Although the majority of fire and EMS grant opportunities are offered by the federal and state governments, numerous smaller corporate grants are available—and often go unnoticed. These grants won’t provide the type of funding required for big-ticket items, such as new apparatus or additional staff, but for smaller projects or bridging a budgetary gap, they may well do the trick.
I would strongly encourage you to look beyond well-known opportunities for those yet to be discovered in your own backyard. Local businesses and industry shouldn’t be overlooked as potential grant-funding streams. A well-written explanation of a given operational need along with adequate justification and a foreseeable benefit to the community will often go a long way. Of course, not all businesses will be willing or able to provide your department with a big check. But many departments have enjoyed success with this approach simply because they took the time to ask.
We’ve chosen to highlight the following three corporate grants because of their proven track records of funding, as well as their continued support for communities.
Fireman’s Fund Heritage
Created in 2004 by Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co., the Fireman’s Fund Heritage is a national program that provides funds for local fire departments, national firefighter organizations and burn prevention/treatment organizations. Funds can be applied toward equipment, fire prevention tools, firefighter training, fire safety education and community emergency response programs. In addition to awarding grants, Fireman’s Fund employees and agents also provide volunteer support. For more, visit www.firemansfund.com/
FM Global Fire Prevention
National, regional, state, local and community organizations can apply for funding through the Fire Prevention Grant Program offered by FM Global. The grant provides support for many aspects of fire prevention, preparedness and control efforts, including pre-planning, firefighting in sprinklered buildings, fire and arson prevention and investigation, and fire prevention education and training programs. For more, visit www.fmglobal.com/page.aspx?id=01060200.
State Farm Safe Neighbors Grant
Funding from the State Farm Safe Neighbors Grant is available to meet your community-based needs. The funding is directed to improving driver, vehicle and roadway safety; shielding homes from fires, criminals and natural disasters; supporting disaster preparedness programs and recovery services; and enhancing personal financial security. Grant requests for local initiatives are evaluated and approved by State Farm field offices based on available funding. For more on this grant, visit www.statefarm.com/about/part_spos/grants/cogrants.asp.