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Nonprofits Can Apply for Aid to Prevent Hate Crimes and Violence

By October 24, 2023No Comments

As mission-driven organizations, nonprofits are tasked with finding solutions to complex problems in an even more complex world. Despite being smaller and less well-resourced than public and private sector organizations, nonprofits can make an enormous difference with a driven team and a careful use of their financial, cultural, and political power. However, even the most effective nonprofit cannot solve the complexities of the world, nor remove the possibility that their work is viewed negatively by a subset of the public. This is one of the key reasons why nonprofits are more often the target of hate crimes or even terrorist violence.

Nonprofits which deal with contentious political or social rights issues are used to weathering scorn from political opponents or naysayers, but the recent increase in hate crimes has brought new attention to the times when this scorn becomes an actionable or real threat. The federal government and many states have started tasking their departments with addressing this issue, either through grants or other funding, training, and other resources.

Hopefully this is never something you or your team has to deal with, but if you are at all concerned, you should do what you can to educate yourself about what assistance is available. You should also learn about the effects of such threats on the morale of your workplace, the long-lasting effects of trauma, and how you can address these things in a way that helps your staff feel safe and supported in an otherwise scary situation. We put together a list of some federal and state resources, as well as some information about how to handle the impact on your staff.

Federal assistance

The first step to addressing this issue is finding out which programs you can take advantage of to obtain resources and training, and to collaborate with other organizations dealing with similar issues.

U.S. Department of the Treasury

As part of their policy portfolio, the U.S. Treasury is engaged in protecting charities and nonprofits like yours from exploitation by terrorist organizations and other illicit activities. Although their website does not designate specific resources, it does illustrate their four priorities in this area: outreach, oversight, investigation, and international engagement.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Targeted Violence and Terrorism Prevention Grant Program

This program is coordinated by the DHS and is available to nonprofits, education institutions, tribal governments, and state governments. Last month, they awarded $20 million for the purpose of combating the spread of terrorism and building the capabilities and coordination between grant recipients and the federal government.

Another key element of this grant is the provision of educational resources, mental health support, and public health resources to communities and organizations, which can help to address both the spread of hateful ideology and help nonprofit employees deal with the trauma and stress of these sorts of threats.

The Department of Justice (DOJ) Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) Antiterrorism and Emergency Assistance Program (AEAP)

The OVC AEAP offers direct resources to victims of terrorism and mass violence, drawing from a pool of $50 million dollars to provide aid and support. They also have a useful guide to help organizations and communities prepare for and deal with hate crimes and terrorist violence.

Examples of state support

In addition to federal programs, some states and cities offer similar support and grants to eligible organizations.

California Department of Social Services (CDSS) Stop the Hate Program (STH)

Organizations based in California can apply for assistance through this program, which is designed to help prevent hate crimes and to mitigate their impact on vulnerable communities and organizations that support those communities. It offers services for victims, prevention services, and intervention, which can include training and rapid response from relevant government agencies. They also have a $50 million fund to offer organizations over a two year period of service.

Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP)

Although the NSGP, as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), is technically federal, this program is administered in conjunction with state-level agencies. It provides funding to every state to help support nonprofits and other organizations which may be at a heightened risk of hate crime or terrorist violence. In Massachusetts, this program offered over $4 million in grants to at-risk organizations, allowing them to continue serving the community while being prepared to head off these risks and to limit the damage done by this kind of violence.

Addressing this issue internally

These kinds of issues can be difficult to address — while your team is no doubt extremely dedicated to your organization’s mission, this resolve can be difficult to maintain in the face of threats of violence, and for good reason. Even if the threats or attacks occur across state lines, they can have chilling effects on the work you do, discouraging your team and volunteers from engaging with the community. Here’s how you can empower your team ahead of time:

Be proactive

Do not assume the best approach is to ignore this issue or “sweep it under the rug”. Being proactive and taking the necessary steps to “head off” these issues is essential to showing your team that you take their safety and sense of well-being seriously. This can mean holding educational seminars about these issues, updating your internal policies and procedures to handle internal and external threats, and having conversations with your staff about what they need.

Provide resources where you can

Hate crimes and terrorism often aim to discourage people from continuing their work, so providing education and resources to address this is critical. Taking a look at what kind of help you offer to people who may experience trauma as a result of these threats, whether it is mental health support, time off, or other forms of support, is a great way to help your employees feel safe.

Work with us to find new ways to support your staff

501(c) Services is made up of longtime nonprofit professionals who are deeply familiar with the ups and downs of nonprofit work. Our team is ready to help you work through these difficult issues and to identify new resources you can use to better support your team and mission. If you’d like to speak with us, please get in touch.



501(c) Services has more than 40 years of experience helping nonprofits with unemployment outsourcing, reimbursing, and HR services. Two of our most popular programs are the 501(c) Agencies Trust and 501(c) HR Services. We understand the importance of compliance and accuracy, and we are committed to providing our clients with customized plans that fit their needs.

Contact us today to see if your organization could benefit from our services.

Already working with us and need assistance with an HR or unemployment issue? Contact us here.

(Photo by Ramaz Bluashvili, fauxels)

The information contained in this article is not a substitute for legal advice or counsel and has been pulled from multiple sources.

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