Grant Writing Advice and Tips: The Grant Helpers Blog

Grants for Public Safety

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Wed, Nov 12, 2014 @ 15:11 PM

There is often more than one organization responsible for providing public spublic safetyafety to a municipality. Fire departments, EMS, police departments, non-profit organizations, and emergency management agencies all work together to provide life-saving and critically important services to communities. All of these agencies, and others, require a budget allocation to provide these important public safety services. To help fund training, equipment purchases, and education related to public safety we have compiled a list of selected public safety grants.

FY2014 Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG)

This FEMA grant program is the largest fire grant program in the United States with over $300 million available for funding this year. AFG awards financial support to fire departments, EMS organizations, and State Fire Training Academies (SFTAs). Three different public safety areas are eligible for consideration: operations and safety, vehicle acquisition, and joint/regional. The joint/regional category includes mass disaster training and partnerships between agencies. New this year is the requirement that vehicles purchased must be new, not used. Applications are due Friday, Dec. 5. An estimated 2,700 grants will be awarded this year.

National Rifle Association (NRA) Foundation

Police departments, safety organizations, and non-profit organizations are eligible to apply for grants from the NRA Foundation. There are two grant categories. General grants must promote, advance, and encourage firearms and hunting safety, or they must educate people, especially youth, about firearms. For example, public safety organizations could use this grant to have a firearms education course for youth or adults. For police departments who operate their own shooting range, look at the Foundation’s Shooting Range Grants as well. These grants can be used for permanent improvements to facilities, including construction projects, road improvements, berm work, and even permanently installed trap machines. Deadlines vary by state fund committee. Check the website for specific deadlines.

Firehouse Subs Public Safety

We have written about this grant previously. With a Dec. 15 grant deadline it is worth bringing up again at this time. First responder and public safety organizations with Firehouse Subs locations in their service area are eligible for this program. Five areas are eligible for funding: life-saving equipment, prevention education, scholarships and continued education, support for military members, and disaster preparedness and disaster relief. If you miss the Dec. 15 deadline, applications are also accepted March 15, June 15, and Sept. 15.

Digital Voice Stress Analysis Grant Program

Law enforcement agencies in the United States can receive FREE Digital Voice Stress Analyzer software, a $10,000 value, from the manufacturer. One hundred grants are available. This software is a computerized voice analysis software for detection of deception and credibility assessment. Examiner training tuition ($1,500) and annual recertification ($300) are associated costs if you receive the free software.

National Firefighters Endowment Equipment Grant

Grants for $5000 - $6,000 are available from this endowment for purchase of fire department equipment. Eligible equipment includes turnout gear, personal escape kits, helmets, hand-held power lights, communication devices, telephones, personal alert safety systems, air packs, tanks, and more. Equipment must improve the ability to provide life-saving services or to protect the lives of firefighters. A unique component of this program is that to apply, fire departments must submit a video, rather than a written application, explaining their need. There is a rolling deadline for this program.


Photo Credit: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Savannah District

Topics: first responder grants, grant notification, grants for public safety, emergency management services, EMS, NRA grants, public safety, public safety grants, first responders, grant opportunity, fire department grant, fire safety grant, firefighter safety grant, police safety grants, emergency preparedness, police grants

Upcoming Municipal Grant Opportunities

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Thu, Aug 28, 2014 @ 15:08 PM

In helping municipalities set priorities among the constant barrage of requests from the community--infrastructure, better roads, water systems,safey, recreation and leisurem and many communitymore--it can help to know what kinds of funding are available. Toward that end, check out the grants below, some with September deadlines, as well as some information about an ongoing grant program that may be helpful for future planning.

We make you aware of new grant opportunities in a variety of ways, including Twitter and Facebook. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter (@TheGrantHelpers) to make sure you get updates.

FY 2015 Brownfields Area-Wide Planning (BF AWP) Grant

The Environmental Protection Agency is already announcing funding for the next fiscal year’s brownfield grant program. The deadline to apply is Sept. 22, 2014. This funding is available to municipalities and non-profit organizations to conduct research, technical assistance, and/or training activities that will enable the entity to develop an area-wide plan for brownfields assessment, cleanup, and subsequent reuse. BF AWP-funded activities must be directed to one or more brownfield site(s) located in a specific area. The maximum amount of grant funding that applicants may apply for under each proposal is $200,000. EPA anticipates selecting approximately 20 projects through this program.

