Frequently Asked Questions
How does the PoliceGrantsHelp program work?
Our grant websites and program services are made possible through the generous support of the sponsors you see advertising on our sites. The manufacturers underwrite many of the fees associated with our program including the cost of running the website, consulting services, customized research, and application assistance. This allows us to assist public safety agencies directly at little to no cost.
Which services are available to me?
Our websites are free to register and available to all public safety agencies. The websites provide great information in the form of grant listings by state, articles, grant information, relevant products that are grant eligible, etc.
For public safety agencies interested in our Grant Assistance Program we offer free customized research, grant consulting, and application review. You can access the Grant Assistance Program categories here: http://www.policegrantshelp.com/grant-assistance
Grant Writing services are also available as a stand-alone service or through our assistance program as an upgraded discounted service.
Is grant writing included as part of the free grant assistance program?
Because the actual writing and assembly of a grant application can be time consuming, we do charge a fee for this upgraded service. However, discounted services are available throughout the year and financial hardship is also taken into consideration when pricing out this service. Note: we do not take a % of the grant and we do not work on contingency basis.
If I get awarded, are you going to take part of my grant funds?
Never! We will congratulate you on your award and ability to purchase the equipment your department and community needs. We ONLY collect fees for contracted services.
Where does grant funding come from?
Public safety funding comes from two primary sources, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice. Although additional funding for various elements of public safety may come from other agencies, these two provide the bulk of funding to police departments across the country.
How can I apply for a grant?
Any agency engaged in public safety can apply for a grant. The important first step is to identify the best program to apply under. Several elements will determine whether a particular program is a good fit for your project, including:
- Total funding available – gives you an idea how broad the program will be and how competitive
- Application burden – some programs require 100 page narrative, while others may look for 10 pages or less.
- Matching requirements – some programs require a dollar for dollar match, while others may require a 5% match or no cost sharing at all.
- Scale – your customer probably won’t want to write 100 $5,000 requests to get a $500,000 project funded.
- Collaboration/partnering requirements – some grants applications require an organization to work in collaboration with others, which complicates the application process.
- Lead time – more lead time generally means more time to develop the project – six weeks is good, and three weeks is almost essential.
- Track record with the funder – generally more important for local funders than federal sources, but a consideration nonetheless.
Once you’ve decided upon a program that fits with your project objectives, you’ll need to prepare an application to the program. Be sure to follow all the application requirements provided by the agency, since a failure to do so may result in your proposal being returned without review.
How can I find out what was funded?
The federal government provides information on funding at www.usaspending.gov .
How long does it take from the time I submit a grant until I get get funded?
Although there is no statutory decision timeframe for most grants (an exception would be the Homeland Security Grants Program), agencies generally announce awards 4-6 months after the application deadline.
How soon can I begin spending the money after I receive the award notification?
After you receive an award notification, but before you can begin spending money, you will need to enter into a contract with the funder that defines the payment and deliverables schedule for the grant period (based largely on your application). Once the contract has been executed by both parties, you can begin to spend money, subject to the terms of the contract.
Are there similar public safety grants in Canada?
The Canadian government does make grants for public safety through several initiatives. More information on Canadian public safety grants is available from the Department of Justice at http://www.canada.justice.gc.ca/eng/fund-fina/cj-jp/index.htm and Public Safety Canada at http://www.publicsafety.gc.ca/cnt/cntrng-crm/crm-prvntn/fndng-prgrms/index-eng.aspx .
How can I get reviewers' comments for an unfunded proposal?
Reviewers’ comments provide a valuable insight into the strengths and weaknesses of your proposal, as determined by individuals using the actual scoring criteria for the program. If you have any inkling of applying again in the future, it’s worth requesting the reviewers’ comments on your proposal.
Generally you can obtain these comments by simply calling the program officer listed on the application guidance.
How can I tell how competitive a grant program is going to be?
Although you can divide the previous year’s number of awards by the number of applications (if those numbers are publicly available) to get a funding percentage, you can generally determine how competitive a grant will be just by looking at how much total funding is available. Programs with less than $10 million available nationwide will be more competitive than one with $500 million to give away.
Where do I find information on grant sources and programs?
In addition to the information on policegrantshelp.com, the federal government provides grants information through the Federal Electronic Grants Clearinghouse at www.grants.gov.
Who can I contact about a particular program?
Each program is assigned a program manager, identified in the application guidance, who can answer most questions about the mechanics of a particular program. If you have a particular grant identified and still have questions, feel free to contact the PoliceGrantsHelp team at 866-463-7792 and firstname.lastname@example.org.
Do I need to hire a professional grant writer?
There is no requirement in any grant program that you have to hire a professional grantwriter in order to obtain funding. When considering whether to hire a professional grantwriter to provide assistance in applying for a grant, consider:
- Your available time to dedicate to reviewing the application requirements and preparing all the required documentation
- Your ability to articulate the project vs. explaining it to someone else who will then articulate it
- Your agency’s access to a grantwriter and ability to pay a fee for the writing.
Reputable grantwriters will require an up front fee for writing a grant proposal. Be wary of any writers who try to take a percentage of your award as payment. Note PoliceGrantsHelp does provide professional grant writing services.
What is required to administer a grant once I get funded?
Administration requirements vary by program, but most include the following activities:
- Contract negotiation
- Project workplan development
- Training for those participating in grant-funded activities
- Financial, activity, and outcome reporting to the funder at regular intervals.
Reporting back on the program and keeping services free!
Manufacturers of public safety equipment continue to sponsor our Grant Assistance Program as long as departments use our complimentary services.
You can help us keep these free services available to you and the public safety community simply by communicating with us! Notify us of your successes, challenges, interests and opinions from using our website and services either by email or phone!