Nonprofit Security Grant Program Updates

More details the Non-Profit Security Grant!

Updated April 15, 2019| U.S. DHS posted its Fiscal Year 2019 Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO). We are reviewing the materials and have identified two key changes:

  • Grant amount. The maximum award this year will be $100,000.
  • Stacking the deck for new applicants. This year 10 bonus points will be added to the scores of organizations that never received NSGP funding. This effectively gives a serious advantage to newbies.
  • Security guards. The NSGP guidance not allows that the costs to hire a private security firm or off-duty law enforcement officers to provide security services to the facility or organization is permissible, as is the training of said security personnel (but not equipment of contracted security personnel). The recipient must be able to sustain this capability in future years without NSGP funding. Rob Goldberg (from the JFNA Washington Office and the key lobbyist for the NSGP) spoke with his FEMA contacts and reports that, “It means because the program is competitive, there is no guarantee of future years funding so the recipient may have to fund the project if they are unsuccessful in subsequent years. The language is an admonition, but it does not mean that an applicant must show, describe or otherwise prove that it has funding in future years to sustain security personnel.”
  • Investment Justification. At first glance we don’t see any changes in the 2019 Investment Justification. Download it here.
  • Timing. We estimate that the submission deadline for NY organizations be  mid-May. We will be producing and posting our tutorial material this week, but will schedule a webinar — with an opportunity for questions –after Pesach.

The New York Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (NY DHSES) will soon post its New York-specific Request for Applications (it will be posted here). Check back often to see our updates. Remember: all NY applicants are subject to the requirements, deadlines, etc. as set forth by NY DHSES. Note that there will be no information on the NY DHSES website (or in E-Grants) until they have the Request for Applications prepared. 

It is our understanding that the guidelines and the paperwork seems to closely track the FY 2018 guidelines, so if you have been drafting your applications based our existing help you will be in very good shape. We will let you know of any changes.

No news yet on NY Hate Crimes grants

Please be advised that the NY DHSES is still processing the submissions from the December Securing Communities against Hate Crimes (SCAHC). We advise you to prepare two lists of priorities for your Investment Justification: 1) assuming that you receive the SCAHC grant; and 2) if you do not. NY DHSES is making every effort to let the December applicants know ASAP.

Getting ready for the grant
All organizations planning to submit for a grant this year should get started now, because the actual application may not be available until the last minute. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Get an assessment. If you don’t already have one, or have scheduled one, do so immediately. Since November, JCRC-NY, through a generous grant from UJA-Federation and the Paul E. Singer Foundation, has arranged for scores of professional security assessments for Jewish organizations. These assessments cover most of what is required on the federal Investment Justification (the major component of the application). By implementing the recommendations from the report, you should go a long way towards making your facility safer. Applications accompanied by self-assessments will be accepted. For more guidance click to: https://www.jcrcny.org/security-assessment/.
  2. Prequalify. Your Nonprofit Security Grant Program will not be accepted unless your organization is “Prequalified.” See more information at: https://www.jcrcny.org/document-vault-faqs/. If you submitted for a grant last year you are prequalified, but you may have to update some documents.
  3. E-Grants. NY grants must be submitted through the E-Grants system. Previous applicants already have an account. Otherwise, click here to apply for an account. N.B. JCRC-NY cannot answer questions about your E-Grants submissions. Contact DHSES at 1-866-837-9133 or Grant.Info@dhses.ny.gov.
  4. Investment Justification. This is the key component of the application. We don’t expect significant changes this year. Download the 2018 template here and answer all of the questions to the best of your ability now, so that you will be able to adapt your answers (if necessary) and cut and paste them into the 2019 Investment Justification, even if the application window is very brief.
  5. Help with the vulnerability and facility hardening sections. See our document, Tying together the risk and target hardening language. Select and build on our language to complete the most challenging sections of the Investment Justification.
  6. More help. Click here for the multi-year FAQ‘s on the NSGP distributed by FEMA. There are some interesting details in the FAQ’s.

    Get a head start on the application by reviewing the FY 2018 NSGP Investment Justification (IJ) questions and preparing your answers. Download a copy at: Investment Justification2018, JCRC-NY’s 2018 Tutorial (PDF of PowerPoint), JCRC-NY’s Tying together the risk and target hardening language and JFNA’s Threat Chronology.

    See our 2018 Tutorial (PDF of PowerPoint), Tying together the risk and target hardening language and JFNA’s Threat Chronology.

Good luck!

