Public Safety Grants: Getting Started

If your agency is flush with funding dollars, you can stop reading now. However, if your agency faces the challenge of shrinking budgets coupled with increased responsibilities, the subject of grants and other supplemental funding is probably of interest for you. Now is the perfect time to start identifying opportunities for the next budget cycle. Finding a grant for which your agency is eligible and that also meets your needs can be one of the most difficult steps in your funding process. The following outlines some key tips on how to get started.   

 

Research

 

 

Why Grant Applications Need Letters of Support

Departments frequently ask me, "Why should I solicit letters of support for my grant applications?" So let's take a few minutes here and discuss letters of support (LOS). It's an important but little understood part of putting together a solid grant application. More...

 

 

One of the Best Grant Research Resources: City-Data.com

During the past 10 years that I have been teaching grant writing across the country, I am consistently asked "Where do I go to find out all the information and statistics that you are saying needs to be included in my grant applications?" Here's my answer. More...

 

 

AFG Prep: Lessons Learned from 2013 and What to Expect for 2014

At the recent FRI–IAFC convention in Dallas, officials from the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) program put on a town hall-style meeting and presented some information that will be useful to all of those who wish to apply to the program in 2014. More...

 

 

Bullet Proof Vests for Firefighters: Funding Through AFG Grants

Many of you are aware that with the occurrence of active shooter and mass casualty incidents (AS/MCI) there has arisen a strong argument for making Ballistic Protection Equipment ( BPE) available to firefighters and EMTs to use in the "warm" zone of these critical incidents More...

 

 

Cowboy Up: What To Do When Your Grant Is Rejected

The letter has just arrived from the funding source! You have been sitting on pins and needles for months now, waiting to hear if your grant was funded or not. You open the letter... But the news is bad. You’ve been declined funding. What are you going to do now? More...

 

 

Making the Cut and Justifying the Need

Grant reviewers have become increasingly more demanding and critical of applicants in making their decisions regarding who will, or will not, be funded. If you’re going to make the cut for a grant, you can’t just state you need something—you have to justify the need. More...

 

 

The One Thing You Must Do Before Applying for Federal Grants

No matter your industry, field or status, if you want to apply for Federal grants your organization MUST be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM.gov). No registration, no application. No registration, no award. It's that stark and clear, folks. We're going to walk you through what SAM.gov is, and how you can register your department. More...

 

 

How Do I Actually Write a Public Safety Grant?

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? More...

 

 

Start Preparing for FY2013 AFG Now

If you are like most Fire/EMS agencies who applied to the 2012 Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program, you are currently finding yourself in one of 3 positions. More...

 

 

What Separates the Winners from the Losers in Grants?

Most public safety agencies fight a continuous and ongoing battle in funding their existence. Shrinking tax bases, poor economy and swings from the budget axe all take their toll on departments daily and have become the norm, instead of an occasional problem area. Most fundraising activities, if you are allowed to conduct them, are only marginally successful. Generally they allow you to keep fuel in your vehicles, keep the lights lit and the phones turned on at the station, but little else. So how do we continue to wrestle with this beast and yet continue to keep our employees operating safely? More...

 

 

Start Your Department’s Financial Planning, NOW!

The end of the year is in sight, and you should begin planning you department’s financial health strategy, right now. Departments should begin planning how you are going to allocate your dollars, and utilize them, in the most effective strategy to benefit your departments, citizens and officers. More...

 

 

Anonymous Donors: An Informed Public Is A Helpful Public

You never know where help may come from, and I say that from personal experience. One day a patrolman was sitting in a small coastal Florida police department writing a report, when a citizen walked in off the street and asked where the department motorcycle unit was. More...

 

 

The 5 W’s of Successful Grant Writing

Writing and composing a strong grant application is not difficult if you understand that the funding source must have some basic questions answered in every grant application it receives. Even before the actual RFP or Program Guidance (the grant program’s playbook) is published and released, you can start preparing for any grant by simply following the elementary school lessons you learned as a child. Answer the 5 W questions: Who, What, When, Where and Why. More...

 

 

The Politics of Public Safety Grants

A national election year is upon us once again. I can already hear you screaming at the top of your lungs, "Politics have no place in public safety!" I couldn’t agree with you more... but the reality is that the federal and state grant system is a political football. If you want to win, here’s how to play. More...

 

 

Creative Thinking for Alternative Funding

When public safety agencies go in search of grant money for specific projects or equipment, they often give up out of frustration. A desperate search for funding for that critical need often leads to grants whose deadlines have already passed, discontinued grant programs, or no grants for these items at all. But things are not what they seem. Funding is out there. You just have to apply some creative thinking, a strategy I call "alternative funding." More...

