If You Don't Use the Money, You'll Lose the Money

Posted by Jill McNamara

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Public Safety Grant Monies May Remain With the Feds

grantmoneyBy:  RCN Consulting LLC

     The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have just released a report showing the amounts of grant monies that have been awarded but not drawn down by State, County, Local, Non-Profits and Private Sectors companies from 2007 to 2011.

      The 2012 Preparedness Grants contain many changes in the rules and funding categories.  DHS further announces that other new deadlines for drawing down 2007-2011 remaining funds are being enacted.  DHS is transitioning to a new grants vision and will be consolidating some programs in preparation for the new model. 

      The new guiding documents for FY2012 can be accessed at the DHS website.  Your state SAA has been provided guidance to assist each department with remaining grant funding.

 The 2013 Grants Drawdown Budget in Brief published in February 2012 provides a complete overview of the drawdown process.  Pay close attention to the deadlines for accessing this funding.

 TIMELINES FOR PERFORMANCE

  • All FY 2007 grant funds must be spent by June 30, 2012
  • All FYs 2008-2009 grant funds must be spent by September 30, 2012
  • All FY 2010 funds must be spent by September 30, 2013
  • All FY 2011-2012 funds must be spent by the end date cited on the award agreement

     The old saying is “IF YOU DON’T USE IT…YOU’LL LOSE IT”.  Monies left unspent and undrawn cause a ripple effect along all Federal Grant Award Agencies.  If you don’t use the money you will lose it for yourself and possibly many others in the near future.  “In the last 2 years Homeland Security Grant Programs have been significantly cut” says Congressman Bennie Thompson, D-MS2 and the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee.  I think back to 2002 when states, counties and locals where asking where the appropriated monies were from the Feds.  We can’t ask Government to fund programs and projects when we don’t spend what they give us.

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Are You Correctly Marketing Your Department?

As you prepare to write and package your grant application an important step in the process is to make sure your department is recognized locally by politicians as well as citizens.  How the Department is KNOWN can do a lot when those grant reviewers read your application.

Capitalize on your accomplishments.  Successful training sessions, for your personnel that highlight the new abilities of your department will go a long way to garnering the support of your elected officials and citizens.  Attendance at major training events such as at IACP, IAFC, EMS or Emergency Management Conferences will bolster support of your department.

The next time your department plans a mutual aid training session, think about inviting the press or providing them with a statement and pictures.  Highlight the capabilities that you have and make sure others are aware of it.

Remember: Community support is an important segment in the grant application process.

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RCN2RichNowakowski resized 600This article was written by Rich Nowakowski, of RCN Consulting LLC.  Rich has 42 years of experience in Public Safety and Public Safety Communications including 10 years of grant writing experience. He can be contacted at: RCNConsulting@sbcglobal.net.

Topics: Public Safety Communications, Grant Funding