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!
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.
The FY 2018 AFG open application opportunity is right around the corner (September 24 tentative start date) Begin preparing for the FY 2018 open application period by reviewing the available application assistance tools below.
Beginning September 17, 2018, AFGP staff will host two live webinar series to educate organizations on what is new for FY 2018. The Application Workshop webinars will teach attendees about the Assistance to Firefighters Grant program, its mission, which organizations and activities are eligible, and how to apply.
A Fire Program Analyst will provide updates that apply to the FY 2018 application and some help tips in preparing your application. We will also have our Application Walk-thru webinars which gives attendees a section by section view of the application with AFG staff to explain and answer questions.
Two Kentucky-based First Responder Grants clients won a combined $294,100 in fire grants from the FY 2017 Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) program. Both awards were announced as part of the 86 Round 6 AFG fire grant awards announced Aug. 17, 2018.
A first-time AFG applicant, New Castle VFD & Rescue Squad in Kentucky will use its $84,500 fire grant to procure new SCBAs and SCBA masks.
Nelson County Fire and Rescue of Bardstown, Kentucky, had applied on their own to AFG in both 2015 and 2016. However, those efforts were not successful. In 2017 NCFR became a First Responder Grants client. We were successful in gaining them an award of $209,600 to purchase new SCBA and masks for their entire department.
To-date First Responder Grants clients and students have won a combined $1,958,149 in fire grants under FY 2017 AFG this year.
AFG fire grants are administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
“Sometimes departments think that they’ll never have a shot to win, or that if they’re rejected they think they shouldn’t try again,” says Kurt Bradley, Senior Grants Consultant at First Responder Grants. “These two Kentucky fire service organizations are reminders of two important things: Even a first-time applicant can win a vital fire grant. And, if you get rejected one year, the best thing to do is try again next year.”
About First Responder Grants
Public safety agencies nationwide rely on First Responder Grants for grant writing training, grant consulting, and the latest news and tips and news for writing winning grant applications. Since 1998, our Certified Grants Consultants have helped public safety agencies like yours win over $1,000,000,000 in grant funding. Our grant writing training students learn to write competitive grants that bring home additional funding dollars to your agency, but that’s not all. Students receiving First Responder Grants training in grant writing maintain a documented +80% success rate at winning a grant award after attending our classes—many on their very first application.
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.
If you are in the running for an FY2016 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) fire grant award, get ready for a potentially long wait. Award rounds are expected to continue through August, says Kurt Bradley, Senior Grant Consultant at First Responder Grants.
“Updates of 1199a’s will be sporadic at best, but don’t lose patience,” says Bradley. “The awards will come.”
During the wait, Bradley recommends that departments begin working on their FY2017 AFG application: conducting needs assessments, evaluating department priorities, and getting training to help them produce a competitive AFG application.
While FEMA has not announced an official AFG application date, September 2017 is considered likely.
It’s time to look ahead to next year. How will your department bridge funding gaps, and acquire critical training and equipment?
Plan. Learn. Train. Here are 3 steps you can take now to get ready for 2017 grants.
Step 1: Plan
What grants will your department go for?
Every year, grants are available from public, private, corporate, and non-profit providers, and those funds can benefit Law Enforcement Agencies like yours.
Review our list of available Law Enforcement Grants
Bookmark programs your agency should try for
Review each grant and its requirements
Do the work, write the application, and get it done
Step 2: Learn
Solid data and a strong narrative make a big difference.
Just as you need solid evidence to build a good case, grants need solid data and a strong narrative to give you a competitive shot at a program. We maintain comprehensive lists of data and statistical resources plus government websites that you can turn to get that critical information.
Understand the grant’s requirements
Review our resources for the sites you need
Pull the data into your application and narrative
Follow the rules of the grant
Step 3: Train
Get the training to get the gear.
Whether you are writing your first or your hundredth grant, there is always more to learn and improve. Grants can also be confusing, but solid, “meat and potatoes,” down-to-earth plain-talk training can give you the skills and confidence you need to tackle any grant.
Discuss with your superiors and administrators how grant-writing training can help your agency
Review available resources
Check our National Training schedule or take our Online Grant-Writing Course on your schedule and wherever you are
“I’ve taken your seminar 3 times. Once again I’ve hit a grant, but this time it’s for 27 sets of turnout gear and 32 air paks. Last year I was part of a team that won for a new pumper for the New York State Fire Academy.”
–Glen Miller, Bath FD, New York