Sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is a serious, life-threatening condition that can affect anyone, anytime. Each year in the US, more people die from SCA than from diabetes, car collisions, and breast cancer combined! An automated external defibrillator (AED), which is a portable device that delivers an electric shock to “defibrillate” or restore normal rhythm to the heart, offers a good chance of rescuing people in a state of SCA. (You can read more about SCA, AEDs, and how AEDs work on our AEDs page.)
The National Safety Council has stated that greater access to AEDs could save as many as 40,000 lives each year. Can your organization afford an AED? Maybe not. But can your organization afford not to have an AED on hand in the event of an SCA? Definitely not.
If you’re a nonprofit organization, you are likely already spread thin financially. Most of your funding probably goes to serving your mission, leaving little left over for things like AEDs. This is where AED grants come into play.
Many people don’t know about the world of grant funding or underestimate how much money is available to qualifying institutions who need assistance obtaining AEDs. Even more people are unfamiliar with what grants actually are—unless they have recently applied for college, maybe!
Simply put, a grant is a monetary donation to an organization. This money is a gift, so it does not have to be repaid. However, the receiving organization usually has to meet a set of conditions to qualify for the grant. On this page, we’ll discuss some basics of obtaining AED grants and will offer a short list of potential helpful resources.
What do you need to apply for an AED grant?
First, you’ll need to determine the cost of an AED. This may include not just the device, but also any other items needed to ensure the success of an AED program at your organization (for example, CPR training and certification). If you need help approximating these costs, please contact us and we can provide you with an honest estimate. If the cost of an AED is not possible within the limits of your budget, it may be time to explore grant funding options. For this, you mostly need a reliable Internet browser, good organization skills, and a bit of time.
Every potential grantor uses different guidelines and has varying application requirements. That means that applying for grants can be a tedious and time-consuming process, but it is well worth the effort! Remember to be patient and to pay close attention to detail. Applications are often weeded out if they do not meet the minimum requirements. Although all grantors have different criteria, most will expect the following information, at a minimum:
- A one-page summary of your proposal;
- An overview of your organization;
- A statement describing why you need an AED at your facility, why you think your organization could benefit from having one, and who would operate it;
- A budget that includes the cost of the AED and any other anticipated expenses; and
- A concluding statement that summarizes key points from your application.
Again, finding AED grants can take a fair amount of work. However, given the potentially dire consequences of not having an AED in a moment of need, it is time and energy well spent.
Other fundraising sources
In many cases, AEDs are funded thanks to government at the town, city, and county levels. This means obtaining funding could be as simple as giving a presentation at a local council meeting to demonstrate your need for an AED. You could obtain funding simply by making a convincing argument for why having an AED at your business or organization is in the interest of public safety.
If you represent a church or other nonprofit organization, it is likely that you already have enthusiastic support from community members. You would be amazed at how charitable people can be! If you are struggling to obtain an AED grant, consider appealing to the goodness of people in your community and neighborhood by pursuing a different fundraising method, such as:
- A GoFundMe crowdfunding campaign;
- A collection from members of your congregation;
- An appeal to a local civic organization, such as a Rotary Club, American Legion, Elks Club, Kiwanis Club, or Lions Club;
- A donation from a private philanthropic foundation (your local library might be able to help you assemble a list, although the Internet is of course a great resource as well); or
- A more traditional fundraising event, such as a walkathon, door-to-door campaign, or letter to the editor of local publication(s) to request donations from the local community.
If you’re still uncertain about where to turn for help with funding your AED, check out Challenging Sudden Death: A Community Guide to Help Save Lives. This short book, available on Amazon, offers tips for procuring funding from local, government, and corporate sponsors. It also contains helpful tips on how to make your grant application stand out.
If you’re ready to move forward with applying for an AED grant, below is a short list of potential good starting points. Eligibility for these grants varies depending on many factors, including nonprofit status, location, type of organization (for example, retail, entertainment, churches, et cetera). Visit our AED Grants for Nonprofits and AED Grants for Churches pages to learn more. Keep in mind that you’ll want to do your own research to find local and regional sponsors as well!
When searching for AED grants, remember that the process is often competitive and there are many applicants. It is vital to adhere to guidelines, meet deadlines, and remain positive and patient throughout the grant application process.