Insight Grants

FY 2016 FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant Application Period Opening Soon

FEMA sent out an email this past Friday, 9/2/2016, indicating the next application period for Assistance to Firefighters Grants will open in about a month on Tuesday, 10/11/2016. Applications will be due Friday, 11/18/2016 at 5pm ET. Applicants are advised to begin preparing to apply ASAP and can do so using several tools provided by FEMA which are available now and accessible here, including:

  • FY 2016 Notice of Funding Opportunity  (NOFO)
  • FY 2016 AFG Grant Application Get Ready Guide
  • FY 2016 AFG Narrative Get Ready Guide
  • FY 2016 AFG Self-Evaluation – Operations and Safety
  • FY 2016 AFG Self-Evaluation – Vehicle Acquisition
  • FY 2016 AFG Application Checklist
  • FY 2016 AFG Cost Share Calculator

For the latest information on the Assistance to Firefighters program and all of the details, visit the official program site.


2016 PEP Grant Application Period Now Open

The application period for the Carol M. White Physical Education Program grants, or PEP grants, opened today. Applications are due 5/20/2016. You can access the application package and instructions via here. Click on the Funding Opportunity Number (ED-GRANTS-032116-001) to go to the grant summary page. Then click on the “Package” tab to download the package and the RFP. You can also access the RFP directly by clicking here. Good luck!


2016 Carol M. White PEP grants due 5/20/2016!

Although the docket indicated Monday, the Federal Register Notice for the 2016 Carol M. White Physical Education Program (PEP) grant competition was published very early this morning. The Notice shows the application will be available/application period will open Monday, 3/21/2016. The deadline for all applications is 4:30 pm Washington DC time on 5/20/2016. submission is required. If you’d like to apply and your organization does not already have an active account with an approved AOR Role, go to to establish (or reactivate) an account as soon as possible beginning on Monday. (The system is down this weekend for maintenance.) account establishment requires your organization to have an active account first. If this is your organization’s first time establishing a account, and/or if your organization’s account is expired, you will need a high-level administrator to work on the account. Note that the US Department of Education (ED) has done a really nice of job of including detailed information about this year in the PEP grant Federal Register Notice. Use that resource as well as the information available on the and sites and their respective helpdesks. Establishment of these accounts can take a few minutes or a more than a month depending on your organization’s situation. Begin work preparing your accounts ASAP to ensure they are ready well in advance of when you need to submit the grant. Extensions are not granted for organizations that miss the deadline because their accounts are not ready to submit in time.

Good luck!


Carol M. White PEP grant competition opens Monday, 3/21/2016!

The Federal Register Notice that will officially open the 2016 PEP grant competition will  be posted MONDAY, 3/21/2016. This is very likely to be the final PEP grant competition ever, so this is particularly exciting.


The grant deadline will be 60 days from the Notice publication date and will be listed in the final publication on Monday.

The full RFP may be available Monday, or it may take a few days. The release is not always immediate. submission is required, and the application package will be available for download by Tuesday.

A few quick notes:

  • Recommended award range is now $200,000 – $800,000 per year, with average size expected to be $500,000 per year.
  • Total amount available for new awards is $23 Million.
  • Awards are still for 1, 2, or 3 years. Forward funding will apply as anticipated. This means funds for all years of each awardee’s grant will come out of this year’s $23 Million since this is the last year of funding.
  • Anticipated number of awards is 15—this could go up or down some depending on the size of the requests of the applicants chosen for awards.
  • There are three opportunities for bonus points via Competitive Preference Priorities. The first involves partnerships. The other two are related to student achievement.
  • There is an Invitational Priority (not required and not attached to any additional points) for discussion of Evidence of Promise–research showing program elements are proven to work.

If you’d like assistance, please contact us today. Good luck to all applying!

2016 Carol M. White PEP grants coming soon!

The Carol M. White Physical Education Program–also know as the PEP grant–will be holding what is almost certain to be its last competition this spring. This is because the new Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which goes into effect in 2017, did not include PEP as an authorized program. Congress did, however, appropriate $47 Million to PEP for 2016, and PEP is still authorized for this year. Insight was able to confirm with US ED PEP Program Manager Carlette KyserPegram a little over a month ago that US ED does plan to hold a PEP grant competition in 2016.

For months now the US Department of Education’s Forecast of Funding Opportunities has indicated PEP may open on or around 3/15/2016 with applications due on or around 5/13/2016. While those dates could change at any time, and we won’t know for certain when the application period will be until the actual RFP is released, this information suggests the application period could open as soon as this coming Tuesday. Therefore, organizations interested in applying should begin preparing immediately, if they aren’t already doing so.

