that arise as an individual ages. This includes, but is not limited to, issues such as guardianship and medical/legal powers, helping elders, family and support networks of these elders with communication skills as they prepare to help their aging loved ones with transition issues, and how to empower and engage them concerning care issues.


The 2017 Solicitation of  interest can be found, 2017 Submission of Interest.


Important dates if you are considering possible participation in this year’s offer are:


All responses to be received by NAFCM on or before March 13th, 2017 at 11:59 PM applicant's local time.


This page will provide program and application specifics as they become available. Further, during application periods, NAFCM will post all questions and answers to this page. If you have a question please email




Administrative Questions

Was attendance at the Bidders’ Conference an eligibility requirement to apply for the mini-grant?

No. You did not have to attend the Bidders’ Conference in order to submit a reviewable mini-grant proposal.

Where do I find the answers to the questions posed during the Bidders' Conference?

Questions will be answered on the NAFCM FAQ page on the NAFCM web-site.  Please check the web-site proactively to see if there have been any additional questions.  We will be unable to notify every one of new responses to questions. If you have questions that occur to you after this call you can submit them via email to D.G. at ( until Wednesday, March 8th at 11:59 AM your local time.

What do you mean by Community Mediation? 

Broadly, Community Mediation is Community Mobilization. For specifics, please refer to the 9 hallmarks of a Community Mediation Center that located on the NAFCM webpage and within the  Solicitation of Interest.


 Are all nine hallmarks required to be in place to be considered for a Mini-Grant?


  No, there is no expectation that any center has all nine hallmarks working at the highest level.


Does an organization need to be a Community Mediation Center to apply?


Yes, the funded entity must be a Community Mediation Center. A Community Mediation Center embeds the mission that community mediation is community mobilization through offering space and support for the possibility of transformative peace. The Center must have at least one team member trained in mediation and mediation practices. These practices could include, but not necessarily all, formal mediation, facilitated conversations, dialogues, restorative circles, trainings, technical assistance or other services all with the aim to assist others to assist themselves to resolve points of conflict in a manner that leads to peace.

How are questions being answered about this funding opportunity?

Any questions about this funding opportunity will not be answered in a one on one communication. All answers will be posted on the FAQ page. Please regularly check the FAQ page.

Do we need to be a member of NAFCM to have our proposal considered? At what point in the application/decision making process should an applicant become NAFCM members to qualify for consideration?

No you do not need to be member of NAFCM at the time of your proposal submission.   We hope that you will become a NAFCM member because our support for you and your work through our webinars, our clearinghouse, our calendar, our career notices, along with our platforms for connection (listserv, twitter, Facebook), in addition to the Learning Community that supports this grant, is something that strengthens you and advances your work. And NAFCM members are extremely supportive of each other, and just downright amazing for and with each other. With that being said, you do not have to be a NAFCM member unless you do receive the award.

Would you like us to include IRS and 501© 3 and supporting nonprofit documentation?

This is not required.

Will you answer questions by phone?

No. Please put your question in writing.

Does the Community Mediation Center need to be a 501(c)3?

No. The Center may be attached to local government, (law enforcement, health department, town hall) or be embedded in an educational institution. However, whatever the legal form the Center must meet the 9 hallmarks of the Community Mediation Center.


Does the applicant need to be a community mediation center?

Yes, the lead applicant needs to be the community mediation center.

If we currently receive funding from a NAFCM/JAMS Grant, can we also apply for this Grant?

If you are receiving funds from NAFCM/JAMS at the time of the RFP’s release, then you cannot apply to that RFP.  However, you may apply for these funds even if you receive other JAMS funding, as long as that funding is not through the NAFCM/JAMS Foundation Mini-Grant Program

Can Community Mediation Centers located outside of the United States of America apply?


How many Community Mediation Centers will be awarded funding?

Our intent is to move 10 forward to the full submission(RFP) stage, with 5 Centers receiving funding.

Can we partner with other Community Mediation Centers?

You can work with partners but there needs to be a singular entity leading the program and with whom NAFCM will contract.

Are you looking to spread out the money geographically, or would two centers in the same region have a chance of both receiving funding?

