How to Get Funding for Your Drone (UAV) Program - DSLRPros Official Blog

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Drone Grant Resource Center

Is your public safety organization looking to start a drone (UAV) program? We here at DSLRPros have compiled the best resources to get funding so you can get your drone program off the ground.

We get it, drones (UAVs) can be expensive especially when equipped with thermal imaging and zoom cameras. However, drones have already proven themselves as an invaluable tool for police, law enforcement, firefighting, search and rescue (SAR), and disaster response officials. From May 2017 through April 2018, drone manufacturer DJI confirmed that at least 65 people were saved by drones. See our 2018 News Roundup of Search and Rescue Drone News 2018.

What is a grant? A grant is a way the government funds ideas and projects to provide public services and stimulate the economy.

Police Grants

Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) – Offers a great place to search law enforcement grants, find information, tools, and links.

Need help with grant assistance? assists with writing and planning the application process.

Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Grants

Federal grants through FEMA can be found here, these are specifically for drones (sUAS). These grants are for organizations pertaining to first responders which include, firefighters, emergency medical service, and pre-disaster mitigation.

These are the requirements for the FEMA Grants:

  1. Please justify the need for the aircraft and how the requested platform best meets that need as compared to other options;
  2. Please explain how the requested aircraft fits into the State/Urban Area’s integrated operational plans;
  3. Please explain what types of terrorism incident response and prevention equipment with which the requested aircraft will be outfitted;
  4. Please describe how this aircraft will be used operationally and which response assets will be deployed using the requested aircraft; and
  5. Please describe how this aircraft will be utilized on a regular, non-emergency basis.

FEMA Related Grant Programs:

  • State Homeland Security Program (SHSP)
  • Urban Areas Security Initiative Program (UASI)
  • Port Security Grant Program (PSGP)
  • Emergency Management Performance Grant (EMPG) Program

Search and Rescue Grant
Mountain Rescue Association – The MRA R&D Grant program provides funds for research, development and testing of SAR systems and equipment. It is intended to promote better understanding of mountain rescue systems and technology.

Gov Grants Resource Center

Grants.govThis is the best resource to search for grants and to learn about the grant life-cycle.

Firefighting Grants

Firehouse Subs FoundationFirehouse Subs Public Safety Foundation – In a fire department looking to purchase a UAV but need some funding. Check out the Firehouse Subs Public Safety foundation grant program.

EQT FoundationEQT Foundation – Are you a looking into drone resources for volunteer SAR or firefighting departments check out this grant funding opportunity.

Speak to a first responder drone expert (213) 262-9436 . See first responder drone applications here.


Give Us a Call Derek Wheeler AG UAV Consultant (877) 299-1075
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