Category Archive: Nonprofit Security

New DHS resource guide and mail screening poster

Posted on June 04, 2019

New resource guide. Take a look at DHS’ new resource guide, Security of Soft Targets and Crowded Places. It’s essentially a one-stop table of contents for DHS’s free materials, including links for help on identifying suspicious activity, access control and screening, active assailants (they’re not just shooters anymore) and bomb threats. Follow the supplied links for an introduction to facility security that can serve as a good first step for houses of worship, schools and other soft targets. Resources include fact sheets, guidance, and online training and education courses.


Mail screening poster. Thanks to the world’s leading geopolitical intelligence platform, Stratfor, for its timely reminder about mail and package screening after an attempted bombing.

  • While many questions remain in the case of a parcel bomb sent to a Mexican senator, the largest is why the mail of such a high-level official was not screened.
  • While politicians and large corporations clearly must take significant measures to screen their mail, even ordinary people (and Jewish organizations) should open their mail cautiously.
  • Simple steps can help everyone from the largest entities to the average citizen.

Note that Cesar Sayoc, 57, admitted in court to having mailed 16 explosive devices to a variety of officials and to CNN’s offices in October 2018. He allegedly said he would “eradicate the Jews” if he had the power to, along with lesbians, black people and Hispanic people.

We urge you to download the tips found on the Stratfor graphic and share it with your staff and others.

NSGP: More on contracted security guards

Posted on April 25, 2019

Updated April 25, 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. Hiring of contracted security personnel is now allowed under this program (see the FEMA update here).
    • Note: Recipients of NSGP funding may use the grant to pay for contracted security personnel over the entire three year period of the grant. However, grantees should not assume that they will be successful applicants (you might not win a grant or this program may not exist in coming years) so you must be able to sustain this capability in future years without NSGP funding.
    • NSGP funds may not be used to purchase equipment for security guards. These costs should be classified as organization costs.
    • Subrecipients (grantees) may not use NSGP funding to hire full or part-time employees that will be placed on a nonprofit’s payroll.
    • Rob Goldberg of JFNA reports after speaking with FEMA, that the blanket waiver WILL be in place and interested subrecipients may now request up to 100% of their total award towards the cost of contacted security personnel.
    • JCRC comment: Make a case for security guards through an identified vulnerability included in your assessment (e.g., failure to review or monitor CCTV recordings for possible instances of hostile surveillance, inadequate access control measures, and or the lack of security guards during all hours of operation) and add “Contracted security guards” as an “Item to be purchased”  in IV.  Target Hardening (Note: there is no AEL number for Contracted security guards).

A case can readily be made for additional contracted security guards, additional hours or an upgrading replacement (e.g., unarmed to armed) of the existing guards.

Finally, we think that it is appropriate to remind you that security guards are no panacea. Security planning should entail a well-considered mix of personnel, plans, procedures, training, drills and exercises and security hardware. The judges tend to look at your assessments to see if you are addressing the most important vulnerabilities.

  • 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) posted its New York-specific Request for Applications here. Check their site and ours for updates.

The guidelines and the paperwork seems to closely track the FY 2018 guidelines  (with the exception of security guards), so if you have been drafting your applications based our existing help you will be in very good shape.

Nonprofit Security Grants: Updated

Posted on April 10, 2019

Updated April 16, 2019| The New York Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (NY DHSES) will have the New York-specific Request for Applications posted at http://www.dhses.ny.gov/grants/nonprofit/nsgp.cfm by the end of the day. Check back at www.jcrcny.org/securitygrants 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. 

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 now 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 basic questions on the 2019 Investment Justification. If you followed our advice and practices on the 2018 version, make sure that you submit the 2019 one. Download it here.
  • Timing. The deadline for NY DHSES submissions will be May 8th. 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. 

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.

Non-Profit Security Grant is Coming Soon!

DHS Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives


Prepare Now for the Non-Profit Security Grant!

Updated March 14, 2019| FEMA will release the Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) no later than April 16, 2019 which opens the application period. Under the FY 2019 NSGP FEMA will award $60 million in security related funding to nonprofit organizations. New York State DHSES will transform this document into its Request for Applications (RFA) which will be the last word for New York nonprofits on the requirements and deadlines for submissions.

