11 Resources for Funding Fire and EMS

By:  Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer

Thank you to my Guest Bloggers, Branden Husky and Charles Snyder, for their contributions to this space over the past Fundraising thermometercouple of week!  (You’ve given my fingers a well-deserved rest!)

Recently, I have had several informative communications via e-mail with folks who are desperately looking for funding sources to help them accomplish their mission to provide emergency services to their communities.  In the course of responding to their inquiries with resource links that I’ve accumulated in my research and writings, I came to the conclusion that there might be a broader audience for this information.  Which brings us to today’s topic.

Money is Tight

No two ways about it.  Though the U.S. economy continues to slowly recover from the financial devastation of 2008-2009, there have been changes to the financial “landscape” including, but not limited to:

  • Worker earnings are down (Folks are less likely to donate monies to volunteer organizations, including fire and emergency services, when they’re struggling to “make ends meet”)
  • Local government budgets have shrunk drastically as the number of state and federal subsidies and grants have “dried up.”
  • Companies have downsized and reduced their charitable giving as part of budget reductions
  • Companies have been bought out by larger entities and those larger entities don’t have ties to local communities (Their charitable given is more focused on “global giving”)

When it comes to funding for fire and emergency services, I can’t help but think of one of the current management mantras, “What got you here, won’t get you there.”

The Way Forward

Shop 2 FundraiseFire and EMS organizations large and small, be they career, volunteer, or combination departments, are being forced by necessity to search out and secure alternative funding sources beyond traditional sources, e.g., money from local government or citizen donations or corporate donations.  The future success in meeting their mission within their communities will increasingly rely on their ability to find and secure alternative funding sources, many of which may be one-time sources.

The following are some good sources of information that can assist Fire and EMS leaders in their “funding hunt”, and it is by no means a comprehensive list.  Consider it as some “water to prime the pump.”

Ten Nonprofit Funding Models (Stanford Social Innovation Review)Fundraising Money Throw

Funding Alternatives for Emergency Medical and Fire Services (FEMA Publication)

Finding Your Funding (At the Ready Magazine)

Setting up an NPO for Operating Your Fire and EMS Department (At the Ready Magazine)

Fire Grants Help Newsletter (FireRescue1.com)

The Fire Store Grant Assistance (FireGrantsHelp.com)

ASAP Alternative Support Apparatus, LLC. Grant Assistance Program

Alternative Funding for Fire and Emergency Medical Services Departments (IAFF Firefighters)

How to Find Grants for Your Non-Profit Organization (PrattLibrary.org)

Funding sources for charities and non profit organizations (KnowHowNonProfit)

Non-profit Fundraising Ideas: 20 Ways to Raise Money for Charities

Cat Fundraising Meme

What are some other resources out there that can provide assistance to Fire and EMS departments in locating and securing alternative funding sources?  Share in the comments section below and help out your brother and sister organizations!





About Robert Avsec, Executive Fire Officer

Battalion Chief (Ret.) Robert Avsec served with the men and women of the Chesterfield County (VA) Fire and EMS Department for 26 years. He’s now using his acquired knowledge, skills, and experiences as a freelance writer for FireRescue1.com and as the “blogger in chief” for this blog. Chief Avsec makes his home in Cross Lanes, WV. Contact him via e-mail, [email protected].