Tips for Funding Your Program. Determining Your Needs and Developing a Plan

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1 Understand your needs. Before you seek funding, determine and quantify the specific needs of your department or coalition. Be sure to look at both programmatic funding (e.g., gatekeeper training, an awareness event or conference) and core funding (for basic functions such as needs assessment, staff training, and evaluation). Develop a good plan. A long-range strategic plan backed by research and built through consensus will impress both federal and local funders. Create a wish list. Identify any program components that need to be funded, no matter how large or how small. Consider integrating suicide prevention into existing activities. This old standby is a viable way of sustaining efforts in a time of scarce funds and cutbacks. Suicide prevention can be integrated into injury and violence prevention, substance abuse prevention, and other health promotion programs. Build evaluation into your programs. By assessing tangible results you can modify your program as indicated, and if you can demonstrate success use results to advocate for further or increased funds. Developing Internal Resources Be innovative regarding staffing. It can be hard to search for funding when you have so many other things to do. Consider involving volunteers or hiring an intern from a school of public health, a school of social work, a community health program, or a research foundation. Designate a champion within your agency. Even if you do not yet have a coordinator dedicated solely to suicide prevention, designate a contact person who can become knowledgeable about the injury prevention field. This document has been published by the at EDC as a collection of resources, promising initiatives and other helpful information on the subject of suicide prevention. It is the reader's sole responsibility to determine whether any of the information contained in these materials is useful to them. This material is based upon work supported by the Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration under grant No. 1 U79 SM Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Department of Health and Human Services, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

2 Looking for Funding Opportunities Be attuned to emerging issues. Issues that people are excited about are more likely to get funded, especially by legislatures or businesses seeking approval from constituents and customers. Become a clearinghouse for funding opportunities. Create an online discussion list or web page to post news about grants and other resources. People will begin to send leads back to you, including grants for which you can apply. Understand block grants. Become familiar with your state s process for allocating block grant funds. Participate in planning processes. Take stock. Check out all fees, fines, or other public funds that could be earmarked for suicide prevention. Become a worthwhile cause. Get organizations, such as Kiwanis Clubs or women s groups, to sponsor community fundraisers for your suicide prevention programs. Seek in-kind contributions. These contributions can help you add the finishing touches to your program, for example (free) printing, pro bono marketing, and product giveaways. Share or barter services. Exchange with other agencies or private companies. A partner agency may have access to printing or materials for your program, and you may be able to promote an event for them. Sharing mailing or lists, serving on each other s advisory boards, co-sponsoring events, or sharing a speaker are other ways to exchange services. Look beyond the obvious. While it is important to look for funding organizations that have missions similar to yours, you may increase your opportunities by looking beyond the obvious candidates. Building Support/Partnering with Others Start with your existing contacts and build more. Who you know is as important as what you know. The more contacts you have, the greater your access to available prevention dollars.

3 Find a champion in the community. This can be anyone from a survivor advocate to an energized grassroots coalition willing to champion your suicide prevention efforts. Include your champion in statewide planning efforts, task forces, events, mailings, etc. Educate your public health and safety colleagues. By championing suicide prevention and depicting the true scope of the problem, you can help your colleagues see that suicide prevention deserves its share of the resources. Partner with other agencies and organizations. This can help maximize existing funds. Consider partnering with your colleagues who work on promoting public health and safety, e.g., mental health, violence prevention, criminal justice, law enforcement, and education. Make friends in your own and other states. Work with the regional injury and violence prevention networks. Joint state applications can help multiple states and decrease the workload for any given state agency. A multi-state intervention can be particularly appealing to some funders. Think top down. Work with national offices of civic groups to raise the profile of suicide prevention, and watch it move down the chain to state and local affiliates. Know your legislators interests. Some legislators may be survivors of suiciderelated tragedies. Include them on your task forces, and encourage them to educate their colleagues and constituencies. Share resources. Consider co-sponsoring programs with like-minded agencies. Find a 501(c)(3). When a foundation grant requires non-governmental status, partner with a local community-based organization to submit the application. Alert the media. Work with news organizations to generate stories that raise the profile of the injury problem and your organization. Obtaining Technical Assistance Locate data. Contact your state or territory health department for information on suicidal behavior in your state or community.

4 Get help. Technical assistance organizations, such as the Suicide Prevention Resource Center (SPRC) and its partners, can help you analyze cost and injury data, access resources, and identify partners. Building Your Case and Writing a Proposal Get creative. Proactively approach funders with innovative ideas. Be prepared with a cost-benefit analysis for investing in suicide prevention. If you can quantify the money your state or community will save by investing in a comprehensive suicide prevention program, your appeal will be stronger. To find cost data that may be available for your state, visit the web site of the CSN Economics and Data Analysis Resource Center at Use child death review team data to make your case. In addition to having data, child death review teams (made up of experts in their fields) can serve as powerful, respected advocates for funding prevention programs. Put a human face on the problem. Data is necessary but not sufficient in and of itself. To make the issue more compelling, give examples of specific situations and find survivors willing to share their experience. Research funded proposals. Examine funded proposals and note what makes them strong. (See the resources at the end of this document.) Understand exactly what your funder wants. When responding to a Request for Proposal (RFP), try to review your ideas with the funder before launching a formal application to make sure that they fit within the RFP s scope. Consider recycling. An unfunded proposal, with a little tweaking, might be perfect for another funder. Use reviewers comments to improve your proposal, then resubmit to the same or a similar funder. Package the image you want to project. Prepare a one-page program description that clearly describes your goals, activities, contact information, and accomplishments. Write well. When you write a proposal, be sure your thoughts get on paper. Find an outside reviewer(s) to comment before you submit your proposal. Pay attention to details. Make sure that your proposal follows the guidelines and outlines exactly and addresses every grant application requirement completely.

5 Persistence It may be challenging to make your case, and there is a lot of competition for funding. So, be prepared for the long haul, especially when it comes to convincing funders to continue supporting your efforts. Add a few ideas of your own! Share! Send your ideas to the at so that we can share them with your colleagues. You will get more back in the end. Resources for finding funding You can also contact the for assistance at Or at 877-GET-SPRC

6 Some Important Online Resources Government grants Online federal resources Federal grantmaking information in the US Department of Health and Human Services Federal Grant Opportunities Department of Education Your state website Foundation sites Associated Grantmakers Grantmakers In Health The Foundation Center The Grantsmanship Center The Chronicle of Philanthrophy Philanthrophy Journal Online National Network of Grantmakers Sites for needs statement research Census information CSN Economics and Insurance Resource Center Suicide data Your local library Adapted from materials produced by the Children s Safety Network (http://www.childrenssafetynetwork.org/)

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