If you are a state and local government agency, understanding the grant game can be the difference in keeping your community safe. If you are a business that provides solutions to public safety agencies, understanding how your product fits into federal, private, or state grants can be the difference in increasing your revenue from millions of dollars to tens of millions of dollars.
In either case, you must have a strategy to measure your success, and you cannot manage what you do not measure. Therefore, you need a checklist to make sure you are optimizing your grant funding strategy. Below are ten tips for managing your grant funding process.
1. Identify a grant or grants to target
You can’t hit a target if you don’t identify one. So researching a list of Federal, Private, and State Grants that fit your project or solution is where you start. Google keywords about your project, your agency type, and type of grant. Click and read the result to determine what grantor makes the most sense for your agency.
2. Call the Grant Point of Contact to begin building rapport
The best way to succeed with your grant application and narrative is to know the POC who oversees the grant process. Share with them your project. Ask them questions about the process. Take notes and apply what you learn and your odds of success increase exponentially.
3. Build a team of three people to read the Grant Guidance and Application
Three people reduce the chance of mistakes. All three must agree. If all three do not agree, talk the differences over until all three agree.
4. Fill out the Grant Application for multiple grants
Do not apply for one grant at a time. Apply for at least three grants at a time. One of four things will happen.
- All applications get declined.
- You get some of the grant money and can begin making purchases.
- You get all of the grant money and can purchase all of the solutions.
- You get more than the amount of funding you need and can either purchase more of the solutions, return the extra money, or ask to spend the extra money on another project.
5. Write the Grant Justification Paper Draft and have your team of three reviews to strengthen the draft
98% of the first drafts are not successful due to details. Details about the problem, solution, and implementation plan are usually not detailed enough.
6. Make changes to the Grant Justification Paper and confirm the paper is ready for submittal
Whatever the team sees that needs to be improved, take action.
7. Have your team of three people review the Grant Application and Justification Paper one final time before submittal
The team of three must agree the application and justification paper is ready until it is ready for submission.
8. Submit Grant Application and Justification Paper
Celebrate after submitting!
9. Repeat the steps until you have your funding
It is not over until it is over. So keep applying until you have your money! Practice these nine steps, and all of the funding problems will disappear.
I have consulted and taught 1000s of public safety agencies and businesses how to play the grant funding game. 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!