Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Plant a Seed with a School Garden Grant

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Sep 29, 2016 @ 09:09 AM

27003352592_914eb0a94b_q.jpgIt may seem like a strange time to start looking for grants for a school garden since the days are getting shorter. Most school garden grant deadlines are in the fall, however, so there is time for planning and execution of the grant money before the actual planting of gardens need to occur in the spring. Below we have collected a few grant opportunities to help you in your funding.

If you need assistance pitching your garden idea to a principal or school board here are a few benefits of a school garden.  You may want to mention one or more of these in your grant application:

  • Teaches children about the environment, environmental stewardship.
  • Teaches concepts of nutrition, healthy eating.
  • Improves language arts through garden journaling.
  • Garden design and layout can teach visual arts.
  • Math concepts taught through space planning, water needs.
  • Develops understanding of related science topics such as photosynthesis and insect impacts.
  • Allows for hands-on learning, a new way to engage students outside the classroom.

Safer Brand

Safer Brand is offering $500 school garden grants. You can apply for the Safer School Garden Grant by sending an email to with the subject line “School Garden Grant." Information that needs to be included in the email can be found on the website.  Send your submission in between Sept. 1 to Dec. 1. Schools must be located in the United States.

2017 Youth Garden Grant has been sponsoring an annual youth garden grant since 1982. This program can help establish a new school garden or maintain/update an existing program. The request for applications is usually issued each fall with awards made early the following year, in time for building and planting in the spring.  Look for the 2017 Youth Garden Grant application in October. In 2016, 20 youth garden programs were selected to win a package valued at over $500.

Gardening Know How

Gardening Know How is sponsoring a school and community garden sponsorship program. This year they will be awarding 10 sponsorships to 10 selected gardens. Each sponsorship will be for $1,000. Applications are accepted until Sept. 30. While this deadline is coming quickly the application is only sending an email which can be accomplished quickly and easily. Simply tell Gardening Know How why your school or community garden would be the best choice by sending an email to

Annie’s Grants for Gardens

This grant program has funded more than 350 gardens since 2008. Grant money can be used to begin a school garden program or to expand/update an ongoing project. This year’s grant winners have already been announced, but applications for next year’s program will reopen in November. Check the site then for details on how to apply and how much you can request.  Bluffton High School in South Carolina was a 2016 Annie’s Grants for Gardens award winner. The recipients used the money to assist their Sustainable Outdoor Inquiry Learning Project (SOIL). This is a small garden in which science students, special needs students, and the Environmental Club members compost, collect rainwater, and garden in raised beds built from recycled materials.

We aim to put together timely grant resources all in one place in our blog. In every aspect of our job we attempt to work hand-in-hand with you and your organization to customize our services to your needs. Start out with a free phone consultation with one of our expert Grant Helpers, and let us help you find the grant money you need.

Topics: education, garden grants, school food grant, grants for gardens, grants for school gardens, grant opportunity, nutrition grants, nutrition for kids, school grant, school garden grants

Guest Blog: Tips and Grant for Neighborhood Watch

Posted by Luke Murray on Tue, Sep 20, 2016 @ 10:09 AM

logo_council_houseonly.pngNeighborhood Watch programs are a great way to make the place you live safer for everyone. The signs alone can dissuade criminals while the knowledge your neighbors are looking out for you can put your mind at ease. However, it is important that you ensure that everyone is kept safe by your neighborhood watch. Grants are available in some areas to support Neighborhood Watch programs—Tip #4 in this blog.  Before that, here are some ways to make sure your community watch as is effective and safe as possible, while taking into account recent criticism for profiling, overuse of force, and other issues.

  1. Offer Training to Volunteers

An increasingly common issue in America is overuse of force from both police and neighborhood watch members. Innocent adults and children alike are being profiled and killed as a result of undertraining. Particularly in diverse communities, it is important that you educate your volunteers.

Work alongside your local police force, if possible, for training on proper force and avoidance of racial profiling. If teens are being profiled and shot by your neighborhood watch, your neighborhood is not safe.

