The gift: How does the Federal Government Shutdown affect the grant programs?

The Fund Finder News

by Kurt Bradley, Senior Grants Consultant

Our Federal government is now in the longest shutdown in our country’s history. Concerned departments nationwide have been calling me and asking the same question: “Is this government shutdown going to affect grants?”

No simple answer

I wish there was a simple answer to that question. Unfortunately there is not. I will, however tell you what to expect. The news here may be a little better than what you expected, as long as you look at it from the right perspective.

First, everyone needs to take a deep breath. Remember, this is not the first time the government has shut down. Nor will it be the last.

Shutdowns have happened before

Partisan politics aside, the government has endured several past shutdowns (or “spending gaps,” to more accurately label them). In fact, there have been 18 government shutdowns since 1976. Each one has lasted anywhere from several days to several weeks.

Key point: Not one shutdown has resulted in any incidents deemed catastrophic in nature.

I personally have been a taxpaying adult, either employed by the government directly (military service), or in local government, or the private sector. I can say that none of those shutdowns ever affected me significantly either professionally nor personally.

How the shutdown is affecting federal grants

So, what is the shutdown doing to affect the grant programs? Well, I can tell you that the staff at FEMA, in the offices that cover our primary grants, are operating on a skeleton staff. Historically, during these shutdowns, several things will be or are occurring:

  1. They are operating with a skeleton staff, so emails may not be answered, phone calls are probably not being returned, amendments may not be moving through approval/disapproval status, EHP reviews are on hold and, certainly, no new grant programs will open while the shutdown is in effect.
  2. Drawdowns of awarded money may be delayed.
  3. Previously stated opening dates for programs will be pushed back.
  4. Peer review panels for the 2018 AFG grants will be delayed (as of this writing the 2018 AFG peer review panel has been moved to Feb. 24, 2019).
  5. SF425 and semi-annual performance reports will continue to be due on their respective dates.

The gift you’ve been given

Now, as soon as the shutdown is resolved things will get back on track and return to business as usual. But the news is not all that bad here folks, if you take a different perspective.

You have been given the gift of time!

The one thing that you have the least amount of control over as a public safety employee is your time. This shutdown is affording you additional time to prepare for 2019 grants. Remember, if you fail to prepare, you can prepare to fail when it comes to grant applications.

What to do with this gift of time

The question is, though, what should you be doing with this gift of time?

You should be making use of this time to plan out your upcoming projects for 2019 and 2020. Here are a few ideas:

  • Do some better research on your critical infrastructure
  • Dig into your data deeper
  • Update your department and community description
  • Develop and send out those surveys you need to win a Fire Prevention and Safety grant
  • Find out exactly how much putting a new fireman on the payroll is going to cost
  • Try to figure out where additional money can be identified that could be used to offset SAFER money and give you a stronger sustainability plan
  • Dig in and figure out how many times you are or are not complying with NFPA1710-1720

You should also be thinking about getting yourself and your department properly trained to incorporate proper grant strategy into your overall financial planning. Pick a school and go find out what the other folks are learning so your applications win more often. Explore the possibilities available to you by consulting with a true public safety grant consulting firm. Doing so can truly make a difference in your overall outcomes.

This too shall pass

This government shutdown will be over before you know it. In the meantime, take advantage of the extra time that it is affording you: Use this gift of time to get ready for upcoming grants in 2019 and 2020.

Kick off grant season with training

Join us in Tacoma, WA, Feb. 21-22, 2019

A new year is upon us. Will 2019 be a year where your department heads to the winner circle of grants… or will it be another year of “dear john letters” or grants that coulda-been-shoulda-been, but weren’t?

Whether government, private sector, or non-profit sources, hundreds of grants for public safety agencies will be opening up throughout the year. And if your agency is going to submit the best application you can, you’ll need the best public safety grant training that America has to offer.

Seats are still available at our upcoming grant-writing training in Tacoma, WA, Feb. 21-22. Join us today and get the training you need to get the grants that get the gear!

Grant reports due Dec. 31 for AFG winners/grant managers

RECENT FEDERAL GRANT RECIPIENTS: Pay attention to the end-of-year reports that are due Dec. 31!

If you have a 2016 or 2017 grant award that is still within its performance period, several reports may be due, such as:

  • SEMI-ANNUAL PERFORMANCE REPORTS. If you are still within your performance period, remember that every 6 months (from your award date until your period of performance is expired) you must fill out a semi-annual performance report.
  • SF-425 REPORT must be filled out and submitted within 30 days of Dec. 31 and June 15 if you are still in your performance period.
  • FINAL CLOSEOUT REPORTS. If your grant was awarded for 2015, 2016, or 2017, there is still no closeout module available to fill out. Just ignore till a 2015, 2016, or 2017 email regarding same is posted by AFG stating that the report closeout module is available.

