Step #3: Identify Funding Sources
Good news — there are TONS of sources for you to fund your Bottle Filling Station campaign. These money pools won’t apply to everyone, but with a bit of detective work, you’ll be able to determine the ones that work best for you.
UPDATE: Read our “List of Grants for Water Bottle Filling Stations”
Internal sources are funding opportunities within your high school or college. The following sources are listed in descending order, weighted by highest amount and most common pools of funding.
Are you currently part of a club that is taking on this initiative? If not, can you find an eco, civic, or health focused student group that might be willing to join forces? Organizations are often looking for worthy causes to allocate their funds. This may be the quickest and easiest way to secure initial funding.
While this may require a well-crafted proposal (which we’ll go over later), you may be surprised how open Principals, Vice Principals, School Boards, or Superintendents are to the idea of upgrading their means of accessing drinking water. Most schools have a “General Fund”, or something similar, which is used for discretionary spending. It’s also possible to garner funding through the following departments:
- Facilities Department
- Food/Nutrition Services
- Athletic Department
- School Nurse / Health Department
Funding appropriations for projects that are beneficial to the school are rewarded regularly in both high schools and colleges. SG funding rewards in high schools can range between $200-$1,000 and in college about $1,000-$10,000.
Yes, believe it or not – your student body can actually put a significant dent into the funding total. It’s common for high schools to hold cause-based fundraisers that collect 1 or 2 Dollars during homeroom. Add up those dollars and you could be looking at a hefty amount of funding to support your initiative.
Unique School Grants
These are a bit more rare, but definitely worth exploring. Often times, there are grants available that fit certain health, environmental, or civic-focused criteria, and well whataya know… your initiative checks all three boxes.
External sources are funding opportunities outside of your high school or college. The following sources are listed in descending order, weighted by highest amount and most common pools of funding.
Parent Teacher Associations (PTA)
Applicable to K-12 schools, PTAs are extremely effective at helping facilitate fundraising efforts. Look on your school’s website or simply ask a teacher to connect you to the appropriate contact for your initiative.
Local nonprofits are often tremendous supporters of Bottle Filling Station campaigns. These consist of grants or in-kind donations anywhere from $1,000 – $10,000. Examples include environmental, health, faith-based, hospitals, Rotary Clubs, Lions Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, and other local service groups. See if the organization has an existing grant that would fall in line with your initiative. If not, they may have a discretionary budget or know individual donors who may be interested.
Examples of nonprofit grants are as follows. If you know of others, please leave them in the comment section.
Corporations will also be interested in sponsoring your initiative. Track down local corporations in your town like banks, insurance, or other institutions who may have programs set up to give back to the community. Companies may have divisions such as Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, or Corporate Citizen Engagement.
Best Practice: Visit your local library to access the “Foundation Directory Online” -a free database of local foundational and corporate funding sources. Also, feel free to contact us if you’d like us to explore funding opportunities in your community.
Local, State, and Federal agencies may have grants available for local initiatives.
You may even find a grant open specifically for Bottle Filling Stations. Here is one example of a Grant specifically for Bottle Filling Stations in Portland, ME.
If you’re not one of the lucky ones to have a specific bottle filler grant available in your community, you may still be able to spark up funding support by talking to the following groups in your town. CAUTION: this method may yield the slowest results.
- City Councilors, Town Selectman, Mayor, or Board of Supervisors.
- Water Department
- Public Health Department
Receiving funds directly from constituents in your community is another source of viable funding. Door to door donation requests or car washes may sound like a lot of work, but they could be worth it in the end. We’ll dig deeper on this in the next section.
Investigate which alumni have donated to your school. Perhaps you have a famous athlete, actor, or business person who attended your school? Not to mention this is a great excuse for a world-class networking opportunity!