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    Default Grant help needed.

    I am looking to write a grant for my department to obtain fitness equipment for our new station. However, I am a complete newbie to grant writing.

    Where do I start?

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillST View Post
    I am looking to write a grant for my department to obtain fitness equipment for our new station. However, I am a complete newbie to grant writing.

    Where do I start?
    These forums are a good start to glean info. There are a pile of articles and podcast here at firehouse.com that can give you some basic background info on what's out there. Since 99% of them are mine I might be a little biased towards them so check out the other magazine sites as well.

    Two of us that post here regularly are in the business:

    (me) www.vickersconsultingservices.com
    (ktb) www.hdgrants.com

    Both of us teach workshops on top of handling writing. Also if you have in your forum profile for people to email you then I'm sure you'll get some of the others around here to send you stuff also. That way you've got a good view of who/what is available for help.

    - Brian

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    First convince your department to fund your attending one of the grants classes that BC79r just provided to you. They and you will not be disappointed. Then visit this forum often.

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    DOD has HUGE qty of commercial fitness equipment available. I was 1st FD to use this about 3yr ago. Your state forester is the source/conduit but they may have not req. fitness equipment. But they can and US Forestry will approve. #1 killer of FD ......

    At present there are about 150pc equipment in the US. Weight training and cardio equipment of all sorts. More listed every week. Category is 7830.

    To see what you/the fire service already missed on go to: www.govliquidation.com (auction of the leftover stuff).

    Cost effective as reusing what the taxpayer already paid for. Your only expenses is going to get it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillST View Post
    I am looking to write a grant for my department to obtain fitness equipment for our new station. However, I am a complete newbie to grant writing.

    Where do I start?
    As bc79er and others have stated in here; your first step is to get educated about the who, what , when, where and why of operating in the world of grants. It can be a frustrating experience to muddle your way through this quagmire trying to figure out if you can get a box of pencils for free. There are plenty of us in here that dole out free advice all the time. Attending one of the workshops offered by myself or bc79er is also a superb idea and it will save you countless hours of frustration and probably a whole lot of "DJs"; the dreaded "Dear John" letters of rejection. Remember there are no dumb questions in grants, only unanswered ones. we can't help if you don't ask. Look to our personal profiles on how to contact us offline if you have any marathon questions that would take a novelle to answer online
    Kurt Bradley
    Public Safety Grants Consultant

    "Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Thumbs up grant writing seminars

    Quote Originally Posted by BillST View Post
    I am looking to write a grant for my department to obtain fitness equipment for our new station. However, I am a complete newbie to grant writing.

    Where do I start?
    Kurt and Brian are your best ways to get started. I have attended and then hosted a grant writing seminar. If you want your grants to get funded you have to attend a seminar. These guys have a wealth of knowledge of grant writing. The trainings are a must. I have learned so much and you get great follow-up advice from these guys. Get signed up and go before the 2010 AFG.
    Last edited by jhl81791123; 10-17-2009 at 10:29 PM. Reason: wording

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    Quote Originally Posted by jhl81791123 View Post
    Kurt and Brian are your best ways to get started. I have attended and then hosted a grant writing seminar. If you want your grants to get funded you have to attend a seminar. These guys have depth knowledge of grant writing. The trainings are a must. I have learned so much and you get great follow-up advice from these guys. Get signed up and go before the 2010 AFG.
    And don't wait for those that would want to host, just see Kurt's page to see how many he has in store already since they book the national type ones and wait for folks to sign up. Still have room for some dates I'm sure. I'm just me so can't lay out the deposits on the hotels like that to set locations first but after 2009 starts awarding/denying we will fill up quick like we did earlier this year. I've got 4 other instructors that I can send out when we have multiple locations at once but they still need warning time too. He who hesitates has to travel long distances to get to one.

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    no offense but i love how these threads always turn into advertisements for grant writing services and seminars.

    you can get all the info you need on the web and even get free help from manufacturers. As someone stated above, check out the government surplus sites before you go the grant route, may end up being cheaper anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TotowaEMT View Post
    no offense but i love how these threads always turn into advertisements for grant writing services and seminars.

    you can get all the info you need on the web and even get free help from manufacturers. As someone stated above, check out the government surplus sites before you go the grant route, may end up being cheaper anyway.
    You can get a lot of info on grant writing off the web.
    What you get from attending an AFG specific grant writing seminar is answers to AFG specific questions from writers that have been extremely successful in getting apps funded.
    Can you do it without attending a seminar? YES. Will you be more likely to have an app that scores higher due to learning all the nuances of this program? Without a doubt!

    As of this year manufacturers / Sales agencies are not allowed to bid on apps that they wrote for the depts. Read the rules!