Filing these reports is critical to keeping your award and staying “in the good books” with FEMA. Make sure you hit that Dec. 31 deadline!

OVW Fiscal Year 2019 Training and Services to End Violence Against Women with Disabilities Grant Program

Reduce violent crime against women and promote victim safety

Grant Website & Guidelines

Grant Deadline: Feb. 7, 2019

Grants up to $500,000

The goal of the Disability Grant Program is to create sustainable change within and between organizations that improves the response to individuals with disabilities and Deaf individuals who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault and to hold perpetrators of such crimes accountable.

Disability Grant Program funds are used to establish and strengthen multidisciplinary
collaborative relationships; increase organizational capacity to provide accessible, safe, and effective services to individuals with disabilities and Deaf individuals who are victims of violence and abuse; identify needs within the grantee’s organization and/or service area; and develop a plan to address those identified needs that builds a strong foundation for future work.

Letter of Intent: Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit a Letter of Intent to
OVW.Disabilities@usdoj.gov by January 11, 2019. This letter confirms that the applicant has registered with SAM and Grants.gov. Submitting a Letter of Intent will not obligate a potential applicant to submit an application. Interested applicants who do not submit a Letter of Intent are still eligible to apply.

What this grant does for your agency

  1. To provide personnel, training, technical assistance, advocacy, intervention, risk reduction (including using evidence-based indicators to assess the risk of domestic and dating violence homicide) and prevention of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault against individuals with disabilities;
  2. To conduct outreach activities to ensure that individuals with disabilities who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault receive appropriate assistance;
  3. To conduct cross-training for victim service organizations, governmental agencies, courts, law enforcement, and nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations serving individuals with disabilities about risk reduction, intervention, prevention and the nature of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, and sexual assault for individuals with disabilities;
  4. To provide technical assistance to assist with modifications to existing policies, protocols, and procedures to ensure equal access to the services, programs, and activities of victim service providers for individuals with disabilities;
  5. To provide training and technical assistance on the requirements of shelters and victim service providers under Federal anti-discrimination laws, including the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.) and section 794 of title 29 (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973);
  6. To modify facilities, purchase equipment, and provide personnel so that shelters and victim service organizations can accommodate the needs of individuals with disabilities;
  7. To provide advocacy and intervention services for individuals with disabilities who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, stalking, or sexual assault; or
  8. To develop model programs providing advocacy and intervention services within organizations serving individuals with disabilities who are victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, or stalking.

Agencies awarded the OVW Fiscal Year 2019 Training and Services to End Violence Against Women with Disabilities Grant Program receive cooperative agreements.

The award period is 36 months for new applications and 24 months for continuation
applications. Budgets must reflect 36 or 24 months of project activity, and the total “estimated funding” on the SF-424 must reflect 36 or 24 months. Generally, the award period will start on October 1, 2019.

This program typically makes awards in the range of $325,000 – $500,000. OVW estimates that it will make up to 10 awards for an estimated $4,275,000. Funding levels under this program for FY 2019 are:

  1. New, local-focused $425,000 for 36 months
  2. New, state-focused $500,000 for 36 months
  3. Continuation, local-focused $325,000 for 24 months
  4. Continuation, state-focused $400,000 for 24 months

Only a limited number of grants will be awarded.

Grant Eligibility

For full eligibility details, see the Grant Guidelines: Eligible applicants are limited to:

  • States;
  • units of local government;
  • Indian tribal governments or tribal organizations;
  • and victim service providers, such as state or tribal domestic violence or sexual assault coalitions or nonprofit, nongovernmental organizations serving individuals with disabilities.

About the Office on Violence Against Women (OVW)

The Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) provides federal leadership in developing the national capacity to reduce violence against women and administer justice for and strengthen services to victims of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, and stalking. More

Grant Deadline

Grant applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. EST, Feb. 7, 2018.

Apply

OMB Number: 1122-0020. Apply for the OVW Fiscal Year 2019 Training and Services to End Violence Against Women with Disabilities Grant Program

New grant-writing training!

Public safety grant writing training in Urbana, Illinois

Join us for public safety grant-writing training

April 4-5, 2019, ILEAS Training Center, Urbana, IL

Just south of Chicago, our friends at Illinois Law Enforcement Alarm System (ILEAS) are once again opening their doors for 2 days of grant-writing training. First responders and public safety grant writers from around the country will be gathering for plain-talk, meat-and-potatoes training that gives you the ins and outs for writing competitive grants.