 

 

VFDs and the TEAM Sport of Grantsmanship

In the current economic climate, Volunteer Fire Departments (VFDs) are besieged by budget and equipment problems. VFDs across the country are struggling to maintain adequate funding. While some are applying for grants to bridge shortfalls or procure needed equipment, their grant applications often miss the mark. More...

 

 

Why Are You Not Applying for Grants?

Over $68 billion dollars in grant funding is available every year for public safety agencies. It never ceases to amaze me that I am continually told "we don't have any money in our budget for equipment, staffing or training." My follow-up question is always, "Did you apply for any grants this year?" The usual response is "No." Why is that? More...

 

 

Let It Burn? 5 Tips to Survive Grant Rejection

The battle had been intense. Flames and smoke boiled into the night sky, as fire consumed the 2-story house. The fire chief looked at the family, huddled in blankets, staring in shock and sadness as everything they owned burned. At least they'd gotten out safe, the chief thought. But the house... He grabbed his radio. "Everybody out. Keep it contained. It's a loss." The house burned to the ground. On the way back to the station, the chief said to himself, "We're never responding to another call again..." More...

 

 

12 Tips to Make 2012 Your Year for Public Safety Grants

Did you apply for grants in 2011? Was it another year where you thought about applying for grants, but found it too daunting? Did you apply and win, or did that application get a "better luck next time" letter? No matter what your previous years for grants have been like, 2012 is a new year and a blank slate. With a new year comes new opportunities for this to be the year your agency lands the grant funding it needs for essential training, equipment and programs. Here are 12 tips to make 2012 your year for public safety grants... More...

 

 

The Grants Ballgame: You Can’t Win, If You Don’t Play

Many departments, and particularly volunteer departments, fight a continuous and ongoing battle in funding their existence... More...

 

 

Grant Strategy: Gaining Buy-In from Administration

One of the most frustrating problems, for any public safety grant writer in trying to establish a proper grants strategy in their agency, is to gain the consensus or “buy-in” needed from our administrators that hold the check books. My experience has shown that this is predominantly a problem of the administrators relying on preconceived, outdated information or myths in regards to the current arena of grants. More...

 

 

TASER Grant News

New Ec Grant Strategies Needed

As we move forward with this “new” economy most of us have already realized that our budgets are no longer holding to the “status quo”. Money that was routinely part of your operations budgets are no longer safe from the swing of the budget axe as we are being asked to do more, with less. One of the first places for that to occur is in acquiring new or upgrading of older equipment. This economic “reality check” is hitting home for many of us as we realize that this is not a short term problem but is going to be a long haul back to prosperity.

 

More and more departments are turning to the grant programs in an attempt to make up for these shortfalls in budgetary resources and with the increased number of applications the competition for those shrinking dollars grows exponentially as well. Let us not forget that the Federal budget axe is also swinging at our traditional funding sources and although the grant programs are still healthy, they are dwindling as our country seeks to survive and emerge intact from this economic crisis.  More...

 

 

Continuing Resolution Slowing Grant Award Process

On September 29th, Congress passed a Continuing Resolution to fund the Federal Government through December 3rd. President Obama signed it into Public Law on September 30th (P.L. 111-242). Under the Continuing Resolution, programs are not to start new projects.

 

Up until this date, a flurry of activity had been occurring in September in several major federal grant programs. Awards had been announced for the Solving Cold Cases through DNA analysis program for law enforcement and the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG). More...

 

 

Out with the Old, In with the New!

Well folks, it’s been a record long hot summer for many of us and fall is just starting to put a welcome little coolness in the morning air again. I am sure many of you already are “out of funding” as 2009-2010 Fiscal Year winds down. I am also quite sure many of you are being asked to tighten that belt even further for the upcoming fiscal year since it appears there is still no light at the end of the recession tunnel we are in. Many of you have already been tightening that belt to the point that you are feeling almost “anorexic” with all the proposed cuts you are being asked to make for Fiscal Year 2010-2011.  More...

 

 

How to Convince City Hall: Professional Grant Writing Training Is Worth Every Penny!

You Get What You Pay For


There are two old sayings that state, "You get what you pay for" and "you have to spend a little money, to make a lot of money". These statements ring especially true in grant writing. The value of formal training and professional instruction in grant writing cannot be emphasized enough. So how do you convince your governing bodies and administrative officials that grant training is a wise worthwhile investment of your limited training dollars?without the money it needs for equipment and training? Here's what you can do to survive these tough economic times. More...

 

 

How to Stretch Budget Dollars through Successful Grant Writing

Has the current economic crisis had a negative impact on your department? Are you visiting First Responder Grants because the "budget axe" has left your department without the money it needs for equipment and training? Here's what you can do to survive these tough economic times.  More...

 

 

Training Requirements for Fire Act Grants

Training is becoming an increasingly stronger requirement for receiving a grant award. The following language appeared in the Official Program Guidance for the Assistance to Firefighter’s Grant in 2008:  More...