Securing the necessary funding for new technology can be a tricky challenge for many public safety professionals. After your regular operating costs are taken care of, there usually isn’t much left over for other updates. Knowing how to find and secure grant funding can make all the difference.
Grant Writing Tips for Public Safety Professionals
Police departments and child advocacy groups across the country often rely on grants to do their work and improve their systems. If your organization is seeking assistance through a grant opportunity, you’ll need to have a compelling application. Grant committees are more likely to award funds to groups that can supply the right information. Here are some good grant writing tips to help you start:
1. Provide a clear and engaging story about your organization.
Everyone loves a good story, so take time to share your agency’s mission, values, and future goals in an interesting way. Consider working with an experienced grant writer to get your message nice and polished. Reviewing your work multiple times will help you submit a proposal that’s error-free and easy-to-read.
Also, be sure to keep complicated sentences and industry jargon to a minimum. That way, your reviewers don’t get lost while they read. A strong submission will communicate your needs in a concise way—and hopefully inspire readers to support your cause.
2. Defend your request with statistics, relevant facts, and citations.
Including hard facts and numbers about the issues that your organization deals with every day will help you paint a detailed picture for reviewers. Explaining the need for additional funding means a lot more when you can back up your request with reputable data.
Statistics about crime in your area, or other studies about the populations your organization serves can help solidify your request for additional funding. A variety of reputable resources from federal, state, and local resources can help highlight the unique needs of your area.
3. Confirm that your application is organized—according to their rules.
Submissions that are polished and professional really stand out from the crowd. If images and color graphs are allowed in your applicaiton, consider adding some visual elements to your report. Working with a professional graphic designer can help you submit a document that’s eye-catching
A good first impression is always worth the extra effort. Make sure your layout follows all of the rules outlined in the solicitation’s instructions. Otherwise, your organization’s request might automatically get disqualified.
4. Focus on the goals and outcomes, not the tools themselves.
If purchasing new technology is your primary goal, you might need to take some other steps. Not all grants are appropriate for new equipment or facility upgrades. In those cases, focusing on the technology itself won’t be enough to for a winning application.
Be sure your submission focuses on the problems that will be solved. For example, using funding to change how your organization shares data with prosecutors could be a good fit for some grants focused on “Improving Criminal Justice Response.” Being able to clearly explain why the new technology will improve your process can help you get the grant committee on board.
Resources for Law Enforcement & Child Advocacy Grants
Understanding the grant writing process and how to submit a proposal that will get noticed can be a long road. Fortunately, there are plenty of helpful resources available online. Visiting some of these websites is a great first step for many police departments and child advocacy groups looking to obtain additional funding:
Office of Justice Programs
Notifications for new funding and other grant writing resources are available throughout this government website. The information from the Office for Victims of Crime is particularly useful, and includes a page to search for OVC details in your state.
This website provides an easy way to search for new grants that relate to your search terms. Child Advocacy Groups might find new opportunities with the grants for children search results on GrantWatch.
Of course, this short list is only the tip of the iceberg. Other grant writing guides are also available, and you might find a better fit for your organization’s needs. If you need any help along the way, you can always contact iRecord.
Work with iRecord to Improve Your Agency’s Tech
If your team needs a better way to document your interviews, the time to act is now. Don’t let faulty, outdated recording equipment get in the way of your important work. Identifying opportunities for funding through grant programs is a great way to keep your operations running smoothly so justice can be served.
Throughout our company’s history, iRecord has worked hard to be an ally to our nation’s public safety professionals. If your organization needs help preparing a grant proposal, please don’t hesitate to contact our team. We’d be more than happy to talk with you about your options.