Organizations affiliated with NSDC have the opportunity to pass along the Coalition's grant services benefits to their special district mebers, providing a range of tools at their disposal to navigate the at-times complicated and overwhelming grants process. These resources are well suited for a range of programming needs and the stages of their development – whether a special district has specific project needs or is just beginning their funding search for potential projects.
NSDC’s premier grants resource was launched in January 2022 in partnership with The Ferguson Group (TFG). Entitled the “Project Idea Portal,” this platform is designed for NSDC-affiliated special districts to submit information on infrastructure needs or community programming for which funding opportunities are sought. Districts may submit details of their projects via the webform, which TFG’s grants team will review and work with the district to identify potential grant and finance opportunities. Within a week of submission, the Grants Team will respond with potential opportunities befitting of the needs, which may include a relevant “General Grants Guide” offering information on a number of authorized federal grants. Special districts may request a meeting with the Grants Team for consultation and further questions.
TFG’s general grant guides offered through NSDC provide a wealth information on authorized federal grant and financing programs on a range of policy topics including:
- Economic and community development
- Fire protection
- Libraries and museums
- Mental Health
- Parks and Recreation
- Rural development
- Water and wastewater
Each guide includes information on specific programming, examples of a successful projects, details of funding requirements such as cost sharing, and contact information for federal agencies implementing the programs.
Furthermore, NSDC members may receive weekly updates on newly opened federal grant opportunities of general interest to special districts. These announcements and more are regularly provided through NSDC’s state and regional special district associations and organizations.
Special districts utilizing the Project Idea Portal or other NSDC grants services may, but are not obligated to, seek further engagement with TFG’s full grant services using a competitive, grandfathered and discounted offered to NSDC members. Information submitted via the Microsoft Form is not shared with third parties.
Finally, NSDC members have access to appropriations and earmark support. Each year, Congress must pass 12 appropriations bills to ensure funding for federal programs. Members of Congress generally begin seeking stakeholder input on federal funding and program needs to effectively represent constituent needs. NSDC and TFG offer information and guidance on the Appropriations process for members as well as with the congressional earmarks program.