The Fund Finder News, by Kurt Bradley, Certified Grants Consultant

 

 

If you are on this webpage you have probably resigned yourself to the fact that the “budget axe” has chopped you off at the knees again, and you are faced with the fact that there is no money to get the equipment your department needs to do your job, right?

 

That is why we began this service: to offer grant consultant services to you as public safety professionals. Here you have access to a very comprehensive and informative website bringing you a “one stop shop” for information concerning grants for public safety agencies and first responders. You also have access to 2 of the nation’s top professional public safety grants consultants, to assist you in developing your grants strategy, locating the right grant and developing your applications for these funds. We have provided research tools for your use in getting the statistical data and for finding out what programs are available.

 

Apparently our efforts are working, as departments contact us for assistance every day. We have listened to your wants, needs and desires, and one of the things we consistently hear is, “How do I actually write the grant?”

 

“Investing In the Financial Health of Your Agency”

 

All of us understand that we wish to receive true cost-benefit in the expenditure of what little budget dollars that we have. The public we serve expects us to be good stewards of their tax and donation dollars. You have limited resources in the first place, or you would not have a need to find a grant program to help you out, and we understand that.

 

One of the ways to always ensure that you are maximizing the use of your available budget, is to invest in ways to assure that you have the money in your budget and use the grants process so as not to take away from those allocated budget dollars that you have. This is not something that you learn by having a few conversations with a consultant or reading just a few articles about it. To be really good at what you do, and I believe we all wish to approach our tasks in a professional manner, takes knowledge and a set of tools to properly accomplish the task.

 

Most of us have recognized that we have to “invest” money in ourselves in order to secure our retirement. We use 401ks and IRAs to do this, which are managed by professional financial advisors to stretch and provide growth of those funds. What is the difference between them and us? They were trained to do it!

 

“Maximize Your Ability to Obtain Grants for Your Agency”

 

If you could take $1,000, put it in the bank, and go back within one year and get $25,000 given back to you, how many of you would jump at that opportunity? I know I would! Believe me, I try hard every day to get that kind of return on my personal investments.

 

If you want to play in the “arena of grants”, you have to know the game. Just as you had to learn how to be a public safety professional at the “police academy” or “local fire academy” in order to do your job, you must also learn the rules of engagement if you are going to be successful at obtaining grant money for your agency.

 

Spending a small amount of money to learn how to properly play this game makes absolute perfect sense. You need to be trained how to research and develop grant programs that will be looked upon, by the grant makers, as strong applications and will result in your agency receiving the financial help it deserves.

 

Just as a bank would ask you to produce a business plan to receive a loan to startup your new dream business, a grant maker wants to be sure that your program is going to accomplish what they wish to do. It is not difficult or complicated to learn how to write those plans and present them in a manner so that you do get funded. It just requires proper knowledge.

 

OK, I Want The Training, But Where Do I Get The Money From To Attend The Training?”

 

Even if funds are tight, you can still find the money to attend a training seminar.

 

Remember: $500 has the potential to win your department tens of thousands of dollars in grant funding. Try these ideas to beat the tight budget blues:

 

  • Talk to City Hall about sponsoring. Tell them that in exchange for sending you to the training, you will also use your seminar training to help other departments with grant-writing
  • Approach the local Chamber of Commerce for a donation Talk with area businesses, both local shops and larger companies such as Wal-Mart
  • Run a local phone fund-raising campaign with area citizens
  • Hold a raffle, sponsor a bingo game, a BBQ or car wash etc.
  • Pass the hat. Got a 10-member department? If everyone gives $25, you're halfway there
  • Coordinate with other area departments and pool resources to send people who will use the training to help all the departments with their grant writing

 

Remember one thing: A businessman, and a citizen, loves to see you making efforts to utilize their tax dollars in an efficient, prudent manner. Spending a few bucks to train someone to get thousands back in equipment, means that you are not walking around to them with hat in hand nearly as often. It also means you may not have to be going before their city council every year asking for another tax increase. That, my friend, is sound, efficient, financial management of your budget dollars.

 

Want to attend grant-writing training? See our schedule for a class near you »

 

 

Photo: Orin Zebest