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Nonprofit Security Grant Program Guide

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As a nonprofit organization, safety and security are always top priorities for your staff, volunteers and those you serve. Fortunately, the Nonprofit Security Grant Program by Wisconsin Emergency Management is designed to help nonprofit organizations prevent and protect against active assailants, harm from breaking and entering into the building, and disruptive criminals.

McMahon’s Public Safety and Municipal Management team has extensive experience in pre-grant activities, grant responsibilities and managing grants, and is here to help you prepare for, secure and use these important grant dollars.

What is the Nonprofit Security Grant Program?

The Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) can provide nonprofits with up to $150,000 for security-related activities and projects. This federal grant, provided by FEMA and administered by Wisconsin Emergency Management, focuses on helping nonprofit organizations prevent and protect against terrorist attacks and extremism.

The grant is reimbursement-based, so payments must be made upfront, with grant funds distributed after submitting proof of payment.

What can the grant dollars be used for?

  • Development and enhancement of security plans and protocols:
    This could involve creating plans to address threats and vulnerabilities specific to your organization, enhancing existing protocols or creating new ones to address current risks.
  • Emergency contingent planning:
    This involves assessing possible risks and creating strategies to respond to them.
  • Evacuation/shelter-in-place plans:
    These plans outline procedures for immediate evacuation or a lock-down of a building or location.
  • Emergency response plans:
    These plans outline how to respond to and recover from incidents such as natural disasters, fire and active shooter situations.
  • Security-related training:
    This could include physical and cybersecurity, target hardening, employee preparedness and active assailant training.
  • Contracting a third-party firm to provide security officers.
  • Management and administration:
    Contractors/consultants can be hired, using up to 5% of the award, to assist with tasks such as quarterly reporting, budgeting/reimbursement preparation and submission.

Why are security-related projects important?

Security-related projects are critical for all nonprofit organizations, particularly larger ones such as houses of worship, educational facilities and hospitals, as these organizations are often seen as easy targets for extremists and terrorists due to their openness and the nature of their work. Implementing security measures and investing in staff training on how to recognize and respond to threats can significantly reduce the risk of an attack. Additionally, security-related projects can help to provide a sense of safety and peace of mind for staff, volunteers, and those served by the organization.

What is required of my organization to apply?

Organizations that are registered as 501(c)(3) nonprofits or those that are classified under the Internal Revenue Code (IRC) as 501(c)(3) and are tax-exempt under section 501(a) of the IRC are eligible to apply.

Organizations that meet these criteria must complete some pre-grant activities before applying. These activities help determine security needs and will help educate organizations on how best to use their grant funds. Here are the requirements:

  • Mission statement:
    Your non-profit organization must have a mission statement. This statement describes the purpose of your organization and should be an accurate reflection of your values and goals.
  • Vulnerability assessment:
    A vulnerability assessment must be conducted for your site(s). The results should include action items to improve your security measures.
  • Unique Entity ID:
    Your organization must identify or obtain a Unique Entity ID (UEI) to register with the federal government. This ID is important for tracking federal funds and ensuring your organization meets federal standards.

How can McMahon Help?

To help nonprofit organizations maximize the benefits of the NSGP, McMahon’s Public Safety and Municipal Management team can help throughout the entire grant application process, from pre-grant activities to grant responsibilities and management.

Pre-grant activities:

  • Developing a clear and concise mission statement for your nonprofit organization:
    Our team will work with you to ensure your mission statement accurately reflects the goals and objectives of your organization.
  • Conducting a thorough vulnerability assessment for your site(s):
    This assessment will cover the areas of security and emergency management, security force, perimeter security, parking and barriers, access control/entry control and closed-circuit video/video surveillance systems. We will provide a comprehensive report with action items.
  • Identifying or obtaining a Unique Entity ID:
    We will guide you through the process, so your organization is properly registered and compliant with all relevant regulations.

Grant responsibilities and management:

  • Following grant guidelines for allowable expenses before purchasing hardware and services:
    Our team will help you navigate the guidelines, so expenses are within the allowable limits.
  • Providing additional information if a budget hold is placed on your grant:
    We will work with you to provide any necessary documentation or justification to help ensure that your grant is not delayed.
  • Complying with and completing all special conditions on the grant award document:
    Our team will review the award document with you and confirm conditions are met.
  • Submitting an Environmental and Historic Preservation form:
    We will assist you in completing and submitting this form.
  • Participating in compliance visits as requested by FEMA:
    Our team will help you prepare for these visits.
  • Assisting in annual year-end grant reports:
    We will work with you to compile necessary information and submit your grant reports timely and accurately.

The timeline for the NSGP is critical, so do not hesitate to contact us to get started.

  • February and March 2024: Federal release of the grant guidance
  • March – May 2024: Non-profits can apply for the grant
  • October 2024: FEMA approval is expected
  • October and November 2024: Wisconsin opens the application window for the awarded non-profits

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