Locating and maintaining the long-term funding necessary to offer a sustained level of services to children, youth, and families requires extensive program planning and the ability to adapt to changes over time. Use the following resources to learn more about financial sustainability for child welfare and other social service organizations.
Sustainability Planning Information Resource Center
The Finance Project
Addresses topics such as strategic financing, community support, and adaptability. Also offers a workbook.
Lessons Learned Through the Application of Implementation Science Concepts to Children's Bureau Discretionary Grant Programs (PDF - 1034 KB)
James Bell Associates (2013)
Explores the organizational characteristics, activities, and processes that facilitate the successful implementation and sustainability of innovative Children’s Bureau discretionary grant projects.
Analysis of Strategic Plans to Assess Planning for Sustainability of Comprehensive Community Initiatives
Sridharan, Go, Zinzow, Gray, & Barrett
Evaluation and Program Planning, 30(1), 2007
Examines the extent to which sustainability was incorporated into the 5-year plans of programs for juvenile offenders, and includes a discussion of the implications of the findings.
Building Sustainability in Demonstration Projects for Children, Youth, and Families (PDF - 505 KB)
Institute for Educational Leadership (2002)
Offers case study examples and a variety of tools communities can use to sustain, replicate, or "scale up" their reform efforts.
Developing a Conceptual Framework to Assess the Sustainability of Community Coalitions Post-Federal Funding
Office of Health Policy, Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (2010)
Explores the impacts and sustainability of community coalitions and identifies how researchers, policymakers, and practitioners have defined and measured sustainability. (PDF - 454 KB)
End Games: The Challenge of Sustainability (PDF - 320 KB)
Cornerstone Consulting Group (2002)
Explores factors that increase the sustainability of programs and strategies to ensure sustainability. The document includes critical questions to consider when developing a sustainability plan.
Financing and Sustaining Out-of-School Time Programs in Rural Communities (PDF - 647 KB)
Sandel & Bhat (2008)
Describes the funding landscape of rural programs, highlights the particular challenges that confront rural program leaders, discusses public and private resources that can support out-of-school time programming, and identifies strategies to use to finance and sustain these programs.
Investing in the Sustainability of Youth Programs: An Assessment Tool for Funders (PDF - 1920 KB)
Begins with a framework for thinking about sustainability, and includes an assessment tool to help foundation leaders address the challenges of sustainability.
Matching for Sustainability: A Guide for Communities Funded Through the Comprehensive Community Mental Health Services for Children and Their Families Program (PDF - 278 KB)
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law (2004)
Summarizes Federal rules on non-Federal matching funds and describes strategies used by States and communities to raise matching funds.
Sustainability Planning and Resource Development for Youth Mentoring Programs (PDF - 929 KB)
Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (2005)
Offers agencies a framework for resource planning, addressing topics such as the resource planning cycle, funding streams, involving the board in resource development, and using advocacy effectively. The document includes self-assessment questions, planning worksheets, and steps for getting started.
Sustaining Grassroots Community-Based Programs: A Toolkit for Community- and Faith-Based Service Providers (PDF - 2570 KB)
American Institutes for Research (2008)
Addresses the following topics: organizational assessment and readiness, effective marketing strategies, financial management, sustainability strategies, and results-oriented evaluation.
Sustaining School and Community Efforts to Enhance Outcomes for Children and Youth: A Guidebook and Tool Kit (PDF - 2560 KB)
Center for Mental Health in Schools (2004)
Offers tools for each stage of sustainability planning, including demonstrating the need to continue new approaches, obtaining support from stakeholders, planning for the institutionalization of initiatives, and implementing systemic changes according to the readiness of stakeholders.
Sustaining the Work or Initiative
Work Group for Community Health and Development, University of Kansas
Presents practical information and examples of ways to sustain a community initiative over time.
Sustaining Your Child and Family Services Organization in Lean Times (PDF - 113 KB)
National Abandoned Infants Assistance Resource Center (2006)
Reviews the seven phases of the strategic planning process, discusses fundraising and maintaining adequate financial support through diverse funding sources or social ventures, and presents useful strategies for building relationships with funders.