Happy New Year from all of us at TheGrantHelpers.com. We want to help you start off the new year with some important updates and tips about the grant world.
But before discussing more general areas, here is one specific opportunity that just opened. Lowes Toolbox for Education has announced its spring cycle. K-12 public and private schools, as well as parent-teacher groups, are eligible to apply. Projects should fall into one of the following categories: technology upgrades, tools for STEM programs, facility renovations, and safety improvements. The deadline for submitting applications for this grant cycle is Feb. 9. However, if 1,500 applications are received before the application deadline, then the application process will close.
- Get Organized Now for the New Year
Lots of organizations, especially federal grant-making organizations, have already laid out a schedule of their grants for the new year. Some are already accepting applications for the spring cycle. For instance, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has its 2018 Forecast of Funding available here. Now is the best time to get pertinent dates on your calendar and get your boilerplate documents updated. Review the timelines for your likeliest funding sources, and prepare to apply well in advance.
- New Way to Apply for Federal Funding
Grants.gov has rolled out a new way for groups and individuals to apply for federal grants. This has been a two-year transition, and on Dec. 31, 2017, the legacy PDF application package was officially retired. In the past, applicants downloaded and completed a single, big PDF application package that contained all the forms (i.e., the “legacy PDF application package.”) To work as a team, you had to email the file back and forth while making sure all contributors were using the same version of Adobe software. The new Grants.gov Workspace program is intended to make collaborating on an application very efficient and easy. Forms can either be completed online within a web browser or downloaded individually and uploaded to Workspace. According to the Grants.gov blog, applicants who have already used the new program say it is making the process faster and more streamlined. For more information and tutorials on how to use the new program, visit the Grants.gov blog.
- Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) grants may not be funded in 2018
The heavily subscribed COPS grant may be on the chopping block this year. This Department of Justice grant program provides money to law enforcement agencies for a variety of needs, including hiring new police officers, testing new strategies, and purchasing technology. In recent years, money was also set aside toward curbing the opioid epidemic and addressing gang violence. In 2017, the COPS office allocated of $98.5 million to fund 802 police officer positions for the next three years. However, a working White House budget showed the elimination of the entire COPS office. The COPS hiring program is not listed by name in the proposed Fiscal Year 2018 budget, and very little information is being shared. We will continue to monitor this situation and keep you updated on its status.