If planning to use weapons of any kind, volunteers should also know how to use them. Even if your neighborhood watch isn’t using firearms, tasers can also be deadly if handled improperly. Weapons such as batons and pepper spray can also cause significant damage if the person using them has not received proper training.

  1. Go Door to Door

Get to know your neighbors. It is much easier to identify outsiders and potential threats if you familiarize yourself with the people who live in the area. For example, if you know your neighbor and see them hopping through a window into their own home, you save yourself and the police a lot of trouble by knowing better than to report a burglary.

You can also identify which children should be with which adults. Not all parents and kids look alike and knowing the parents of your neighborhood’s kids can save everyone the headache of calling in a false kidnapping.

  1. Keep Your Home Safe

The safer your family home, the less likely you are to need the assistance of a neighborhood watch. If every home in the area has a sign stating they are protected by a home security system, it becomes less likely that someone would risk a criminal act in the neighborhood. Similarly, if someone tried to break in and found they could not successfully enter the home, your neighborhood may be viewed as too difficult to rob.

  1. Find Out About Grants in Your Area for Neighborhood Security

Depending on where you live, you may be able to find city, state, or even privately-funded grant programs that can help your cause. They tend to be local and regional, such as the City of Memphis. Other examples are The Walmart Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). can help you locate even more.

Grant funds can be used to purchase security lights, pay for neighborhood self-defense training, or even add security cameras. You can contact your local police department for information about what’s available in your area, or if no program exists, reach out to local government on ways to get one started.

Seek out information on community safety grants in your city or state.

logo_councilofneighbors_v.pngLuke Murray created after an attempted burglary in his neighborhood put the spotlight on his community’s neighborhood watch system. The site aims to provide resources to help people keep their communities, families, and homes safe.

 Image via Pixabay by Monam

Topics: grants for neighborhood security, grants for community safety, grants for neighborhood watch, neighborhood security, neighborhood watch, neighborhood security grants, community safety grants

How Grants Are Used

Posted by Tammi Hughes on Thu, Sep 15, 2016 @ 12:09 PM

17283526416_a5327bfdd5_q.jpgWe aim to give you a plethora of grant opportunities in our blogs. Have you ever thought what happens AFTER a grant gets awarded? What kinds of entities receive the grants, and what kinds of projects or programs are realized with the money? We thought we would give you a look at some of the recently awarded grants in a variety of subject areas, to help you visualize what grant money can mean for your organization.

Federal Transit Authority—Grants for Transportation

The Federal Transit Authority (FTA) has recently announced the awarding of several grant programs. Rides to Wellness Demonstration and Innovative Coordinated Access and Mobility Grants aim to help connect people to healthcare services through improved access to public transportation. $7.3 million in grants were awarded to 19 projects in 16 states. The Flint Mass Transportation Authority in Michigan will receive approximately $310,000 to develop a mobility management program that will coordinate non-emergency medical transportation and trip planning to deliver primary and urgent care for families, older adults and people with disabilities throughout Flint.

The Ohio Department of Transportation will receive approximately $133,000 to fund the Mommy and Me Ride for Free program, which improves coordination and access to healthcare for pregnant women and women with infants in Northwest Ohio. By better connecting to the TARPS and TARTA transit systems, the project will improve health for mothers and babies.

The FTA also recently awarded a $16 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant to the City of Cincinnati. This grant, as well as $29 million in other Department of Transportation funds, will be used to create the Cincinnati Streetcars project. This project is the cornerstone of the city’s efforts to expand transportation options as well as to revitalize the heart of the city. The streetcar line, named the Cincinnati Bell Connector, is 3.6 miles long with 18 stations connecting popular employment and cultural destinations in the city’s downtown, riverfront area, and Over-the-Rhine neighborhood.  

