How EMS can win grant funding from foundations

Make your grant application stand out from the pack and secure foundation funding for your EMS organization or fire department


Many people think getting a foundation grant is easy; you submit an application and you get the money. Though that does happen, it’s the exception to the rule. I find in my work with fire and EMS departments that they often don’t understand, or even realize, the importance of developing a relationship with the people at a foundation.

Those of us who have been fundraising for more years than we care to count use two analogies to explain this process: farming and dating. You can’t just throw seeds on the ground and expect they will yield a productive crop. The farmer prepares the ground before planting the seeds, fertilizes the ground (organically hopefully), removes the weeds, and waters the plants as they grow. This should lead to a bountiful harvest.

You also shouldn’t propose marriage on the first date. If you’re interested in another person, you spend time with them and get to know them; their personality traits, their habits (both good and bad), and your compatibility with them. They also take this time to get to know you. You will soon learn if this will result in a positive and productive relationship. In both cases, you must make an effort to achieve the desired results.

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