2018 Nonprofit Security Grant Program: results

Congratulations to the 112 NSGP 2018 grantees and the 5 upstate winners. Our friends at NY DHSES (thank you Commissioner Roger Parrino, Shelley Wahrlich, Eric Abramson, Marianne Lindsay and everyone else) sent an email to every applicant to notify them of their status.

Here is a chart showing NY’s funding history:

See our past posts below:

The 2018 Grant

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security released its Notice of Funding Opportunity.

  • In FY 2018, Congress appropriated $50 million for nonprofit security through the Urban Area Security Initiative (NSGP-UA) for 32 regions, including New York City (including Long Island and Westchester). There is a supplemental program (NSGP-S) of $10 million (with grants up to $100,000) covering areas outside of the designated regions.
  • Each eligible organization can apply for equipment totaling $150,000.
  • Target hardening proposals can now include equipment, planning and training.
  • Should I apply to NSGP-UA or NSGP-S?
    If your nonprofit organization is physically located within a FY 2018 UASI-designated urban area, then you may apply to NSGP-UA; if your nonprofit organization is not physically located within a FY 2018 UASI-designated urban area then you may apply to NSGP-S. You may not apply to both programs. For more information about the NSGP-S (supplemental) program for organizations outside of the 32 designated areas, see the JFNA preliminary memorandum here.

NY Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services materials

Help with grant applications

If you’ve read the materials on this webpage and still have questions? Click here.


Getting started


The process and application is likely to be quite similar to last year’s RFA (Request for Applications) :

  • Prequalification. Plan to complete your prequalification ASAP. New York State will not accept applications for grants unless the applicant is prequalified, i.e., applicants must upload basic organizational documents and answer questions about their nonprofit’s capacity and integrity. This portal is known as the “Grants Gateway.”
    • New applicants. See JCRC-NY’s additional information about how to get started and special instructions for religious corporations at: http://www.jcrcny.org/document-vault-faqs/. Updated
    • Previously prequalified. If your nonprofit was previously prequalified, you will still have to update certain documents if your document vault “expires” (i.e, certain information goes out of date). Check out your Document Vault for more information.
  • E-Grants. Grant applications must be submitted to the NYS Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) via the automated DHSES E-Grants System operated by DHSES. The system allows an agency to complete an application electronically and submit it over the Internet. If upon reading this RFA you are interested in completing a grant application, and you have not previously been registered to use the DHSES E-Grants system, your agency will need to register and be assigned a username and password. The Registration Request Form can be found at the following Internet address: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/grants/forms-egrants.cfm . Send the completed registration form to: grant.info@dhses.ny.gov
    Organizations should use their legal name in the E-Grants system as the Grantee under the “Participant” tab. This should match the name used on the Investment Justification form.
    Instructions for use of the E-Grants system by a nonprofit organization can be found at: http://www.dhses.ny.gov/grants/nonprofit/index.cfm
    Should you have difficulty in accessing or using the E-Grants system, please call 1-866-837-9133 for assistance.
  • Risk/vulnerability assessment. The federal grant requires organizations to submit an assessment and the state grant asks for much of the same information. Learn more about the options to get a risk assessment or to conduct one yourself here. Use this information to complete the “Vulnerability” section on the Investment Justification.
  • Look at the 2017 Investment Justification. Click here to see and download an example of what the application looks like. We expect very few changes. We will post the 2018 Invesment Justification as soon as it is available.
  • Learn about risk and threats.  Review JCRC-NY’s Selective Threat Scan and the JFNA Threat Chronology for help on how to answer the questions on threats and consequences.
  • Equipment. Click here to see the Authorized Equipment List from 2017. We do not expect many changes.
  • Subscribe. Click here to add your name to the JCRC-NY Security and Emergency Preparedness Alert list, which will notify you about additional details when they become available.
  • 2018 Background.

Through the efforts of an amazing coalition (led by JFNA and including JCRC-NY and UJA-Federation of New York), we were able to secure $50 million for the ongoing Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) of the Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) (Click here for 2017’s list of eligible areas, we do not expect changes).

Additionally, another $10 million for nonprofit security under the State Homeland Security Program (SHSP).  All 56 states and territories (including the District of Columbia) are eligible to apply for SHSP funds. How those funds will be allocated is still unknown.