Prevent Cancer Foundation—Grants for Cancer Detection and Prevention

The Prevent Cancer Foundation has awarded nine grants in its 2016 Cancer Prevention and Early Detection Community Grants Program. The grants will help underserved communities for cancer prevention and early detection programs. Philadelphia FIGHT will use its $25,000 to educate about hepatitis C and test for the virus in community-based senior centers serving baby boomers. The “C a Difference” program will partner with 20 senior centers with the goal of educating 4,000 baby boomers about the link between hepatitis C and liver cancer, signs and symptoms of hepatitis C infection and modes of transmission and then testing 500 people for the virus.

Penrose-St. Francis Health Foundation in Colorado will use the grant funds to reach more than 3,000 employees and 700 community members over the age of 50, including 175 who are uninsured. The grant will provide free Fecal Immunohistochemical Testing (FIT) kits for screening and will cover several colonoscopies for low-income patients who have a positive screening test, are symptomatic or considered high risk. Organizations from 48 states applied for funding from this grant program. 

Open Your Heart Foundation—Grants for Hungry and Homeless

Grants from this program help fund organizations that assist the hungry and homeless. With some deadlines for this year still coming, the foundation has already awarded over 60 grants in 2016. Stepping Stone Emergency Housing in Minnesota was awarded $6,066 to purchase shelter bunk beds and wardrobes. The Barnesville Area Food Pantry received $2,230 to purchase a freezer.

With a free consultation, we can help brainstorm multiple potential funding avenues for your project. can also help you in all other aspects of your grant journey whether you need to find a grant or need help managing a grant you have already received. See a full list of our services and then schedule a free consultation with one of our experts.

Topics: homelessness grants, health grants, homelessness, transportation grants, hunger prevention grants, health grant, hunger relief, transportation, grants for transportation, grants for homlessness, how grants are used, cancer grants

If Money Were No Object?

Posted by Carol Timms on Wed, Aug 31, 2016 @ 15:08 PM

If your organization had $100 million, what critical problem affecting people, places, or the planet would you solve? That’s the question the MacArthur Foundation is posing through its 100&Change initiative9663742669_01402dbefc_q.jpg. Every three years, beginning this year, they will award $100 million to a single organization. Cecilia Conrad, MacArthur’s Managing Director leading the competition said “Setting audacious goals is inspiring.”

100&Change is open to any non-profit or for-profit organization anywhere in the world. Individuals and government agencies are not eligible. Applicants must identify the problem they are trying to solve, as well as their proposed solution. Proposals must be meaningful, verifiable, durable, and feasible. Applicants must register on the project website by Sept. 2 followed by an online application, detailing the problem, solution, and budget, along with a video pitch. Proposals will be accepted through Oct. 3, 2016.

In December, semi-finalists will be announced and each will then receive assistance from an expert team to identify and address questions about technical and organizational capacity required to implement each proposed solution, including specific plans to monitor, evaluate, and learn during implementation. Each semi-finalist will benefit from the feedback and attention from the expert teams.

From this group, finalists will be chosen in the summer of 2017 by the Foundation’s Board of Directors. Finalists will present their solutions during a live event in the fall of 2017, after which the Board will determine the $100 million grant recipient. 

“We believe that 100&Change can have a ripple effect beyond what a single $100 million grant enables,” said Cecilia Conrad. If you need help achieving your audacious goal, whether via this grant or others, contact

Topics: grant opportunity, grants, MacArthur Foundation

Grants for Domestic Violence Projects

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Fri, Aug 26, 2016 @ 10:08 AM

15591192126_b59fc975b8_q.jpgThe number of American troops killed in Afghanistan and Iraq between 2001 and 2012 was 6,488. The number of American women who were murdered by current or ex partners who are male during that time was 11,766. That’s nearly double the number of casualties lost during war. These figures are courtesy The Huffington Post. Organizations across the country are working to stop the violence, help the victims, and stop the cycle. Below are some grants that may help these groups.

Mary Kay Foundation

This foundation awards grants every October in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month. These grants are awarded to women’s domestic violence shelters across the United States. In 2015, the Foundation awarded $20,000 grants to more than 150 women’s domestic violence shelters across the nation for a total of $3 million. Each year, the foundation awards a grant to at least one domestic violence shelter in every state that applies. Any remaining funds are distributed based on state population. Applications are accepted from Jan. 15 to April 30 each year.


