Funding Resources

Now that you have thought about planning your intervention, how will you be able fund it? One of the barriers many community groups face when planning an intervention is lack of funding. The process of identifying and securing funds can be daunting. But, with the right tools and a little investigation, you can be successful. Following are some tips for pursuing funding.

familyIdentify funding sources

Attracting the funding needed for intervention planning and implementation is a creative process. There are many avenues for funding from public and private sources at the federal, state and/or local levels. Examples at each level include:

 

Type

Examples

Public

Federal government grants

National Institutes of Health

State government grants

Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services

Special taxes

Municipal taxes on tobacco products

Private

National foundation grants

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

State foundation grants

Missouri Foundation for Health

Community foundation grants

Deaconess Foundation

Local business or corporation support

Pharmaceutical companies

Non-profit organization grants and/or matching funds

United Way

Local church support

 

Trade and professional organization grants/support

American Public Health Association, Missouri Association for Local Public Health Agencies

Your partners may also help identify local foundations that may be interested in supporting your efforts. Valuable information about community support may also be located in your local newspaper or business journal. Following is a list of websites that may help you locate funding opportunities.

Grants.gov
Grants.gov allows organizations to electronically find and apply for competitive grant opportunities from all Federal grant-making agencies. The site provides a search engine to look for grants as well as information on how to prepare a grant proposal.

Department of Health and Human Services
This Department of Health and Human Services website provides a directory of HHS and other government grants. The site also contains information on how to apply and manage grants.

Office of Minority Health
Site specifically addresses locating funding for minority-focused projects.

The Grantmanship Center
The Grantmanship Center provides a directory of funding resources at the federal, state, and local level. The site allows you to search by state for funding opportunities.

Foundation Center
The Foundation Center provides a list, categorized by state, of state and local funding directories.

Research funding opportunities

There is no lack of funding organizations – you can actually be very diligent in researching funders without ever finding a funding match. Your challenge is to efficiently narrow your search for funders to only those that might consider becoming a partner for your intervention.

"Narrowing the Search for Foundation Funders” provides guidance for using the Foundation Center Directory.  Nine criteria are used to help you quickly eliminate inappropriate funding prospects. This will allow you to only conduct thorough research on funding prospects that may be interested in your intervention.

A sample of a foundation description from the Foundation Directory may be found at http://foundationcenter.org/marketplace/sample_entries/fd_smpl.pdf   

The “Prospect Worksheet” created by the Foundation Center is a template created for use in researching funding prospects and may be found at http://foundationcenter.org/findfunders/wrksheet/prospect_worksheet.pdf

Highlight organizational and/or community assets

Now that you have identified appropriate funding opportunities, you should develop a funding strategy. Understanding the assets within your organization or community is an important part of this process. When you highlight the resources that currently exist within your organization and community, you can use those resources to attract new funding. For example, you may have strong partnerships with various groups in your community, funding from diverse sources, or in-kind donations of work time from your staff or your partners. With these resources, you become a more attractive investment to the funder. These assets demonstrate that you have a history of success and will improve your chances of securing new funding.

Apply for funds

Once you have identified the funding opportunities you will pursue and have determined your organization and community assets, the next step is applying for funding. There are many resources available to help with the application process. The following resources can help you get started. However, you may want to also look for local resources as well, such as through universities or non-profit organizations willing to provide technical assistance in applying for funding.

The Foundation Center
The Nonprofit Expert
Grantmakers in Health
The Grantsmanship Center
Non-profit Guides

Keep Track

The applications are in the mail, so now what? Keep track of the grants for which you have applied. You may consider creating a tracking sheet with the funding agencies contact information, important deadlines and contacts made during the application process. The tracking sheet will serve as a tool to keep you up-to-date on your application progress and help remind you to check on your application status.

Realities of Funding

In this section we have provided you with ideas for funding resources, but this is only the beginning. Sustaining your efforts with financial resources is not easy. Here are some tips for you to keep in mind that reflect the realities of seeking external funding.

  • Most organizations are not funded the first time around. It may require two or three revisions of your proposal before you are finally awarded funding.
  • Do not depend solely on potential funding that you have applied for to run your organization or group. If your proposal is funded, the monies may not reach your organization for some time (e.g., 6-12 months). Plan ahead and anticipate your organization’s needs so that you may be able to operate efficiently while you’re waiting to receive your funding.
  • Cast your net wide. It is better to apply to several funders at once or throughout the year, rather than just one at a time. Most funders have a limited amount of money that they are able to award for each proposal or cycle – remember you are usually competing against many other groups but only a small number will be selected for funding.
  • Learn from your mistakes. Often grant reviewers will provide feedback on your intervention proposal. It is often beneficial to incorporate those comments into your proposal to strengthen it for the next submission opportunity.
  • Be persistent. If your intervention is not funded by one foundation, don’t be afraid to adapt it and apply elsewhere. The components one foundation does not fund may be just the thing others are seeking.
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