Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Grants for Disaster Preparedness, Relief

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Oct 13, 2016 @ 11:10 AM

16551421138_4bc2a10225_q.jpgHurricane Matthew was an unwanted guest along the east coast and in several islands over the weekend. Matthew hit Florida, Virginia, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. More than 20 people in the U.S. died. Now, North Carolina is dealing with massive flooding that’s left about 1,500 stranded. And more than 1,000 people in Haiti died when the hurricane hit the country last week.

This is the perfect time to bring awareness to grants that both help prepare for natural disasters before they occur and assist people after disasters strike. See a sampling of these grants below, and don’t hesitate to contact us for more questions.

Lions Club International Foundation

This service organization, normally associated with helping with vision concerns, actually has four different grant programs dedicated to preparing for or helping with disasters. In the last 10 years, the foundation has awarded more than $100 million in these types of grants. Applications for these grants must be submitted to the local Lions Club where the disaster has occurred, so building a relationship with your local club is vital. See details on the all four of the grants below.

  1. Disaster Preparedness Grants- These grants help prepare for future disasters. The aim is to bring volunteers from the Lions Club together with emergency personnel and community organizations, in order to have plans in place before a disaster strikes. These grants range from $5,000 to $10,000. Local funds must account for 10% of the grant request. Priority will be given to districts susceptible to regular and repeated natural disasters.
  2. Emergency Grants- Grants of up to $10,000 are available for communities hit by a natural disaster that has affected at least 100 people. Grants in this category should help with an urgent need for water, food, clothing, medical supplies, blankets, and cleaning supplies not available from other agencies. When a tornado struck Joplin, Missouri, this grant was used to fund 120 meals a day for an emergency shelter that housed people who lost their homes.
  3. Community Recovery Grants- This set of grants is aimed to help with short-term clean up and repair efforts where immediate needs have already been addressed. These grants total $20,000 and are for current disasters only where at least 100 people have been affected. Construction projects are not eligible. Eligible projects include equipment for debris removal, coordination of blood drives, equipment and supplies for minor repairs of public institutions, and temporary eye clinics for replacement of eyeglasses.
  4. Major Catastrophe Grants- These grants cannot be applied for by organizations and instead are directed by the foundation’s board of trustees. These grants are awarded for long-term reconstruction projects like those after Hurricane Katrina in the U.S or the Nepal earthquake.

Gates Foundation

The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gives grants in several different areas, one being emergency relief. They support three different types of emergencies: rapid-onset emergencies, complex emergencies, and slow-onset emergencies. The largest portion of emergency relief grant money goes to rapid-onset emergencies. These types of emergencies are high-impact emergencies such as typhoons or disease outbreaks. This funding aims to help with immediate needs including food, shelter, water, and more. The Gates Foundation also funds complex emergencies, which often include violent elements and disruption of national systems. This money will also fund immediate basic human needs. The last category of funding is slow-onset emergencies. These are classified as events along the lines of drought and famine, whose negative consequences build over time. Grant money in this program must support programs that help build stability in communities. Requests for Proposals are published on the foundation’s website.

Disabled American Veterans

For organizations aiming to assist veterans during emergencies, a great place to start is the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) grant program. This grant program supports veterans that have been the victim of isolated or specific disasters. These grants may be issued for the purpose of providing financial aid, food, clothing and temporary shelter. DAV supply kits – which include backpacks, blankets and hygiene kits – are also provided. Individual veterans and their family members are also eligible to supply directly for this grant program.

When disaster strikes, or if you are looking to fund something else, consider Contact to see how we can find the grant you need and work with you to create an application that attracts those funds.

Topics: disaster preparedness, grants for disaster planning, grants for disaster preparedness, natural disaster, disaster preparedness grants, emergency preparedness, emergency preparedness grants, emergency preparedness resources, emergency management services, grants for disaster relief, disaster relief grants

Grants to Keep Your School Safe

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Oct 8, 2015 @ 10:10 AM

school_safetySadly, school safety is back in the news with the recent tragic shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon. TheGrantHelpers put an emphasis on school safety in 2012 when 20 children and six adults were shot at Sandy Hook Elementary School. We doubled our efforts to find grants to help you secure your schools, and released our "School Emergency Preparedness Overview" to help you see how prepared your school is for an emergency.


It might be a good idea to create a list of equipment and items that are necessary to make your school safe. Of course, each list will vary based on your school's needs but some items you may want to have on your list include:

  • Security system such as cameras
  • Improved school lighting
  • ID card readers on entryways
  • Fixed lock entry doorways
  • New solid doors
  • Fences to create definite school boundaries
  • Programs to educate staff, students

Just as important to physical equipment are the procedures put in place to use them, and periodic drills and walk-throughs to assure preparedness.

Funding your your list of school security needs is often a challenge. To help you get a good start, below are selected grant opportunities that may be of interest.


