Funding Your AED Program

At Cardio Partners, our mission is to foster heart-safe environments while helping to improve sudden cardiac arrest survival rates in schools, our communities and in the workplace. We understand that organizations and businesses may not always have the funds necessary to purchase a life-saving device like an AED, so we've put together this grant guide to help guide you through the process.

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What's a grant?

In fundraising and development circles, a grant is a financial support that is bestowed upon a nonprofit organization that has been issued a 501(c)(3) status by the government. See below for common types of grants.

Capital Grants
If you're planning on implementing a comprehensive AED program with multiple devices or a community-wide public access defibrillation (PAD) program, you may want to consider applying for capital funding.

Capital projects are typically defined as building purchases, new construction, expansion, renovation, equipment, or land acquisition.

Project-Based Grants

A project-based grant can be used only for a specific project or program. These non-capital, categorical grants are made available to individuals, organizations, schools, or state and local governments and are awarded on the basis of merit. It may be helpful to think of project-based grants as you would a scholarship competition: the most worthy applicants receive funding, while others may not receive any funding at all.

Matching Grants

A matching grant is one in which the applicant (grantee) pledges to raise a set amount of funds that will be matched by the donor. Matching grants can be an effective way to fund a (relatively) small project such as the purchase of a single AED and related equipment. If your organization does not have 501(c)3 status but you have a circle of ardent supporters, this may be a great option for you. 

Employee Match

Companies with employee matching grant programs encourage employees to donate to a cause of their choice and the employer pledges to match their contribution. Maximize your earning potential by encouraging your community members and stakeholders to find out if their employers offer employee match programs.

In-Kind Donations

In-Kind Donations, also known as gifts in kind, are a form of charitable giving in which donors provide goods or services to an organization rather than money. In this instance, an organization would receive an AED in lieu of a financial gift.


Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a project or venture (such as your AED program and related training) by raising small amounts of money from a large number of people who may or may not live within your community or utilize your services. Popular crowdfunding sources include GoFundMe, Kickstarter, and Double the Donation. If you work with children, is an excellent crowdfunding resource.

Goal-setting and grant application steps.

Grant writing is a careful, systematic, detail-driven process. The most successful grant writers begin each and every grant application process by clearly defining their goals and organizational needs, searching for relevant grants, making meaningful connections between their needs and the priorities of grantmakers, crafting compelling and well-written grant applications, maintaining careful records and following up or reporting on each award as needed.

Remember: stay positive, be persistent, and don’t give up! 



Applying for a grant can be time-consuming and will most likely involve a lot of information! To set yourself up for success you’ll want to carefully define your goals. As you do this, think about why your organization needs an AED and how it would benefit your members.

Identify the type of AED that’s best for your organization and then obtain several quotes for the device. Then, consider whether or not you’ll need additional supplies such as pediatric pads, extra pads, a spare battery, signage, a carrying case, or a wall cabinet.

Will your team require formal AED training? Do you plan on investing in a preventative maintenance plan or a compliance management program? If so, be sure to include these items in your budget and in your application. Clearly articulate the value and importance attached to each aspect of your request.


Searching for grants is a critical step! Here are a few places to consider when looking for AED grants:

  • Your Board: At your next board meeting, let members know you're interested in purchasing an AED for the organization and give them a sense of scope of the program. They may have connections to foundations that specialize in community wellness.
  • Databases: Online databases have loads of information on available grants.
  • Local: Local civic organizations such as the American Legion, Kiwanis Club, Rotary Club and more may be willing to help fund your program. 
  • ZOLL Grant Assistance

Note of caution: As you search for potential AED grants, be aware some websites offer what they refer to as a "grant" or "partial discount." In some instances, these "offers" may be less-than-reputable attempts at offering minimal discounts or outright scams. Be sure to always check the retail price of the AED. 


Once you have a list of potential funders, narrow your options and make contact. If possible, reach out to the funder prior to submitting your application so you have a better idea of what they’re looking for. If direct contact is discouraged, take a look at the type of projects they typically fund and make sure that your application reflects your research. This is the kind of extra effort that makes for a successful application.

As you put your proposal together, put yourself in the funder’s position and make a compelling case for your AED program. Think about what they’re looking for in an organization and emphasize those aspects of your work.

Be sure to pay attention to details! Follow the rules for font, pages, application length, and deadlines. These details matter in the world of grants.

As you prepare your statement, explain why your proposed AED program is so important and the impact that an AED could have on the communities your organization serves. Be positive and emphasize the impact their donation could have. It’s especially important to back your claims up with data—be specific about the number of people or the amount of service your organization provides, and provide specific examples of the way that funding can transform the way you serve your stakeholders.


Carefully follow all grant application steps. You’ll need to answer each question on the application clearly and with great care. Be prepared to provide organizational data, bios of your key employees, financial statements, and data about the communities you serve. The more relevant information you can provide, the stronger your application.

Deadlines matter! If you submit an application after the deadline, your organization will very likely miss out on funding!

If you’re selected to receive a grant, make sure you understand the reporting requirements and any specific grant acknowledgment procedures the funder may expect. While we’re on the subject of follow-up, don’t forget to express your gratitude to the funder!

Because many different organizations may be competing for the same grant, your application may not be selected. If possible and if appropriate, follow up with the funder to discover what you could improve on and put their insights to good use on your next application!