In my almost 20 years of selling tactical equipment and consulting businesses that sell solutions to the public safety market, I have never met anybody that works in public safety that became a public safety officer to write grants for a living. However, understanding the grant game has come with the territory. One of the critical components of the grant game is knowing how to research and identify the best grants for your project.
The first step is to understand the type of grants that are the best fit for your project. There are three types that best fit the public safety market:
- Federal Grants (Examples: Assistance to Firefighters Grant, Urban Area Security Initiative)
- Private Grants (Grants from Corporations, Foundations, and Non-Profits)
- State Grants (Example: Edward J. Byrne Justice Assistance Grant Program)
Knowing these grant targets is a great start. What you want to do next is step up an Excel Spreadsheet or Google Sheet and capture what you find.
The second step is to narrow down your search by implementing subcategories. You want to find grants that fit your needs. Introducing subcategory keywords will make it easier for you to find grant funding that will fund your projects. Subcategory keywords will depend on what your agency does. Below are the keywords I use for the businesses that hire my company to build out our Grant Funding Assistance Strategies:
- Emergency Management Agency or EMA
- Emergency Medical Service or EMS
- Fire Service
- Law Enforcement
- Public Health
- Public Safety
- School District
Other subcategory keywords I use have to do with the community your public safety agency works.
- Community Development
- Community Enhancement
- Community Improvement
As long as your agency can show how the community will be developed, enhanced, or improved, your project will fit that grant category. The final subcategory keyword I use to find grant funding for my clients is disaster keywords.
- Disaster Preparedness
- Disaster Recovery
- Disaster Response
- Disaster Relief
As long as your agency can show how the project will better position your community for a natural or man-made disaster, it will fit that type of grant.
You now have your categories and subcategories for your grant project. The final piece of the puzzle is what makes your project a fit for any of these grants. The key is the features, advantages, and benefits your project will bring to the community you serve. Your outcome is to convince the grantor that is offering the grant opportunity that the project will do at least one or more of the following:
- Reduce Liability
- Save Lives
- Save Money
- Save Time
All grants that are a fit for public safety speak those languages. Remember, the grantor has decided they are setting aside money to give to public safety agencies to solve problems they feel need to be solved. If the project’s benefits solve the grantor’s problem, then the project is a fit for the grant. It is that simple.
Implementing this strategy of finding grants for your project will be the difference between making your project a thought or a reality. Please feel free to contact me or come to one of my FREE Grant Funding Assistance Strategy Classes to learn more.
My goal is simple: To solve the public safety funding problem!