State of Illinois Small Equipment Grant Program

Fire departments, fire protection districts, or township fire departments located in Illinois can now apply for funding from this grant program. Applications are due Sept. 30, 2014. These grants can be used to purchase small equipment, protective clothing, breathing apparatus, and other tools for firefighters. The grants may not exceed $26,000. In order for a fire department, fire protection district, or township fire department to be eligible for any grant or revolving loan offered through the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal (OSFM), the department must be in compliance with the National Fire Incident Reporting System (NFIRS) for a minimum of 24 months prior to the open application period.

Humanities Collections and Reference Resources (HCRR) Program

It’s never too early to start grant planning. The National Endowment for the Humanities has already announced funding for its Fiscal Year 2016 HCRR grant program. Applications will be due July 21, 2015. Libraries, museums, and historical organizations are eligible to apply. Funding from this program aims to preserve the collections of these entities. Awards are also made to create various reference resources, as well as make these collections more widely accessible, often through the use of digital technology.

Small Grants Program

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service offers the Small Grants Program to assist with public-private partnerships that create projects for long-term protection, restoration, and/or enhancement of wetlands for the benefit of all wetlands-associated migratory birds. The deadline for this program is November 7, 2014. Grant requests may not exceed $75,000, and priority is given to applicants that have not received this grant before. From the inception of the program in 1996 through March 2014, 665 projects have been funded with more than $37.2 in grant money.

Informational Grant Tidbit

Need a transportation grant? Start planning now for a successful grant application for next year’s Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program. Why so early? The demand is so high. Applications for the program this year totaled $9.5 billion, 15 times the $600 million set aside for the program. The Department received 797 eligible applications this year, compared to 585 in 2013.


Photo credit: the_tahoe_guy

Topics: municipality grants, first responder grants, humanities, firefighter safety, firefighter grant, municipality funding, brownfields, brownfield clean up, municipal grant, municipality grant, municipality, fire department grant, fire safety grant, firefighter safety grant, municipal grants, municipal funding, transportation, wetlands, TIGER program

Public Safety Grants

Posted by Michelle Hansen on Fri, Oct 4, 2013 @ 11:10 AM

Both police and career firefighters are in the top 15 occupations for risk of fatal occupational injury, and the traumatic fatality rates are approximately three to four times higher than the average for all occupations, according to the Centers for Disease Control. The fatality rate for emergency medical services responders is about two and one-half times the rates for all occupations. These statistics show the vital importance of protective gear, necessary equipment, and safety tools for first responders. Grants are often needed to fund many of these integral tools. To assist in finding such grants, the Grant Helpers have compiled a list of potential grants for these public safety efforts. 

Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG)

This yearly grant, awarded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is designed to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations. These grants can be used to purchase equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources necessary to help emergency personnel do their jobs. The Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) is currently under development, and according to FEMA’s website, the application period will likely open sometime in October. There were over 250 grants awarded through this fund in 2012. For example, last year Park Ridge Fire Department in Park Ridge, IL received a $16,470 grant to be used for training, and The New Canaan Fire Department in New Canaan, CT used a $93,808 AFG to purchase equipment.

Illinois FY14 Small Equipment Grant

In our home state of Illinois, the Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal offers small equipment grants up to $26,000. This program provides grants to local units of government in Illinois for the purchase of small equipment by a fire department, fire protection district, or township fire department. Fire protection entities that are not governmental bodies are not eligible to apply for a grant under this program. The grant committee considers the three following criteria: priority, equipment need, and financial need. Applications are due Nov. 15, 2013. All Illinois fire chiefs should have received an application via email. The application is also available on the website linked above.

Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation Grants

Emergency service entities served by the Firehouse Subs chain of restaurants (see locations here are eligible to receive these grants awarded four times a year in March, June, September, and December. Program goals include:

  • Provision of emergency service entities with life-saving equipment

  • Provision of prevention and educational tools to the public about the importance of fire safety, emergency services, and natural disaster preparedness

  • Provision of financial resources to individuals pursuing a career in the public safety sector through scholarship programs

  • Provision of ground assistance during disasters by feeding victims and medical workers on the scene

Applications can be filled out online. Past recipients of the grants have used the funds to purchase a thermal imaging camera, extrication tools, Automated External Defibrillator (AED), radios, and firefighter turnout gear.

