There’s nothing more frustrating than knowing you want to be proactive in your facilities but you know your budget can’t help you get there. Often times our budgets are planned out months, quarters, or even a year in advance (especially for K-12, higher education and government organizations).
This often means that trying to write in an extra line item for proactive tools like a facility management maintenance system can be tough. But there's a a way you can get around this red tape, and that's by utilizing grants.
Grants for Facility Management Software
Grants can be a way to help facility managers supplement their budgets and fast track a purchase for a CMMS. However - simply searching the internet for “CMMS grant” will yield few (if any) results. Instead of thinking about the software, think about what buying the software will help you achieve.
Will this purchase make my building more energy efficient or sustainable?
Will this purchase make my buildings safer for my occupants?
Will this purchase help to restore and maintain historic facilities?
Will this purchase benefit youth or learning environments?
If you answered yes to any of the above, that’s good news. Facility management and maintenance software can provide you ways to enrich not only your buildings, but also your communities. Besides helping your buildings become sustainable, a CMMS can improve safety for your occupants, provide a secure learning environment for students, or even help you preserve facilities that are important pieces of history to your city.
Where to Look for Grants
The first place you should look for grants should be in your own backyard. These community-based grants often award recipients who have businesses or non-profits within a certain county or municipality. The award pool will be less competitive and these often have faster award cycles than nation-wide programs, which often adhere to a rolling annual award cycle. Searching the terms “community grant” and the state you live in will often give you results of foundations that will support local missions to better communities.
Here are some examples of community-based grants you can model your own search after:
If you can’t find a grant focused directly your local area, consider widening your search to corporate or nation-wide grants that might supply areas in your state. These grants often have more restrictions, but may have larger payouts or benefits for organizations that apply. For example, the The Westinghouse Charitable Giving Program gives out grants that encompass sustainability, which a CMMS could help a facility manager do. The only caveat is that applicants must live in a 50-mile radius of their 27 corporate facilities. Another example would be the NiSource Charitable Foundation. These grants help improve community development and environmental sustainability within NiSource’s local service areas.
How to Write A Facility Management Grant
If you don’t have grant writing experience, have no fear - there are many resources you can tap to submit an award-winning grant.
Identify the software vendor ahead of time and reach out to them for additional resources, quotes, supporting research, or RFP templates that will supply you with all the information you need for your application. At AkitaBox, we have a group of Facility Management Innovators that can help you navigate your grant writing process and answer questions.
See if your own organization has a grant writing department. Many K-12 schools, colleges, government agencies, and even healthcare organizations hire grant writers for this specific reason. These grant writers can take the burden of writing off your plate and assist you through the process.
If you work in K-12 education, find out if your state has Educational Co-Op Service Agencies, which often offer services to smaller enrollment or rural school districts. Many of these agencies offer grant writing services to these districts if they don’t have one.
Be prepared to come at grants from multiple angles. Being able to translate how a preventative maintenance software can improve your community will be the difference between a winning and losing grant.
Looking for an RFP template to get the ball rolling? Download the Asset Management Software and Services RFP Template.
Good luck with your search and (as always) reach out to us with questions on how we can help!