1. #1
    Firehouse.com Guest

    Default Rural VFD funding

    I would like to know how rural fire depts go about funding? what works for you? We are trying to find new ways to bring in $, but no one wants to accept change. email me with any suggestions

  2. #2
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I'll give you a few ideas,

    First, get your spending under control. We did this by getting every expense in the computer then scrutinizing every expenditure. It will open your eyes to where the money goes. Then change your by-laws so only committees with budgets spend money, not every Tom, Dick and Harry who comes before the body every month. Set up an operating budget for these committees. This money is spent by that committee chair only, when the monies are gone their done for the year. You will find once you identify the areas you are blowing away money and sent up a budget, you will seldom spend your budget.
    We used to hold smokers and field days, bingo, etc, etc. We were spending every dime we made every year. Well over 100 thousand. At the beginning of the year we had nothing. After we planned our spending, restricted spending to the committee chairs and stayed withing budget we are now spending less than 25 thousand. We no longer have bingo or field days, only a pancake breakfast and chicken BBQ, mostly just for the social aspect. When we do fundraising we look at events which require little work on our part. One of these events is a portrait promotion by a local photographer. He uses our station for a studio and takes family portraits. We get a percentage of his sales. Great promotion, and no work on our part. This is the type of event you need to look for. Also another form of fundraising is banking the money you're not spending.
    Are we skimping on spending? No, just the opposite. We paid cash for a new roof on the station, cash for a new 4x4 Blazer for the Chief, installed a new natural gas 100kw stand-by generator, new garage doors, remodeled the restroom, etc. etc,.
    Again, the first step in your fundraising plan should be identify where your money is going now. By the way, this relates only to our "corporate budget", not the fire budget. If you need help with how we planned our committee spending, drop me an e-mail.

    Be Safe,


  3. #3
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our department changed from door-to-door to direct mail about nine years ago and outsourced the mailing.

    We've tripled our fund raising, were able to eliminate time consuming tasks like bingo and bell jar.

    Fight fires, save lives, lead, serve - do what you do best. Outsource the rest.

    Tiger Schmittendorf
    OnScene Marketing Services

  4. #4
    Firehouse.com Guest


    I was interested in this topic as over the last year and a half, we have finnlly got into fund raising. We picked an item which the funds would go to, in our case it is a defib unit. We believe in giving back to our community and raising the profile of our department. It has been working well, with barbeques and dances. The key part is making the community feel that they have a stake in your fund raising efforts. That they share in the benifits.

    Regards, Raymond Godfrey

  5. #5
    Firehouse.com Guest


    While there are many ways you can raise funds for various projects and budgets, I would agree with the previous writer that you want to find something that will raise the most money for the least effort by your volunteers.
    At a PA company where I once volunteered, we used to mail out 'memberships' to each household in our first due. For a small fee each person in the house under 18 was covered for any ambulance calls and/or fire call. Those who chose not to be members were billed the going rate for both. At the station I serve at now we have an annual photo fundraiser. We hire a company to go door to door in our first due asking for a donation. Again, for each household that makes a predetermined minimum donation or more, they receive a certificate allowing them to come and sit for a family portrait at the station. We also hold car washes. This usually has fantastic support from the communinity and is good for a quick cash infusion to the budget. You could also look into setting up a fire dept auxiallary specifically for the purpose of holding fundraisers to support you. This would take the load of the FFs and release them for training and runs, etc.
    Good luck in finding what works for your company!

  6. #6
    joe dilmore
    Firehouse.com Guest


    We've done many things to help with funding. The first thing is to contact larger stations. Many times they have older equipment that is still in perfectly good order that they give away to smaller units. Granted, this is not going to solve your problem overnight, but may help extend the life of some of your equipment. It will add up. Second, find out if there is a military surplus in your area. They make all kinds of equipment, everything from boots to trucks, and they are available only to ems services. We recently purchased a brand new pike pole at one of these for just over $10, and managed to replace all of our old, beat up desks. Every line officer and 3 admin officers got upright desks for about $150. Of course the dwonside to this is that it is exactly that, surplus. What they have is what you get. The last suggestion I have is fund raisers. We are great at fund raisers. The important part to this is befor you do one, find outr what works in your area. Go to the other organizations and find out what workd for them. You may even be able to recruit their assistance if your nice enough. Good luck, and feel free to contqct me if you need any further assistance. Resque108@hotmail.com

  7. #7
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Lot's of good ideas folks but let's look at reality......... Why did you join your FD; to help "save mankind" or raise funds to do the same. Why is it we have to raise funds? Does each citizen buy a ticket to the raffle, of chicken dinner? It's not fair this way. When is that last time you saw a police department need a fundraiser to purchase a new cruiser, or light bar or public works having to work the bingo hall to buy a new road grader of dump truck? No, they seem to be wiser and get it through the tax base so all who benefit from it are taxed to help pay for it. We can still have fund raisers for seemingly non-essential items used in stations such as TV's etc. Think how much more training we could attend instead of the time spent on raising funds. If the public wants a fire department or EMS they better (and usually are) willing to take an increase in taxes. See how much your current budget impacts the tax bill for all in your district. It usualy is pennies per assessed tax dollar or millage. Let's be fair and responsible with a basic life saving service. Local politicians love it when they don't need to spend tax dollars on these items and the cops and DPW workers just chuckle at the time we waste getting what they get from the tax base.

  8. #8
    Firehouse.com Guest


    Our Department has Started Specialised Billing for EMS, and Fire Related Emergencies, we only Bill the Insurance Company not the person. Many people Dont Know that Insurance Companies are supposed to reemburse Vol Fire Depts for Calls made to there Carrier, We average about 400 to 1000 dollars a month, on EMS Calls and our Last House Fire just Paid up at 2700 $ so it does work, M.V.A pay about the same as E.M.S., It is figured by man hours and Equipment use.A neighboring F.D just recived 9,000$ for a School Bus Wreck Response, it takes about a month to recive your Payment after turn in and the Billing Company gets 8 % off the Top,, it has made a world of differance for our Dept....

    Here today for a Safer Tomorrow

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