Numerous applications from a single region will not affect your chance of funding. Last year award an application in Orange County California and Los Angeles County California, two contagious southern California counties. The first year there were two centers form New York State and two centers from New England. The quality of proposal is the determining factor during the review.

Budget Clarifications

Does the  Solicitation of Interest (Si) require a budget?

No. Please do not present a budget in your response to the SI, if you are invited to submit a full proposal then a budget will be required.

What funding is available, and for how long?

A selected center may receive up to $24,000 over two years. The second year of funding is contingent on a successful noncompetitive reapplication for second year of funding at $12,000.

When does the grant start, and with that reimbursement for expenses?

The grant starts after Labor Day in September. When we enter budget negotiations in August we will also be exploring reimbursement options.

One of the questions asked about including admin support in the budget, which was rejected.  Can we include items such as utilities, rent, telephone, etc. since they are utilized while we are conducting our work?

Again the SI is not asking for a budget. If you are invited into the next round you will be requested to draft a budget. The key is does the item within your budget align with the need of the work. What was stated is that you cannot just write 10% 1,200 to admin. Why? Because we want to help others to know what are the real cost of this work if they opt to move into this area of mediation. Therefore, yes you can spend those funds which are typically administrative expenses, such as telephone, rent, utilities with these resources. You will need to spell out those expenses in your budget so others know that is the real cost.

Our Project has a robust community mediation service already well placed in the community. May we use funds from this grant to support current and ongoing operations, or are the funds intended to support new operations (new expenses)?

The use of the funds should best fit the community’s needs. Therefore, yes, if the submission supports the determination that supporting the current and ongoing operations of the Center is the best use of the funds to continue the Center’s ability to mediate, facilitate and train regarding helping others navigate cultural differences, then this is how they may be allocated. However, there are at the minimum two immediately new expenses of time. First, the lead person for the project would be expected to participate fully in the learning community team. This team meets twice a month for two hours in September, October and November and then monthly thereafter from December to June. Second, there will be data collection efforts using instruments introduced during these sessions. These efforts include the creation of a local logic model, building on the national logic model, a completion of a data log and then the stakeholder process. All of this is designed, as with the two presently on-going learning communities, to both strengthen and enhance the individual Center’s efforts and to offer insight for community mediation as a whole. If you go to the banner on the NAFCM web page (, you will read more about the individual centers experience of the learning community team.

What percentage of the budget numbers should go toward developing the program and how much toward offering the services?

Budgets will be negotiable. The focus on staff time is key. The proposal has discretion to make some of these choices between the set line items. Budgets may be different from year 1 to year 2.

May we use the funds of this grant to pay for our NAFCM membership?

No, you may not use these funds to pay for your NAFCM membership. Do we have to, in our budget, list the additional financial or in-kind support our partners would be providing? No you do not have to add in-kind to the budget table.  But you should talk about your in-kind support as a response to both questions.  In Part 2 the focus is on how that in-kind demonstrates your community support and your path for sustaining this focus after this mini-grant ends. In Part 3 the focus is on how the resources that will support this effort are larger than the $12,000.00 you are requesting in this mini-grant application.

May we ask for indirect cost?

Yes, but the items must be spelt out. While a budget is not required in the Solicitation of Interest, there will need to be a budget for the RFP submission. Anything that can be justified as needed to support the proposed scope of effort is appropriate to be funded. Each item needs to be specified (so no general “Admin” category) along with the connection to your program proposal. This assist in fully documenting the cost of the proposed scope of work

Initial Expectations of Grantees - Staffing and Evaluation

I was hoping you could clarify the staff member requirement. Given at-will employment, will my organization still be eligible for grant funds if the proposed staff member decides to leave after the grant is received, so long as another staff member is able and available to implement the grant for the original time dedicated to the Mini-Grant in the grant application?

Yes. However, a change in staffing after submission would require a review of that staff person’s resume and most likely a phone call between them and a representative of NAFCM. The key here is that the new staff person has the ability to participate fully in the Learning Community process and has a relationship with both the community that is the focus of your efforts.