The Allstate Foundation realizes that many domestic violence victims feel like they cannot leave their home because of money and finances. The Allstate Foundation Financial Empowerment Grant Program helps nonprofits provide critical services to help survivors build financial independence by addressing their unique financial needs. This grant program funds projects in four areas: financial, microloans and Individual Development Accounts, job readiness and job training, and microenterprise. Eligible applicants are state domestic violence coalitions. Applications are due at the end of this month. can assist with this tight deadline.


In partnership with Sheltering Animals and Families Together, RedRover is accepting applications from emergency shelter organizations to help victims of domestic violence and their animal companions stay together during times of crisis. This project will award approximately 10-12 grants of up to $6,000 to emergency shelter organizations to support the creation of space on site to temporarily house the pets of victims of domestic violence. The one-time grants are intended as start-up funding to initiate a project. Eligible entities must be non-profit and also have the primary goal of helping domestic violence victims. RedRover hopes to have one pet-friendly shelter in each state. Organizations in the following states are especially encouraged to apply: Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Rhode Island and West Virginia. Deadline for application is Oct. 15.

If you are a victim of domestic violence looking for assistance, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-SAFE (7233).

No matter which grant you chose, consider We can help you find the grant that fits you best with our search experience and subscriptions to many grant database services. Contact to see how we can find the grant you need, write and review the proposal, and help get you the funds you need. 


Photo Credit: David Rizzico

Topics: domestic violence, domestic violence grant, domestic violence programs, support for domestic violence, domestic violence grants, grants for domestic violence, domestic violence grant program, funding for domestic violence, domestic violence funding

Grants for Dog Parks

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Aug 18, 2016 @ 09:08 AM

We often write blogs about playgrounds, recreation centers, and parks—re142520422_6ad756ddf6_q.jpgcreation opportunities for humans. Man’s best friend needs exercise, too. So as not to leave out the dogs in our life, here is a compilation of grants that will help communities build dog parks.

Nutro Room to Run

Public, non-profit dog parks and off-leash areas are supported through this foundation. Since 2010, the program has helped enhance over 120 dog parks and committed more than 4,000 volunteer hours across North America. Projects included landscaping and adding trees and other shade structures, as well as adding benches, agility equipment, signage, and more for the enjoyment of pets and pet parents. Deadlines and application information were not available on the website at the time of this post. Past deadlines were in September, though we would recommend contacting a Nutro representative to get more information.

Doris Day Animal Foundation

American actress and singer Doris Day, being a lover of animals, started a foundation to help support all things animal. Non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for grants that will benefit animals and may also display a significant human element. The foundation has funded dog parks in the past. The first step to applying for a grant is to send a letter of introduction. Letters of introduction will be accepted only the first month of each quarter (Jan., April, July, and Oct.) Grants are normally $5,000 or less.


The PetSafe foundation is dedicated to helping communities become better places for people and pets to live. Last year alone, this company has provided $3.5 million in volunteer support, grants, and product donations to organizations dedicated to animal welfare. Applications are accepted year-round. The above-mentioned grants are for all animal welfare grants, including dog parks. Additionally, PetSafe also holds the Bark for Your Park competition annually. This program is committed to creating safe, off-leash areas for pets and their owners to enjoy for years to come. Grants in Bark for Your Park include five $25,000 prizes to help build new dog parks, 10 $10,000 prizes to enhance existing dog parks, and 10 $5,000 prizes to maintain existing dog parks. Applications for this program for 2016 is closed. Check back in summer 2017 for new deadlines.

Beneful Dream Dog Park Project

Beneful loves to support and celebrate the pets in people’s lives. With its Dream Dog Park Project grant Project, the company supports dog park improvements or construction projects. Since 2010, more than a dozen dog parks have been improved or created throughout the country. Eligible projects must create free and open-to-the-public dog parks or off-leash areas. To start the process of applying for a grant, contact


Don’t let the dog days of summer bring you down. If you are interested in any of the above grants, or are looking for a grant for a different cause, contact us today. We can set up a free phone consultation with one of our expert Grant Helpers, or look at a full list of our services to see how we can help you.


