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 Capacity for Better Results: Strategies for Financing and Sustaining the Organizational Capacity of Youth-Serving Programs (PDF - 330 KB)
Presents four approaches to supporting and strengthening nonprofit organizational capacity: (1) build accurate overhead rates into contracts and grants, (2) access funding to directly support capacity building, (3) access technical assistance to support or improve organizational capacity, and (4) form partnerships to share administrative services. The brief also highlights the experiences of organizations that have used these approaches.
Ensuring Sustainability for Drug Courts: An Overview of Funding Strategies
National Drug Court Institute (2008)
Provides examples of creative sustainability strategies developed by State and local drug courts focusing primarily on the monetary aspect of sustainability and addressing the need for capacity building, educational efforts, and leadership development.
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)
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.
Finding Funding: Supporting Making Connections Core Result that Children are Healthy and Prepared to Succeed in School (PDF - 1,639 KB)
Lind, Crocker, Stewart, Torrico, Bhat, & Schmid (2009)
Offers a guide with a diverse set of public and private funding sources, a framework for thinking about potential funding sources within an overall strategic financing approach, a process for identifying and prioritizing funding sources, and approaches for building institutional capacity to support strategic financial analyses.
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.
Literature Review: Developing a Conceptual Framework to Assess the Sustainability of Community Coalitions Post-Federal Funding
National Opinion Research Center (NORC), University of Chicago, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, & Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (2010)
Presents a literature review exploring the constructs of community coalitions, including a conceptual framework to assess their impacts and sustainability, and identifies how researchers, policymakers, and practitioners have defined and measured sustainability for community coalitions.
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 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.