How many hours of work will the staff person need?

That is something that is up to the discretion of the program, the SI does not have a particular staff model in mind. These funds may be used to move in different directions and explore opportunities in this area. The staffing will depend on the local circumstances.

Will there be a grantee evaluation process?

Yes, the process will be a collaborative effort between the grantees, NAFCM, and the JAMS Foundation.

Will the work product be shared with JAMS Foundation network?

The work product will be shared through the NAFCM Clearinghouse and other NAFCM platforms.

Will the agency which is awarded the grant have to conduct the needs assessment or can the information be gained by others?

We do not expect a Community Mediation Center to implement a full scale evaluation. However, the items listed in the grant will be expected to be a part of those data points collected or you are not able to obtain a particular data point another data point will be negotiated with you if you are selected. In the learning community, you may gather information from other resources to strengthen your needs assessment for your center and learn how to submit the data.

What sort of documentation/reporting will you be looking for?

Reporting is done on an ongoing basis through the Learning Community. NAFCM files a quarterly report on your behalf the learning community for the JAMS Foundation.

Are there any specific program features you’re looking for to make sure a proposed program is replicable?

We are looking for programs that are sustainable, that have partnerships in their community that know and experience the value of your program, that are able to document concrete impacts after the first year and a half because of the changes you have made and are implementing. These are covered in-depth in the first few months of the Learning Community.

Is there a target number of clients to be assisted with this grant?

No, we are not asking applicants to specify a target number for your program’s reach.

Do we need to know now who our point person on the grant, that person who would participate in the learning community?

No, you do not need to know now, however your application will be strengthened if you were able identify one team member who will be responsible for the implementation of the Mini-Grant and that this member will participate in monthly Learning Community calls and web-based meetings. However, please do not include any resumes.

How much support time to administer the grant?

4 fours a month in meetings for the first few months. Then the team meetings monthly for the remainder of the year. The time between these meetings would depend on your individual circumstances.

Learning Community 

What sort of time commitment is required in the Learning Community?

Initially the group will meet 2 times a month via ZOOM for 2 hours each session, which should taper off to once a month after 4 to 5 months. This is a web-based meeting.This is the time to step back, create a logic model and look at the situation through local needs assessments.

What is the purpose of the Learning Community?

The learning community is there to support everyone and strengthen both individual and collective impact within your local community, across the membership of NAFCM as well as with national stakeholders.

What kind of support does NAFCM provide to the Learning Community?

NAFCM supports the Learning Community through regular group and individual meetings. NAFCM will listen to what you want to accomplish, the needs that have to be met to accomplish that, and what is needed to get there; focused on your sustainable success.

Will there be any written materials coming out of the Learning Community?

The Learning Community will decide what resources and documents to produce. You can view previous Learning Community resources in our Toolkits section on the NAFCM webpage.

If I am not sure about the workings of the Learning Community how can I answer question 5?

Tell us what are you curious about what you do hope to get out of this project beyond the $24,000.00 over two years. Then how will being part of a national learning community designed to help you plan (logic model) assess need and capacity (data log), assess readiness and capacity (listening practice) before planning, implementing evaluating your proposed project be of a benefit to you and your community.

Will the centers be working with NAFCM and the other grantees?

Yes, the mini-grant program looks to strengthen the entire field. Funded organizations will have the opportunity to work collaboratively with NAFCM and other grantees on a regular basis. There is the requirement that all grantees will attend at least one monthly group meeting, beginning in September to enhance programming, shared resources and best practices.

Will monthly meetings for grantees be face-to-face?

No, these meetings will be held electronically.

Will outcomes be addressed in the Learning Community?  Will we be talking about things that we want to track within the Learning Community?

Yes, the first thing we will work on is a logic model which will serve as our road map for our first year together. In the proposal you are asked to present your intents and outcomes in a broad sense, those items will be clarified through the Learning Community process.


 If I receive the award, may more than one person participate on the Learning Community calls representing our project?