In speaking with FEMA, we understand that the guidelines for these programs will be published the week of May 21. NY’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services will release its package a few days earlier. As we feared, we believe that there will be a very narrow window until the deadline so

With respect to the UASI-NSGP program, we expect that the program roll-out and requirements will be similar to those established in past years.  With respect to the SHSP-NSGP program, which is new, we will have to wait for FEMA to publish its guidelines before we will know what the framework and permissible activities will be under this new program, which could be different than those under the UASI-NSGP program.

As we learn more about the specifics of both program roll-outs, we look forward to updating you further.

People always complain that they aren’t given enough time to complete their applications so we advise you to click to scroll down and follow the instructions to get started now. Please scroll down for the JCRC-NY’s suggestions.

The projected increase in the grant allocation would not be possible without our Congressional champions. A major push for the $50 million came in a bipartisan “Dear Colleague” letter to the leadership of the House Appropriations Committee (including the Ranking Member, our own Rep. Nita Lowey) circulated by Representatives Bill Pascrell, Jr. and our own Dan Donovan, Jr. Our New York delegation figured prominently among the signers, including: Representatives Yvette Clarke, Joseph Crowley, Eliot Engel, Adriano Espaillat, John Faso, Hakeem Jeffries, John Katko, Peter King, Carolyn Maloney, Gregory Meeks, Jerrold Nadler, Thomas Suozzi, Kathleen Rice, Claudia Tenney and Nydia Velázquez. Of course, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Democratic Leader Charles Schumer were helpful in the Senate. Please contact their offices to let them know that you appreciate their leadership.

JCRC-NY and UJA-Federation are key members of the dynamic coalition that pushes for this legislation year-after-year. The linchpin of this effort is Rob Goldberg of the Washington, DC office of the Jewish Federations of North America. Our friend, William Daroff, the senior vice president for public policy and director of the Washington office of The Jewish Federations of North America, plays an important role.

  • New York State grant. The NY State Division of Homeland Security is currently reviewing the submissions for  the FY 2017-18 Securing Communities Against Hate Crime Program (SCAHC). They anticipate that they will notify the applicants of the results soon. All of the eligible applicants that appropriately and accurately responded to the Request for Applications are likely to receive grants.

For 2017 grantees

  • How much money did we get? We don’t have that information (it will be in the official notification letter). However, doing the math, the average of all of the grants was $73,888. It is highly likely that the grantees will receive the requested amounts.
  • Can we start to spend money yet? Don’t spend any money yet, there are several more hoops to jump through. Significantly:
    • Official notification. Our friends at NY DHSES are the official gatekeepers for the grants. You are not really a grantee until they tell you that you are. When they are officially notified by U.S. DHS they will send out communications to all applicants, both those who were successful and those who were not. The communication will include the definitive list of “next steps”.
    • Contracts. Once you’ve done your EHP (see below) and jumped through a few hoops, NY DHSES will send you a contract. Only when the contract is fully signed by your organization and NY State officials can you begin the procurement process. And yes, there are rules for that, too.
      NY will not reimburse you for items purchased before you have a fully signed contract.
    • Environmental and Historical Preservation submissions. The Request for Applications explained:

      As a Federal Agency, DHS/FEMA is required to consider the effects of its actions on the environment and/or historic properties to ensure that all activities and programs funded by the agency, including grant-funded projects, comply with Federal EHP regulations, laws and Executive Orders, as applicable. Grantees proposing projects that have the potential to impact the environment, including but not limited to the modification or renovation of existing buildings, structures and facilities, or new construction including replacement of facilities, must participate in the DHS/FEMA EHP review process. Much of the equipment purchased with NSGP funds require Environmental and Historic Preservation (EHP) review. The EHP review process involves the submission of a detailed project description that explains the goals and objectives of the proposed project along with supporting documentation so that DHS/FEMA may determine whether the proposed project has the potential to impact environmental resources and/or historic properties. In some cases, DHS/FEMA is also required to consult with other regulatory agencies and the public in order to complete the review process. The EHP review process must be completed before funds are released to carry out the proposed project. DHS/FEMA will not fund projects that are initiated without the required EHP review completed and approved.

    • If you have time now, there is no reason not to get started on your submission. Check out the EHP Screening Form Tutorial and EHP Instructional Assistance for Nonprofits and begin to fill out the EHP Screening Form FFN-024-0-1 (fillable).
  • When can we start our project? If you keep on top of the process and submit all of the correct paperwork, plan on being able to start spending money in January, 2017.
  • At this point, it’s best to direct your questions to the mavens at DHSES at 1-866-837-9133 or e-mail at grants@dhses.ny.gov.

For the most up-to-date grants infohttp://www.jcrcny.org/securitygrants