In FY 2019, FEMA will award $60 million dollars in security funding for nonprofit organizations. The application period for NY organizations starts on the day the RFA is released. Nonprofit organizations are required to submit their application to NY DHSES shortly thereafter.

FEMA Webinar (3/21) – Protecting Your Organization: Fiscal Year 2019 Nonprofit Security Grant Program, and other Resources to Help Keep Your Facility Safe

Register

Please register if you are unable to attend to receive a recording of this webinar.

Please join FEMA’s Grant Programs Directorate in partnership with DHS’s Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives and FEMA’s Individual and Community Preparedness Division, on Thursday, March 21, 2019 from 2-3 p.m. ET to learn about the Nonprofit Security Grant Program and how to prepare for the application period.

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 Justification 2018, JCRC-NY’s 2018 Tutorial (PDF of PowerPoint), JCRC-NY’s Tying together the risk and target hardening language and JFNA’s Threat Chronology.

Note: JCRC-NY modified a FEMA announcement to add NY-specific details. Organizations outside of NY should check with their state.

New security funding for NY Jewish organizations

As you are considering how to best secure your organization while remaining welcoming, UJA-Federation and JCRC-NY are pleased to offer, with generous support from the Paul E. Singer Foundation and the Jewish Communal Fund, additional resources to keep you and your stakeholders safe and secure:

PROFESSIONAL SECURITY ASSESSMENT: Through JCRC, UJA-Federation is making available at no cost to you, professional security assessments so that you can immediately start safeguarding your institution and be ready to apply for Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and NY State grants. Organizations that professionally assessed are significantly more likely to receive funding than those that do not. For more information, review the information below or contact David Pollock at JCRC.

Apply Now

SECURITY GRANTS RECIPIENTS BRIDGE LOAN PROGRAM: Through the Hebrew Free Loan Society (HFLS), UJA has created a bridge loan fund providing capital to federal and state grant recipients to make all necessary upgrades immediately; and get reimbursed from the state later. Available on a first come, first served basis for organizations that have received security grants, but cannot afford to pay for security enhancements upfront while awaiting reimbursement from the government. This program provides interest-free loans of up to $150,000 to organizations in any of New York City’s five boroughs, Westchester, or Long Island Read here for more information, or contact HFLS Director of Finance Daren Scott.

Apply Now


Start with an assessment

A Terrorism Vulnerability Assessment  examines the threats to your Jewish organization, documents the gaps in physical security measures and security policies and procedures, and the consequences of a terrorist attack. The assessment will also recommend specific steps to mitigate the threats, specifically written to comport with the federal and state grant applications. Click here to apply for an experienced and credentialed security professional to conduct a Terrorism Vulnerability Assessment of your Jewish organization.

Assessments will be scheduled until the funding is exhausted. We hope to serve as many deserving organizations as possible.

Find out how to apply for government grants

Soon,  two grants will be available to certain New York nonprofits. Applications for both the state and federal grants must be submitted through the New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services. Click here for their nonprofit grants page. Here are the details.

New York State Grants Gateway/Prequalification

New York State will not accept applications for grants unless the nonprofit 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/.
  • 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.

Prequalification is not as hard as it may look, but it’s important to get started now! Your organization will not be able to apply unless you are prequalified.

New York State Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes grants

New York State, committed to ensuring the safety and equal treatment of all New Yorkers, is launching a second round of the Securing Communities Against Hate Crimes Program to boost safety and security at New York’s nonpublic schools, day care centers and cultural museums at risk of hate crimes or attacks because of their ideology, beliefs, or mission. In support of this effort, a total of $10.1 million in grant funding has been made available on a statewide basis.

