New grant writers contact me weekly about how to begin to research and write grants. Fortunately, there are many rich resources for a beginner in grant writing to use as guides for the development of a grant and for locating grant funding opportunities. Most of these resources are on the internet!
Let’s begin with grant writing orientation. Where does one in law enforcement begin to learn about grant writing? First, there is www.PoliceGrantsHelp.com. This is the most comprehensive location for all things any officer needs for understanding grants. At this site, you can research current grant funding at the national and state levels, review detailed specs and information concerning tools and technology for law enforcement. And the best news of all is that you can send an e-mail with questions about law enforcement grant writing and get an expert answer in return. PoliceGrantsHelp.com has a cadre of top national professionals ready to help you.
Federal government grants websites
Secondly, the federal government has several websites which every law enforcement grant writer needs to spend time with to learn the history of grant funding opportunities, learn best practices in the industry, locate key research documents and locate current funding notices. The key websites are as follows:
This federal grant one-stop-shop website provides the most current and archived grant funding announcements for every grant issuing agency in the federal government. In the red box on the left side of the website, you can do the following:
• Login in as an applicant
• Find grant opportunities using the grants.gov search engine
• Get registered with the federal government to enable access to apply for grants
• Submit your application online with the federal grant management system
• Track your application once you have applied
• Locate key applicant resources for the federal grant process (make sure you review this section!)
Office of Justice Programs/US Bureau of Justice Assistance
This website is your key location for all funding resources, justice specific issues, updates from Congress, training and technical assistance. As a new grant writer, it is highly recommended that you review and understand the types of grant funding available from the department of justice. Click on the law enforcement topic on the left hand side of the website Office of Justice Programs website or follow the link above. It will take you to the Office of Justice funding opportunities, resources, publications and training and technical assistance available. One you click into a specific funding opportunity you will be acquainted with the entire grant program’s history, frequently asked questions, critical documents and research about the program. All of this information is essential to the development of a competitive grant application. The mission of the BJA “is to support law enforcement, courts, corrections, treatment, victim services, technology and preventions initiatives that strengthen the nation’s criminal justice system.” The Office of Justice offers an online training class titled “Grants 101.” I recommend you work your way through the modules of this training class.
The US Department of Homeland Security grants website
Here you may locate and review the current grant programs offered in the area of preparedness (non-disaster) grant programs. The current list of programs is provided and you can click and research the announcements and its requirements.
Responders Knowledge Base
In addition to the Homeland Security Grants website, the federal government has also developed the Responders Knowledge Base. This in-depth website offers you the opportunity to research grants by a topical index and by the equipment, tools or technology you wish to acquire through the grant process. Each piece of authorized equipment is also cross-referenced with which grant will pay for that purchase. I recommend that everyone in law enforcement grant writing register at this site to enable you access to this critical information. News of current training and issues within the field of homeland security are also available. This website is for all first responders. The mission of RKB is “to provide emergency responders, purchasers and planners with a trusted, integrated, online source of information on products, standards, certifications, grants and other equipment-related information.”
National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration provides funding for law enforcement related to traffic and traffic safety including distracted driving. This is an important funding site for understanding current key issues, ongoing safety-related research and data.
Private grants websites
Thirdly, there are several sound resources for law enforcement in the private community to learn about grant writing. The premier organization is the Foundation Center.
The Foundation Center
The Foundation Center is the most authoritative source of information on private philanthropy in the United States. They help grant seekers, grant makers, researchers, policymakers, the media and the general public better understand the field of philanthropy. The Foundation Center provides online training, in-house training, current issues, rules and regulations concerning grants, tax forms of the grant makers and thousands of publications. The Foundation Center publishes the only comprehensive directory of every one of the more than 85,000 foundations in the United States. To locate a library near you who offers free access to this resource, use this website. I recommend you spend some time as a new grant writer taking their introduction to grant writing free online course.
Grant writing training
If you are interested in grant writing training, many community colleges and non-profit agencies sponsor grant writing classes throughout the year. For law enforcement specific grant writing classes, please check the following free law enforcement training centers for their class roster. The free training includes the course, course materials, housing and meals. You provide the transportation and time.
Once you have researched and reviewed these key websites for law enforcement, you will have a good base upon which to build your grant writing skills. If you are a beginner and have further questions, please feel free to contact me at Denise.Schlege@PoliceGrantsHelp.com.
Best wishes with your grant writing endeavors!