April 29, 2020
The Friends of the NRA Grant program is a great way for your outpost, section, division, or district to get a shooting program started* or to add to an existing program with free equipment. The grant program not only includes firearms but also a variety of items, such as clay throwers, first aid trauma kits, competitive clothing, archery supplies, safety equipment, cleaning materials, safes, and targets. The catalog does get updated regularly, so items might change each time you look at it.
The NRA Grant application process (https://www.nrafoundation.org/grants/) usually starts around September of each year with applications due sometime between October and December, depending on your state. This link has the deadlines for this year’s applications (https://www.nrafoundation.org/media/2338/grant-application-deadlines-webpage-list-2020.pdf). Filling out the application will take some time, so it is always good to start early. (Note: This is not a project that can be completed in a couple of hours just before the deadline.) It does require a copy of the 501(c)(3) paperwork, a current W-9, and the articles of incorporation from your church.
Once you have filled out the application and selected the items from the catalog, it is now time to submit it and wait. The number of items selected will determine your waiting time; the larger the grant total, the more levels of approval the grant has to go through. The decision and notification depend on when your state grant committee meets, which is typically between January and March. The requester will be notified whether the grant will be moving on to the nation committee or was denied. Once the national committee reviews it, the requester will receive an email whether it was approved or denied. If approved, the requester will receive a list of items that were awarded. If you are requesting a large grant with a larger number of items, then your application might have to go one step further in the process to the NRA Board for approval.
Items will then start to arrive to the requester’s address or to the FFL (Federal Firearm License) provider listed on the application. Please keep track of the items that were awarded, have shipped, and have arrived. If something is shipped but does not arrive, reach out to the NRA and suppler to see how to proceed. Once you have received all items or August arrives, whichever comes first, the requester must log back into the NRA Grant website, fill out the final report, and upload all purchased item receipts. (Note: Keep copies of all receipts for two years. You will not be able to apply for another grant until the final report has been processed. If they have questions, you will need those receipts.)
The Friends of the NRA Grant program can help your outpost accomplish two goals: expand postal match opportunities within your outpost with archery, trap, small bore, air rifle and BB gun and provide leaders another method to reach boys and their families for Christ though shooting sports.
Don’t worry about writing that first grant. The NSSP is here to help you with the process of writing it if needed. Over the years, the NSSP field advisors have received over $100,000 of equipment to support our local, district, and national Royal Rangers shooting programs. Our expert in grant writing is Terry Brown, a current NSSP field advisor, outpost coordinator, and section commander. He has been writing NRA Grants since 2012 and has only been denied twice. He alone has received over $70,000 in equipment and other items to support his outpost, district, and national shooting events. If you have any questions about writing your grant, contact Terry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
*If your outpost is considering starting a shooting sports program, the NSSP recommends getting your leaders trained as NRA instructors in rifle and/or shotgun. If the outpost plans to participate in archery events, then the NSSP recommends that at least one leader become an archery instructor. Also having a certified NRA Range Safety Officer (RSO) will put your parents at ease as their boys start to handle firearms and bows. The NSSP recommends having a waiver completed for each boy and adult before they participate in any shooting merit or activity. Most churches will have standard waiver that meets the requirements of the church’s insurance. Ask your church about their waiver.