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Posted: 1/25/2011

AED’s save lives and have been proven to increase the chances of survival for a sudden cardiac arrest victim by more than 50% when used within the first few minutes.  However, for some organizations with a desire to acquire and AED, the funds simply aren’t there. If you company, church, or club isn’t able to raise the support necessary to directly fun an AED purchase, getting additional help may be easier than you imagined.

Fund Raising Ideas

Traditional fundraisers can be a surprisingly effective and just about any idea can work.  Some common ideas for schools, churches, and clubs are allocating proceeds from a particular game or event, hosting a carwash, simply asking for donations from organization members and staff, having bake sales, starting an AED donation jar, and requesting donations from area businesses.  People are often happy to give small amounts towards a cause – especially in exchange for a homemade brownie or entertaining evening – so be creative and talk with your team about fun and creative ways you could raise money.

Grant Programs - Overview

There are actually numerous grant programs, as well as other alternative funding sources that may assist business, civic, and faith organizations with the cost of purchasing a defibrillator.

Initial Life Support Foundation

The Initial Life Foundation offers a program for churches which provides financial aid to faith based organizations so they can purchase an AED for under $1000. The foundation has also partnered with fire departments and emergency medical services (EMS’s) to provide AED training to congregation members.

United Way

The United Way funds several health causes and also issues grant money for purchasing AED’s to churches and other organizations. The program passes on savings that the United Way receives by buying AED’s in bulk and also covers part of the cost of each unit.

 Federal Government

 The federal government is naturally one of the biggest resources available for community health projects and programs exist to fund worthy projects with clear benefits. In 2010 Congress passed a Labor, Health, and Human Services, Education Appropriations bill which allocates $2.526 million to rural communities to purchase AED’s and provide training in their use. Federal funders often prefer model projects with strong community support and that can act as prototypes for the program.

 State Government

 State governments usually have dedicated health funds generated through taxes and fees from speeding tickets, driving licenses and vehicle registrations.  The amount and availability of money varies considerably state to state. Some states, such as Pennsylvania (Pennsylvania House Bill 2262) have established direct grant programs for EMS and fire organizations; Texas, in contrast, has fund available form a tobacco settlement which may be used for AED purchase by county governments.   To determine if your state has funding available, contact your state’s public health department, EMS agency, or congressional offices.

 Local Governments

 Town, city, and county governments more closely interested in local health safety and prevention are may be one of the best grant sources for AED funding.  In fact, it may be possible to secure local government funds simply by making presentations at town, city, or county council meetings and providing information on how an AED program could help save local lives. Sharing AED life-saving statistics and demonstrating how an AED program would be a fiscally sound investment may sway political leaders, unlikely to oppose programs affecting community health and well-being.

 Structuring For Acceptance

When it comes to receiving help, being a tax-exempt non-profit is one of the best moves your organization could make if you’re seeking funds. Potential donors who may be interested in support your cause will have a stronger incentive if their donation is tax-deductible.

Scripting Your Appeal

 Many grant programs and funding sources will require either an application or formal proposal, and if a proposal is needed you want to demonstrated to reviewers that an AED program is important to your community and the best use of their charitable dollars.  Include a cover letter with your proposal that includes a summary of the proposal (1 page or less), a statement of need describing the problem of cardiac arrest in your community and how your organization could implement and benefit from an AED, a program description outlining the method and timeline for how the program would be implemented, and your estimated project budget for the program. Also, be sure to briefly describe your organizations mission, programs, and accomplishments.

 An AED program could mean the difference between life and death for a member or your community: if your organization is considering an AED purchase, utilize the many resources available and get protected before an accident occurs.  For more information on AED’s or help selecting a unit, visit www.aed-shop.com.

 Local civic organization dedicated to community service and health projects,  private foundations interested in funding community service projects, and public charities that derive their funds from public contributions are other potential funding and assistance options to consider when pursuing an AED purchase.

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