PEP is always very competitive, with just 5-18% of applicants nationwide receiving awards depending on the competition year. Here are a few reasons why PEP is expected to be even more competitive than usual in 2016:

  • Due to PEP not being included as an authorized program under ESSA, 2016 will almost certainly be the last time ever that PEP will be funded. Many districts will be looking to apply this year since it will be their last chance.
  • Since PEP cannot receive funding after 2016, US ED was considering applying a forward funding approach to this year’s awards. If that happens, that would mean that the applicants selected through the competition would have all of their grant years funded out of the 2016 appropriation, rather than just the first year which is the usual approach. This means each award would cost the 2016 PEP appropriation the full project period cost rather than the just the first year cost. Ultimately, this would mean fewer total awards could be made.
  • Fewer funds are available in total than in previous years because the Congressional appropriation was lower than in most PEP years at $47 Million total compared to the $70-80 Million total for most of the program’s past years.
  • The last PEP competition was held 3 years ago in 2013. The last set of new awards were made 2 years ago in 2014, but only high-scoring but non-winning applicants from the 2013 were eligible for consideration. Many districts have literally waited years for a chance to apply, and some of them have been preparing for most of that time.

Preparation will be critical to applications being highly competitive!

If you’re not too familiar with PEP, here are the basics:

PEP exists to support physical activity and nutrition education programs that help K-12 students meet or exceed state PE standards.

As of the most recently concluded competition, PEP grants could be 1, 2, or 3 years in length with award sizes of up to $750,000 per year. Matching is required at 10% of the total project cost in Year 1, and 25% of the total project cost per year in Years 2 and 3. Matching may be inkind and/or cash. PEP grants must adhere to a supplement not supplant rule.


Will your district be applying for PEP this year? Don’t miss out! For 16 years, PEP has been the biggest and best-fit funding source for PE, physical activity, and nutrition programming for schools and community-based organizations serving school-age kids. While the competition will be tough, this year’s competition is your “last chance” opportunity to obtain a PEP grant. So start preparing now to submit a stellar application.

If you’re interested in grant writing or editing-only assistance, please contact us. Insight has a strong track record with PEP. The Insight Team includes several writers who have each won many PEP grants over the years. I myself have written 24 and edited an additional 46 winning PEP grants (70 total) for districts around the country.

Good luck!

-Rosalie Mangino-Crandall

Featured Grant Opportunities: More Grant Opportunities Available to Fund Better School Nutrition (VT, CA)

Funds are now available to schools in Vermont who currently participate in school lunch/ breakfast programs or wish to implement a National School Lunch Program. Grant funds are available as matching funds to support the purchase of new food service equipment that would improve a district’s ability to produce and store healthy food. Funding can also support purchase of Computer Point of sale meal counting and claiming systems to administer meal programs more accurately and effectively. Schools can request up to $3,500 per school and applications are due by mail on April 1, 2016. Find out more and view the application at:

The California Department of Education is also promoting better nutrition in schools through their Team Nutrition Smarter Lunchrooms Movement. This initiative offers grant funding to local educational agencies, schools, child care agencies, or nonprofits who participate in the National School Lunch Program and propose to implement Team Nutrition strategies with nutrition education. The full 2016 application, including information about the Smarter Lunchroom Movement strategies that are eligible for funding, is available here. $13,600 will be awarded to two school sites who will receive $6,800 each. Online applications are due March 7. Visit the CA DOE site for more information at

By Jen Adams

SAFER Grants Are About to Open!

FEMA recently announced that the FY 2015 Staffing and for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) grant application period will open Monday, 2/22/2016. Applications will be due Friday, 3/25/2016. A total of $340,000,000 is available and is expected to fund about 300 awards. FEMA states, “The goal of the SAFER Grant Program is to assist local fire departments with staffing and deployment capabilities in order to respond to emergencies, and assure that communities have adequate protection from fire and fire-related hazards.” The program has two funding categories: Hiring of Firefighters and Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters.

