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Types of Grants to Pursue in Addition to COVID-19 Funding

As of June 2020, approximately 99.6% of the Coronavirus Relief Fund was distributed to state, local and tribal governments. By now, all of the funding should have been distributed, with Congress still deliberating about another potential relief package.

That leaves many government entities wondering – where else can they go if they need more grant funding in the meantime?

Depending on your agency’s mission, and the communities you serve, there are a host of other grant funding opportunities. For my last blog in this series, I wanted to provide a breakdown of some important types of grant programs governments can pursue in addition to COVID-19 funding.

Economic Development Grants

Economic development grants and loans can help revitalize distressed communities in urban, rural and tribal regions. These types of grants often come from the Department of Commerce (DOC) and its bureaus, including the International Trade Administration (ITA), Economic Development Administration (EDA) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). Some examples of economic development grant programs include:

  • FY 2020 Public Works and Economic Adjustment Assistance Programs: These programs are meant to supersede the Economic Development Assistance Program to provide economically distressed communities and regions with resources to address a wide variety of economic needs, such as creating jobs and advancing innovation and manufacturing.
  • Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Program – Entitlement Communities: CDBG programs support the development of viable urban communities by funding entitled cities and counties to provide decent housing and living environments as well as expand economic opportunities for low and moderate-income individuals. CDBG-Disaster Relief funding is widely available in the wake of the pandemic and the subsequent economic crises in communities.

Infrastructure Grants

Many infrastructure grants are issued by government agencies but can also be funded by private entities. Types of infrastructure can also fall under economic development grants, such as the former Economic Development Assistance Program. Infrastructure grants out there include:

  • SC Johnson Giving, Inc. Grants: This foundation funds projects that align with areas of interest, including education, social services, the environment, community development, arts, culture, and health.
  • Indian Community Development Block Grants (ICDBG): This federal grant encourages the development of viable Native American and Alaska Native communities. The grant also supports housing and economic opportunities for low and moderate-income individuals.
  • Civil Infrastructure Systems (CIS): As part of the Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation unit under the National Science Foundation (NSF), this funder encourages innovative research for designing, constructing, managing, maintaining, operating, and protecting sustainable civil infrastructure systems, i.e. transportation, construction engineering, and infrastructure management.

Emergency Medical Services 

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) grants provide funding for expenses like equipment, training and salaries in order to protect communities. These are typically issued through the Health and Human Services Departments (HHS) and the Homeland Security Department (DHS), as well as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The most widely known types of EMS grants include:

  • Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) Firefighter Grant Program: Designed to help increase the number of frontline firefighters or rehire laid-off firefighters to better respond to fire hazards and emergencies.
  • Emergency Medical Services for Children: Works with states, communities, public-private partners, and families to strengthen the maternal and child health (MCH) infrastructure, ensure availability and use of medical homes, and enable continued improvement in health, safety and wellbeing of mothers and children.

Programs for Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

With September being National Suicide Prevention Awareness month, there are a number of various grants and funding opportunities available to help agencies and organizations address behavioral and mental health in their communities. Given the economic and health impacts of the pandemic, it’s an especially important time to be conscious of everyone’s mental health.

Suicide Prevention Programs for Tribes

Tribes have been particularly hit hard by the pandemic with younger populations more vulnerable than ever. According to studies by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the rate of suicide for Native Americans ages 15-34 is 1.3 times the national average. Several federal agencies have set aside funding for tribal behavioral health programs. These include:

  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): In 2019, they released the Tribal Behavioral Health Grant (TBHG) which aims to reduce the impact of trauma, mental illness and substance use disorders among American Indian and Alaska Native youth.
  • There are also many resources such as the National Indian Health Board (NIHB) to help tribes access grant opportunities.

Suicide Prevention Programs for Veterans

Another especially vulnerable population that must be supported during this time is our nation’s military veterans. According to the CDC Foundation, the suicide rate for veterans is 1.5 times greater than for those who have not served in the military, particularly among young veterans aged 18-35. The following are important programs for agencies and organizations to support our veterans:

  • CDC Foundation Grant Programs to Prevent Veteran Suicide: The CDC Foundation frequently awards grants to community organizations that work to support veterans in all aspects of their lives, including family, employment and suicide prevention support.
  • Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): To date, SAMHSA has awarded $424,244,671 of $425 million awarded in emergency grants to address Mental and Substance Use Disorders During COVID-19. These include Suicide Prevention Lifeline Crisis Center Follow-Up (CCF-COVID) Expansion Grants as well as those for COVID-19 Emergency Response for Suicide Prevention (COVID-19 ERSP) Grants.
  • Veteran’s Administration (VA): The VA’s Office of Research and Development frequently releases funding for new suicide studies to promote the prevention of suicide as well as treatment of suicidality in veterans.

I’m always available if you have any questions on grant funding or government grants management itself. Feel free to reach out.

As Chief Customer Officer for eCivis, Merril Oliver leads the company’s key business strategies, product development and growth initiatives. Having served four governors, both Democratic and Republican, Merril served as the Director of the Maryland Governor’s Grants Office, where she revolutionized an enterprise approach to full lifecycle grants management during 2015-2017. Merril is a past president of the National Grants Management Association (NGMA), having served three consecutive terms (2009-2012). During her presidency, Merril launched the industry-recognized standard professional certification of Certified Grants Management Specialist (CGMS®) and participated on the credentialing exam development team as a Subject Matter Expert (SME).

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