Private Funding

Often, local Safe Routes to School (SRTS) programs can solicit funding from non-governmental sources within their own communities. The multiple benefits of SRTS programs, including the safety, health, environment and community impacts, often align with the interests of the local community.

The following is a list of potential private funding sources from the Safe Routes to School Toolkit, published by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Even though the Toolkit was published in 2002, the funding categories remain the same:

  • Corporations and businesses: Contact local corporations and businesses to ask if they will support your program with cash, prizes, and/or donations such as printing services. It's good to ask your parent leaders where they work; they often can help you get a "foot in the door." When contacting a company, ask for information about their "community giving programs."
  • Foundations: There are institutions throughout the country that provide funding to non-profit organizations. The Foundation Center is an excellent source of potential funding sources. Narrow your funding possibilities by first searching for geographic region of giving. Look under categories for transportation, health, environment, and community building.
  • Individuals: Statistically, individuals give more money than corporations and foundations combined. You can begin a local fund drive by working within your existing network of team leaders, and outreaching to the larger community.
  • Events: Many programs have raised funds by holding special events. Use the SRTS theme to attract funding. Hold a walkathon or a bicycling event. You also can choose more traditional fundraising efforts, such as bake sales, concerts, talent shows, etc.
  • Parent teacher associations (PTAs) and school districts: Many PTAs have funds to distribute to school programs and often schools have safety funding. Contact your local PTA and the School District to see if there is a method for applying for a grant.