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With a well-oiled plan, your thermal imaging campaign should move along quickly. At any event you hold try to include a technology demonstration, whether it is with an actual thermal imager, a PowerPoint presentation or a video. Offer potential donors a simple handout that explains the benefits of thermal imaging in your community and requests their donation. Fundraising appeals should be diverse and frequent:
• Ask your local budgeting authority to pay part of the cost of a thermal imager if it can’t pay the full amount
• Set up booths at community events to help the public understand what thermal imagers are and what they do
• Make presentations to local civic clubs and/or community centers that have funds for local projects
Another idea is to send a fundraising letter to those you protect. Share a local story about how thermal imaging has made a difference (in a neighboring department, for example) or how it could have made a difference (the recent loss of a building, for example). Use photos to illustrate your points.
The cost of thermal imagers has dropped significantly in the last several years, lowering the barrier to buying this valuable tool. Departments that might have previously seen the price as prohibitively high may now find the purchase price far more reasonable. As your fire department initiates fundraising activities, don’t limit yourselves to one funding source or one funding approach. Build a team of dedicated people who are focused on the goal and show potential donors how thermal imagers work to save lives, preserve property and keep firefighters safe on the job. With a determined, organized and passionate team, it’s within your reach to get equipped with thermal imagers, regardless of the size of your community. n