Once summer gives way to fall, we all know how close we are to the holidays… and then to another new year. As we head into the final months of 2018 and look ahead to 2019, there is lots your department can be doing right now to prepare for next year’s grant opportunities.
Conduct a needs assessment
Proper planning involves a myriad of things, one of which is assuring that you have proper manpower and equipment to carry out your basic mission for your citizens. A needs assessment gives you the facts you need to know about how well prepared your department is to carry out its primary function.
Each year, public, private, corporate, and non-profit organizations provide thousands of grants worth billions of dollars. What programs are out there that your agency could benefit from? What program will you try for for the first time? What programs have you tried for and gotten rejected, but you’re determined that this year be the year you get to the winner’s circle? Remember: Lots of grants open for applications during the first quarter!
Know and practice the 4 things grant winners have in common
Over the years we’ve looked at thousands of grant applications, and we have seen it all. The good. The bad. The ugly. And there are things that consistently set the winners apart from the losers. Put our 4 tips to work in your grant efforts, and you will be far more likely to celebrate a grant award in 2019.
You can make a well-stated case for why your department needs a grant more than another, but you also have to back up your story with hard data. Luckily, there’s lots of that out there. Demographics, critical infrastructure, economics, you name it.
Before we know it, summer will be on the wane. Vacations will be ending. School will be starting. Someday the temperature might even cool off…
As we start to think about fall and–can you believe it?–the year to come, it’s also a great time to talk with your department and municipality about getting grant-writing training. Since our training is only for first responders, emergency management, and public safety agencies, it’s tailored exactly for what you need to write and send out the most competitive grants you can.
Alerts and calendar keep you on top of upcoming grants and deadlines
You found a great grant, only to discover it’s not accepting applications at the time. It will be in the future though. But that opens up its own can of worms. Now you have to figure out a way to keep track of the grant, when it opens, when it closes… and you know how it’s going to end. You’ll smack yourself on the head after missing the deadline. After all, with so many other duties, responsibilities, and tasks in your day-to-day life, how will you prevent another application period from passing you by?
There is a way to plan for grants so you don’t miss out. Just use Grant Calendar and Grant Alerts, 2 powerful tools in GrantFinder, the resource that’s like Google for grants. A combination of GrantFinder’s Calendar and Grant Alert tools can help you stay on top of pending deadlines and upcoming new programs.
At-a-glance view of when grants are open and closing
On August 1, 2017 alone, 124 grants have their deadline.
How do we know that? Because GrantFinder’s powerful Calendar view showed us.
GrantFinder’s Grant Calendar gives you the ability to browse grants based on timeline, deadline, and funding source. This powerful visual tool shows deadlines of grants so you can look for a program based on schedule.
Calendar also gives you an at-a-glance view that helps you plan out your application efforts. If you’re looking for programs with deadlines, say, next month, next quarter, or even further down the road, GrantFinder’s Calendar can show you that.
Have those grants come to you
Sure, you can use GrantFinder’s Calendar and Search to help you hunt for grants, but wouldn’t it be nice if the grants could come to you?
With GrantFinder’s Grant Alerts, you can set up email notifications based on your needs and preferences. Once setup, Grant Alerts will monitor GrantFinder’s system and email you the latest news about programs relevant to your needs.
You can customize your email alerts by:
Who Can Apply?
From there, you can even tell GrantFinder what day or days of the week you’d like to receive your emails.
Grant Alerts turn GrantFinder into your own grant search engine, but it does the work for you—and lets you know when it’s time to go into application mode.
Grants found—in time for the deadline!
GrantFinder’s powerful tools can help you never again have that horrible feeling that comes when you miss a deadline for a grant that would have been perfect for your department.
Public Safety Grant News and Tips by Kurt Bradley, Certified Grants Consultant
The end of the year is coming fast and furious, and it’s time to look ahead to 2015. What is your department’s strategy for next year’s grants? How will you bridge the gap between your agency’s needs and budget?
As you look to next year, here are some things to remember that we can help you with:
Public Safety Grant-Writing Training from First Responder Grants
Are you in Hawaii or the Pacific Island Territory Islands? We’re bringing our grant training to Guam!
Our 2-day Grant Writing for Public Safety and First Responder Agencies training class will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 1 at Guam Community College, Barrigada.
All are welcome to attend this course, a considerable cost savings to your agency as opposed to the cost of sending students to the mainland for our regularly scheduled classes.
Cost to attend: $500 per student. Registration and payment of tuition fees for this class will be handled directly through Guam Community College. For further information contact Senior Grant Consultant Kurt Bradley at 863-551-9598 or email@example.com at First Responder Grants, or contact Director of P.O.S.T certification, Dennis Santo Tomas, at Guam Community College directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (671) 788-1537.
This is a unique opportunity for those agencies eligible for and seeking federal grant assistance for their agencies through DHS that are located in the South Pacific.
Public Safety Grant News and Tips 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.