  • Availability. Now.
  • Eligibility. Nonpublic schools (Preschool-12), nonprofit day care centers (including those housed in JCC’s and synagogues) and cultural museums that are at risk of hate crimes or attacks against their facilities because of their ideology, beliefs or mission. For the purpose of the grant, terrorism is included as a category of hate crime. Click here for the exact details on eligibility.
  • Maximum grant amount. Applications will be accepted for up to $50,000 per facility. Eligible organizations with multiple sites may submit up to three applications for a maximum total request of up to $150,000 allowed per organization.
  • What will the grant pay for?
    • Hardening the organization’s facility or facilities including recreational areas adjacent to the facility through exterior physical security enhancements; and/or
    • Providing security training that will advance the knowledge of security personnel and staff.
  • Deadline. Applications are due to Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services by 5:00 pm on December 19, 2018. Applications submitted past this date will be disqualified. Individual extensions will not be given.
  • Application form. Applicants must complete the DHSES Risk Evaluation Tool to describe the organization’s significant risk of a hate crime and its proposed equipment and training needs to prevent and protect against a hate crime.
  • Risk/Security/Threat Assessment. Applicants with a current or previously conducted (within three years) risk/security/threat assessment completed by a police department, private company or university should base their Risk Evaluation Tool submission on the information, analyses and findings contained in the risk/security/threat assessment(s). However, no assessment is required.
  • What are your chances? Last year, all of the eligible applicants that filed a complete application were awarded a grant.
  • Additional assistance. See JCRC-NY’s dedicated webpage at www.jcrcny.org/securitygrants.

U.S. Department of Homeland Security Nonprofit Security Grant Program

Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) provides funding support for target hardening and other physical security enhancements to nonprofit organizations.

    • Availability. Sometime in Spring, 2019.
    • Eligibility. Nonprofit organizations in New York City, Long Island and Westchester that are determined to be at high risk of a terrorist attack by the Department of Homeland Security.
    • Maximum grant amount. Unknown. Last year the maximum was $150,000. The upcoming grant may place a $100,000 cap (or less) so that more organizations can be funded.
    • What will the grant pay for? Allowable costs are focused on target hardening and physical security enhancements. Funding can be used for the acquisition and installation of security equipment on real property (including buildings and improvements) owned or leased by the nonprofit organization, specifically in prevention of and/or protection against the risk of a terrorist attack. This equipment is limited to select items in the following two categories of items on the Authorized Equipment List (AEL):
      • Physical Security Enhancement Equipment (Category 14)
      • Inspection and Screening Systems (Category 15)
      • Training. Allowable training topics are limited to the protection of critical infrastructure key resources, including physical and cybersecurity, target hardening, and terrorism awareness/employee preparedness including programs such as Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training, Active Shooter training, and emergency first aid training. Training conducted using NSGP funds must address a specific threat and/or vulnerability, as identified in the nonprofit organization’s Investment Justification.
      • Planning. Funding may be used for security or emergency planning expenses and the materials required to conduct planning activities. Planning must be related to the protection of the facility and the people within the facility and should include with access and functional needs as well as those with limited English proficiency. Examples of planning activities allowable under this program include:
        • Development and enhancement of security plans and protocols;
        • Development or further strengthening of security assessments;
        • Emergency contingency plans;
        • Evacuation/Shelter-in-place plans; and
        • Other project planning activities with prior approval from DHS/FEMA.

Deadline. Unknown. It is unlikely that this grant will be offered until there is a federal budget in place.

Application form. Applicants must complete a spreadsheet called an Investment Justification. We assume that the 2019 Investment Justification will be similar to those used in previous years, so applicants thinking of applying for the federal grant should draft their answers using the 2018 form and cut and paste their responses into the 2019 form when it is released.

  • Risk/Security/Threat Assessment. The Investment Justification asks for findings from a “previously conducted risk assessment. The most useful risk assessments are from certified, independent security professionals, but police department crime prevention surveys and self assessments are acceptable.
  • What are your chances? Last year, 112 nonprofits in the New York area were awarded Nonprofit Security Grant Program grants and approximately twice that number applied.
  • Additional assistance. See JCRC-NY’s dedicated webpage at www.jcrcny.org/securitygrants.

 

Hebrew Free Loan Society bridge loans for security grant recipients

The Hebrew Free Loan Society’s Security Grants Bridge Loan Program provides interest-free loans of up to $150,000 to Jewish Community agencies in any of New York City’s five boroughs, Westchester, or Long Island that have been awarded government grants to fund security improvements. These grants require agencies to pay up front for the work and then to submit receipts for reimbursement, which causes a cash flow problem for some agencies to the point that they are unable to take advantage of the award. HFLS is partnering with UJA-Federation of New York to provide interest-free bridge loan financing to ensure that grant awardees can proceed with the work necessary to increase security and safety for their community. Click here to learn more and here for the application.