Possible State Funding Available for Amateur Radio Organizations
In June 2003 ARRL signed a Statement of Affiliation with the Citizen Corps, making ARRL an affiliate organization working with Citizen Corps and other organizations to promote the goals of Citizen Corps. As an affiliate organization, ARRL, along with American Red Cross, NOAA, Points of Light Foundation, Veterans of Foreign Wars and others, was invited to a two-day meeting in Maryland on December 2 and 3. The purpose of the meeting was to identify strategies and goals for organizations working with Citizen Corps.
In the course of the meeting, Citizen Corps staff shared the information that $35 million was awarded to state Citizen Corps groups. Each state will receive a share of the money based on a population-based formula. The funding was awarded in order to execute states’ strategic plans for disaster prevention and preparedness and recovery – this plan had to be submitted to Citizen Corps by December 31, 2003. Funds will begin flowing to states in March 2004.
What does this mean for ARRL? Since there is no funding available on the national level, ARRL Hq is not eligible for funds. However, for ARES groups and Amateur Radio clubs, there is potential funding for projects that relate to a state’s strategic plan. The message from Citizen Corps was that participation and funding must be at the local and state level. Each state has a Point of Contact (POC) for Citizen Corps and a State Administrative Agency (SAA) that will manage the funds. The Citizen Corps funding mandate requires that the SAA work through the POC for programs and initiatives to be funded locally. The POC and SAA may be the same in some states.
ARRL affiliated clubs that are interested in this funding might best band together, and should take the initiative to contact their state POC and SAA about programs that need funding (a pilot project, specialized training, equipment or a system). If there is more than one Section in the state, it would be best to work together on a funding request and present a unified plan that may be better received by the POC and SAA. Please share this information with those you feel would be interested. Also, SMs and/or SECs should contact the state POCs, if this has not already been done, to ensure that Amateur Radio is included in the state’s strategic plan.
So, it’s up to you. If you need funding for a local project, event or initiative, collaborate on your grant request by contacting other Amateur Radio groups in your area or state to coordinate and integrate your plans. Then contact the state Citizen Corps POC. A list of the state POCs can be found at this web address: http://www.citizencorps.gov/citizenCorps/statepoc.do. Additional information about Citizen Corps is at http://www.citizencorps.gov.