Monday, April 9, 2012

Are You Missing Out On Free Grant Money?

We've written before about how to get grant money, however, it seems as though a lot of departments are missing out on the opportunity to add (potentially) a significant amount of equipment to their departments through free funding!  A brief search online will find literally thousands of available opportunities for police grants and fire grants.  The funding opportunities come from federal grant programs, state grant programs, and even corporate grant opportunities.

Tips For Finding Federal/State Funding:

Make Sure Your Grant Gets Reviewed:
  • The product you are looking to purchase and your department must meet the guidelines of the grant.  Be sure to read all of the fine print (product specifications, department size, response area, etc).  If your needs don't completely match the grant, look for a different one.
  • Apply for the high priority items of a grant.  For example, if a federal or state grant is looking to help you upgrade police cruisers, request Toughbooks and automated license plate readers over newer sirens and lights.  It shows you have a greater need and therefore you are more likely to receive funding.
  • Show your need!  If you are looking to replace/upgrade equipment that is below the current safety standards, be sure to express the percentage of your department that is utilizing sub-par equipment.  An entire fire department with outdated turnout gear is more likely to get funded then one that only has 20% outdated gear.
  • Follow the directions!  It sounds simple, but many grants are removed from the review process simply for not following directions.  Fully fill out all forms and attach any and all documentation being requested.
  • Get help!  Utilize grant writing services, attend a seminar/training on grant writing, or simply have someone else in your department assist you.  A second set of eyes reviewing everything can't hurt!
  • Start early!  This allows you to take your time and fully prepare all of the information you need to submit a grant that will secure you funding.

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