Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program
The 2023 FALL NONPROFIT SECURITY GRANT FUND SOLICITATION (FY23-24) application period has now closed. Thank you to all who applied. Applications recommended for an award will be taken to the December 13, 2023 Commission meeting. All applicants will be notified whether or not your application was selected for an award.
If you are interested, you may sign your email address up to receive timely notifications of updates related to this program and when the next application period opens.
On November 7, 2019, House Bill 859 (or Act 83 of 2019) was signed into law, establishing a new program called the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program at the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD).
Act 83 directs PCCD to administer grants to nonprofit organizations who principally serve individuals, groups or institutions that are included within a bias motivation category for single bias hate crime incidents as identified by the FBI's Hate Crime Statistics Publication. Applicants are eligible for security enhancements designed to protect the safety and security of the users of a facility located in the Commonwealth that is owned or operated by the nonprofit organization.
The following webpage provides information on who is eligible to apply for these funds; the availability of funds; eligible projects and expenses; what information you will need for the initial request form; and an overview of the review, award and formal application process. Please bookmark this page – and sign up for the email notification above – to receive timely notifications when this information is updated.
Under Act 83, eligible applicants must satisfy the following criteria:
- The applicant must be a nonprofit organization based in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania which is designated as exempt as defined under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 (Public Law 99-514, 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(3)); and
- The applicant must principally serve individuals, groups, or institutions that are included within a bias motivation category for single bias hate crime incidents identified by the Federal Bureau of Investigation in its Hate Crime Statistics Publication under the Uniform Crime Reporting program that can be found here: https://ucr.fbi.gov/hate-crime/2017/topic-pages/victims.pdf. The categories include:
- Sexual orientation;
- Gender; and
- Gender identity.
It is incumbent upon the applicant to determine if they are an eligible applicant. PCCD will not make that determination for you. Applicants will be required to provide nonprofit documentation upon award and in the final application in the PCCD Egrants system. Applicants should focus on the categories the organization principally serves that may have been – or may be strongly susceptible to – a hate crime incident(s).
Eligible Projects and Expenses
Act 83 contains a list of eligible security enhancements designed to protect the safety and security of the users of a facility located in the Commonwealth that is owned or operated by a nonprofit organization. Security assessments are NOT needed to be eligible to apply. Due to the competitive nature of these grants, PCCD cannot weigh in on allowable projects or expenses.
Eligible expenses for security enhancements include the following:
- Safety and security planning
- Purchase of safety and security equipment
- Purchase of security-related technology, which may include, but is not limited to:
- Metal detectors
- Protective lighting
- Surveillance equipment
- Special emergency communications equipment
- Electronic locksets
- Trauma kits
- Theft control devices
- Safety and security training
- Threat awareness and response training
- Upgrades to existing structures that enhance safety and security
- Vulnerability and threat assessments
- Specialty-trained canines
- Any other safety or security-related project that enhances safety or security of the non-profit organization*
*If your organization has a security need not specifically listed, this category encompasses a wide range of items and/or activities. The organization should define how their request meets the needs of the organization.
Funding for the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program is contingent upon funds appropriated by the General Assembly. A total of $5 million has been appropriated to PCCD for grants under this Program annually since 2019. Future grant opportunities are dependent upon annual allocations from the General Assembly. This program lapses on July 1, 2029.
Please note that organizations eligible for PCCD's Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program may also be eligible to apply for security funding through the PA Department of Homeland Security/PA Emergency Management Agency (PEMA). Information about their grant program can be found HERE.
According to Act 83 guidelines, eligible applicants may request a minimum of $5,000 up to a maximum of $150,000 in state funding. Applicants requesting $25,001 to $150,000 will be required to provide non-state financial participation based on the size of the grant request.
"Non-state financial participation" is the applicant's share of the total cost of the project. Funding for the non-state financial participation can come from any source (e.g., fundraising dollars, federal or local government funds, etc.) except state funding. The applicant must provide a match for the requested grant amount at the required percentage with non-state financial support. In-kind matches (i.e., donations of goods, services or time instead of cash) do not satisfy the non-state financial participation requirement. Previous expenditures for security enhancements are not eligible to satisfy the non-state financial participation requirement.
The following chart contains the non-state financial participation requirements, which are based on the amount of state grant funding requested:
|Equal to or less than $25,000
|Between $25,001 and up to $75,000
|33% of the requested grant amount
|$8,250 - $24,750
|Between $75,001 and up to $150,000
|50% of the requested grant amount
For example, if an applicant is requesting $25,000 in state funding in their initial request, no non-state financial participation is needed. Applicants requesting between $5,000 to $25,000 in state funding are NOT required to provide non-state financial participation.
