Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Non-profit Organization Grant Program

Partnering to improve boating safety—Part 1.

Excerpt from U.S. Coast Guard Proceedings of the Marine Safety & Security Council magazine by Mr. Donald J. Kerlin, Chief, Program Management Branch and Ms. Linda Gray-Broughton, former Non-profit Organization Grant Coordinator, U.S. Coast Guard Boating Safety Division

The Federal Boat Safety Act of 1971 established the Recreational Boating Safety Federal Financial Assistance Program to permit states to assume a larger share of boating safety education, assistance, and enforcement activities. Of the funds appropriated for these programs, the Coast Guard is authorized to retain up to five percent for grants to national non-profit public service organizations.

The Process
The grant process begins with an announcement through the website, which includes a listing of suggested topic areas that receive additional points in the scoring process. About $6,000,000 is available for non-profit organizations each year.

Subject matter experts review each application using a “merit review” checklist, which focuses on technical merit, personnel qualifications, and the degree to which a proposal offers potential value and measurements to program goals.

Those applications meeting review standards (60 to 80 per year) are forwarded to the non-profit organization grant review team, which ranks selections based on parameters including:

  • support of National Recreational Boating Safety Program goals,

  • probability of project success,

  • return on investment.
A grantee must be a national non-profit public service organization and the project must have the potential to benefit recreational boating safety at a national level.

Full article is available at

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