Photo Credit: ccbarr

Topics: grant opportunity, dog park grants, animal grants, dog grants, grants for dog parks, grants for dogs, grants for animal needs, dog parks

Policies And Procedures For Grant-Ready Organizations Part IV

Posted by Rita A. Jensen, Ph.D. on Wed, Aug 10, 2016 @ 20:08 PM

This is Part IV of a four-part series that focuses on the written policies and procedures that your organization—whether large or small—needs to have in place in order to be grant ready.Org-I_small.jpg The topics in this blog describe the Do, Check, and Act parts of the PDCA process, which was introduced in Part I.

PART IV: Operational Aspects of Grant Readiness

Review of Part I, Part II, and Part II

  • In Part I of this series, we offered the friendly reminder that it's good to have a plan—to think through your priorities for grant seeking and how you go about it—when it comes to grant seeking.
  • In Part II, we emphasized that it's essential for your plan or grant strategy to be aligned with your organizational mission.
  • In Part III, we focused on organizational aspects of grant readiness, including the roles, processes, and tools that can position your organization to be grant ready.
  • In Part IV, we feature the operational aspects of grant readiness, with a focus on managing your organization's grant activity.

Grant Readiness:  Communication

Communication is an important feature of organizational culture. It exists to one degree or another in every organization, but few organizations communicate exceptionally well.

If no one knows about them, it doesn't matter if your organization has the world's most complete, finely articulated written policies and procedures to govern grant activities. And it doesn't matter if most everyone knows about them, if they don't also know where to find them and how to access them.

When it comes to grant activity, it's crucial that all organizational members are on the same page—or at least in the same book! That notion goes back to the idea of a shared mission. If organizational members begin with a shared mission, then they are more likely to communicate the same message.

Well-organized and frequently used internal communication tools can play an important role in facilitating your organization's grant activity. Examples of such tools include:

  • A password-protected website;
  • An online policy and procedure repository;
  • Online folders that contain current organizational documents, such as the mission statement, strategic plan, case statement, past proposals and reviewers’ comments, abstracts, boilerplate information, etc.; and
  • Software applications that allow the relevant players to access and work on in-process grant proposals.

Grant Readiness:  Tools and Tracking Systems

Speaking of software applications, a grant tracking system of some sort can serve as a useful tool for organizing and maintaining records and history relevant to your organization's grant activity. A simple Excel file can identify grants applied for, submission dates, and proposal results. A central folder for all past grant applications also can be a great resource. In addition, a free tool such as Google Calendar, which can be shared with multiple users, can make it easy for all members of the grant team to keep track of grant deadlines.

Grant Readiness:  Show Me the Money!

And then there are the money matters. Organizations that make grant activity a targeted priority have budgets that reflect their commitment to grant writing efforts—in terms of both time and money. These organizations also set goals (a key component of the Plan phase) that identify expected results from their efforts to secure external funding. In addition, they have written policies related to indirect costs, in-kind contributions, etc.

Grant Readiness:  Continuous Process Improvement

Once goals are set, results need to be checked against them. This step is the heart of the PDCA Check and Act phases. Also, because they acknowledge that no process is perfect and that all of the moving parts involved guarantee that change is always a part of the process, grant-ready organizations develop provisions for continuous process improvement. Then they incorporate continuous process improvement steps into their procedures, and they follow the steps to systematically review their grant strategies and approaches, making adjustments as needed.

What's Next?

This concludes our four-part series focused on the written policies and procedures that your organization&mdashwhether large or small&mdashneeds to have in place in order to be grant ready. Now what?

Perhaps as a next step you could review or create your organization's grant strategy with an eye to identifying ways to fine tune your policies and procedures to make them more supportive of your organization's grant efforts. You could begin that review by asking and answering questions such as:

  • What is our grant strategy?
  • How well does that strategy align with our organizational mission and key initiatives?
  • How well do we communicate our grant strategy?
  • Have we committed sufficient resources to carry out the grant effort as planned?
  • Do we have written policies and processes, with personnel roles clearly identified, that support and govern our grant activities?
  • What tools do we use to organize our grant-seeking activities? What additional tools do we need?
  • What systems do we have in place for reviewing and improving our grant policies and processes?
  • What can I do to improve my organization's grant-readiness quotient?

