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Date last updated: Monday, February 13, 17:19 PST

Sarah Wilson Grants 101
with Sarah Wilson

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How would you rate your understanding of available public safety-specific grants?

Very Knowledgeable - No Training Necessary: 2%
Somewhat Knowledgeable - Could Use Some Guidance: 13%
Minimal Knowledge - Need Substantial Guidance: 64%
None: 21%

Our latest PoliceGrantsHelp homepage poll results showcase some surprising numbers in terms of law enforcement understanding available public safety grants. At PGH, we operate with the assumption that if given enough information and resources you as the first responder should be able to navigate through grant programs, right? Maybe not. An overwhelming amount of you said you have minimal or no knowledge at all when it comes to understanding grants available to law enforcement agencies. Does this mean you are brand new to grants or just don’t have the time to do the research on the programs? Or are you too intimidated to pick up the phone and ask question of the grant maker to better understand the program? Whatever your reason, here are some simple quick suggestions to help improve your knowledge and help you hopefully improve your overall understanding.

First - Where can you Find Grants?
To make it simple for you, many of these grants are listed on PoliceGrantsHelp and include federal programs from Office of Justice as well as state grant programs that either funded directly from your state or from federal programs that are passed down to your state to distribute. The simplest way to get started is to click on your state on the grant listing page. Keep in mind we also list some corporate and private foundation grants – but because the private grants are very specific as the areas they fund we don’t list them all.

Some key online resources to search for grants include:
Responders Knowledge Base 
Foundation Directory 
Other Resources

Second - How to Better Understand Grants?
The simplest way to understand a grant program is to read the guidance also known as an RFP (Request for Proposal). The RFP is designed to be your instructional handout for the grant program. If you have read the guidance and are still unclear on certain requirements including your project eligibility within the grant, call the contact or administering agent for the grant program. Their contact information should be listed in the RFP (usually on the bottom of first page). Also keep in the mind if the RFP is not yet available review the previous year’s guidance as grant programs don’t really change that much year to year.

When you start preparing your grant application including written sections and you get stuck, I recommend you take the time to review PGH articles and online tutorials that are available to you. We address many of these sections in our Columnists monthly columns (Review Denise Schlegel especially) BJA also put out some training videos on grants as well. I would also recommend if you haven’t already sign up to receive our monthly newsletter directly.

I’m hopeful this will help simplify the process of understanding grants or at the very least provide you some guidance on how to get started. We work hard at putting a lot of information on our sites to make your job easier in finding grants to support the work you do. If there are ever topics we can help with and you don’t see them addressed on the site – send us an email at expert@policegrantshelp.com.

Stay safe!

Sarah is responsible for the day to day management of the Grant programs on PoliceGrantsHelp, FireGrantsHelp, EMSGrantsHelp, GovGrantsHelp, and EducationGrantsHelp. She has been working with non-profits professionally and personally for over 10 years. Through her leadership the grant assistance program has helped over 20,000 public safety and local government agencies with grant assistance resulting in over $75 million in funding.

Prior to managing the Grants program, Miss Wilson was the Director of Operations for Praetorian Digital and held various marketing and organizational management positions within financial services. Sarah earned her bachelor's degree from the University of California at Davis. A west coaster her entire life, Sarah was born in Honolulu, Hawaii, raised in Southern California and currently calls San Francisco home.

Contact Sarah Wilson

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