    The minor expense of attending a seminar from Kurt or Brian will be returned many times over in increased knowledge and networking from other successful writers that you will meet at them.

    For someone new to the process to start from scratch and be successful without making simple mistakes in filling out the application would be hard. Many of the folks who post here have been writing apps for AFG since 2002, and have learned about the required answers and format the hard way.

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    I have a question.
    Last edited by MoneyMan29; 10-19-2009 at 08:39 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TotowaEMT View Post
    you can get all the info you need on the web and even get free help from manufacturers.
    While it is true you can learn a whole lot right here (free), a manufacturer is the last place you need to be looking for grant assistance. I don't even have time to list all the reasons, other than the main one that island pointed out.

    Quote Originally Posted by MoneyMan29 View Post
    I have a question.

    Has anyone heard that AFG, SAFER, FP&S, etc. are being looked at closely this year for specific styles of grant writing. I use a writer, and was told that these writers use the same format and same lingo throughout all there apps.
    It's been that way for awhile. There have been rumors that boilerplate narratives were being picked up and tossed out. While I use the same style and format of writing on all of my applications, the content and lingo will vary for each and every one. If your writer isn't doing that, he/she is providing you a disservice. You will find that many of the reviewers have been able to pick those out.

    There is no penalty for using a grantwriter -- but remember that whatever is written and submitted is on you. If you feel there is something too "generic" in your application, you should discuss that with your grant writer prior to submission.

    The biggest focus they are making now is specific mention of brand names. A big no-no which can get your application tossed.

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    Moneyman: A couple of years ago we were working with a vendor that offered grant writing assistance in getting funding to purchase their product.
    Another dept. a couple of states away was also working with them.
    I was talking with their grant writer and we compared the "app" that they had provided each of us.
    With the exception of the name of the dept being changed and the state being different, both narratives were almost word for word identical. In addition the grant writer obviously had not read the PG for AFG as the formatting was wrong , & the style was what is usually used for small cities grant program under USDA.

    Needless to say we didn't use their app narrative.

    That is what the Feds are looking for. Cut & Paste from the same narratives.
    Imagine being a peer reviewer and seeing almost identical narratives several times , & all were asking for funding of the same "Widget". Epic fail to all of them in my book.
    I'll stick with a known expert in the AFG program.

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    Totowa, no offense taken but people continually ask for seminar and grant writer information on these forums all the time. That's why every year I create a thread for people to list workshop schedules by anyone teaching them, not just those of us that hang out here. That way it's not a specific company being pushed by their employee in disguise, it lists everyone that we can find that does them. Several companies have dropped out of the national efforts, 2 that we posted last year now only stay in their state. Dr Browning still does them just about anywhere, Grantwriting USA has cut back a lot but may be for other reasons and may have just been temporary. There may even be individuals that do them on a more local basis also, or even state sponsored ones like Warren Jorgenson does up in Minnesota or Dave Lewis does through Maryland Fire Rescue Institute.

    As the others have stated, no representative of a vendor or manufacturer can do anything but supply a quote based on the DHS ruling over the summer clarifying the language in the Guidance documents. 2009 AFG was the last one. Reps can't read your grant, they can't write your grant, can't give pointers. All they can do is refer you around to someone who can. As long as the writer is paid, all is well, unless of course they're working for free as favors to their neighboring departments, or as we see here various forum folks will do also.

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    I was able to look at a couple of our neighboring departments DJ'd AFG narratives written by their city employees, who were experienced grant writers. Both their styles varied greatly from each other and were far from the ususal funded AFG applications. Some wouldn't fill one page. It was easy to see why they were denied. I also looked at some non competitive block grants that were funded and they were nothing like the AFG. One was a HSGP.
    If I had not attended Kurts class, I would have been lost, lost.

    Increase your chances. Give yourself and understanding and more confidence.

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    I took a grant writing class a few years ago from our local community college when I was looking for some station construction funds. At the time, I was working on an AFG grant for an engine and shared it with the class and instructor to get some constructive criticism. The instructor had been writing grants professionally for 20+ years and had never seen anything like the Program Guidance that we have to follow.

    Just goes to show you that an experience grant writer may not be of assistance when it comes to writing an AFG grant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by islandfire03 View Post

    As of this year manufacturers / Sales agencies are not allowed to bid on apps that they wrote for the depts. Read the rules!

