Department of Homeland Security – Grants for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Attention fire departments and the nonprofit organizations that support them! The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and FEMA recently opened their annual funding opportunity that assists fire departments with workforce and deployment capabilities. The Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Grant program provides funding directly to eligible fire departments and nonprofit organizations that represent the interests of volunteer firefighters. The overall goal of the SAFER program is to improve local fire departments’ capacity for emergency response, resulting in a reduction in response times and an increase in the number of trained personnel available at an incident. The proposal deadline is coming up quickly on February 4, 2022.

Department of Labor – Employment and Training Administration Attention agencies that work with at-risk youth! The Department of Labor (DOL) – Employment and Training Administration (ETA) recently opened applications for its annual YouthBuild program. This program supports organizations that provide education, occupational skills training, and/or employment services to youth ages 16 to 24. Through the wrap-around model that includes mentoring, trauma-informed care, counseling, and employment services, these at-risk youth perform meaningful work within their communities while developing in-demand occupational skills. The deadline for proposals is coming up quickly on January 21, 2022.

United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development Is your organization or government agency seeking to improve broadband access in rural areas? Check out this great opportunity from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). The USDA recently announced at least $1.15 billion in loans and grants to enhance access to high-speed internet for rural residents through its ReConnect Program. ReConnect uses a variety of funding instruments (loans, grants and loan-grant combinations) to support construction costs, improvements, or facility and equipment acquisition needed to provide sufficient access to broadband service. This improved infrastructure and access will ultimately support long-term economic development in rural communities. Applications for this program are due February 22, 2022.

I have worked in grants development for 26 years (boy, time flies when you are having fun!). Earlier this month, I had the opportunity to attend my very first Grant Professionals Association (GPA) annual conference. Many would ask, “Really, you are just now attending the GPA conference after so many years in this business?” I am grateful to have joined the team at Assel Grant Services (AGS), where professional development and GPA involvement are high priorities. I started with AGS in late August, and one of my first assignments was to register for the GPA annual conference. There was no question about whether or not I would attend - it was a given that I would. And I am so glad I got this opportunity. It turns out, as I learned from the conference, you CAN teach a “seasoned” grant writer new tricks – tricks that will not only improve their work, but will shift their thinking, make them a better grant writer, and because of some of the topics that were presented, will just make them a better person overall.

Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Population Affairs Does your nonprofit organization provide family planning and related preventive health services? The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health (OASH) recently opened its Title X Family Planning Services funding opportunity, which supports nonprofit entities that provide family planning services in communities throughout the United States. Title X services include a wide range of medically approved products and activities (described below) that assist individuals in preventing or achieving pregnancy. This program emphasizes a priority for serving persons from low-income households. Proposals for this opportunity are due January 11, 2022.

United States Department of Agriculture – Rural Development Attention rural public entities and the organizations that support them! The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) is now accepting proposals for its Rural Business Development Grants (RBDG) program. The overall goal of RBDG is to support economic development and job creation in rural areas. RBDG accomplishes this by funding technical assistance, training, and other activities targeted to small and emerging private businesses. RBDG applications are due February 28, 2022 to the applicant’s local or state USDA office.

United States Department of Agriculture – Food and Nutrition Services Attention schools, nonprofits, and state agencies working to improve student nutrition programs! The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently opened its annual Farm to School funding opportunity through the Food and Nutrition Service (FNS) office. This grant program, in alignment with the Richard B. Russell National School Lunch Act, provides funding and technical assistance for creating and implementing farm to school programs that improve access to local foods. Eligible activities include training, supporting operations, planning, equipment purchases, developing school gardens, building partnerships, and implementation activities. Proposals for this program are due January 10, 2022.

When I was a kid, I loved Halloween. I loved dressing up and pretending to be someone else - someone that was better, stronger, and more capable than I felt I would ever be. Fast forward through the decades and I recognize there are times when I want to pretend to be someone else - someone who is better, stronger, and more capable than I sometimes feel. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I realized what I was feeling was imposter syndrome. During my tenure with the Grant Professionals Certification Institute board of directors, I started to see that many grant professionals feel the same way.