Safety Grants for Schools: A Guide for Superintendents

Safety Grants for Schools: A Guide for Superintendents

Alert systems, school resource officers, metal detectors, and other technological systems and/or physical safety equipment have at least two things in common. First, they help keep schools (and the students and staff within them) safe, but second, they can be very expensive.

Thankfully, funding is available from a variety of sources, including federal and state governments, nonprofit organizations, and even the charity divisions of major companies, all with a common goal: to help schools financially as they strive to meet their safety needs. In this post, we’ll explore the concept of school safety grants, the types of grants that are available to schools, and how to apply for grants once you’ve located them.

What is a School Safety Grant?

School safety grants are like “gifts” of money from various grantors, but with a catch; they must be used for the limited purpose of improving safety for students and staff while at school. School safety grants can come from a variety of sources, including state governments, federal departments or government agencies, nonprofits, foundations, or private companies.

Millions of dollars in school safety grants are available to help campuses invest in both physical security improvements and wellbeing and mental health initiatives for students and staff. The application periods for grants may differ, but with so much funding available, there will likely be a rotating number of grants with application periods open at any given time for your school.

Types of Safety Grants for Schools:

There are two “buckets” of school safety grants: (1) direct grants, and (2) pass-through grants. The difference comes down to how funds, once awarded, are distributed and/or administered. If your school is awarded a direct grant, the grantor will supply the funds directly to you, and it will be up to you to manage the funds according to the grantor’s pre-set limitations, instructions, or conditions.

If your school is awarded a pass-through grant, it may have a bit less control over the use of the funds. Pass-through grants are awarded by a grantor to a middle-party (typically a nonprofit organization or a federal or state agency), called a primary grantee. The primary grantee then helps the school itself implement the directives of the original grant. You should keep these funding arrangements in mind as you search and apply for school safety grants.

As discussed, school safety grants can come from many sources, and each source may have varying types of grants available for application. Below are some of the most popular types of school safety grants your campus can consider.

State and Local Government School Safety Grants:

No matter your state, there are school safety grants available to you. Several localities and municipalities offer smaller school safety grants, as well. You can find state and local government school safety grants unique to your location through your state’s Department of Education website.

Federal Government School Safety Grants:

These grants are provided by federal departments or agencies, such as the Department of Education, the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Health and Human Services, and the Department of Justice. Popular grant programs include:

  • The School Emergency Response to Violence Grant Program (“SERV”). This federal grant can provide funding for school counseling and mental health support as well as physical security improvements.
  • The COPS Hiring Program. This federal grant can provide funding for schools to hire school resource officers.
  • The School Violence Prevention Program (SVPP). This federal grant can provide funding for schools to implement improvements to their physical infrastructure, conduct assessments of threats to safety on campus, and train staff.

How To Apply For The SVPP Grant

The application process for SVPP grants requires some planning and paperwork. Schools interested in applying need to complete a federal assistance application, disclose any lobbying activities, and submit a budget along with a detailed plan for how they intend to use the funds. The deadline to apply falls on June 17th, 2024, with awardees being announced around September 30th of the same year. While individual grants can reach $500,000, there's also a provision for smaller "microgrants" of $100,000 or less targeted towards resource-limited schools.

Alternative School Safety Equipment Funding:

Many nonprofit organizations provide funding for schools’ safety initiatives, but did you know that the charitable arms of many major corporations provide school safety grants as well? Here are some of the most popular school safety grants offered by nonprofits, companies, and private foundations:

  • Target provides school and public safety grants.
  • The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation provides grants for school safety improvements and anti-violence initiatives in schools.
  • Walmart’s charitable organization has provided millions in funding to support community strengthening initiatives, including through the provision of school safety grants.
  • The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation focuses primarily on global health and poverty relief initiatives, but has also provided domestic school safety funding in the past.

How to Apply for School Safety Grants:

The most efficient way to locate school safety grants your campus may be eligible for is through the use of the Grants Finder Tool provided by the federal government via You can sort through available school safety grants using a range of filters, including grant amount and application deadline.

Some applications may require schools to write detailed and persuasive requests to the grantors in order to prove their use-case for funding. This process, known as “grant writing,” can be difficult and tedious. You may be able to outsource grant writing duties to a professional. If not, here are some tips to keep in mind as you’re crafting your grant request:

  • Visit for help with grant writing, including proofreading advice, instructions on establishing credibility, explaining your budget, and tips for expressing the impact of funding on your school.
  • In writing your grant request, emphasize how your school plans to use funds to improve campus safety, making sure to connect your desired outcomes to the specific items you’ll use the funds to purchase.
  • You may be able to contact the grantor in advance for more information about whether a specific item or program will be considered for funding, helping you save time and/or pivot if there’s little chance of a specific plan gaining funding approval.
  • Consider partnering with a law enforcement agency to apply for a grant. In doing so, you can show the grantor that you have a well-thought out project and that all stakeholders have been informed. As a bonus, law enforcement agencies may help you qualify for grants you may not otherwise be eligible for.
  • Undergo a comprehensive threat assessment to help you identify and define what you need to protect your school. Doing so will help you craft a grant request that is clear, convincing, and narrowly tailored.

School Safety Solution: Here to Help When Every Second Counts

At School Safety Solution, our priority is helping school campuses (and other institutions) across the country to be prepared for anything. Our solutions keep children and educators safe by providing reliable, high-quality, and life-saving equipment that protects children, teachers, and staff.

If you would like to review your school’s safety and security equipment, the tools available to your school’s staff, or any other security consideration, we would love to assist you. You can call our team of safety experts any time at 888.733.0406 or send us an email at for more information.