Project periods will begin 6/30/2016 and can run 12-48 months in length. Eligible applicants are as follows (quoted from pages 3 and 4 of the Notice of Funding Opportunity):

  • Volunteer fire departments and combination fire departments may apply for funding under both the Hiring of Firefighters category and the Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters category. Separate applications must be completed for each category. Applicants are limited to one application per category, per application period. If an applicant submits two applications for the same category during a single application period, both applications will be disqualified.
  • Career fire departments may apply for funding only under the Hiring of Firefighters category. Applicants are limited to one application per application period. If an applicant submits two applications, both applications will be disqualified.
  • Municipalities and fire districts may submit applications on behalf of fire departments lacking the legal status to do so, such as those under the support of the municipality or district. The municipality or fire district may submit only one application for hiring per application period for each eligible fire department within the municipality or fire district.
  • National, state, local, or tribal organizations representing the interests of volunteer firefighters and individual fire departments (volunteer or combination) may only apply for funding under the Recruitment and Retention of Volunteer Firefighters category. Applicants are limited to one application per application period. If an applicant submits two applications, both applications will be disqualified.

Matching is not required, and award ranges are undefined. No annual limits are placed on grant-funded salaries, leaving awardees free to compensate as needed for their localities.

The Notice of Funding Opportunity can be accessed at

The FAQs can be accessed at

All program information is available at

Featured Grant Opportunity: SAFER

Fire departments in need of funding for staffing should be aware that application period for FEMA’s staffing grant opportunity–Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER)–will open in the near future. The following information is quoted from an email blast issued by FEMA on 2/10/2016. 

The FY 2015 SAFER application period is right around the corner.  The open application period dates will be released as soon as the information becomes available.

Start planning your FY 2015 SAFER Grant application now by reviewing the technical assistance tools below.  These tools were produced specifically to help potential applicants begin to plan their 2015 applications ahead of the application period.  The tools can be viewed on the AFG website or downloaded to your computer.

SAFER Grants Help Desk:  If you have questions about the technical assistance tools listed below, call or e-mail the SAFER Grants help Desk.  The toll-free number is 1-866-274-0960; the e-mail address for questions is


The FY 2015 SAFER application period will be here before you know it. All eligible applicants must be registered and active in the System for Award Management (SAM) before you can submit an application. Per 2 CFR § 25.205, FEMA may not make an award to an entity until the entity has complied with the requirements to provide a valid DUNS number and maintain an active registration with current information. consolidates federal procurement systems and the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA).

To register, or validate your information, please visit: Registration Tips:

Please ensure the following items are current in and the DUNS number used in is the same one you use for all FEMA applications:

  • Organization’s name
  • Address
  • Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS)
  • Employer Identification Number (EIN)
  • Banking information (type of account (checking or saving), routing number, and account number
  • Many websites may look official in appearance but are not. As a reminder, registration in is FREE
  • registration is only active for one year and must be renewed annually
  • FEMA has prepared a technical assistance document, the Get Ready Guide. This document is designed to walk you through the registration process
  • This information should be consistent in all registration documents

Should you need assistance with your account, there are several ways to get

If you have questions or concerns about your registration, please contact the Federal Support desk at

AFG Home Page:
AFG Regional Representatives:
AFG Help Desk: E-mail:
Telephone Toll-Free: 1-866-274-0960

Featured Grant Opportunity: Grants to help schools serve healthier meals to students!

The USDA and NFL’s Fuel Up to Play 60 are partnering to award $35 Million in grants that support healthier meals and better nutrition in US schools. Based on the fact that 88% of schools who utilize the USDA’s National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs lack the equipment to serve healthy meals, this partnership aims to help schools upgrade their kitchen equipment and infrastructure in order to offer students better access to nutritious foods. Grants will help schools meet updated national nutrition standards, serving meals with more grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein and low-fat dairy, and less sodium and fat. All US schools who participate in the National School Lunch Program are eligible to apply. Schools can apply individually, or districts may apply for multiple schools within their district. Each school involved in the application, whether applying as part of a district or as an individual school, can apply for up to $5,000 in school nutrition equipment. The online application will open in early March 2016. You can sign up to be notified when the application is open by entering your email address here. The deadline for all applications is Thursday, June 30, 2016. Interested in more information about these grants? Find out more and download the application materials here:


By Jen Adams

Featured Grant Opportunity: Be Healthy Schools Grant Program/BCBS of Alabama

This funding competition is available to school across the state of Alabama, serving grades K-6, who plan to implement school-based health and wellness programs. Public and private schools are eligible. Programs should emphasize increased levels of physical activity, nutrition education, and parental involvement during the school year. A total of $250,000 is available in 2016, and schools may apply for grants up to $10,000 each. Applications are currently being accepted online and the application period will close March 18, 2016. For more information, visit the BCBS Alabama website at or contact them at


By Jen Adams

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Insight Grants