West Chester, Pa. (August 29, 2023) – Pennsylvania nonprofit organizations serving diverse communities can now apply for up to $150,000 in state grant funding for important support safety and security upgrades, state Senator Carolyn Comitta said.

Applications are currently open for the Nonprofit Security Grant Fund Program through the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). The program, funded with a $5 million state budget appropriation, is accepting applications until Tuesday, October 10, 2023.

“Chester County is fortunate to be home to a diverse and welcoming interfaith community and these investments will help ensure that all our friends and neighbors can continue to live together and practice their faiths freely, safely, and peacefully,” Comitta said.

“Everyone— no matter their race, ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation— deserves to feel safe in their communities,” said Lt. Gov. Austin Davis, chair of PCCD. “This funding will help nonprofit organizations enhance security at their facilities, allowing their clients to feel more safe and secure while receiving services.”

The Nonprofit Security Grant Program supports nonprofit organizations that principally serve individuals, groups or institutions that are included within a bias motivation category for single bias hate crime incidents as identified by the FBI’s Hate Crime Statistic Publication.  Those hate crime incidents include race/ethnicity/ancestry; religion; sexual orientation; disability; gender; and gender identity.

Comitta noted that last year seven Chester County nonprofit organizations, including those serving the members of several churches and a mosque, were awarded more than $280,000 in total state grant funding through the program.

Projects that are eligible for funding include:

  • Planning, threat awareness, and response training.
  • Equipment and technology, such as metal detectors, lighting, surveillance, communications systems, locksets, deadbolts, trauma kits, and antitheft devices.
  • Specialty trained canines.
  • Vulnerability and threat assessments.
  • Other projects to enhance safety or security.

Grant awards range from a minimum of $5,000 to a maximum of $150,000. Non-state matching funds (fundraising dollars, federal or local government funds, etc.) are required for funding requests of over $25,000. PCCD will select awardees in consultation with the Governor’s Office of Homeland Security and the Pennsylvania State Police.

The program, now in its fourth year, was established by the legislature in Act 83 of 2019 in response to the 2018 attack on the Jewish community at the Tree of Life, New Light, and Dor Hadash congregations in Pittsburgh. Comitta, then a state representative, voted for legislation (House Bill 859) that established the program.

For more information or to apply, visit https://www.pccd.pa.gov/schoolsafety/Pages/Non-Profit-Security-Grant-Fund.aspx