Grant funding is one part of a comprehensive, integrated financing strategy. Grants can be helpful to support the early stages of program planning and development. They can also provide time-limited support to help launch activities while you set the stage for sustainable long-term funding. LTSS experts recommend against using grants to fund operations or relying on them for financial sustainability of your program.
Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community: Long-term Services and Supports
What Grants Can Do
Grants are often available for specific activities to start a program and are limited to a certain amount of time. They rarely fund ongoing operational costs, which is why grants alone aren’t a sustainable funding strategy.
There is intense competition for grants. Applying requires time and money, so it’s important to understand which grants best match your program’s needs, what grant funds could cover, and when to apply for them. For example, it could be more cost effective for your program to appeal directly to business community leaders you know than to formally apply for a foundation or government grant.
When to Seek Grants
- When seeking funds to cover one-time or short-term needs, like planning or launching new programs and activities
- When you need to provide a bridge between your program’s start-up and implementation phases
Grant resources would be appropriate for funding the needs assessment process or planning phase of your LTSS program, or to fund the initial phase of program implementation while you set the stage for long-term sustainability.
When Not to Seek Grants
- When establishing long-term funding strategies that you will count on to sustain programming
- When you do not have a defined need for the funding
- When you do not have the time or resources to develop a strong grant proposal
Grant funding is not an appropriate choice to fund program operations, staffing, or overhead. These expenses are best supported through an integrated financing approach that includes Medicaid, Medicare, IHS, private insurance, and tribal or other supports.