Here are some tips developed by The Community Toolbox for ensuring the financial sustainability of a prevention program.
- Network—to keep informed about what's going on and to develop connections with others.
- Have someone in your organization assume the task of scouting and tracking those opportunities that might be available to you.
- If you can possibly afford it, consider hiring someone to do the work of writing grants for you. This can be worth the expense if your grant-writer is good, and especially if he or she is willing to work at least partly on commission.
- Another alternative: Find a sympathetic local professional with background both in grant-writing and in your content area to review your proposal for form and content; follow his or her advice.
- Find a like-minded tax-exempt group or organization to make a formal grant application for you, if tax-exemption is needed and you are not tax-exempt yourself. That same group, often called a lead agency, may also manage grant funds received.
- If you enter an arrangement like this, be sure and work out the relationship beforehand. Clarify everyone's roles and responsibilities, and delineate the advantages both groups will receive from the arrangement.
- Funding deadlines are often short. So stay connected with possible funding sources, and have ideas and action plans developed so that you can move quickly when the right opportunity comes your way.
- Get to know your local politicians (legislators) well enough so that they return your calls; make sure that they and other politicians understand your issue and its importance.
- Diversify your funding, so you aren't completely dependent on any one form of support.
- Continuity is important. Stick to your mission; keep doing what you're doing. It's helpful to have consistent people, consistently going out doing the same, consistent thing.
Community Tool Box. For more information, go to the Community Toolbox at http://ctb.ku.edu/en/tablecontents/sub_section_main_1297.aspx
Developed under the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s (SAMHSA) Center for the Application of Prevention Technologies contract. Reference #HHSS277200800004C. For training and/or technical assistance purposes only.