Two major programs helping to fund school security are included under the umbrella of the US Department of Justice Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grant programs. There are two COPS programs that fund school security needs: Community Policing Development (CPD) and COPS Hiring Program (CHP). In Fiscal Year 2015 CPD funded projects related to a number of public safety topic areas totaling $6 million. The COPS Hiring Program awarded 209 grants this fiscal year to hire or rehire police officers. Special consideration was given to those applicants requesting funding for a School Resource Officer. Funding for both of these programs has already been allocated for this fiscal year. It is expected solicitations for these programs will appear late spring/early summer.

Video Insight

Video Insight has created the School Security Grant to help schools attain video surveillance systems. In January 2015, the company began giving away one grant per month, and it will continue to do so until the end of the year. K-12 schools as well as colleges are eligible to apply. Each Video Insight School Security Grant recipient will receive the following equipment:

  • 48 Video Insight Video Management Software (VMS) licenses
  • 16 IP video surveillance cameras
  • 1 video encoder
  • 10 years of the Video Insight Software Upgrade Program (SUP)

Insider Tip: The application for this program is fairly short and simple, yet it may be useful to have your IT person help fill out the application. There are some technology specific questions.

Lowe’s Toolbox for Education

This retail store may not seem like a place to find grants for school security needs. However, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education focuses giving on K-12 public/charter education and community improvement projects. The projects can include building renovations/upgrades, grounds improvements, and safety improvements. Grant requests can range from $2,000 to $100,000. The fall application cycle ends Oct. 16. That deadline too soon? This foundation accepts applications again in the spring.

For additional information on identifying security risks within your school, or for additional resources on school security, you may want to see our previous blog article, “How Secure Is My School?”


Our team of experts can help you find funds for all your pressing needs from school security to municipality projects to non-profit programs in general. The first consultation with a Grant Helper with expertise in your specific area of need is always free. Don’t delay and contact us today.


Photo Credit: Jason Lawrence

Topics: education, emergency preparedness grants, disaster preparedness, emergency preparedness

School Emergency Preparedness, Security Grants & Resources

Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Wed, Jul 16, 2014 @ 09:07 AM

Emergency Preparedness for SchoolsAs hard as this is to believe, summer is already more than half over for most students, teachers, and school administrators. As the beginning of a new school year draws closer, receives more and more inquiries about the high-priority topic of school security and emergency preparedness for schools.

Many schools continuously review, revise, and restock supplies and equipment related to keeping their students safe. In order to assist schools in these tremendously important efforts, we offer this blog, filled with information about grants and resources that may interest anyone trying to fund and/or improve schools’ security and emergency preparedness efforts.


This grant program can be used for planning, purchasing equipment, training, and other school security support efforts. HSGP supports five core mission areas: Prevention, Protection, Mitigation, Response, and Recovery. In FY 2014, HSGP allocated a total of more than $1 billion to be awarded, spread across three interconnected grant programs: State Homeland Security Program (SHSP), Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI), and Operation Stonegarden (OPSG). The deadline for applying for FY 2014 funds was May 23, 2014. However, it would be wise to start planning for applications during the FY 2015 funding cycle. In recent years, applications dates varied, beginning in mid-February to mid-May and being due between May and mid-June.

To learn more about FEMA’s HSGP, visit their website. Keep in mind the information here is from FY 2014, and that application submission deadline is now closed.


According to one portion of its website, Lowe’s Toolbox for Education program gave almost $4 million to fund improvements at 940 schools in 2013. Safety improvements were among the projects awarded. The grant also supports technology improvements, outdoor learning areas, and more.

The fall grant cycle opens on August 1, 2014 and includes a simple grant application that can earn your school up to $5,000. For more information, visit the Lowe’s Toolbox for Education website.


The State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship Company Grants program funds a variety of efforts in the areas of safety and education. Disaster preparedness and disaster recovery are among the programs they support.

Grant applications for 2015 will be available beginning September 2, 2014 through October 31, 2014. For more information, visit the Good Neighbor Citizenship Company Grants website.



The following are various school security and emergency preparedness resources that may interest schools as they plan emergency response efforts or make their case for emergency preparedness or school security funding.

This website provides many additional resources for emergency preparedness and security for schools.

This PDF document is a detailed guide for creating emergency preparedness plans.

This website includes a crisis planning guide and other information that can help school leaders plan for emergencies, including natural disasters, violent acts, and terrorist acts.

This website includes information on the steps you should take to be prepared in the face of disasters. There is also a “Kids” section that includes fun activities and games of kids, parents, and teachers.

This PDF contains a two-page checklist of security readiness items in four common readiness categories (Mitigation and Prevention, Preparedness, Response, and Recovery) drawn from various authoritative sources.

  • Previous Blogs from
  • COPS Grant Program Announced (Note: This grant deadline has passed, but this would be worth keeping in mind for future grant competitions.)


There are many, many grants and resources out there for school security and emergency preparedness. Keep in mind that in this blog, we have only featured a select few. If you are interested in learning more about grants for school security or grants for emergency preparedness that may fit your funding needs, please do not hesitate to contact us. One of our specialists would be happy to assist you, and remember, our initial consultations are always free.


Image credit: Emergency Info BC

Topics: school safety resources, school security, safety grants, emergency preparedness grants, school security grants, emergency preparedness resources, school security resources, school safety, COPS, emergency preparedness, COPS grant