For LAFD

LAFD FUNDING MANUAL

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Our Mission

The Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation (the Foundation), in partnership with citizens, businesses, and other philanthropic organizations, supports the Los Angeles Fire Department (LAFD) in protecting life, property, and the environment by providing essential equipment, training, and public outreach programs to supplement city resources.

The Foundation was established in 2010 as an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to strengthening the Department, promoting public safety, and enhancing the Department’s community relations. Our role is to invest in the LAFD by responding to needs the city either does not meet or does not meet in a timely manner. Our directors are committed to supporting first responders and believe that many people in greater Los Angeles share that commitment. We are the major source of private support to the Department.

The LAFD Adopt-a-Fire Station program was established in 1999 to provide a way for local citizens to become actively involved with their community fire station. In addition to fire stations, the program will apply to all units or other groups within the Department.

All grants and programs are developed in collaboration with and in response to needs articulated by the Department and approved by the Fire Chief. The Foundation encourages grant requests from throughout the Department. Funding priorities include equipment, technology advancements, training, and community relations.

This document is intended as a guide for Department sworn and civilian staff, Foundation directors, staff, and others interested in our work. We welcome your inquiries and ask that informational requests be sent to:

Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation
1875 Century Park East, Suite 200
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Phone: (310) 552-4139
Fax: (310) 552-9052

1. Grants and Contributions

The Foundation receives and administers grants and contributions of money, services, and/or property to fund, assist, or undertake programs and activities to strengthen the Fire Department. Contributions and gifts can be restricted by the donor to a specific program, station, or unit, or given to the general fund as an unrestricted gift. If requested, donor anonymity is honored.

Monetary donations must be in the form of a check payable to the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation. If donor wishes to specify a fire station or program, it should be identified on the check’s memo line.

LAFD members may not accept cash. All checks should be sent to the Foundation at 1875 Century Park East, Suite 200, Los Angeles, CA, 90067. As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, the Foundation sends a tax receipt and thank-you letter acknowledging all donations.

Unrestricted Gifts include all financial resources not designated by the donor for a specific use and can be disbursed at the discretion of the Foundation’s Board of Directors. These revenues are generated by fund-raising events and gifts from individuals, corporations, and foundations. Revenues in this category defray Foundation operating expenses and are the source of funding for discretionary grants.

Restricted Gifts are contributions designated by donors for specific purposes. Donations in the Adopt-a-Fire Station funds are restricted to a specific station or unit; other restricted donations may be generated by proposals and often include detailed budgets. Donors — often foundations — may impose reporting requirements as a condition of grant awards. It is the responsibility of the Fire Department unit receiving these grants to meet reporting requirements and to comply with approved project budgets.

Interest and dividends earned on invested funds are available for unrestricted use as determined by the Board.

Donations of equipment, goods, or services (in-kind donations) are accepted subject to review by the Department and its determination that the donation is needed and donor conditions, if any, are acceptable. Anyone interested in donating equipment, goods, or services should send a letter or e-mail to the Foundation outlining their intentions, including a description of the donation and an estimation of the fair market value. Neither the Foundation nor the Department will determine the value of in-kind donations.

2. Adopt-a-Fire Station Projects

The purpose of the Adopt-a-Fire Station program is not to seek extravagances. It is to partner with the community in a collective effort to enhance a fire station’s public service capabilities, features, and equipment. This can include services and supplies needed to operate a modern and efficient neighborhood fire station.

No project is too small nor an idea too complex to implement at an LAFD work location. Firefighters and paramedics across the region have benefited greatly from donated technical expertise, donated services, skilled labor, or excess supplies.

Members are reminded that any improvements to a fire facility must be approved by the Department of General Services. Therefore, prior to any structural repairs or improvements that require City permits, station commanders shall contact the Fire Department’s Building Administration Section at (213) 580-6881 for direction. No funds will be released, or approval given, until these projects have been cleared by Building Administration. Paperwork must be submitted to the Foundation as part of the grant request.

Following is a sample list of items and/or repairs that have been approved in the past:

  • kitchen remodel
  • office equipment, including fax machines, printers, computers, and supplies
  • training room exercise equipment
  • washer and dryer appliances
  • storage facilities
  • specialized firefighting, rescue, and medical equipment
  • outdoor BBQs
  • televisions
  • compressors
  • hand tools
  • power tools
  • ice machines
  • kitchen appliances
  • furniture
  • building materials

3. Approval Process for Expenditures

Please note: Members are prohibited from making any advance purchases. The Foundation will not approve retroactive grants nor reimbursements.

