Every EMS organization has a story (usually hundreds) to tell. An hour with your crews spent telling very targeted war stories may be the key to gathering and then offering your grant writer great fodder for a most compelling ask. In a recent first interview with the Chief of an EMS organization’s tactical EMS team, we couldn’t help but offer our rapt attention as he told us about several situations in just past months of trying to care for hostage victims under fire. And, even though the funding amount for an EMS configured armored vehicle is no shy figure, his story punched through with a compelling patient and worker safety argument that has little opportunity for rebuttal. With the help of a few pointed testimonials from law enforcement agencies served by the tactical team, grateful letters from victims served and reports by paramedics who staff the tactical team, the project’s credibility will gain even more funding points.
When I present an agency’s ask in the form of a relatable story, I like to weave in facts and stats that talk about how many times the granted equipment, training, or operations would have been accessed in the last several years. I want to know about who missed out on the most optimal EMS experience in the past year? What was the clinical result of not having the right equipment, training or operational program in effect? These are the facts that make even the most jaded reviewer take pause.
Grant funders want to know which other organizations support the EMS entity requesting funding. And, it is especially important to demonstrate through financial statements and operating budgets why the business, agency or organization can’t come up with the funds themselves. Request that your board or leadership write letters of support that relate the reasons why they as individuals support your agency, organization or department. Just one convincing comment may prove to be the fulcrum for a winning application.
In addition to sitting with your workforce to talk about pertinent individual EMS situations, you might consider running a survey or asking for essays from local schools or universities that are relatable to the ask. Record man on the street interviews in your community. The quotes and testimonials you gather will be part of what distinguishes your grant application from the rest. Get creative. Show your enthusiasm for your own “ask”. Tell a great story.