Less can be more when it comes to grants

“More Matter With Less Art”

- W. Shakespeare

Completing a letter of inquiry is often the first step for EMS leaders seeking grant opportunities with government, foundations and/or corporate funding sources. For instance, please see the following letter of inquiry from a corporate website:

Letter of Inquiry: Please complete the following to be considered for a grant. The proposed program or project must fall within our grant making focus areas: Educated Communities, Healthy, Sustainable Communities or Culturally Vibrant Communities. If your program/project is of interest, we will email you the required proposal form and materials to be completed and returned.

Many grant seekers will be tempted to cut and paste the latest and greatest grant boilerplate copy into the different fields provided by the online form until grant seekers scroll down to see the following requirements:

Organization Mission (255 characters or less)

Describe the Proposed Program or Project (1000 characters or less)

The important take-away from the above listed requirements is the copy-limiting requirement of using only a few “characters” not “words” for the descriptions. Many funding corporations are looking for a succinct organization description and a crisp and compelling explanation of the project to be funded. Needless to say, applying for a corporate or foundation grant requires some pre-application work on the part of EMS grant seekers.

Quick tips for writing a compelling value statement for your EMS organization and/or the project for which you seek funding:

  1. Start by describing what problems your organization solves for those who need your services.
  2. Add why your organization is uniquely qualified to provide the services/products listed in the “ask”.
  3. Finish with compelling statistics.

Following is a “value statement” example for an organization seeking funding for an education program (1000 characters or less):

More than 250,000 citizens residing in our rural and frontier communities exclusively depend on our EMS advanced life support response, care and transport when they call 9-1-1 (about 30,000 times a year).

Without our lifesaving care at the emergency scene and during up to 40 minutes travel time to hospitals, one third of those callers would have likely died of their injuries or illnesses last year. As the only locally certified educator, we CPR-certified more than 250 people in 2012 thereby enhancing the opportunity to save even more citizens’ lives. With your support, we would be able to triple that number this year. Your generous donation of $20,000 will allow us to purchase the training equipment necessary and to staff CPR instructors to more than meet that goal.

Using the above value statement example put your own EMS organization’s facts together to create a compelling value statement for your funding goals.

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