A. Station/Unit Commander
The station/unit commander shall submit all appropriate paperwork for requested items, including:

i. Project Request Form (Attachment 1) signed by all three station commanders and accompanying Form 225;

ii. Three (3) written estimates (estimates may be faxed by vendor) must be submitted for items over $5,000. For items under $5,000 one quote is required.

The completed package should be forwarded to the battalion/section commander.

B. Battalion/Section Commander
Battalion/section commanders are the first level of review and approval for funds. Battalion/section commanders shall review items being requested to ensure appropriateness and conformance to established rules and procedures. Only one signature is required from the battalion/section commander. The request is then submitted to the division commander/ assistant chief.

C. Division Commander/Assistant Chief
Division commanders/assistant chiefs shall review all requests for clarity, appropriateness, and proper documentation. If approved at this level, sign and submit to the Foundation for processing as soon as possible.

There will be absolutely no reimbursements. This includes individual members, house dues accounts, and credit cards.

Members shall not use petty cash for Adopt-a-Fire Station purposes, nor for other Foundation grants.

The Board of Fire Commissioners accepts or rejects offers of monetary and in-kind gifts with an aggregate value of up to $5,000. Contributions or bequests that exceed $5,000 in value shall be accepted or rejected by the City Council.

The Community Liaison Office transmits reports to the Board of Fire Commissioners upon receipt of approved requests from the Foundation.

Title to any property accepted by either the City Council or the Board of Fire Commissioners shall be vested in the City of Los Angeles. Certificates of title must be made to the City of Los Angeles.

Adopt-a-Fire Station funds are kept in an account of the Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation. The Foundation will notify recipient when it receives a donation directed to the station or unit. There are no application deadlines for use of funds.

4. Fundraising Events

The Los Angeles Fire Department Foundation relies in great part on events to generate unrestricted funds for the Department. Any other organization wishing to raise money on behalf of the LAFD should review the Foundation’s third-party fundraising information on the Foundation website (www.supportlafd.org).

IRS requirements for fundraising events are complex and cumbersome, and can raise other issues for the City. Therefore, LAFD members may not be involved in coordinating fundraising events. Although the Department may provide support for an event — i.e., fire apparatus, color guard detail, etc. — this may be done only with prior written approval from the Community Liaison Office.

Members/stations who are the beneficiary of organizations such as Benefit for our Bravest, Grateful Hearts, and Friends of 29’s are reminded that any donations made to the Fire Station by these organizations must first be approved by the Board of Fire Commissioners and, if they are in excess of $5,000, by the City Council. The Department will be working to identify all of these organizations in order to establish appropriate Memoranda of Agreement so as to protect both LAFD and the charitable organizations.

If a Department-approved organization wishes to donate to the Fire Department, a Donation Acceptance Form must be submitted.

5. Payment Procedures

When a grant request is approved by the Foundation, no invoices or bills should be forwarded to the Foundation directly from vendors. The member originating the request should approve invoices and send them on to the Foundation.

Please note: No member of the LAFD nor the LAFD itself has the authority to enter into agreements or contracts with third parties committing Foundation funds without written authorization from the Foundation.

The following additional procedures apply:

Contracts for service: For anything funded by the Foundation, contracts with consultants, service providers, or vendors are between the Foundation and the third party, not the Department. Grant requests to fund the services of outside consultants and other service providers should be specific as to the requisite qualifications of the consultant or service provider, the exact nature of the work to be performed, and an explanation as to the reason(s) why the work cannot be performed without the assistance of an outside expert.

Equipment purchases: To purchase equipment under a grant, the member making the request determines the makes and models and obtains price quotes. For every equipment grant request for a single piece of equipment valued at $5,000 or greater, three competing price quotes should be provided whenever possible. Certificates of Title must list the owner as Department/City of Los Angeles.

Payment schedule: The Foundation pays its bills on the 15th and last business day of each month. Requests must be received at least five business days prior to payment dates. Please allow sufficient time for proper processing of requests.

Travel, meals, and refreshments: The Foundation will consider funding travel, meals, refreshments, and conference fees only in connection with approved projects. As a general rule, we do not fund meals, refreshments, or receptions.

Material changes to budgets, programs, or content: The Department must have prior written approval of the Foundation for such changes. Retroactive requests will not be honored.

Ineligible expenses: The Foundation will not honor any unauthorized expenses or budget modifications, budget overruns, or unauthorized verbal or written contracts without prior written approval. Retroactive payments are prohibited and will not be considered except in an officially declared state of emergency.

We are honored and proud to be of service to the Los Angeles Fire Department, and look forward to strengthening our partnership in meeting your needs.

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