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Apply for a Nonprofit Security Grant

Here you can learn about and apply for the Nonprofit Security Grant Program.

Homeland Security Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) Coordinator

The Details of Apply for a Nonprofit Security Grant

What you need for Apply for a Nonprofit Security Grant

To apply for funding, you must submit:

Please carefully read the application instructions for complete details:

FFY2021 NSGP Application Instructions

You must also:

  • Comply with the Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act (FFATA)

Proposed budgets must ensure all costs are allowable per FEMA's federal guidelines:

  • Allowable:
    • Equipment
    • Planning
    • Training/Exercises
    • Nonprofit Management and Administration
    • Indirect (Facilities & Administration) Costs
    • Construction and Renovation
    • Maintenance & Sustainment
    • Contracted Security
  • Unallowable Costs:
    • Hiring of public safety personnel
    • General use expenditures like software, general use vehicles, licensing fees, etc.
    • Overtime and backfill
    • Weapons, weapons systems and accessories, and ammunition
    • Vulnerability Security Assessments and development
    • Development of Investment Justifications
    • Technological Development Studies
    • Proof-of-Concept Initiatives
    • Funding federal programs
    • Duplicating federal programs
    • Organizational operational expenses
    • Reimbursement of pre-award security expenses

Applications must comply with the procedures and requirements detailed by:

Proposals are evaluated based on the:

  • Building and sustainability of core capabilities outlined in FEMA's National Preparedness Report
  • Strengthening of governance integration between private nonprofit entities and federal, state, and local governments
  • Encouragement of a whole community approach to security and emergency management

Applicants are encouraged to review the following document (available within the application instructions):

  • National Preparedness Report

How to apply Apply for a Nonprofit Security Grant

You should... By... To...
Email all questions

March 24, 2021
Expect online answers to questions March 26, 2021 To be announced

Email applications and mail signature page:


April 5, 2021

4:00 p.m.


More info for Apply for a Nonprofit Security Grant

The Application Instructions show the file naming convention for the Investment Justification:  Investment Justification FY 2021 NSGP UA <MA> <Metro Boston> <Nonprofit Name> but not for the other required documents (vulnerability assessment, mission statement, subgrantee risk assessment).  Should these documents use the same file naming convention? 

Yes, it would be helpful if all the documents used the same file naming convention.

Are municipalities eligible to apply for this program? 

No municipalities are not eligible to apply for this grant program.  Eligible nonprofits organizations are those that are:

1.  Described under section 501 (c)(3) of the IRS Code of 1986 (IRC) and exempt from tax under section 501 (a) of such code.

2.  Determined to be at high risk of a terrorist attack by the Secretary of Homeland Security.

Is there a specific form needed for the Vulnerability/Risk Assessment? 

No there is no specific template, that document can be in word or pdf format.

Our organization is located in the Metro Boston UASI region (Boston, Brookline, Cambridge, Chelsea, Everett, Quincy, Revere, Somerville, Winthrop).  Does that mean we can apply for up to $150,000?

Yes, each nonprofit organization located in the Metro Boston UASI region may apply for up to $150,000. 

Is it mandatory for nonprofits to register with the System for Award Management (SAM)? 

No, because nonprofits apply for the FY21 NSGP grant through the State Administrative Agency (SAA) they are not required to be registered in SAM.

Is the milestones section of the Investment Justification asking for estimated start and end dates of the key activities needed to complete our project? 

Yes, you can estimate those dates.

For the project costs is it ok to provide estimates? 

Yes, but the estimates should be as close to actual costs as possible.

The deadline for NSGP applications is 4/5/2021.  Can our organization get an extension?

Unfortunately we can't grant extension requests because we have to review/score/rank applications to meet FEMA's deadlines.

How much are Management and Administration (M&A) Costs for the NSGP?

Nonprofits can use and expend up to 5% of their FY21 NSGP funds for M&A activities directly related to the management and administration of the award.  If you apply for the amount of $100,000 then your M&A costs can not exceed $5,000.

What is the Massachusetts Allocation under the NSGP State program? 

The FY2021 NSGP Target Allocation for Massachusetts is $2,100,000.  Final allocation decisions are subject to change based on the number of applications and total federal request from each eligible recipient.

How many applications does EOPSS expect to receive?

It varies each fiscal year. EOPSS received 40 applications for funding last fiscal year.

Can you explain the scoring and review process?

EOPSS reviews projects on the following criteria:

Clarity of the project description

Detail provided in the project scope and Project Justification

Capacity to support a Homeland Security Grant Program, Non-Profit Security Grant Program priority to measure program outcomes

Cost effectiveness, reasonableness, and allow-ability of the proposed project budget

Feasibility of a proposed timeline and deliverables

Further, applications are reviewed by a team of subject matter experts internally at EOPSS. After reviewed for completeness and accuracy, EOPSS then submits the Massachusetts submissions to FEMA. FEMA reviews and finalizes award decisions.

How can our non-profit agency acquire a vulnerability assessment?

Past applicants have requested vulnerability assessments from their local Police Departments.     

Can you provide an example of a project that has been awarded in the past? 

A majority of grants that have been awarded in the past have supported physical security enhancements, i.e. cameras to the exterior of the building, or control and access systems.

Our agency is wondering if new technology would be considered for funding. Is new technology vetted by FEMA?

Equipment is limited to select items in the following categories of items on FEMA’s Authorized Equipment List (AEL) for allowable equipment purchases:

-Physical security enhancement equipment:  Category 14

-Inspection and Screening Systems:  Category 15

-Notification and Warning Systems

-Radios and Public Address Systems

If we wanted to get started on a project now, could we pay off invoices before the period of performance begins? 

This a cost reimbursement grant, therefor costs must be incurred within the specified grant period and must correlate within the dates of the award/scope of project.

When would we be reimbursed for purchases since we have to draw directly from our agency budget?

Consistent with the Commonwealth’s policy, payments will be issued no later than 45 days after the submission date for all error free invoices received by the EOPSS Program Coordinator. For more information regarding the Commonwealth’s Bill Paying Policy – and General Payment Policies



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