    Thats not what i said, i said they can help and offer assistance. Nothing that says the mfr cant partner with and refer you to a grant writer that happens to offer their services to potential customers at no cost (which they are doing now). The mfr is not directly involved.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TotowaEMT View Post
    Thats not what i said, i said they can help and offer assistance. Nothing that says the mfr cant partner with and refer you to a grant writer that happens to offer their services to potential customers at no cost (which they are doing now). The mfr is not directly involved.
    Actually that's what DHS said (finally), anyone partnered with a vendor that writes is considered part of the vendor. Verbatim it's only direct employees in writing the grant or bid specs, but the interpretation is now spreading to anyone related by any means. Unless the writer you're referred to charges everyone or is free to everyone then it's against the ruling moving forward from 2009 FP on. Clarification wasn't given until after AFG closed.

    We had to break our contracts over the summer for that very reason, and Chief Supply and Kurt had to part ways. Been over this a lot since February trying to get real clarification but no one wants to take on City Hall and the legal bills. Even though Kurt helped with trucks and Chief Supply didn't sell trucks the claim is that it tainted future equipment bids.

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    Same for me I took a grant writting class and it makes a difference. I looked at some of my depts old narratives and I laughed because the people back then did not go to a grant class and I could not believe what they wrote. I showed them what they did wrong and they also laughed. It is money well spent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BC79er View Post
    Actually that's what DHS said (finally), anyone partnered with a vendor that writes is considered part of the vendor. Verbatim it's only direct employees in writing the grant or bid specs, but the interpretation is now spreading to anyone related by any means. Unless the writer you're referred to charges everyone or is free to everyone then it's against the ruling moving forward from 2009 FP on. Clarification wasn't given until after AFG closed.

    We had to break our contracts over the summer for that very reason, and Chief Supply and Kurt had to part ways. Been over this a lot since February trying to get real clarification but no one wants to take on City Hall and the legal bills. Even though Kurt helped with trucks and Chief Supply didn't sell trucks the claim is that it tainted future equipment bids.
    either way it wasnt perfectly clear and dont get me wrong if this is the first time writing and you have no direction, it can be completely discouraging and daunting as I found out, but i dont think its impossible to be successful on your own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by neiowa View Post
    DOD has HUGE qty of commercial fitness equipment available. I was 1st FD to use this about 3yr ago. Your state forester is the source/conduit but they may have not req. fitness equipment. But they can and US Forestry will approve. #1 killer of FD ......

    At present there are about 150pc equipment in the US. Weight training and cardio equipment of all sorts. More listed every week. Category is 7830.

    To see what you/the fire service already missed on go to: www.govliquidation.com (auction of the leftover stuff).

    Cost effective as reusing what the taxpayer already paid for. Your only expenses is going to get it.
    neiowa,

    www.govliquidation.com seems like the public site, where do you find the stuff available to the public services or find "category 7830" link?

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    https://www.drms.dla.mil/asset/govealpa.html

    Click the checkboxes for both DOD and GSA statuses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AFPD34 View Post
    neiowa,

    www.govliquidation.com seems like the public site, where do you find the stuff available to the public services or find "category 7830" link?

    http://www.drms.dla.mil/asset/fsclist.html or https://www.drms.dla.mil/asset/govealpa.html

    or try the FEPP grogram http://gsaxcess.gov/
    click login on rightside
    Username is usda pass is 124403
    Last edited by mtndew21; 10-19-2009 at 09:37 PM. Reason: added links

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    Quote Originally Posted by AFPD34 View Post
    neiowa,

    www.govliquidation.com seems like the public site, where do you find the stuff available to the public services or find "category 7830" link?
    Like I said govliq is the stuff left over that no one requested and being auctioned off to the public. Ebay style auction site. Still alot of good stuff and often goes inexpensivley. As ahs photos is fairly useful tool in figuring out what is available thru DRMS (Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service). DRMS website is not user friendly and about what you'd expect from Federal civilian run operation.

    7830 is the FSC (Fed Supply Category) for fitness/excercise equip. 2320 is trucks etc. Everything the Feds buy is assigned to a FSC and then and NSN (National Supply Number). The FSC is the 1st 4 digits of the 16 digit NSN.
    Last edited by neiowa; 10-20-2009 at 09:50 AM.

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    Does anyone know how to get on touch with the PA state forester? I have tried numerous times to contact him and all my calls and e-mails have not been returned. I would like for my dept. to take part in the surplus equipment program.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fightin23rd View Post
    Does anyone know how to get on touch with the PA state forester? I have tried numerous times to contact him and all my calls and e-mails have not been returned. I would like for my dept. to take part in the surplus equipment program.
    Main web page is: http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry/

    Main and district office contacts are on the Contacts page, and if you don't get an answer bump up one level to the DCNR home page. Or hit your state rep offices to have them kick some backside. Someone in the bureaucracy ignoring requests to get free equipment into the state will probably get some feather ruffling going on, especially in a down economy.

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