Freight programs may be funded through a mix of sources, such as national and regional government agencies, nongovernmental organizations involved in transportation and freight, and other institutions—all of which are themselves subject to political and financial pressures and influences often beyond their own control.
To secure funding for your program, follow these steps:
- Conduct Research. Investigate all reasonable sources of funding, both in the public and private sector. Look into public sector agencies that oversee transportation, environmental, public health, climate change, economic development, labor, and public infrastructure spending as well as private family and corporate foundations. Also research international and bilateral organizations such as the World Bank and the International Development Bank.
- Frame the Program in Clear Monetary Terms. Funders and investors are going to want to know what their return on investment will be. Be ready to answer such questions as:
- “How much money will be saved if your program is successful?”
- “Will there be a net gain in jobs?”
- “What are the projected emissions reductions and fuel savings?”
- “What other economic, health, and environmental benefits may accrue to participating companies, and the public?”
- Involve Stakeholders. Think creatively about matching funds, dedicated funding (money earmarked for a single purpose), seed funding, one-time grants, loans, etc., and how these sources together can provide adequate money to launch and sustain your program.
- Build Creative Cost Structures. Consider establishing annual membership fees for member participation, logo usage, and performance report access to contribute funds for the program. Programs can also use in-kind contributions and sponsorships to raise money to sustain efforts. For example, a green freight program could have governmental organizations host its website or dedicate staff as an in-kind contribution. Sponsorships from equipment manufacturers, member companies, or stakeholder associations for conferences and events could also serve as a revenue stream and/or a means to underwrite dedicated program activities or products (a newsletter, for example).