 Yes, the project may have more than one person recognized as the representative of the project.  However, all those who are representatives of the project and are members of the Learning Community must attend each meeting set for the Learning Community.  This is a time to be real and that requires knowing each other by spending consistent time together.  Any changes in the representative, or the absence of a representative from the Learning Community meeting may be a potential impediment to continue in the Learning Community.


How are we defining the “aging population”?

We look to you to define “aging population,” but we would expect no younger than the age of 55.

How are you defining “caregivers”?

“Caregiver” is defined broadly—they could be individuals, institutions, agencies, organizations, etc. We hope that you will look at your communities to determine where the greatest needs are that can be assisted to be addressed through the presence of your community mediation center and the use of your community mediation center’s skills.

What is your definition of “sustainable”?

Sustainable for us means that the program will still continue after the lifecycle of this grant. We are not focusing on how that will be continued (i.e. where the funding comes from) but rather that the efforts will continue past the 2 year grant cycle. The intent is for this funding opportunity to strengthen your impact and increase the benefits you offer your community.


 Can you define "significant" in the second SI bullet, "the aging population will play a significant or substantial role in the delivery of the process"? Perhaps an example would answer this question best?


 Significant would mean that elder /aging individuals have a lead role in the delivery of the project/program you propose.  Substantial would be that the elder/aging individuals have a facilitative role in the delivery of the project/program.  Without knowing the details of the project /program making an assessment if the role is either would be difficult to assess. Keep in mind though that our intent is to resource efforts where your center is working with not doing something to the elder/aging population.

Project Focus of Mini-Grant

         Can a proposal include plans to meet one of the hallmarks? Specifically, I'm referring to the use of               volunteers.


          Yes, that is the second priority, the one that request that you demonstrate how the aging population plays or          will  play a significant or substantive role in the delivery of the process for which you are seeking resources.               This is  embedded Hallmark 2.  Be aware that you should attempt to address the other two priorities, if                    applicable to your project proposal.


          In the mini-grant information I had read about an initial pilot related to the current mini-          grant program.  Are you able, please, to direct me to information on that pilot? 



         We do not have a particular program or pilot in mind, the work needs to fit your interest and your                    capacity.  For the resources you are proposing a pilot, whether this is a startup or an expansion or an          enhancement that you believe your community needs and can support.


Are you looking for an example of an efforts we have already done? Or – is it more specific regarding what we are proposing for this grant?

We are looking at capacity – so – what you have done to date – give an example and let the reviewer know how that experience and the steps your took to develop that experience are possibly transferrable to this focus. If you have implement elder and caregiver training, facilitation, dialogues etc.  already mention that in your response.


 The SI refers to conflicts between seniors and their caregivers. Our budding project takes place in senior housing developments and the conflict resolution happens between senior residents and/or and building staff. Does this qualify under the Mini-Grant program?


 Yes, from your description you would qualify.


 I wanted to double check my understanding of the notes I wrote from the bidder’s conference call for the SOI. Within the project description, you would like to see us include hallmarks 3, 4, 6 and 7 in the   paragraph that asks to describe the population to be served and your community mediation center’s   access to that population. You would like us to address hallmark 2 in the paragraph that asks to   describe the nature of the proposed project and the need for this project (salient intended impacts and    important benefits to be obtained if the project is funded.) We should incorporate hallmarks 1,5, 8 and    9 into the third paragraph of our project description, where we provide evidence that exhibits the     capacity of the community mediation center to integrate those hallmarks associated with the priority     areas of the proposal?

         The request is to anchor your response to question 3 within the framework of the Hallmarks. When you                    craft your response to the first priority, we are asking you anchor that presentation in one of the listed                         hallmarks, not all 4 hallmarks.  So for the first priority use   one of the hallmarks (3, 4, 6 OR 7) to anchor                    your conversation.  The same is true when you address the third priority, use one of the hallmarks 1, 5, 8               OR    9) to anchor your response.  The only Hallmark that we ask all respondents to use is Hallmark  2, when          you present your response to the second priority.  So in the end, you will use three of the  Hallmarks to anchor          your response to the priorities of this funding opportunity.

How are we defining the “aging population”?

We look to you to define “aging population,” but we would expect no younger than the age of 55.