FEMA FY2013 Pre-Disaster Mitigation Program (PDM)

Grants up to $3 million are available to state, county, city, or township governments through this FEMA-sponsored program. The goal of the program is to reduce the overall risk to the population and structures from future hazardous events by helping grantees implement a pre-disaster natural hazard mitigation program. Over $23 million is available through this program in Fiscal Year 2013. The deadline for applications is Friday, Oct. 18.

State Farm Good Neighbor Citizenship® Company Grants

The national insurance company offers fire prevention and disaster preparedness grants to schools, government entities, charitable non-profit organizations, volunteer fire departments, and chambers of commerce. Grants range from $25,000-$100,000 per award. State Farm grant applications for 2014 funded requests will be available from Tuesday, September 3 through Thursday, October 31. The application can be found online.


Our team of Grant Helper experts, including Municipality Specialist Rebecca Motley, can help throughout the entire grant process. We work hand in hand with you to help you find the funds you need. See our complete list of services to see how we can help you.


Photo Credit: cwwycoff1

Topics: first responder grants, grant announcement, firefighter safety, firefighter grant, fire program, disaster preparedness, first responders, grant opportunity, fire department grant, fire safety grant, firefighter safety grant, police safety grants, police grants

Does Your Fire Department Need Funding? Check Out These Grants!

Posted by Alisyn Franzen on Fri, Jan 4, 2013 @ 13:01 PM

Budget cuts have many municipal departments scrambling to find funding from more sources than ever. Fire departments and fire safety programs and development are often among those facing major cuts. In this blog article, we feature a few of the grants that are available to help fund fire prevention, fire safety, and fire departments in general. Remember, these are only of the few opportunities for such funding. If you need assistance in finding more funding opportunities, contact one of our grant experts today. The initial consultation is always free.


Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG)

These were announced fairly recently, on December 17, which is an unusually small application window. There are actually two different grants that make up FEMA’s AFG:

Fire Prevention and Safety Grants (FP&S)

FP&S grants support projects that better public safety and the safety of firefighters from fires and related hazards. The main goal in projects is the reduction of injury and prevention of death among high-risk populations.

Eligible applicants include fire departments, national, regional, state, local, Native American tribal organizations, and community organizations that are known for their expertise in fire prevention and safety programs and activities. Private and public non-profit organizations are eligible to apply. Federal agencies, for-profit organizations, and individuals are not eligible for this funding.

Firefighter Safety Research and Development Activity (R&D)Fire Grant

National, regional, state, and local organizations, including academic (e.g., universities), public health, occupational health, and injury prevention institutions are eligible for R&D funding.  Organizations specializing in firefighter safety, health, wellness research, and development activities are encouraged to apply. Fire departments, for-profit organizations, federal agencies, and individuals are ineligible for funding.


FEMA allows fees for grant writers to be included as a pre-award expenditure, but the fees must be paid prior to award, which means they would be paid whether or not an award is granted. 

For both the FP&S and R&D grants, there is a $1 million maximum request. Application requirements are very specific, so it would be wise to review them carefully when applying for the grant.

Deadline: January 18, 2013, 5:00 p.m. ET


The Heritage Program at Fireman’s Fund Insurance Company

Since 2004, Fireman’s Fund has awarded over $29 million in grant money to over 1,800 fire departments across the United States. Grants can be used for equipment, firefighter training, and community education programs.

There are three ways grants are awarded:

  • Participating independent insurance agencies can direct grants to fire departments based on the growth of their business with Fireman’s Fund.

  • Fireman’s Fund employees can nominate fire departments for grants.

  • Fireman’s Fund can award grants for national programs that aim to improve firefighter safety and reduce firefighter accidents.

For those who do not know how to get noticed for these grants, fire departments or organizations have the option of completing a survey on the Fireman’s Fund website, and one of the Fireman’s Fund employees or agencies can nominate that department or organization for a grant.

There is no specific award range published for this grant, but you can visit the Fireman’s Fund website for more information on how to apply.

Deadline: Ongoing


Remember, these are just a few of the available funding opportunities. For more information on how we can help you find funding and meet your goals, contact a grant expert today. We have municipality experts who are ready to assist you.


Image Credit: AMagill

Topics: fire prevention grant, firefighter safety, firefighter grant, fire program, municipal grant, municipality grant, fire department grant, fire safety grant, firefighter safety grant