When reading the title of this blog, I am sure some of you are thinking the following.
What do you mean, secure and protect?
I have the funding. Why would I have to consider securing and protecting it?
The customer has the funding. The purchase order should be coming soon.
The grant application was a success does not mean the journey is over and the project is a done deal. On the contrary, the final battle of getting the project funded has just begun!
Why is Securing and Protecting the Grant Funding Important and Necessary?
The public safety market does not have enough budget funding. 90% – 98% of a department budget goes to payroll and gasoline. That means 2% – 10% of the budget remains for funding projects. There are multiple parts of an agency that have projects that need funding. Every project has an end-user that is always in need of money and will do whatever it takes to get that funding.
Stop me if you heard this one before. You are an end-user and have money secured for your project. You understand the money is confirmed, but you cannot access it yet. Then, at the last minute, you have a conversation with your agency’s leadership. You learn that the agency will spend your project’s money on another need for the agency. You then share this news with your business provider, and both of you have to start over.
Why is Funding Lost?
In my almost 20 years in the industry, I have learned two simple reasons for losing the awarded funding for a project.
- The Grant Funding wasn’t spent quickly enough by the agency, and Grant Funding expired.
- Someone else at the agency was more persuasive, and the end-user didn’t have enough leverage with the leadership at the agency to keep the money.
My Outcome for you is to reduce the chance of this happening!
My strategies to secure and protect the grant funding are not a silver bullet. The is no such thing as a silver bullet. However, these strategies will significantly reduce the chance of losing your funding to another project.
Build Agency Team That Supports Project
Leverage your relationships within your agency. For example, if you are in Special Operations, reach out to the Training Division and ask for their support. Then, in the future, graciously return the favor and support their project.
Get Leadership Behind Project
A strong relationship with the agency’s leadership has all upside and no downside. So go the extra mile and over-communicate your project and its objectives to the Chief, Sheriff, Deputy Chief, Chief Deputy, Commander, and Captain. Get their support early on, so they understand and appreciate your project to the point of full support until purchase.
Get Elected Officials Behind Project
In today’s public safety world, elected officials will have a say on almost all projects. Invite these elected officials to understand and appreciate your needs at the genesis of the project. By having them come to your agency and making them a part of your project team, you are getting in front of any potential problems.
Get Local Businesses Behind Project
Proactively speak to your local businesses, either over the phone or in person, and explain to them the project. Share what you are looking to accomplish and how it will positively affect them. Ask them for your support. They will speak with the city on your behalf. They might even write you a check to pay for part or all of the project. Remember, businesses are always interested in donating to non-profits.
Get Community Leaders Behind Project
Engage in conversation with your local chamber of commerce and religious leaders. Ask them for their support. They will be happy to speak with the city officials if you win them over to your project.
Get Citizens Behind Project
We all live in houses, townhomes, condos, apartments, etc. Have conversations with your neighbors and share with them your project. Ask them for their support. They also will be happy to speak with the city officials if you win them over to your project.
How to Sway Hearts and Minds to Your Project
The best way to build a team to support your project is to show how the project will do one or more of the following:
You can also leverage justification information to protect the funding for your project. Some of the most commonly used are:
Authorized Equipment List (AEL)
National Incident Management System (NIMS)
National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH)
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
All projects are a marathon and not a sprint. The success of any public safety project comes from the commitment to see it through from start to finish. You got this!
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!