How to align your PD's strategic priorities to win the next grant opportunity

Getting your department together to complete this task will prepare you to jump into the grant application planning process and application much more quickly


As we wait for the election process to be completed and while funding opportunities are in a holding position, now is a good time for your department to embark on the task of assessing your needs, outcomes, successes and police deployment strategies. This will lead you to clarity for your focus for next year.

This process helps you plan your direction for your department’s future, determine your needs and figure out what grant funding you will need to continue to successfully serve your community. The elements of this process are not hard to accomplish, but some may take more time than others. Getting your department heads and administration together to complete this task will prepare you to jump into the grant application planning process and application much more quickly.

The process requires strategic thinking, evaluation, and assessment of the past years’ strategic plan and the opportunity to identify which goals were met, by how much and what has been left unaccomplished and why. Before you begin, locate a copy of last year’s plan and your state’s strategic plan, which may be obtained through your state administering agency.

Determine your needs for personnel, training, strategic deployment, technology purchases and/or updates and retirement succession planning. Next, assess your level of accomplishment for any goals set in 2016. Review your current status in all grant award projects and outcomes. Review and assure that your current deployment strategies are up-to-date and align with the DOJ’s recommendations as much as possible. Review your needs with your state strategic plan to assure that your goals and objectives align with the state. By demonstrating alignment of goals and projects, you assure that your grant needs can be met.

The Office of Justice Programs recommends the following outline when creating your strategic plan document:

  • Department vision.
  • Department mission.
  • Goals and objectives: major steps to accomplishing a goal; specific, measurable and achievable in a defined period of time.
  • Tasks: more specific activities designed to accomplish objectives.
  • Action steps: timeline, activities, person’s responsible and sequential chain of events.
  • Results measurement.

Goal-based strategic planning is the preferred process in community-based planning. Here are some recommendations to follow:

  • Identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. These can exist both within and outside of your organization.
  • Identify and prioritize major problems and goals. Go through the list of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and identify your goals and the problems that might prevent your program from reaching those goals.
  • Design major strategies (or programs) to address problems and goals.
  • Design or update your mission statement (some organizations may do this step first).
  • Establish action plans (e.g., objectives, resource needs, roles, responsibilities for implementation).
  • Compile your strategic plan. A strategic plan contains all the documentation assembled so far and records problems, goals, strategies, an updated mission statement, action plans and any identified strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

In the past I have provided a number of resources to help with this process. Here is a review of some of those which will assist with preparing for the planning process and grant application process:

The new Presidential Administration will be following the remainder of the 2016-2017 federal fiscal budget until September 30th 2017. 

October 1, 2017, resets the fiscal year and the new administration budget should be in place. Many grants programs will still be in place and new ones will be developed to meet the goals of the new administration.

Prepare now and you will be successful with any new grant funding opportunity.

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