Start talking with your chief, captain, or municipal contacts now so your department can join us.

This training is April 4-5, 2019-a great way to get your 2019 grant efforts in full gear.

SAMHSA Treatment Drug Courts: Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult Treatment Drug Courts and Adult Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts

SAMHSA

Grants up to $400,000 for substance treatment abuse and healing

FOA Number: TI-19-002

Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number: 93.243

Grant Website

Grant Guidelines

Grant Deadline: Jan. 4, 2019

Expand substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Treatment (CSAT) is accepting applications for fiscal year (FY) 2019 Grants to Expand Substance Abuse Treatment Capacity in Adult Treatment Drug Courts (ATDC) and Adult Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts. The purpose of this program is to expand substance use disorder (SUD) treatment services in existing adult problem solving courts, and adult Tribal Healing to Wellness courts, which use the treatment drug court model in order to provide SUD treatment (including recovery support services, screening, assessment, case management, and program coordination) to defendants/offenders.

What this grant does for your agency

Recipients will be expected to provide a coordinated, multi-system approach designed to combine the sanctioning power of treatment drug courts with effective SUD treatment services to break the cycle of criminal behavior, alcohol and/or drug use, and incarceration or other penalties.

Applicants should propose to increase access and availability of services to a larger number of clients increasing the number of individuals served and the gaps in the continuum of treatment for individuals in these courts who have treatment needs for SUD and/or co-occurring substance use and mental disorders.

Grant funds must be used to serve people diagnosed with a SUD as their primary condition. SAMHSA will use discretion in allocating funding for these awards, taking into consideration the specific drug court model (ATDCs and Adult Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts), as appropriate, the number of applications received per model type, and geographic distribution.

Agencies awarded the Adult Treatment Drug Courts and Adult Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts receive grants up to $400,000 per year.

Only a limited number of grants will be awarded.

Anticipated Total Available Funding: Up to $10,000,000

Anticipated Number of Awards: 25 (At least 5 awards will be made to tribes/tribal organizations pending sufficient application volume from these groups)

Anticipated Award Amount: Up to $400,000 per year

Length of Project: Up to 5 years

Grant Eligibility

For full eligibility details, see the Grant Guidelines:

Eligible applicants are state, local, and tribal governments with direct involvement with the adult treatment drug court/Tribal Healing to Wellness Court, such as:

State governments; the District of Columbia, Guam, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the Northern Mariana Islands, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau are also eligible to apply.

Governmental units within political subdivisions of a state, such as a county, city or town, and individual adult treatment drug courts.

Federally recognized American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) tribes, tribal organizations, Urban Indian Organizations, and consortia of tribes or tribal organizations.

ATDCs and Adult Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts funded in FY 2017 under announcement TI-17-001 and FY 2018 under announcement TI-18-008 are not eligible to apply for this program.

About the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS)

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that leads public health efforts to advance the behavioral health of the nation. SAMHSA’s mission is to reduce the impact of substance abuse and mental illness on America’s communities. More

Grant Deadline

Grant applications are due no later than 11:59 p.m. EST, Fri., Jan. 4, 2019, 2018.

Apply

Apply for the Adult Treatment Drug Courts and Adult Tribal Healing to Wellness Courts

Department of Justice Announces New Active Shooter Training Grant for First Responders

As you no doubt know, active shooter scenarios are a common occurrence in the US today. Stay tuned for a new active shooter training grant coming from the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office). Details from their Nov. 1, 2018, release below:

Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio, Director Phil Keith of the Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS Office), and Dr. Pete Blair, Executive Director of the Advanced Law Enforcement Rapid Response Training (ALERRT) Center at Texas State University today announced an $8.7 million grant to provide multi-disciplinary, scenario-based active shooter training to first responders across the country.

Today’s announcement took place during the ALERRT Active Shooter Integrated Response Conference, where emergency personnel heard from subject matter experts on best practices and lessons learned from some of the nation’s most tragic and horrific mass casualty events. ALERRT is part of Texas State University, which has trained approximately 130,000 first responders since its inception in 2002.

“Training for first responders to take swift and effective action in active shooting situations is critically important,” said Principal Deputy Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio. “We can mitigate the loss of life in these horrific incidents by providing resources to better equip first responders and prepare community members, local law enforcement, and local government leaders. The Department of Justice fully supports the brave first responders who risk their own lives to protect the safety of our children, colleagues, and community members.”

