Using Grants to Help Fund Your Specialty Vehicle

July 14, 2017 | 0

Many types of La Boit Specialty Vehicles are built using grant funds, with the most frequent types being Mobile Spay/Neuter/Adoption Clinics, Mobile Medical Clinics, and Mobile Command Centers.

Grant dollars for medical and command vehicles most often come from the federal or state government, in which the mobile unit will serve a specific public interest that is otherwise not being met, such as medical access in rural communities, or rapid response police communication vehicles in high-density urban areas.

Other times, corporations offer grants to help further their corporate brand and fulfill the mission set out by their corporate foundations. These are most common for La Boit’s humane society clients to purchase spay/neuter and adoption vehicles, but are also commonly used by hospitals and clinics for medical vehicles. For example, retail pet supplier Petco’s 2013 “Extraordinary Gifts” campaign offered a grant which had a minimum of $50k to make capital improvements. A mobile component would have been an ideal candidate.

Funding is also offered by a variety of non-profits. For example, the ASPCA is notable in the pet welfare field for the amount of grants they administer to local agencies. Sometimes they’re even sponsored by a public personality. In 2010, celebrity chef Rachel Ray gave $600k to the ASPCA. In a special five-year contest, agencies that increased their adoptions the most year-over-year were awarded a $100k prize.

Below we’ve listed just a few of the La Boit clients that have used some sort of grant funding to help fund their vehicle purchase or initiate programs with their vehicle.

Homeward Bound Mobile Veterinary Clinic
In the two years since launching her mobile practice, Dr. Vance has been working to initiate a program in partnership with the local animal shelter, “Senior Pets for Seniors.” With this program, elderly people can adopt older pets from the shelter, and Homeward Bound Mobile Vet will provide veterinary care at no cost to the seniors with the help of grant dollars and private donations.
Nevada Humane Society
Nevada Humane Society says that they are entirely dependent upon donations, and do not receiving funding from government agencies or national animal welfare groups. Their 2016 mobile clinic was built thanks to a grant that covered the cost.
The Animal Rights Alliance (T.A.R.A)
T.A.R.A uses grant money to help cover their high-volume, low-cost spay/neuter operations on dogs and cats. So far, they have purchased three vehicles from La Boit, and they once completed 110 cat sterilizations in one day!
The Cattery
Like may non-profit animal welfare agencies, The Cattery used a combination of grant funding to get their clinic off the ground. ASPCA’s National Spay/Neuter Project provided training for their veterinarian and technicians in high volume surgery techniques. Petsmart Charities provided all of the equipment and consumables to start their clinic. And The Ed Rachal Foundation provided start up funds and grants to reduce costs for low income residents.
Fido Fixers
Not all grants are large sums to help cover the costs of a clinic build. Sometimes grants can help fund small specific initiatives or events in the community. This was the case for Fido Fixers, that partnered with a local animal welfare charity, who provided $5,000 in funds for a free spay/neuter event in a low-income community.
Shoalwater Bay Tribe Police Command Center
The Shoalwater Bay Tribe Command Center was partly funded by FEMA through a Tribal Homeland Security Grant. Under the direction of the tribe’s police department, along with partnerships with surrounding fire, law, and ambulatory agencies, the vehicle will be used during emergencies and other disaster events.
State of Delaware Mobile Women’s Health Screening Clinic
This clinic came to be through a a unique partnership between public, private, and non-profit entities. The State of Delaware Division of Public Health administers the funding to build and upkeep the vehicle through federal grants, while the Women’s Mobile Health Screening LLC (WMHS), a subsidiary of the Delaware Breast Cancer Coalition, operates the vehicle day-to-day.
University of South Dakota Department of Nursing Mobile Simulation Unit
The Mobile Simulation Unit was entirely funded by a portion of a $5 million grant from the Employment and Training Administrative/Department of Labor. In addition to the vehicle, grant funds will go toward recruitment efforts of unemployed veterans and military personnel with an interest in obtaining entry-level health care positions and completing the online USD A.S.N. Distance Nursing Program.
Cornerstone Family HealthCare Mobile Health Unit
The 2016 Cornerstone van was make possible by a $200,000 corporate grant from Affinity Health Plan. The purpose of the van is to greatly expand health care services and provide primary care to a larger number of homeless individuals and individuals in transition, who otherwise do not have access to basic healthcare.

A lot of people consider grants free money. While technically there is no obligation to repay the funds of a grant, it takes a lot of (paid) worker hours to prepare and write grant applications. And if you are one of the lucky ones who earns a grant for your organization, you still are beholden to the grantor on how the money can be spent. A well-written RFP and a well-written grant application should spell out all these expectations in the beginning, so there is no confusion later.

If you’re looking to write a grant to help you cover the costs of a La Boit Specialty Vehicle, make sure to contact us first. We can provide information that can help your grant application stand out, including vehicle specs and drawings, pricing, and case studies.

Lastly, as grant administrator ASPCA recommends, it’s a good idea to spend the most time on areas with the highest possible return on investment. In How to Start an Independent Mobile Spay/Neuter Clinic, they advise that an organization build a budget and raise as many start-up funds as possible, focusing on grants from Foundations and major donors, instead of small fundraising activities such as events or raffles.

For a great resource on grant writing and other fundraising processes, read this section from the online Free Management Library.

About La Boit Specialty Vehicles

La Boit Specialty Vehicles president Gil Blais first started La Boit in his garage in 1981, where he hand-made organizational boxes for traveling veterinarians. Fast forward to today, La Boit Specialty Vehicles is now a leader in specialty vehicle manufacturing for the Veterinary, Spay/Neuter/Adoption, Dental, Medical, Command, and Bloodmobile industries.

La Boit Specialty Vehicles offers a variety of vehicles to suit your needs, from 18ft pull-behind trailers to 40ft drivable coaches, none of which require a CDL to drive. Best of all, our vehicles are commercially-built from the chassis up for your specific needs, and are never converted RVs.

Mission Statement

Helping professionals around the world confidently deliver a higher level of service to their local markets by providing the highest quality custom mobile units in the industry!

We welcome your feedback and questions. Please contact us anytime or leave a comment below.