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Writing a Good Narrative

This page contains information about writing a good narrative for the Assistance to Firefighters Grants (AFG) application. It is intended to serve as a resource for AFG program applicants.

Narrative Evaluation Criteria

The primary goal of the AFG Program is to meet the firefighting and emergency response needs of fire departments and nonaffiliated emergency medical service organizations. The AFG Program provides funding for critically needed equipment, protective gear, emergency vehicles, training, and other resources needed to protect the public and emergency personnel from fire and related hazards. A strong narrative that clearly and thoroughly addresses the following criteria will increase your chances of being awarded a grant.

Financial Need

Applicants should describe their financial need and how consistent it is with the intent of the AFG Program. This statement should include:

  • Details describing the applicant’s financial distress
  • Summary of budget constraints
  • Unsuccessful attempts to secure other funding
  • Proof the financial distress is out of their control

Project Description and Budget

This statement should clearly explain the applicant’s project objectives and its relationship to the applicant’s budget and risk analysis. The applicant should:

  • Describe the various activities applied for with respect to any program priority or facility modifications, making sure they are consistent with project objectives, the applicant’s mission, and national, state, and/or local requirements.
  • Link the proposed expenses to operations and safety, as well as the completion of the project goals.

Operations and Safety/Cost Benefit

Applicants should describe how they plan to address the operations and personal safety needs of their organization, including cost effectiveness and sharing assets. This statement should:

  • Include details about gaining the maximum benefits from grant funding by citing reasonable or required costs, like specific overhead and administrative costs.
  • Identify how funding will benefit their organization and affected personnel.

Statement of Effect/Impact on Daily Operations

This statement should explain how this funding request will enhance an organization’s overall effectiveness. It should address:

  • How this request will improve daily operations and reduce an organization’s common risk(s).
  • How frequently the requested item(s) will be used and in what capacity.
  • How the requested item(s) will help the community and increase an organization’s ability to save additional lives and property.

Additional Resources

The resources below offer additional guidance on writing an effective narrative. Potential applicants should always review the latest Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for the latest program information.

Writing a Good Narrative

AFG Self Evaluation Sheet

Last Updated: 
12/21/2017 - 08:02