Our experts at PCG are here to help you throughout the grant process by locating potential opportunities for your department and assisting with your applications. To help navigate the process, we wanted to share MSA Safety Incorporated’s series of steps to help Fire and EMS agencies with identifying, applying for, and obtaining grant funding. Below, we have outlined an overview of MSA’s tips on navigating the grant process. Follow this link if you would like to read the full article.
To begin the grant selection processes, according to MSA the first step is to define a project. To do this, you should identify your department’s needs and understand the potential benefits of obtaining grant funding. Grant applicants should focus on the areas of their department and community that will yield the greatest measurable impact. You should be able to explain the negative impact on your department or community if you are not selected for the grant funding. Determine who your stakeholders are which are those who will be impacted by the grant and organize the costs associated with the project into a budget.
After outlining your project, costs, and key stakeholders, you will need to research grant opportunities to obtain the funding you need. When conducting your search, you should review the grant’s full RFP when you think it might be a good fit because it typically includes key details regarding deadlines and how to fill out your application. Keep in mind that if you come across a grant that is listed as ‘est’ or estimated, it means the grant is not open and guidelines have not been made available yet. A grant listed as ‘est’ or estimated contains information about the previous year’s requirements.
When you have found a grant that is a good match, be sure to follow the application directions and verify you meet the eligibility requirements. There are grants that hold workshops or share additional materials that help with applications. Additionally, according to MSA, “getting a letter of support or pledge for monetary assistance can strengthen an application by proving your project will benefit the whole community.”
The fourth step of this process is to put together all the information you have gathered and use the grant application guidelines to assemble your application. It is important to pay careful attention to formatting as some grants have strict rules about font size and how the applications should look. During this step, you should tell your unique story about why your department needs the grant money.
The fifth step is to await award notice. According to MSA, it typically takes 3 to 6 months for a grant award to be announced but it can take up to 12 months. You can also request feedback on your application if you were not the one selected for the grant award.
If you are selected for the award, your next step will be to follow the instructions given from the grant sponsor and implement the funds. Ensure you keep track of any measures of success you outlined in your application and be ready to show how the grant funds helped you achieve it.
The final step in the grant process is to complete any last action items related to the grant award and start preparing for your next application. There is also a closeout process you must complete in order to apply for the grant the next year. Be sure to keep a record of all the grant application materials because they can be used again in the next year’s application.
Our PCG team would be happy to help support your department and assist with navigating the steps of the grant process. If you need support in locating grant opportunities or completing a grant application, you can schedule a free 15-minute consultation by using the button below.