Where to look for nongovernment EMS grants

Private companies often have more flexibility for allocating funds, so don’t get stuck in the government-resource bubble


Has your agency ever been denied from AFG or any other federal resource?

Have you been so frustrated by just missing a deadline or realizing at the last moment that your agency is ineligible for a government grant?

It might be time to start looking outside the box.

Private foundations often, if not always, have great funding opportunities for EMS agencies. Though this avenue takes some research, you will often find that they have more flexibility in allocating funds to your agency for a variety of projects.

Take a look at local trusts, companies, and charities in the area.

For instance, does your county have a railway or oil pipeline running through the district? BNSF Railway and Enbridge Inc. have a history of funding EMS projects in communities they service.

In 2014, Enbridge's Safe Community Grant funded four EMS and fire department agencies. Exxon-Mobil and BP are also some of the largest charitable contributors to communities they service.

Does your agency have a Bank of America or Wells Fargo in its area? In 2010, they respectively gave back $208 million and $315 million. Community foundations are another overlooked option. They are typically funded by a multitude of local trusts that are vested in the community; this includes a strong EMS system.

Large corporations are also great avenues to pursue for alternate funding. Pharmaceutical companies like Pfizer and AstraZeneca allocate funds toward health initiatives and contribute to organizations that help make a difference in the health and well-being of patients and communities — something that is foundation of an EMS agency

Do not let your agency get stuck in the government-resource bubble. There are plenty of alternative opportunities surrounding you — if you know where to look.  

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