If an applicant requests $50,000 in state funding, the applicant will need non-state financial participation of $16,500 (i.e., 33% of $50,000), which means that their total project budget will be $66,500 (i.e., $50,000 state funding through the Nonprofit Security Grant Program grant, and $16,500 of funding from any other non-state financial participation source). Applicants will need to provide a summary in their initial request of what they intend to do with their total project budget.
If an applicant is requesting $100,000 in state funding in their initial request, the applicant will need a non-state financial participation of $50,000 (i.e., 50% of $100,000), which means that their total project budget will be $150,000 (i.e., $100,000 state funding through the Nonprofit Security Grant Program grant, and $50,000 of funding from any other non-state financial participation source). Again, applicants will need to provide a summary in their initial request of what they intend to do with their total project budget.
NOTE: PCCD is not liable for any costs incurred prior to the start date of the award. Further, grant recipients will be required to submit financial reports in PCCD's Egrants system and PCCD will reimburse grantees for reported, eligible expenditures. PCCD understands that all grantees may not have enough cash on hand to be able to purchase more expensive items or services on a reimbursement basis and PCCD will work with grantees in those situations to provide funding in a timely manner.
Grants awarded under PCCD's Nonprofit Security Grant Program are typically one-year projects. However, awarded grantees will have the option of submitting a project modification request to extend their grant if needed.
What Information Will I Need When Making my Initial Request?
It is strongly recommended that you have the following information prepared BEFORE you fill out the initial request form in SurveyMonkey when the period opens:
- Name and address of your nonprofit organization.
- The nonprofit organization's Employer Identification Number.
- The nonprofit organization's 501(c)(3) IRS determination letter or affirmation letter; or, if your organization meets the definition of a church as described in IRS Publication 1828 and claims an automatic exemption from applying for and obtaining recognition of 501(c)(3) status, a copy of the first page of your most recently filed IRS 990 form (Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax) OR a letter signed by the head of your organization stating that your organization does not have a 501(c)(3) determination letter from the IRS because you claim an automatic exemption for churches and are not required to apply for and obtain recognition of 501(c)(3) status (please scan and save as a .pdf document so that it can be uploaded).
- A short narrative – can be a few sentences – summarizing why you are applying (i.e., statement of need, or laying out the problem) and how the items you are requesting are linked to solving that need or problem.
- Any supporting documentation you may have for your narrative (saved as a .pdf document).
- The list of eligible items requested and a budget breakdown (NOTE: If applying for more than $25,001, the applicant will need to provide a cash match and provide that in the budget request).
PLEASE NOTE: The application process will be in an electronic survey format (SurveyMonkey). Applicants will NOT be utilizing PCCD's Egrants system for the initial application process.
Overview of the Review Process
Once the application period opens, applications are reviewed by a Commission-established workgroup comprised of representatives of PCCD, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Governor's Office of Homeland Security. The application period typically opens for a 30-day window. New for Fall 2023, the application period will be for a 50-day window. Applicants being recommended for approval who submitted an application during the Fall 2023 solicitation period will be presented for consideration at the December 14, 2023 Commission meeting. Email notifications of award (or those not recommended for award) will follow accordingly.
Due to the high interest in the grant program and the limited availability of funding, priority consideration in the application review process may be given to those nonprofit organizations that indicate that their organization or membership was the victim of a hate-crime or clearly justify a credible hate-crime threat to their organization; serves a population clearly susceptible to a hate-crime; or are requests from entities that have not received prior funding from either PCCD's or PEMA's Nonprofit Security Grant Program. Previous recipients of PEMA and PCCD Nonprofit Security Grant funding may be considered when reviewing and scoring an application. Geographic distribution of the grants may also be taken into consideration.
Applicants receiving awards will be contacted by PCCD staff following the Commission meeting to finalize the award process within PCCD's Egrants system. Any eligible applicant that was reviewed and denied may revise and resubmit their application during any open application period.
If you have questions about this process, please email RA-CD-NPSEC-GRANT@pa.gov for assistance. You may also call 717-265-8448 and leave a voice mail message for assistance. We will update the FAQ sheet below to this webpage for commonly asked questions, so please check back regularly for updates.
Please note that due to the competitive nature of these grants, PCCD staff are unable to answer questions about specific proposals. Further, we cannot provide in-person presentations on this process at this time.
Frequently Asked Questions: