Before you embark on the journey of obtaining grant funding for your community projects, make sure that you have your ducks in a row. It is important to develop some key components as a firewise community to have credibility as an organization. You will need to develop a mission statement, which defines your purpose and goals. If you are not sure of what a mission statement looks like, you can view the Firewise Communities USA statement and the NFPA mission statement to give you an idea of how to get started.
Next document your successes. It is hard to “toot your own horn”, but many grant funders prefer to fund groups that have already enjoyed some success. Think about the events that you have hosted and small projects that you completed with volunteer help and any awards or recognition in the media for your events.
Start with smaller grants that do not require a complicated reporting requirement. To find corporate possibilities in your area, give all residents in your community a brief survey, either online or as a postcard that they return to you asking what companies they have worked for or have family members working for. Often companies will provide grant funding or assistance from corporate volunteers to communities where their employees live.
Shop on line for grant funds using key terms for the kind of funding that you are looking for. Check insurance companies to see if they have grant funding for the prevention programs that you are trying to undertake. If you do obtain funding make sure that you do a press release to thank the company and grow your credibility as an organization. Take before and after pictures to give to the media and keep in your success file.
If you are a non-profit organization and have met all the requirements mentioned in part 1 you can search for grants on many federal websites. These websites will let you know which grants are open and what the requirements are for reporting etc. FEMA has fire mitigation grants that occasionally open so it is a good idea to keep an eye on their website as well. Best wishes for success as you plan your grant writing possibilities.