Josh King, Grant Writer
Josh King
Grant Writer, Grayshift

I worked in law enforcement for 11 years before coming to Grayshift. I know from personal experience the struggle in sourcing funding for necessary tools and programs. Especially when budgets are tight, many departments might need more resources to properly equip their officers with the right gear, training, or technology.  

It’s stressful when there are so many priorities. Do we purchase license plate readers, bulletproof vests, or mobile forensic tools? Budget line items for mobile forensic solutions frequently fall to the bottom of the list. That’s understandable – not all technology is equally prioritized. 

But what if you could have funds for all your high priority items, including mobile forensic solutions?  

Fortunately, there are many ways agencies can creatively secure the funds they need to support their various programs and efforts. In this blog, I’ll talk about the following: 

  • Different Grant Types 
  • The Application Process 
  • Tips and Tricks to Help You Prepare Your Grant Applications 

Grants Bridge Funding Gaps  

Suppose you’ve been in public service or another government-funded job. In that case, you already know that grants play a significant role in funding. It is the government’s way of providing funds to bridge funding gaps. The first step in considering a grant application is to understand what types of grants are available. Many of the available grants align with challenges law enforcement and public service communities face – to fund specific aspects of policing like opioid abuse, violent crime reduction, community-oriented policing, and human trafficking, to name a few. Some common grants include Law Enforcement Assistance Grants (LEAGs), Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grants (JAGs), Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), among others.  

Good Things Take Time 

A good grant application takes time. First, it can take weeks, even a few months, to complete the application. Then, after it is submitted, you have to wait until the funding source can review all applicants and award a winner. Each granting body will receive dozens, if not hundreds, of applications, so the review period can take a significant amount of time.  

Show And Match The Need 

You can increase your chances of being awarded the grant by ensuring the grant matches your organization’s needs. For example, if you are applying for an opioid grant, your agency may be struggling to address opioid-related crimes because you lack certain tools or resources. Highlight how many opioid-related investigations you are encountering and how having the right tools and resources could help your organization better address those issues. Creating well-organized, clear, and appealing proposals is essential to stand out from the myriad of applications. Ultimately, being awarded a grant boils down to how effectively you convey your organization’s need and the impact the grant funding would have on your agency.  

Craft A Comprehensive Proposal 

To increase your chances of being awarded the grant, creating a comprehensive and persuasive application is essential. A well-crafted grant proposal should provide a clear and concise overview of your organization’s mission, goals, and objectives. It should also demonstrate a deep understanding of the problem you intend to tackle, highlighting the current gaps and the proposed solution’s potential impacts. 

Here are some tips and tricks that can help you with your grant application process: 

  • Register with all required agencies, organizations, and systems.  
  • Set a realistic goal that you want to achieve because most grants require you to report on your progress. 
  • Give yourself plenty of time because grant applications and reporting can take up many hours. 
  • Have all your credentials ready. Read up on requirements beforehand, so you don’t have to scramble at the deadline. 
  • Review qualifications carefully. If you meet the standards, your application might be eligible. 
  • Gather and compile specific data for the type of grant you are applying for.  
  • Get help from subject matter experts or from communications professionals to take on the writing portion of the application. 
  • Demonstrate the need and importance. Show how this funding will make a difference in your jurisdiction. 
  • Create a reasonable budget. 
  • Don’t forget any attachments. 
  • Follow all of the grant guidelines. You want to avoid having your application thrown out on a technicality. 
  • Give your application one final review to check for errors or anything missing. 

Get Expert Grant Writing Assistance with Grayshift 

Although the above tips and tricks can be helpful, the grant application process can still seem overwhelming and time-consuming. At Grayshift, we can provide grant writing assistance at no additional cost to you – thus easing the burden of a grant application. Our grant application support includes locating and researching available grants, assisting in writing narratives, answering questions, and formulating plans for data collection and performance measurements. We’ll work alongside you and your department throughout your grant application journey – helping you identify your needs, assist in necessary data collection, and complete the grant application process. We can’t guarantee that you will win the grant you apply for, but we can guarantee that we will do everything we can to assist you in creating a successful grant application.  

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