Are you missing out on great opportunities for grant funding simply because you’re confused about partnerships? Many grants, especially federal opportunities, require partnerships or multi-agency collaborations, which is spelled out in detail in the solicitations.
One current example is the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program (BCJI) from the US Department of Justice, which is due March 4, 2013. It will provide up to $1 million for projects that address not only crime but also the interrelated root causes of crime in specific, disadvantaged neighborhoods.
So why are these partnerships important and why should your agency consider creating a collaborative project? The answer is simple: It will improve the overall crime problems in your jurisdiction, something you cannot do on your own.
The job of a police department is to enforce laws, solve crimes, arrest criminals, and assist in the prosecution efforts. But truly addressing crime takes more than that. It takes partners who will also address the root causes of crime, take actions to mitigate those causes, and create opportunities to improve the lives of those impacted by crime.
Most cities and towns have programs aimed at crime prevention – afterschool or sports programs for youth, neighborhood revitalization projects, and even economic assistance programs. Non-profit groups, including churches, are other potential partners with programs that can help people live better lives. Most will target parts of town that are economically disadvantaged – which are often the same areas that are experiencing a disproportionate amount of criminal activity.
Other partners to consider include your prosecutor’s office, local colleges or universities (particularly if the project requires a research component, which many grant opportunities currently include), the public school system, or even other police departments. You are probably already working with a variety of agencies that would make good partners in a detailed project.
You could be the lead agency for these opportunities, or allow one of the other partners to take over those responsibilities, depending on the solicitation details. You may even be asked by one of these agencies to partner with them on a grant-funded project. Because most non-profit organizations depend on grant funding for their operations, they understand all of the requirements and obligations of the grants and know how to run them successfully, which makes them great partners.
Partnerships are a great way to broaden your grant opportunities. They are also a necessity when it comes to fully addressing crime in your community. So, as you are looking for grants to fund a project you would like to implement, think about how bringing in partners will enhance your project and increase the opportunities for funding.
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