Five steps to get ahead of the 2010 grants process
The Office of Justice's Program Plan for 2010 can help your department get funding
The Office of Justice recently published their grant funding Program Plan for 2010. This is the first time this federal office has presented their funding priorities at the beginning of the fiscal year in its entirety. This is an excellent opportunity for law enforcement agencies to begin to plan their grant applications with an entire year in view. Go to www.ojp.gov/programplan if you are considering grant applications of any kind from the US Department of Justice; now is the time to act.
First Step: Review the plan as a team. Get your leadership together and review the plan. If your 2010 funding needs for grant applications are not found within this document, chances are you will not obtain funding to meet your needs in 2010 from the Department of Justice. That means you would need to either change your plans or begin the search for another funding source. Consider searching the opportunities through other federal grant makers such as US Department of Homeland Security, US Department of Transportation, and US Department of Commerce etc. Then begin to research funding available thought your state departments that match the federal department mission such as your State Department of Justice. Private sources might be available through the Foundation Center’s Directory of Foundations. Contact your State Administering Agency staff member to inquire about the funding appropriation and if it has been passed by Congress. Next, call the appropriate Grant contact person to inquire about obtaining the funding announcement and grant application. Sometimes they will be able to put you on an alert list and email you the funding announcement. The Federal website www.grants.gov will post the announcement as well. Sign up today at this site for RSS immediate notification open grant announcements.
Second Step: Should you find funding that may match your 2010 need begin to prepare for the application process by collecting appropriate data and demographics about your community and the problem you want to address with the funding application. If you would like a guide to preparing this data, contact me by email and one will be sent directly to you.
Third Step: Begin to develop the problem statement based on the evidence the data offers to describe the real need to address this problem. If you have an increase in a specific type of crime gather the data about that crime which proves that your need is real.
Fourth Step: Recruit any community partners you need to address the problem and begin to meet with them to discuss the best approach to the “fixing” the problem. Make sure you take minutes of the meeting, plan for additional meetings to develop a plan on how to get to the root of the problem, which partner will help with what need to complete the project, when each task over the course of the year is to be accomplished and why you have decided your approach is the best way to fix your problem. Research the field to determine the best practices for addressing the need and what the Federal and State suggests are the best approach to the problem. Keep the minutes and an original sign in sheet from the meeting attendees. The funder may ask for a copy of these documents as evidence your partnership is a real one!
Fifth Step: Wait. While waiting for the announcement complete all of you preliminary work so that when the announcement is published you will have plenty of time to complete a competitive application. Most announcements allow you 45 days or less to complete application.
Below are the actual instructions concerning this OJP Program Plan 2010. These instructions will help you understand the process. The key to remember is that congressional approval must be given for every funding program. Once that is completed the announcements and application kits will be published and you can move forward, already prepared for you application.
If you act NOW you can enjoy full year of competitive grant applications and more money in your account to meet your pressing needs for 2010. So what are you waiting for??
Denise S. Schlegel
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