Each year, the federal government awards more than $500 billion in grants. While the government remains the primary source of law enforcement grant funding, additional support is sometimes needed. Private funding is another option.
Types of Private Funding Sources
To understand a little bit more about private funding sources, it is important to know the basics. There are two main types of non-profit funding: private foundations and public charities. Put simply, a private foundation is “generally financially supported by one or a small handful of sources,” while public charities, also known as public foundations, “receive their funds from multiple sources,” and are “heavily supported by the public,” according to the Council on Foundations.
There are three types of private foundations and public charities that deserve a closer look:
Find detailed information to types of foundations here.
As is true with all grant writing, when searching for private funding, make sure to do your research. Here are five things to remember when applying for a law enforcement grant.
A closer look: Corporate foundations
As the charitable arm of a corporation, corporate foundations give grants or gifts to organizations that are connected to their business interests or consumer concerns. While some corporations stay focused on the same topics year after year, others will change their focus periodically. In 2015 nearly 2,500 U.S. corporate foundations gave more than $5 billion in grants. Here are a few corporate foundations that provide national law enforcement funding:
Allstate – Focusing on four themes, the Allstate Foundation is currently working to empower youth, end domestic violence, transform communities, and develop nonprofit leaders.
Firehouse Subs – Fast food with a focus on funding, the Firehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation focuses on five funding areas including lifesaving equipment, prevention education, scholarship and continued education, disaster relief, and support for members of the military.
MetLife – For the last fifteen years, MetLife has partnered with the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) to give a MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership Award to “sustain and share the work of innovative partnerships between community groups and police to promote neighborhood safety and revitalization.”
State Farm – With a focus on safety, education, and community development, State Farm offers Good Neighbor Citizenship® Company Grants to “help build safer, stronger and better educated communities across the United States.”
Target – This shopping giant offers Target public safety grants in order to create “safe and secure neighborhoods for our guests and team members.”
Walmart – The world’s largest grocer is focusing its philanthropic support in three areas: creating opportunity, enhancing sustainability, and strengthening community.
Reach out to corporate foundations in your area as they often set aside community funds. The Foundation Center is a great source for local grants.
A closer look: Family foundations
According to the Council on Foundations, “family foundations make up over half of all private foundations.” As of 2015, there were 42,008 family foundations in the U.S. alone, which gave away a combined total of $25.9 billion. If you are a law enforcement agency looking to add resources to your department, make sure to start here:
- Kresge Foundation
- Michael and Susan Dell Foundation
- John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
- The Joyce Foundation
When doing your research into family foundations, be sure to search for those in your area. Oftentimes the probability of you receiving a grant from a local foundation is higher.
A closer look: Community foundations
With more than 800 community foundations across the United States, this is another great option. One thing to note is that community foundations provide support “primarily for the needs of the geographic community or region where it is based, from funds that it maintains and administers on behalf of multiple donors,” according to GrantSpace.
Use the Community Foundations Atlas to search your area. Also check out these foundations with law enforcement related grants:
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