“The funding announced here today comes at a critical time for our country,” said COPS Office Director Keith. “As the demands placed on our nation’s first responders continue to grow with these violent mass casualty incidents, I believe it is our responsibility to make sure they have the tools, resources and training to properly respond to these attacks.”

“This COPS funding will allow ALERRT to provide the training needed to prepare police, fire, and EMS services across the country to save as many lives as possible when these horrific attacks occur,” said Dr. Pete Blair, Executive Director of the ALERRT Center at Texas State University.

Physician stakeholders working in the fields of emergency medicine, trauma surgery, anesthesia, blood bank, critical care and blood collection center directors will join law enforcement, fire services, EMS, emergency communications and emergency management for the first time during this year’s ALERRT conference. ALERRT’s multi-disciplinary approach is recognized as one of the nation’s leading training models, and the Department of Justice is pleased to announce additional funding for this effort.

The 2018 investment from the Department of Justice for ALERRT will provide in-person training to an estimated 15,000 first responders, in addition to the 9,000 individuals that received the training in 2017. ALERRT and the COPS Office are currently developing an online civilian training program, which will reach tens of thousands of citizens – helping to prepare them to take effective actions if they should find themselves in an attack.

The ALERRT Center at Texas State University was created as a partnership between Texas State University, the San Marcos (TX) Police Department, and the Hays County (TX) Sheriff’s Office to address the need for active shooter response training for first responders. In 2013, ALERRT was named the National Standard in Active Shooter Response Training by the FBI.

The COPS Office awards grants to hire community policing officers, develop and test innovative policing strategies, and provide training and technical assistance to community members, local government leaders, and all levels of law enforcement. Since 1994, the COPS Office has invested more than $14 billion to help advance community policing.

NIMS Alert 33-18: FEMA Releases 2018 National Preparedness Report

NIMS Alert FEMA

FEMA has released the 2018 National Preparedness Report. In its seventh year, this report summarizes the nation’s progress toward becoming a more secure and resilient nation.

The report highlights lessons learned from previous responses, along with findings from preparedness activities. The events and activities captured in the report allow responders and emergency managers throughout the nation to better understand capabilities, identify shortfalls, and build capacity in preparation for future large-scale and catastrophic incidents.

The 2018 National Preparedness Report also identifies gains made in preparedness across the nation and identifies where challenges remain. These findings provide insights into preparedness and informs decisions about future program priorities, resource allocations, and community actions.

The 2018 Report considers select 2017 real-world incidents that tested the nation’s capabilities, preparedness trends from state, tribal and territory perspectives, and an overview of activities and investments to build and sustain capabilities. As a result, it provides in-depth evaluation of five core capabilities identified in previous reports as facing persistent preparedness challenges— Infrastructure Systems, Housing, Economic Recovery, Cybersecurity, and Operational Coordination.

Get the full report

FY2018 Fire Prevention and Safety (FP&S) Grant Application Webinars & Assistance Tools

Fire Prevention & Safety (FP&S) GrantsRemember: The FY 2018 FP&S grant application period will open on Monday, November 12, 2018 at 8 AM ET and will close on Friday, December 21, 2018 at 5 PM ET.

Grant Application Webinars

The FP&S Program Office will host 2 webinars to help you with your FY 2018 FP&S grant application. The webinars will provide potential applicants with general information about the FP&S grant program, how to navigate the grant application, and tips for preparing an application. FP&S Program Officers will be available to answer questions.

Details and more: AFGP Workshop Schedule at FEMA.gov

FY 2018 Fire Prevention & Safety Application Assistance

Please make sure to thoroughly review the Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) prior to beginning your application, as it contains the latest updates to the FY 2018 FP&S Grant Program. Begin preparing your application now by using the following application assistance tools:

  • FY 2018 Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) – This document contains key programmatic updates and application requirements for all eligible applicants.
  • FY 2018 FP&S Application Checklist – This checklist will help you prepare to answer questions within the grant application. Collecting this information will reduce the time and energy needed to complete your application.
  • FY 2018 FP&S Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – This document contains answers to frequently asked questions about the FP&S Grant Program.
  • FY 2018 Research & Development (R&D) Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – This document contains answers to frequently asked questions specifically about the Research and Development Activity within the FP&S Grant Program.
  • FY 2018 FP&S Self Evaluation Sheet – This Self Evaluation Sheet will help you understand the criteria that you must address in your Narrative Statement when applying for FP&S grants.
  • FY 2018 FP&S Cost Share Calculator – This calculator will help you understand and determine your organization’s cost share for FP&S grants.

All FEMA FP&S application assistance tools and resources

More about FY2018 FP&S