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Wheelchair Van Funding
Fundraising Guide

Fundraising for a Wheelchair Van

4 Essential Tips to Successfully Fundraise for a Wheelchair Accessible Vehicle

Family beside a wheelchair accessible van with the ramp deployed and holding signs that read "Thank You The Creative Mobility Group" and "Thank You Children with Special Needs Fund"You want to fundraise for a wheelchair accessible vehicle, but the thought of tackling such a large task is overwhelming. You’re not even sure where to begin. Does this sound familiar? Use these 4 essential tips to help you get started and stay focused to achieve your fundraising goal. With over 40 years of experience assisting members of our community with disabilities purchase wheelchair accessible vehicles, we’ve seen what strategies lead to a successful fundraising campaign. And we’ve also seen what pitfalls to avoid. You can connect with a mobility consultant to learn more grants and funding options that may be available to you.

In addition to fundraising, we encourage you to contact  us to learn more about affordable finance options. You may also consider trading in your current vehicle toward the purchase of a wheelchair accessible van. We accept trade-ins of both wheelchair accessible vehicles and unconverted vehicles. To get started or for more information, speak with a mobility consultant at your nearest Creative Mobility Group dealership.

 

The first step in a successful fundraising campaign for a wheelchair accessible van is to set a goal. This is the amount of money you need to be able to purchase your modified vehicle. Your goal may be for the full purchase price of the vehicle, or it could be for a down payment amount. Either way, you’ll need to do some research to determine your goal amount.

First, you will need to determine the cost of the accessible vehicle you plan to purchase. You can view our current inventory to get an idea of the price range for pre-owned and new wheelchair vans. If you plan to purchase a used wheelchair van, find a vehicle to use as a reference point to determine your fundraising goal. Make sure the vehicle has the type of conversion you need with mileage that you are comfortable with. While your reference vehicle likely won’t be the exact vehicle you end up purchasing, your goal is to purchase one that is similar once you’ve completed your fundraising campaign.

If you plan to install adaptive equipment in your vehicle, such as hand controls or a transfer seat, you will want to speak with a mobility consultant to get an idea for the cost of the additional modifications. Also, don’t forget to factor in sales tax and registration fees into your fundraising goal amount.

Now that you have a fundraising goal set, it’s time to determine if you are eligible for any wheelchair van grants or financial assistance programs. Review our list of private foundations, charitable organizations, and government programs that provide financial assistance to purchase or modify a wheelchair accessible van. Make a list of programs you may be eligible for.

With your list of potential wheelchair van grants, begin the application process. But before submitting an application, it is best to call the organization to confirm your eligibility and find out more information about the specific grant or program. Be sure to keep detailed notes about who you spoke with, information you learned, and specific instructions provided.

Some organizations may have income requirements to be eligible to receive assistance, so it’s a good idea to make sure you have a copy of your most recent tax returns and current bank statements available. Be sure to remove personal information such as your social security number and bank account numbers on any documents you submit with an application.

Use your list to keep track of the date you submitted each application. After submitting an application, follow up with the organization to confirm they received it and that it isn’t missing any required information or documentation. You should also ask when you can expect to hear back on a decision and follow up again if you are not contacted by that date. Make notes of any communication you have with the organization.

Once you have been awarded a grant or funding, you can subtract the amount awarded from your fundraising goal! Keep it up. You're getting closer to your wheelchair accessible van!

In addition to the organizations and programs established to provide funding specifically for wheelchair accessible vans, there are organizations that may provide more general financial assistance to the community. Make a list of organizations near you that you plan to reach out to request their asssitance. These organizations may include:

Once you have a list of organizations to contact, you will need to need to write a letter to each one requesting their assistance. Your letter should be uniquely you and tell your story. We recommend you use the following structure as a guide when writing your letter:

  • Introduce yourself to the organization; identify your traits that align with the values of the organization.
  • Explain your fundraising goal; describe what a wheelchair accessible vehicle means to you.
  • Share your previous fundraising efforts and any achievements toward your fundraising goal.
  • Inform the organization on how they can contribute to your fundraising goal.
  • Thank the organization for their time and consideration.
  • Provide contact information for any follow-up questions.

Use your list to keep track of the organizations you have contacted. Follow up to ensure that your letter received and find out if they plan to get back with you even if they are not able to offer their financial support for your wheelchair van at this time.

Now it’s time to get creative! You’ve put in lots of hours and hard work to get to this point, but don’t lose steam yet. Hopefully you’ve received a large chunk of your fundraising goal through grants and other assistance programs, but you’ll likely have to fill the gap with additional fundraising efforts. From online fundraisers to in-person events, a successful fundraising campaign for a wheelchair van might include a variety of fundraising methods. BraunAbility has a list of 22 unique ways you can raise money for your accessible vehicle. To avoid spreading yourself too thin, we recommend that you identify 3 fundraising methods that would be the best fit for you.

Wether you decide to plan an in-person fundraising events or host an online campaign on a platform like Help Hope Live, it's important to tell your story in a captivating way that gives others a reason to want to support you by attending your event or making a contribution to your fund. Continue to engage with people who have supported you by communicating updates. Your supporters are on this journey with you now and can help spread awareness of your cause. Finally, don't forget to use social media to promote your project and expand your reach.

Additional Funding Resources

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We have been helping people in our Michigan communities purchase wheelchair accessible vehicles for over 40 years, and we look forward to having the opportunity to assist you. To get connected with a mobility consultant and learn more about grant and funding opportunities that may be available to you, please complete the form below.