If we already have programs serving the elderly, can we apply for this grant to enhance those programs?

Yes, we are interested in both strengthening or expanding established programs as well as supporting the development of new program.The first few months of the Learning Community you will be working together to help each other step back and look at what is the greatest present need and how best can your center serve to help meet that need.

How are you defining “caregivers”?

“Caregiver” is defined broadly—they could be individuals, institutions, agencies, organizations, etc. We hope that you will look at your communities to determine where the greatest needs are that can be assisted to be addressed through the presence of your community mediation center and the use of your community mediation center’s skills.

What do we need to show to meet the request of question 2?

Describe the nature of the proposed project and the need for this project (what are salient intended impacts and the important benefits to be obtained if the project is funded. The focus here is not on what you are going to do, but the impacts you hope to have with the elder and care giver population, increasing their knowledge of mediation skills, or changing their attitudes as to the best decision making process or event their behavior when conflict arises. In other words, what do you hope to learn or create if invited into this partnership.

For question 3, what hallmarks do we need to cite examples for?

Applicants must cite evidence for three hallmarks. That means one hallmark from priority 1. Priority will be given to projects that focus on developing conflict resolution skills that will assist aging/elder populations to address issues arising between them and caregivers (individuals or institutions). This focus incorporates Hallmark 3, Hallmark 4, Hallmark 6, and Hallmark 7. One hallmark from priority 2. Priority will be given to projects in which the aging population plays a significant or substantive role in the delivery of the process. This focus incorporates Hallmark 2. And one hallmark from priority 3. Priority will be given to projects that arise from grassroots efforts, comprised of a strong base of diverse stakeholders, who are representative of their community of aging individuals and caregivers. This focus incorporates Hallmark 1, Hallmark 5, Hallmark 8, and Hallmark 9. You do not need to be on the top of your game on each of these priorities, but you do need to tell us where you are with them.

In Question 1 (about the target population) do you want us to respond about our work in general, not our present work with the elder and elder caregiver populations?

If you have experience with the elder or elder caregiver population, please answer the question from that rubric of experience. If you do not experience with the population but have strong desire to begin to offer community mediation as tools for these populations to use to address their concerns, then respond with examples of what you are doing now that could be transferable to working with elders and the elder caregiver population.

For Question 3, during the webinar you described how Hallmark 2 must be addressed but the others can be chosen. Why Hallmark 2?

There are three priorities listed, we are seeking centers who are impacting all three priorities. Hallmark 2 is the only hallmark noted for the second priority and that is why when you are going to talk about that priority you would need to address Hallmark 2.

I understand that we will need to demonstrate at least one hallmark listed under each of the 3 priorities, so I am assuming that we will need to meet all 3 priorities to be considered for full application, is that correct?

Yes, as best as you are able to do so. The reviewer will be looking for projects that propose to address the mediation needs of the aging /elder population (priority 1), that the center has or is open to the aging/elder population having a role in the delivery of the services (priority 2) and that the center has or is open to including these diverse stakeholders, aging individuals and caregivers, in the decision-making about how the center develops and connects with the aging and care giver population (priority 3).

Under priority 3, JAMS/NAFCM are asking for this to arise from grassroots efforts, however, if we are seeking partners, the program is really "arising" from our organization, not other grass root sources. Is this correct?

No. The idea to offer the skills and tools of community mediation to the aging/elder population and/or elder caregivers does not need to come from the field (our ability to help others create transformative peace is still unknown by so many); but, that you are committed to have their voice and their collaboration (grass roots) to help in the building of what you may offer. Providing an example of how you have worked with others would help to demonstrate your ability to work among those you are also serving. In other words, you should not and do not need to wait to be approached by people within the elder/caregiver population to qualify for this opportunity.

Can I meet priority 3, grassroots, if I hosted a focus group of elders to inform my center about their concerns and needs?

Yes, that would one way to integrate in grassroots perspectives into the decision making process and could be in proposal if funded.

Can I meet priority 3, that my center has a strong base of diverse stakeholders, if we are partnering with a local senior care center; using elder volunteer/staff mediators of various demographics to deliver training and mediation services; and engaging the residents of this senior center to inform us of their needs/desires?

