Bicycle Helmet Safety Institute
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Where Do I Find Funding?

Summary: Funding is almost always a problem. We have some suggestions, but not many. Local service clubs probably fund more helmet programs than any other source.

Good question!

First off, we are a small nonprofit, all volunteers, with an annual budget of less than $12,000. It is fully committed, and we don't do grants--there just isn't any funding for them. We think there is a need for small grants for local helmet promotion programs but we don't have the resources to do it, and we don't like to spend our time fundraising.

Most of the grant programs we have heard about are either part of a large national campaign like the one run by Safe Kids USA for their local chapters or are funded locally by the Elks, Kiwanis, Jaycees, Chamber of Commerce, a local business, a local foundation, an endowment, a union, a local bike club or another local organization. That means that local service organizations are probably the best place to start looking for funding.

If you are running a more involved campaign, the Bikes 4 Kids program in Utah raised funding in 2006 for 1,000 bicycles, helmets, t-shirts and locks through sponsorships, a fundraising dinner with silent auction and bicycle rides, including a celebrity ride with Salt Lake City native Dave Zabriskie, the third American ever to wear the yellow jersey in the Tour de France. Some major charities use annual bike rides to raise funds, asking each participant to bring donations in. Adding a local celebrity can make it easier to recruit riders. The silent auction has proven successful for some local bike clubs, and in the case of the Washington Area Bicyclist Association has been combined with a cocktail party with formal wear in elegant surroundings to bring in an older and well-heeled group of donors.

The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta does grants through a network of health departments in the various states. That probably means you could approach your own state health department and ask.

If you are intending to distribute free helmets, here is our page on the availability of inexpensive helmets for campaigns.

We wish we could be more encouraging. If we find a source of funding for local campaigns we will post it here. If you find one, please email us!

Here is a message from one who did:

I just did a helmet give away in San Diego County. The local Chamber of Commerce was my major funder. Also local merchants gave individually from their businesses. I was able to raise $850.00 with one presentation. As we finished our event, a representative from an automobile dealership came by and offered to support our next effort. Sometimes one success leads to another. Good Luck.

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This page was revised on: October 26, 2020. BHSI logo