The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) sought expert assistance to manage the Assistance to Firefighters Grant (AFG) Program, a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract that required the supervision of 80 full-time and part-time personnel, as well as support services for hundreds of unpaid peer reviewers.
How We Helped:
McKing specialists managed the full life cycle of the AFG program. Activities included coordinating the assignment of peer reviewers, developing and delivering training for peer reviewers, and traveling hundreds of peer reviewers to panel review sessions. “Cradle to grave” logistical support of grant applications also included paper application preparation; development of online tutorials for applications and peer review training; award and file management activities; data entry and database management; outreach and mentoring to applicants; workshop training to potential applicants; subject matter regional support; and editing and technical writing services. We also staffed the AFG Program Help Desk, where McKing specialists provided technical, program, and grants management support to the grantees. We provided Web-based databases for the customer for conference registration to track attendees and their contact information, travel information, and historical participation in grant review activities. We also provided on-site databases for application rating information, technical review commentary and comments for upload to the customer databases upon completion of the grant review process.
To-date, we have staffed over 220 long- and short-term hires, including dozens hired for one grant review cycle for surge staff capacity. In FY2013, McKing assisted the AFG program in processing more than 13,000 applications, resulting in the award of almost 2,500 grants worth over $600 million. In addition, McKing has provided secured storage for more than 100,000 grant files and applications.We continue to provide ongoing services that include the planning and development of online tutorials to teach potential grant applicants about the different aspects of the AFG Program. We created the AFG Outreach Program to provide the AFG Program Office with a tool to discover where improvements could be made to the grant making process. In addition, the team has developed a workshop management database to inform the public about FEMA Regional Point of Contact Workshops. This database provides a schedule by region with locations and dates for workshops for the AFG Program.