Funding for Fire Prevention
The application period for the FEMA Fire Prevention & Safety Grants will close on February 4, 2011. The rules for this grant prohibit any free grantwriting services, but their website does provide both grant writing tutorials and sample grants to help you create your own grant.
There are two real challenges to getting a grant for fire prevention funding:
1) Finding a grant program that actually fits what you are doing, who you are, the amounts you need, and that is open for applications now.
2) Maintaining a persistent pursuit of the funding you need.
We’ve narrowed down a long list of grants to the several listed below by making sure the timing, amount and purpose of each grant matches our customers’ needs. Many more are available and the websites below these can help you search if you feel these are inappropriate for your needs. We do recommend planning to contact several grant organizations during your process. If you apply to several places at once and multiple organizations express interest in funding your program, you can always explain to one or another that your needs have already been met.
Fireman’s Fund Insurance Co. has an ongoing grant program to help departments acquire needed equipment – including robots for safety education. Grants are directed locally, either by independent agents who sell Fireman’s Fund products or by Fireman’s Fund employees. Fire departments can complete a simple online survey describing their needs which will be submitted to agents in their community. Awards are ongoing. For information check www.firemansfund.com/dcmsSites/heritage/html/01_welcome_default.html
State Farm Insurance Co. offers Company grants in 3 areas, including "Safe Neighbors" (fire prevention) on an ongoing basis. Applications must be in writing and mailed to the Public Affairs, GNC Coordinator at the appropriate State Farm office nearest you. Guidelines and addresses are available at www.statefarm.com/foundati/cogrants.htm
Allstate Foundation gives about $7.1 million a year for about 1,000 grants. The funding areas include "tolerance, inclusion, and diversity - teaching tolerance to youth, alleviating discrimination, reducing hate crimes; safe and vital communities..catastrophe response, school violence, community revitalization". Probotics America’s unique interchangeable heads and hands design feature would make a robot an ideal tool for teaching tolerance, inclusion and cultural diversity. The funder makes grants to national non-profits through Allstate's headquarters and to local groups nationwide through Field Office Grant Committees. National non-profits contact 847-402-5502; local groups, go to http://www.allstate.com/foundation.aspx, click "Funding Guidelines," and scroll down to "Regional Locations & General Information."
FEMA Fire Prevention & Safety Grants are the grants everyone points to when asked about fire safety. Downside to this grant: Application period is limited. Upside to this grant: The largest and most widely applicable grants program for fire prevention activities and robots in the US are the Fire Prevention and Safety Grants. Fire departments that have been successful in receiving the grant are listed on the website and could be contacted for reference and help in the application, although they could be applying for additional funding and so competing for funds.
An excellent list of available grants can be found at www.ems-c.org/downloads/htm/alert.htm
The Federal Government manages their grants through www.cfda.gov. Fire departments with special circumstances (for instance on Native American Reservations, near or including Federal Lands, etc) may find significant funding opportunities here.
States do provide grants as well. This large list of state and private grant organizations contains many opportunities. www.tgci.com/funding/states.asp
There are a number of other ways to fund fire prevention and safety budgets or purchases. We’ve had robots funded through each of the following and some of them include additional benefits and generate support in the community.
Donations from local businesses, chambers of commerce, Lion’s Clubs, PTAs and community organizations. Your robot can easily be customized with lettering that thanks the donating businesses for their donation and notes that their contribution is helping the whole community. Since your robot will be the center of attention in presentations to thousands of children over the years the advertising value alone is quite valuable.
Co-purchase with other departments or even other safety functions. Probotics America robots are very flexible in their appeal. By using interchangeable heads, multiple costumes and multiple vehicles or a 'neutral' vehicle such as a trike, a single robot can be used by a Fire Department as a fireman at fire safety programs and during fire prevention week, to advise kids about traffic safety by the Police Department and even to provide educational instruction at local museums or science centers. By teaming together, multiple organizations can spread out the cost and better utilize the robot.
Promotional and Affinity Programs
Some companies reward nonprofits that can assist in their marketing programs. Some of these are not a worthwhile investment of time, others can pay handsomely for the time you invest.
Green Mountain Energy is a utility company that offers pollution free energy generation for TXU customers in Texas. They will pay $250 to nonprofits that host a 45 minute presentation on their offering for at least 20 households. If any households sign up additional amounts are paid. Hold 6-7 presentations in a day and you may raise as much as $6,000 - $7,000. Contact Patricia Mann at Green Mountain (817) 346-0725 for more information.
Probotics America robots are considered equipment and have an expected lifespan of in excess of five years. As equipment, they can be financed through leasing arrangements with Laurel Mountain Leasing and other leasing companies. Like a car, they can be leased for 36, 48 or 60 months. Unlike a car, at the end of the lease the robot can be purchased for $1.00. Although lease rates vary with a variety of factors, as of February 2009 a $6,800 robot would cost approximately $250 per month for 36 months, $200 per month for 48 months or $175 per month for 60 months. If you are interested in this program please contact Probotics America for a leasing application.