Do You Need a Security Grant? Information from Church Mutual Insurance

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Do You Need a Security Grant? Information from Church Mutual Insurance

Nonprofits and houses of worship that feel the organization is at high risk for a terrorist attack may qualify for government funds. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sponsors a Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP), which provides grants to organizations that show they need significant security upgrades. Here, Church Mutual shows you how to determine if you qualify and what you need to do to apply.


Any organization that applies must be a qualified 501(c)3 nonprofit that can prove it is at significant risk for a terrorist attack. FEMA encourages applicants to submit any supporting documentation, such as insurance or police reports, that show why the organization may be vulnerable to attack in certain areas. You also will need to complete a vulnerability self-assessment to help highlight any deficiencies in your security procedures.

How you can use the grant money

FEMA has very specific criteria for ways you can use the grant money. These include:

  • Contracting security guards.
  • Planning.
  • Training and exercises.
  • Cybersecurity and technology.
  • Closed-circuit television cameras.
  • Security streaming equipment.
  • Fences.
  • Bollards.
  • Blast-proof windows and doors.
  • Warning and notification systems.
  • Access control systems.

You may not use the grant money for:

  • Organizational operating costs.
  • Direct hiring of public safety personnel.
  • General-use expenditures.
  • Overtime.
  • Development of risk or vulnerability assessments.
  • License plate reader systems.
  • Facial recognition software.
  • Knox boxes.
  • Guns, weapons or weapons training.
  • Knox Boxes
  • Initiatives that study tech development.
  • Proof of concept initiatives.

Materials for the application

You will need to compile the following materials to submit with your application:

  • A mission statement that tells what your organization does — and why.
  • Any research or documentation to support your claim that there is a perceived threat to your organization. You can include police or insurance reports that detail past crimes against your organization.
  • An investment justification/application.
  • A vulnerability self-assessment.

How to submit your application

You will not be able to submit your application directly to FEMA; instead, you will need to work with your State Administrative Agency.

If you are a house of worship, you may find it helpful to take the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Security Self-Assessment, which can help you justify the need for a security grant. CISA also offers a guide for mitigating attacks on houses of worship.

The deadline for the grant application is June 13, 2022, and winners will be announced Aug. 17, 2022.