Grants – Life Jackets & Swim Lessons

Swim Lessons and Life Jacket Grant Program

The Association of Aquatic Professionals (AOAP) are taking applications for the swim lesson and/or lifejacket grant program to help aid aquatic facilities in their drowning prevention efforts. The AOAP drowning prevention grant offers funding opportunities for organizations to provide education and awareness of life jacket safety.

The Association of Aquatic Professionals is a domestic 501(c)3 Non-Profit Corporation and is run by an all-volunteer Board of Directors and Executive Director. The AOAP exclusively promotes and advocates policies, practices and procedures that contribute to safety and improvements in aquatic education, aquatic recreation activities, programs, and facilities.

As part of its drowning prevention education program, RESPECT the Water, the AOAP is working to build and maintain a national network of partners to address issues of drowning prevention, learning how to swim and life jacket safety. A portion of all proceeds generated by AOAP will be used towards drowning prevention, i.e. for learn to swim lessons and life jackets.

The AOAP allocates a minimum of $5,000 annually for the life jacket and $5,000 for the swim lesson grant program. An annual goal for AOAP is to provide a minimum of 100 free lessons to under-privileged participants and to purchase and provide a minimum of 500 lifejackets annually for organizations to use in their water safety efforts. 

Purpose of the Grant Programs

The purpose of the swim lesson and life jacket grants is to provide resources to our AOAP members, by providing either funds to offer learn to swim programs or life jackets to people that may otherwise not have the opportunity to learn to swim or be educated about drowning prevention.

As an AOAP member, you have the opportunity to apply for either the Swim Lesson Grant or the Life Jacket Grant or both at the same time. If you are awarded for one of the grants, you can apply for the other one right away. However, once you are awarded the grant, you may not be eligible to receive that grant again within two years.

AOAP Goals of the Grant Program:

  1. Provide opportunities for organizations to provide education and awareness of lifejacket safety through their swim lesson programs.
  2. Provided financial support to organizations for swim lesson programs.
  3. Provide organizations with lifejackets.
  4. Provide a minimum of 100 free swimming lessons to participants from low-income families. ($500 max per organization)
  5. Provide a minimum of 200 lifejackets annually to aquatic facilities that provide water safety education programs. (Maximum of 50 per organization)

Eligibility Requirements:

  1. Local municipalities, universities and swim lessons providers must be a current member of the Association of Aquatic Professionals for at least 1 full year. (Members for 1 full cycle and registered for a second)
  2. Applicants must submit a completed application explaining how they will utilize the grant funds.
  3. Applicants will identify how the life jackets provided to them will be used in promoting drowning education within their learn to swim programs.
  4. Agencies awarded the swim lesson or life jacket grant will not be eligible to receive further grant funding for the following two years.
  5. Life jackets received must be continually used in a learn to swim program and not given away.

Agencies awarded a grant are expected to sign contracts with the AOAP before funds are disbursed. They will also be required to submit reports, including innovative forms of measurement, throughout the grant cycle.

Program Evaluation

Agencies awarded a grant will be required to—

  1. Fill out a post program survey to show how the grant program has aided them in providing drowning education to the public.
  2. Provide quantitative and qualitative feedback to the association in regards to the effectiveness of the grant program.
  3. Provide a written report based on how the funds were used and how many children benefited from the grant.
  4. To submit a final evaluation of the program that will be presented to the AOAP Board of Directors.

Based on the feedback from the evaluations, the AOAP Board will review and make recommendations for further changes or enhancements to the grant program on an annual basis.

Grant Award Deadlines: (In order to be considered for a grant for the current period applications must be received by the following dates – there are 4 deadlines)

January 1
April 1
July 1
October 1

What grant are you applying for:

Learn to Swim Grant 

Life Jacket Grant Application