Once in place, you can also review your grant strategy against our Grant Readiness Checklist.

Action Item

 As always, is available to assist you! We'd be happy to offer you a complimentary "grant readiness" consultation. Just contact us via the following link:

Topics: grant procedures, grant-ready organizations, policies, grant policies

Back-to-School Grants

Posted by Mary Ross on Wed, Aug 3, 2016 @ 11:08 AM

The back-to-school signs are up, the students are excited, the parents are eve3959694576_193cfaeceb_q.jpgn more excited, and the teachers have begun to think about the new school year. For teachers, these eight back-to-school grants can help refresh their curriculum and not spend their own money to do it.

The Kids in Need Foundation has brought together eight grant opportunities on one site. Applications for each grant are accepted from July 15 to Sept. 30, so you’re not too late to get in on this year’s grant offerings. Grants range in amount from $100 to $500 and you can apply for more than one. Also available on this site are helpful guidelines and suggestions for completing your application as well as some free teacher printables. A contact email address for Penny ( is also listed for any other help you may need. Without further ado, here is a brief look at each of the eight grant choices:   

  1. Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores Teacher Grant: Looking for “innovation and merit” for imaginative lessons, this grant is available to certified teachers of grades K-12. This grant awards from $100 to $500 for a project-based learning opportunity in your classroom.
  2. Elmer’s Teacher Toolkit Grant: No back-to-school list is complete without several bottles of Elmer’s glue (my son’s list asks for four bottles and 10 glue sticks—no joke!). Elmer’s is making lesson planning easier by providing teachers with “Winning Projects” to use in the classroom. Teachers can follow the link to the project site and choose a project for their own class, then apply for the grant to make it happen. Certified K-12 teachers can apply, and special consideration is given to schools with 70% or more students in the free and reduced lunch program. Check out these projects and get one started in your classroom this fall.
  3. Dollar General Reading Scholars Teacher Grant: Are you teaching literacy skills this fall? If you have a new approach with a creative design, read more about this grant for certified teachers Pre-K to 12th grade.
  4. Georgia-Pacific Innovation Grant: Certified pre-K to 12th grade teachers with a new approach to using “common teaching aids” or a new idea for teaching their curriculum should read more about the Georgia-Pacific Innovation Grant. This grant ranges from $100-$500.
  5. ArtSkills Teacher Grant: Are you an art teacher with a new approach to reaching kids? Looking for “innovation and merit,” this teacher grant is available to certified teachers grades pre-K to 12. You are limited only by your imagination, and what can be done with up to $500.
  6. WIMA Creative Writing Teacher Grant: Calling all creative writing teachers, the WIMA grant wants to hear about your ideas to get kids writing.
  7. Helping Humanity Fund – Navajo Pottery Project: Originally done in a middle school setting, the Navajo Pottery Project can be adapted to any age group and funded through this grant. A lesson plan is provided here: and certified teachers pre-K to 12th grade can be awarded a grant of $195 to replicate this project in their own classrooms.
  8. VIA Credit Union Teacher Grant (Regional-Indiana only): The list of specific school districts in Indiana that are eligible for this grant appears on the website. If you teach in one of these schools and have an innovative approach to teaching, apply for this grant.

We at know that it’s important to set off in the right direction. If you’d like to know about more grant opportunities and get help finding grants specifically tailored to your needs, contact We have the resources you need, and the first consultation is always free.  

Photo Credit: xMizLitx

Topics: education, education funds, educational opportunities, educational funding, education grants, education funding, educational grants, grants for education, education grant, grant opportunity, grants, school grant, grants for back to school, back to school grants, back to school

Policies And Procedures For Grant-Ready Organizations Part III

Posted by Rita A. Jensen, Ph.D. on Tue, Jul 26, 2016 @ 16:07 PM

Org-I_small.jpgWelcome to Part III of a four-part series that focuses on the written policies and procedures that your organization--whether large or small--needs to have in place in order to be grant ready. This blog transitions from the Plan stage in grant readiness to the Do stage described in Part I.

