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Rewarding Responders Grant

Minnesota Energy ResourcesWe are committed to safety for our employees and the communities we serve. Wisconsin Public Service Foundation, our charitable giving arm, is supporting local public safety response agencies with the Rewarding Responders Grant. Since 2015, more than $98,000 has been awarded in support.


  • All organizations must provide emergency response services in the Minnesota Energy Resources service area.
  • County, local and volunteer fire, law enforcement and rescue agencies are encouraged to apply.
  • Organizations that received a 2023 grant are ineligible for the 2024 grant cycle.


Grants may be used to purchase equipment and professional development, but should be part of a well-planned and
integrated public safety initiative. Projects must be special, one-time, safety-related efforts. Any equipment purchased
with this grant must stay in the agency's ownership for a minimum of five years unless it is consumable or becomes
expired. The maximum grant amount is $2,000 per project, which must be used within two years. Organizations previously awarded a grant in years prior to 2021 are eligible to apply; however, it must be for a new project proposal. Only one grant application per organization will be accepted.

Criteria and judging

Online application requires the following and an attachment of a budget:

  • Organization name (entity which holds nonprofit or government status).
  • EIN or Federal Tax Identification Number.
  • Organization description. Include organization size (number of members, safety vehicles, etc.), volunteer or paid staff, location or geographical size of area served, number of events the organization responded to last year, etc. (10 points)
  • Project title. This may include name of equipment or training.
  • Project description. Describe the equipment or training being requesting and why (if upgrading, include how old the current equipment is). Include a description of equipment or training, how it will be used, and why this equipment or training was chosen over another. Describe the life expectancy of the equipment and the maintenance requirements. (15 points)
  • Project impacts. Explain why the equipment or training is needed. Describe how the grant would support safety initiatives in your community, who would benefit and how frequently this equipment or training would be used. If possible, include data/statistics from previous years as to number of times the equipment or training would have been helpful. (15 points)
  • Project timeline and funding sources. Describe project timeline (i.e., when is equipment expected to be purchased or when training is expected to take place). Include any additional funding sources for this project. (5 points)
  • Portion of project funded. Will the organization proceed with the purchase of the project/equipment if only a portion of it is funded?
  • Do you have any Minnesota Energy Resources employees/retirees that volunteer at your organization?
  • Acknowledgement. Describe how the WPS Foundation will be recognized (news release, banners at community event, etc.). (5 points)
  • Budget attachment. A simple budget or equipment/training quote from vendor is required. This could include an invoice, quote, pictures of product and/or descriptions from website/vendor. Include full cost of equipment or training.

Considered for funding

  • Lifesaving equipment, such as AED, Jaws of Life, CO and natural gas measuring equipment, thermal imaging cameras, pediatric IV kits, night-vision cameras and job-related safety gear, including masks, helmets, coveralls and fire resistant suits, ballistic vests, etc.
  • Professional development/training inclusive of registration fees, tuition, on-site trainer's fees, etc.

Not considered for funding

Emergency generators; capital projects such as new buildings and large vehicle purchases; real estate; endowments; software; T-shirts or other promotional items; travel fees; stipends and/or meals.


Apply between May 1 through June 15. Winners are notified by July 31.

Apply for Rewarding Responders Grant


Program coordinator