Grants for community paramedicine and mobile integrated healthcare are a good way for new programs to begin and existing programs to expand. The grant process is a two-way street. The organization providing the grant is directly interested in stimulating growth and is looking for like-minded partners.
To get a community paramedic program grant, EMS organizations must research their options, follow requirements, and submit a strong application. Depending on the grant, there may be more or less work. To successfully obtain grants, it’s beneficial for organizations to understand the funder. However, it’s also wise to approach grants with the right mindset.
Below, we’ll discuss some standard stipulations for EMS mobile integrated healthcare-community paramedicine (MIH-CP) grants. By the end of this guide, groups will be one step closer to achieving funding and obtaining their goals.
Guide to Obtaining Grants for a Mobile Integrated Healthcare-Community Paramedic Program
One of the challenges surrounding grants is their variability. It takes some work upfront to research individual grants – there is no one-size-fits-all approach. However, if you take the time to learn the principles of obtaining grants, you’ll be much closer to obtaining more funding for your program.
Here are several things to understand about grants for community paramedicine:
- Understand mobile healthcare grants
- Avoid common mistakes when applying for grants
- Know where to look for EMS grants
We’ll look at these categories in more detail.
Note: Having a solid understanding of how your community paramedic program will operate is essential. Take some time and read our article on starting a community paramedic program.
Understanding Mobile Integrated Healthcare Grants
The first mistake EMS organizations make is looking at grants as “free money.” While this concept may be valid on a superficial level, grants should be considered more of a partnership than a gift.
Organizations that award grants, or funders, have a vested interest in seeing their dollars produce results. Multiple funding bodies exist, including private foundations, federal institutions, and state-level grants.
These grants are meant to boost programs and give them funds to help them launch or extend a strong program. In the next section, we’ll discuss common mistakes EMS groups make when seeking community health grants.
As we review these mistakes, you’ll also gain a deeper understanding of grants.
Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Grants
Grants can come in many forms. There is a chance that some grants have a relatively straightforward application process and broad inclusion criteria. However, there are also chances that the grant will have much more specific guidelines and narrow inclusion criteria.
For example, a grant designed for “public health” could be accessed by many departments. However, a “EMS community paramedicine” grant will have a narrower group of applicants.
Here’s a list of common mistakes:
- Tailoring your program
- Relying too heavily on grants
- Not giving grants an honest try
Let’s look at these mistakes in more depth.
Grant Mistake #1: Tailoring Your Program
The first mistake is trying to align your program to the grant instead of aligning the grant to your program. There are several reasons this is a problem.
First, the funder is looking for people who are fully committed to their purpose – they will be able to see the applicants that are twisting themselves to fall within the requirements.
Second, it’s not a long-term solution, making it more challenging to show that your programs produced the results.
Grant Mistake #2: Relying Too Heavily on Them
When applying for a grant, the funder usually likes to see a program has some skin in the game. They aren’t looking to throw money into the clouds – they want to fund a company willing to work with them.
Yes, grants should be part of your funding strategy, but they shouldn’t be your only option. Ironically, in some cases, having other options will likely make you an even stronger applicant, as it means your program is more likely to succeed in the long term.
To learn about the other ways to obtain capital, read our guide on the seven steps to fund your community paramedic program.
Grant Mistake #3: Not Giving it a Good Try
Grants can take some time and effort. If you’re not in-it-to-win-it, you may just be wasting your time. While not everyone has much time to dedicate to grants, just a little extra effort can go a long way.
Depending on the grants you want and your strategy, you may find it more fruitful to place a strong effort into multiple grant applications than to place all your resources into obtaining one grant.
The truth is that some grants can be a matter of chance. However, like any financial endeavor, diversifying can give you greater stability.
Now, let’s talk about where to look for grants.
Where to Go to Look for Grants
Unfortunately, they don’t have grants on the back shelf of most convenience stores. Sometimes, finding grants that are the right fit is half the battle.
Use your local network to ask about grants. Some grants may or may not be publicized as heavily. Also, think about where you will find grants. For community paramedicine, many programs have had success with state-funded grants. However, there are also federal grants that may be available periodically and some private foundations that supply grants.
Here are several resources for finding community paramedic EMS grants:
Use these tools as the foundation for finding a grant.
As you look through these sites, think about your program as a multifaceted institution – this will give you a better chance of identifying common goals.
For example, you might not find a grant that says “for starting a community paramedic program” (though these are out there). However, you might discover grants geared toward education or recruitment. Both education and recruitment are essential to building a solid community paramedic program, so it might be worth applying for these grants.
This is just a reminder to break down your goal – creating a self-sustaining community paramedic program – into individual steps. You may not find a grant that perfectly matches your primary intent. Still, you will likely find one that aligns with many “sub-goals,” such as solid recruitment, further education for staff, and new equipment for community paramedics in the field.
Let’s go over some straightforward steps to obtaining grant funding.
Steps to Applying for Community Paramedic Grants
We’ve discussed some theories around finding grants for your EMS MIH-CP program. However, if you like straightforward steps, this section will give you a foundation to use as you begin searching for grants.
Here are the steps to finding EMS MIH-CP grants:
- Perform a needs assessment. Does your community need the service? Do your goals line up with that of the funder? Do you have other options for funding?
- Devise a clear plan for your program. Make sure you have a clear plan for using that grant money; however, you should also have the rest of your program fleshed out. You should be able to tell the funder precisely what you need and how it will help.
- Research available grants. Now, you know you need a grant and how you’d use it. It’s time to research grants. Ask fellow healthcare organizations, reach out to the state, and search online for opportunities. Make a list of potential funders, then narrow it down to the best options.
- Apply for grants. Once you’ve found grants that may be a good fit, please do your best to submit a good application and follow their guidelines carefully. Don’t limit yourself to one option – always have plans B, C, D, and E ready to go.
- Reach out to other partners. Grants can be significant, but they should not be your only option. Many programs achieve sustainable funding by reaching out to their community and establishing strong partnerships.
- Keep trying. If your goal is to start a community paramedic program, you should have a “never quit” attitude. This will serve you in two ways: first, it will carry you when things get tough. Second, it will also make people more interested in working with you.
Let’s go over our crucial takeaway.
Final Words on Grants for Community Paramedicine
To get a grant for your community paramedic or CEMT program, you must keep your eyes open for opportunities and take action. Don’t expect an “opportunity to knock” – instead, realize that you may have to knock on some doors.
One great way to get partners excited about working with you is to show them good data that proves your MIH-CP program works. Julota’s software has played a significant role in helping mobile health programs track their progress and demonstrate to others that their program gets results.
If you’re curious, contact Julota to learn how this award-winning tool is helping community paramedic programs across the country. The team would be happy to answer questions and provide a stress-free demonstration.