PART III: Organizational Aspects of Grant Readiness

Review of Part I and Part II

In Part I of this series, we offered the friendly reminder that it's good to have a plan—to think through your priorities for grant seeking and how you go about itwhen it comes to grant seeking.

In Part II, we emphasized that it's essential for your plan or grant strategy to be aligned with your organizational mission.

Grant Readiness: Roles, Processes, Tools

In Part III, we move on to the organizational aspects of grant readiness that can help you be better prepared to anticipate, adapt, and act when funding opportunities present themselves. We begin by focusing on roles and then move on to processes and tools that can position your organization to be grant ready.  As you read through the descriptions, you’ll see that an effective grant-seeking effort takes a commitment of personnel and other resources. Developing a plan with a refined focus is what separates the highly successful recipients from those with a more hit-or-miss, ad hoc approach.

Grant Readiness: Roles

As we mentioned in Part I of this series, many organizations are not staffed in ways that allow for a full-time grant administrator or coordinator. Given that piece of reality, your organization needs to ensure that there are specific individuals within the organization whose written job duties and key performance indicators include outcomes directly related to grants. In addition to identifying specific individuals, your organization needs to describe each individual's role with regard to grant activity and management.

Board Members. For example, board-level involvement, support, commitment, and oversight are essential components of a successful grant strategy. Basically, the board must be on board with the organizational grant strategy. Yes, so they can openly support the strategy, but also so board members can communicate that strategy clearly and consistently across all levels of the organization, as well as externally. Board-level buy-in is also critical in allocating sufficient resources to establish and maintain a continuous, successful effort over time.

Administration, Faculty, and Staff. Different members of the organization are involved in grant processes to different degrees and in different ways. For educational institutions, faculty members may play the role of principal investigators, whereas staff members may play major roles with the budget details, and administrators may be part of the approval process.

Grant Coordinator. Although your organization may not have an individual who dedicates 100% of his or her time to grant activity, hopefully there is a specific person who wears the grant coordinator hat and is designated as the clear leader/coordinator of grant activity. The grant coordinator typically tracks specific proposals, seeks out funding opportunities that match your organization's mission, manages the process, and leads grant communication efforts across the organization.

  Insider Tip: If you'd like no-cost help you identify funding opportunities that match your organization's mission and key initiatives, then join The Grant Helpers Watch List.  

Grant Writers. Larger non-profit organizations often have one or more members whose full-time responsibility focuses on grant writing. In smaller organizations, grant writing may be an expectation associated with multiple positions, as in "other duties as assigned." For example, employees who work for a foundation may be expected to devote most of their time to working with individual donors and programs, but also be expected to help out with grant writing as needed.

Volunteer Grant Writers. Some organizations also use the services of volunteer grant writers. Those that do are well-advised to develop and rely on written policies and procedures to govern their use of the services of volunteer grant writers and to maintain continuity as volunteers come and go. Conflicts of interest, background checks, and qualifications are examples of details that need to be addressed.

Outsourcing.  Naturally, as a grant writing company, we are quick to point out the advantages of outsourcing grant support. We subscribe to many databases with thousands of funding opportunities, so we’re well positioned to quickly find agencies that are interested in supporting your efforts. Also, we’ve written millions of dollars in successful proposals. The Grant Helpers can greatly increase your chances of funding--and can be available as needed without the expenses incurred with full-time staff.

The Grant Helpers also can help your organization build your own capacity in-house, if that’s in your long-term plans. If so, we’ll be more involved initially and will spend more time explaining how the process works. We'll also help you develop some of the processes mentioned below and the tools mentioned in Part IV of the blog. Over time, we can take a more advisory role.