Yes. The use of trainers from this population would also meet priority two, having the aging/elder population having a role in the delivery of services.

Submission Clarifications

How do you want to receive the proposal?

By electronic mail in a word document.  Interested organizations are required to submit a 1-3-page Solicitation of Interest (SI) to NAFCM no later than 11:59 PM local time of the organization’s legal/main location, by Monday, March 13, 2017 to No late submission can be accepted.

Can we exceed the page limit ?


Who should the grant be addressed to?

Please address the letters of partnership to Mr. D.G. Mawn, President, NAFCM.

Where should electronic submissions be sent?

All electronic application materials should be emailed to

May we submit our response by hard copy?

All submissions are to be received electronically.

What attachments should we include?

None. The cover letter is needed as well as the response to the overview and 5 questions.

What should we name this when we send this by email?

When you send your proposal to please make sure in the re: you list the name of your center and what is attached.  For example you may say: Babylon CMC RFP narrative and budget part 1 of 2.   This allows me to know there will be a second email that may say: Babylon CMC RFP Attachment A thru E part 2 of 2.

May an applicant who is currently receiving funds through the NAFCM/JAMS mini-grant apply for these funds?


May the font size in the tables be at Times New Roman 10 while the text is at Times New Roman 12?


What attachments should we include?

None. The cover letter is needed as well as the response to the overview and 5 questions.

Before I begin answering the 5 questions what type of introduction should I provide?

In your Si provide first in one or two paragraphs on the first of the up to three pages the following basic information: your Name/Address of the Community Mediation Center; Contact Person (and necessary contact information) for this proposal; and, Community Mediation Center’s previous work that demonstrates the ability to bring mediation concepts to sustainable scale (1-2 paragraphs only).

For the 7 elements in the cover letter, do you want us to copy these verbatim and verify that we are meeting them, or are you looking for people to expand on these?

The only expansion would be either you have met these commitments, or you state that you will meet these commitments. This cover letter is not a time to be creative.





JAMS Foundation & NAFCM Mini Grants Program

NAFCM and the JAMS Foundations continue their exciting multi-year partnership to support the community mediation field. This innovative, Community Mediation Mini-Grant Program will provide approximately $125,000 a year to support up to 10 Community  Mediation Centers. 


The partnership’s grant recipients will not only receive funding to develop and strengthen the next generation of community mediation programming, but will also be a part of a grantee working groups that will serve as incubators for innovation through structured ongoing peer contact coordinated by NAFCM. This will allow us to create a program that goes beyond just funding and supporting services at an individual community mediation center but also creating materials and resources that can be shared with the hundreds of community mediation programs throughout the country.

These Centers completed the Veterans 2014- 2016 Learning Community:

Arkansas Community Dispute Resolution Centers, Inc. (Little Rock, Arkansas);

Child and Family Services, Center for Resolution and Justice (Buffalo, New York);

Community Mediation Services, Volunteers of America of Northern New England (Brunswick, Maine);

Mandell Gisnet Center for Conflict Management at Monterey College of Law (Monterey, California);

Mediation Matters (Albany, New York); and,

Quabbin Mediation (Orange, Massachusetts).

These Centers completed the Law Enforcement 2015- 2017 Learning Community:

Community Mediation- Baltimore (Baltimore, Maryland);

Community Mediation Services (New Orleans,  Louisiana).

Dayton Mediation Center (Dayton, Ohio); and,

Piedmont Dispute Resolution Center (Warrenton, Virginia).

These Centers completed the first year of the Navigating Cultural Differences 2016- 2017 Learning Community:

Mid-Shore Community Mediation Center (Easton, Maryland);

New Bedford Face to Face Mediation Center (New Bedford, Massachusetts)

Orange County Human Relations (Santa Ana, California); and,

The California Conference for Equality and Justice (Long Beach, California).


See what the learning community is saying about NAFCM here.



This page will provide program and application specifics as they become available. Further, during the application period, NAFCM will post all questions and answers to this page. If you have a question please email

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