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Top 5 Reasons Why Applications Do Not Make it to Panel Review

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Top 5 Reasons Why Applications Do Not Make it to Panel Review


Name: From the 2007 Assistance to Firefighters Grants Tutorial

There are many reasons why Assistance to Firefighters Grants applications do not make it to panel review. The following five reasons are the most common.

5. Applicant's request does not match program priorities or is ineligible.
In order to be considered for panel review, your request MUST match the PRIORITIES of the Program as described in the Program Guidance. Some applicants request items that are not eligible or do not match any of the program's priorities. For example, regional hosts may not request a Wellness and Fitness program; it will be deemed ineligible.

4. Applicants request items identified by DHS in the 2007 Program Guidance as low or medium priority items.

The closer your request matches the highest priority items, as described in the Program Guidance, the better the chances that your application will qualify for panel review. The Program Guidance clearly identifies the program's priorities. Considering the level of competition, only those items identified as highest priority can be funded. An applicant may need or want something that is a lower priority item, but requesting such an item lessens their chances of being funded.


3. Program activity requests do not meet state or national standards or requirements.

The program is also designed to help applicants meet state and national standards. However, since many items are not required by any standard, requesting those lower priority items may result in a lower score. Requesting any item that does not result in state or national certification, or comply with recognized standards, may result in a lower score.

ISO requirements are not standards that the program recognizes as standards, thus requesting items as a result of ISO requirements, or in order to improve the ISO rating, will not be considered for funding as a priority.

For example, while a Halligan tool is nice to have, it is not required by any standard, compared to PPE or SCBA, which are required by NFPA standards. ISO makes recommendations but is NOT a standard so ISO "wish lists" are not a high priority.


2. A high percentage of current organization members already meet the standard.

Because the program is designed to assist those departments with the greatest need, higher ratings will be given to those organizations that are attempting to fulfill basic firefighting requirements or basic training requirements.

For example, a department requesting PPE and stating that 100% of their members do not have gear that meets the appropriate standards will score higher than a department requesting new or replacement gear for 30% of their members who do not have gear that meets appropriate standards.


1. The AFG program is a highly competitive process where only 25% of applicants receive funding and failure to follow directions in the grant application will lessen your chances of receiving funding.

Finally, we receive thousands of applications each year. So, one significant reason that applications do not make it to panel review is because the AFG program is a highly competitive process where only 25% of applicants receive funding because of the limited funds available. In addition, if applicants fail to follow directions carefully in the grant application, it will lessen the organization's chances of receiving funding.


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