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    How much if any, does congressional support letters play into award decisions?

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADC120 View Post
    How much if any, does congressional support letters play into award decisions?
    None what so ever. Just goes into your file and no one ever sees them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle View Post
    None what so ever. Just goes into your file and no one ever sees them.
    But boy are they there and gleaming when you get one like they had something to do about it.

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    While it might not have any effect on getting an award:

    Getting your congress critters to write a letter recommending you for award ,gets them involved in the process and lets them know that there is truly a need for continuation of funding for this critical program. It lets them know that the constitutes who vote them in ::: or out of office need their support.
    We always make contact with our senators reps to get them involved and keep them involved in the process.

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    while it does not affect the overall award, it certainly puts the program on the radar of Congressional staff. Having them know of the jurisdictions wants and needs is important if the grant does not come through, and certainly makes their chests puff out if you do. Win-win for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by onebugle View Post
    None what so ever. Just goes into your file and no one ever sees them.
    IMHO:I would agree that it does not play a role in the "selection" process; a poor grant will not get funded no matter how many letters are there and in the reviewers and computer scoring it definitely has no effect since the letters are in the original file. The only one who sees them are the people doing the "tech review" phase as they are the only ones who have access to original file.I think it might have some subtle effect though when money starts running low and a decision has to be made when an "apples to apples" comparison is made and only 1 can win. Consider this!

    Who do the tech reviewers work for? Congress technically speaking. Now if I know that Dept A has letters of support and Dept B has none, and I can only choose one or the other to fund, if I don't fund Dept A I have almost assured myself that the DJ letter will result in Dept A calling a Congressman and wanting an explanation which likewise will result in a call from some Congressional aid, seeking explanation. Likewise, if I rejected Dept B, with no letters, the risk of an "angry Congressional call" is less likely. Just food for thought.

    Bottom line though.. I does not ever hurt to have them on file!
    Kurt Bradley
    Fire/EMS/EMA Grant Consultant
    " Never Trade Skill for Luck"

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    Thanks guys! I have written several of these things over the years, and everytime I submittted, I read the section on congressional support. I have never worried about it before, but as tight as things are this year, I just wondered if it would help give a little extra "bump".

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    Quote Originally Posted by mtndew21 View Post
    But boy are they there and gleaming when you get one like they had something to do about it.
    Turnout gear grant for $80k and Truck for $285k and didn't hear from anyone in Congress. They can't even buy votes effectively.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ADC120 View Post
    Thanks guys! I have written several of these things over the years, and everytime I submittted, I read the section on congressional support. I have never worried about it before, but as tight as things are this year, I just wondered if it would help give a little extra "bump".
    I have been told by Kurt that it does not hurt to have that letter in with your application. Every grant application that I have written since that first seminar with Kurt has had the letter. That was 6 applications ago, 5 of which have been awarded!! I tweeked the one that wasn't awarded and it was funded in the early rounds this year. Better believe I am going to give them the credit for the success and keep asking for their support!!

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    I use to think it was true that congressional help didn't have a effect on grants untill the SAFER Orlando incident. IF you don't qualify just complian enough to your congressman to get the rules changed. But hey welcome to America lol

    I'm sure for the avg grant the letters don't mean much. I have never had help from congress and I have had no problems being funded. But my grants are so small that the peer review guys probably laugh and feel sorry for me lol.

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