Beyond AFG: Private funding opportunities

While it seems that the AFG process gets the most hype and attention, there are many funding opportunities beyond the Assistance to Firefighters Grant.

While it seems that the AFG process gets the most hype and attention, there are many funding opportunities beyond the Assistance to Firefighters Grant. One of these opportunities is corporate funding.

Corporations offer assistance for a variety of areas ranging from equipment purchase and disaster preparedness, to public education and safety. Many corporate funding opportunities are also available for community oriented projects. While there are occasionally some grants available for equipment, most corporate grants focus on helping the community.

For example, if an agency has a goal of starting a child passenger safety program, there are many grant opportunities that would qualify for funding that project. These types of programs will serve as good publicity for the corporation funding the project, and more importantly will help with the reputation and recognition of your agency.

Whether you are with a fire department or an EMS organization, public awareness and education about your operation helps the community have a better understanding and appreciation for all your organization provides. Also, community service and preparedness is something that every person appreciates.

For example, at my department I provide the service of checking car seats. The people that come by the fire department to have me look over their car seats are eternally grateful for the service. I believe that those people, at least, view us in a better light because of this small service. It isn’t something that we have to do, but it is something we are in the position to, and should, provide.

Finding corporate funding
The first step in seeking corporate funding is determining your needs as a department or agency. By deciding your needs and prioritizing them, you can then seek funding through varied means.

For large equipment or vehicle needs, AFG would be the primary desire for funding. If only a small amount of equipment was needed, there might be a corporate grant that would be able to fund that project and an AFG application could be submitted for a larger project. There are also national corporate grants and local corporate grants. Some examples of national grants available at this time are:

  • “Dunkin’ Brands Community Foundation” is offering assistance for disaster preparedness 
  • “LaBaron Foundation,” which would be an opportunity for a hospital
  • “Walgreen Community Grant Program” for civic and community outreach, emergency and disaster relief, and more 
  • “Firefighters Charitable Foundation Grants,” available for AEDs, smoke detectors, equipment, and a “fire setters” program

Some “local” examples are:

  • “Brant Chesney Memorial Grant Program.” The Georgia Firefighters Burn Foundation has established a program in memory of a fallen firefighter who perished while battling a blaze in 1996 while off-duty. This program is primarily focused on fire safety and burn prevention education for fire departments in the state of Georgia. 
  • “Bedford Community Health Foundation Grant.” This is available to “nonprofit organizations in the Bedford, Virginia area that focus on one or more of the following areas: equipment, rescue squad support, emergency care, and EMS.”

These are just a few examples of the funding opportunities that your local community or state might offer. Checking and exploring other listings is the best way to avoid missing a local or even national corporate opportunity.

On a side note, there are a couple of other grants that I would like everyone to know about. The first is “The National Law Enforcement and Firefighters Children’s Foundation.” The NLEAFCF helps children and families that have suffered a loss of a parent or had a parent permanently disabled in the line of duty.

The second is the “AED Grant Program.” This is a grant available to all “businesses, agencies, and institutions” and even individuals. I wanted to mention these so that you might recommend organizations and individuals in your district to apply.

All of the grants opportunities listed above were found at By going to the site and creating an account you will be able to keep up on the latest funding opportunities and their application deadlines. There are also direct links to all the applications and details associated with every grant.

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