Internet Resources for Grants and Grant Writing

Article excerpt

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security recognizes that terrorists might strike anywhere, including areas where the territory may be large, but where the population is lower than urban areas and where local authorities may not have adequate resources to respond to emergencies. As an example, there are more than 1 million firefighters in the nation, of which about 750,000 are volunteers.

More than half of the nation's firefighters protect small or rural communities that have scarce resources, and fewer than 5,000 people. The DHS currently wants projects that carry out its strategies to build capability in communities outside urban areas and to develop mutual aid agreements to share resources. Unifying command and control procedures lets specialized resources be shared, rather than duplicated, by jurisdictions.

That's why there's a trend in grants that sends fewer federal grants to large, urban areas, and more to projects to improve preparedness and response, regardless of geographical location. Whether you're seeking funding for equipment, exercises, training or planning, you might do well to put your grant application's focus on how your project will benefit preparedness in your area, your agency and other agencies, and your community and neighborhoods.

The following Web sites can get you started on your Internet search for a grant. They help you do your homework in noting each potential grantor's likes, dislikes and strategies. When you think you've found a match, study and follow the grant application process carefully. Go back to the Web site regularly to keep current on any changes or trends applicable to that grantor.

www.grants.gov

This is the definitive site for federal grants and the logical starting point for grant research because, by law, it is supposed to be the clearinghouse of all federal grant information. It currently lists about 1,000 grant programs representing $400 billion in federal grant money. Although there are occasional flukes in the listing process, it is nearly a complete, one-stop source for listings. The home page has a place to click to determine your eligibility for grant applications, and there are free downloads of software to use the Web site.

You'll also find links to searches and applications for grants through standardized processes, plus such grant-related helps as foundation resources, funding resources, grant management resources, and links to state / territory / outlying area Web sites for further funding opportunities. Register for the quarterly "Succeed" newsletter to keep aware of new grant opportunities and news pertinent to grants and projects. The Web site is a time saver for most of the federal grant research you want to do.

www.dhs.gov/xgovt/ grants

This fiscal year, the Department of Homeland Security has allocated about $1.6 billion for DHS grants, with a particular focus on preparedness and response. Because each state's overall strategy is different, and because the DHS sees preparedness as a shared responsibility, state and local agencies play a significant role in consistency of effort and preparedness. Using the opening page's U.S. map, click on your state to learn your homeland security contact and to see your state Homeland security Program strategy for authorized equipment, training, exercises and projects for the fiscal year.

The DHS has programs for free training. Because you can get certain equipment only if you have personnel trained in that equipment, use the opportunity for free training so you can later apply for those equipment grants. DHS recognizes that some agencies have received equipment grants for equipment needed because of a present emergency, but the shift at DHS is toward supplying equipment before an emergency is under way, so that terrorism can be prevented.

DHS grants aren't strictly for counterterrorism, but also include other disasters. The Homeland security Grant Program emphasizes preparedness planning, equipment acquisition, training, practice exercises, management and administration. …