Certification & Funding
All Crime Stoppers organizations are initially supported on the local level. Community support is what drives the success of a Crime Stoppers organization. An established Crime Stoppers organization has sufficient manpower and financing. Part of encouraging community support requires a well-managed marketing and advertising strategy. Spreading the word and securing donations helps to sustain growth and progression of the organization. All money received should be used for operating costs and paying rewards. Involving the community and hosting frequent fundraisers are valuable practices for a strong Crime Stoppers organizations.
There are additional funding sources for Crime Stoppers organization who are short on cash. The Texas legislature authorizes judges to order probationers to make payments to Crime Stoppers organizations as a condition of their probation. Organizations that receive court funding are able to use them to pay rewards to tipsters. In order to receive funding from courts organizations must obtain certification status from the Texas Crime Stoppers Council.
In addition to paying rewards there are other methods of using court funding to aid the organization. As dictated the Texas Government Code 414 court funds are only permitted to be used for paying rewards unless they are transferred into separate accounts. Each year, with board approval, a Crime Stoppers organization is allowed to transfer 20% of all court funds received from their Rewards account to their Administrative/Operations account. This gives the organization more available funding to help with operations costs. With that in mind, the government code also allows organizations to create an Excess Fund account. Funds held in this account can be used for Crime Stoppers related purposes with board approval. Rules and regulations for creating an Excess Fund account can be found in the Texas Government Code.
The Texas Crime Stoppers offers grant funding opportunities for certified crime stoppers organization. Annually, a funding announcement is sent out in December from the Office of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division (CJD). These announcements include all of the funding opportunities offered by CJD which includes the “Crime Stoppers Assistance Fund.”
These grant funds can be used for travel/training costs and various operating expenses. All applications deadlines, which are usually around the end of February, can be found in the announcement. Funding preference will be given to organizations hosting an annual Crime Stoppers training conference, annual Campus Crime Stoppers training conference, campus organization and local organizations with campus umbrella or safe school campus programs, projects that support participation in the annual conferences, and projects that support information systems such as answering services, tip management software, phone service, or web hosting services. Applications will be reviewed for quality, capability, and reasonableness of budget. Review criteria may include, but is not limited to the relative financial need of an application based on the annual Probation Fee and Repayment Report and factors such as the applicant’s target population, and other potential factors including economic factors.