Grant Readiness: Processes

The different roles introduced above need to be defined so that specific tasks are aligned with specific

Most grant proposals request similar, basic information. Organizations can save time when preparing grant applications by maintaining a central file with this information. The file should include your 501c3 status letter, annual budget, resumes of key staff and the Board of Directors, and identifying information, such as your organization's address and any tax or grant registration numbers (like CCR and EIN).
-- excerpted from What Goes into a Grant Readiness Kit? Posted by Katie Adams

roles. The end product is a map or flowchart of the grant strategy and the different roles organizational members play. Timelines and the grant proposal approval process should be pieces of the flowchart.

As The Grant Helpers have emphasized in previous blog posts, organizations that have the right tools and procedures in place can shave hours off their grant proposal preparation time.

Grant Readiness: Tools

Your organization can use tools and documents such as checklists, templates, organizational case statements, boiler plate information, and approval flowcharts to systematize the development of grant applications. In addition, software programs and databases that alert you to funding opportunities that align with your organization's mission statement and key initiatives serve as helpful, time-saving tools.

What's Next?

Next time we'll focus more on tools your organization can use to manage and monitor the grant process. We'll conclude our four-part series by featuring the operational aspects of grant readiness that can help you be better prepared to anticipate, adapt, and act when funding opportunities present themselves.

Action Item

Until then, we invite you to review the roles, processes, and tools that are part of your organization's grant strategy. Of course, if your analysis reveals gaps in your grant readiness plan, then you have an opportunity to address those gaps through continuous process improvement.

As always, The Grant Helpers is available to assist you! Just contact us and ask your grant question

Topics: grant management, grant readiness, grants, be grant ready, grant ready, grant-ready organizations, grant planning

Police Grants

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Jul 21, 2016 @ 09:07 AM

Violence against police, long a potential hazard, has risen as a concern due to recent events. Now more than ever it is important that police agencies have all the necessary equipment they need3954363946_7091cd0daa_q3.jpg to keep the not only public safe but also themselves. Below are some grants that can assist these police departments.

Our thoughts are with all of the families of the police officers who have lost their lives keeping others safe.

American Police and Sheriffs Association

This is a very straightforward equipment grant program from APSA. Any law enforcement agency or officer in the United States can apply for an equipment grant simply by filling out a single form. Grants are awarded based on those in the most need and that can benefit most from the grant money. Applications are accepted at any time. Recently, $6,000 was awarded to the Massachusetts Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors and Armorers Association for training DVDs. Grant money has also been used to purchase tasers, tactical vests, and equipment for a K9 unit.

Armor of God Project

Ballistic vests are an integral part of a police officer’s wardrobe. The Armor of God Project is making sure all police officers have access to these life-saving pieces of equipment. They will recycle used, but still quality, ballistic vests and provide them to officers that need them. Since 2009, thousands of vests have been given to deserving police officers. Vests can be requested by filling out an online form on the project’s website. At this point, the project has seen an increase in requests for vests and is currently low on their vest supply. It is currently taking 90 days for them to fulfill appeals. Any currently working police officers in the United States are eligible to ask for a vest.


The Walgreens Foundation supports emergency and disaster relief, including support for first responders. Only non-profit agencies are eligible to apply. Requests for funding should be under $10,000. Funding could be used for equipment needs or even infrastructure desires. Grants are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Community Facilities Program

This grant program from the United States Department of Agriculture is often talked about for important infrastructure needs in a community. In addition, the grant money can also be used to support equipment and vehicles. Police departments can apply to this program to purchase life-saving equipment, emergency vehicles as well as any infrastructure upgrades. Only communities of 20,000 people or less are eligible to apply. The amount of grant money a community is eligible for is based on the median household income. More information on the amount of grant money available is offered on the website. Applications are accepted at any time.

If you are interested in any of these grant opportunities, or want to find out if there are more grants that can help your organization, please contact us today. The first consultation with one of our expert Grant Helpers is always free.


Photo Credit: G20 Voice

Topics: grants for public safety, public safety, public safety grants, grant opportunity, police safety grants, grants, police grants, police officer grants, grants for police safety, grants for police officers