Need support for new programs?

How to find funding opportunities

Want to start a school nurse assistant program, but neither your company nor the local school district has the funds to do it? How about an elderly diabetic education and care service? A telemedicine pilot project? Money for all these services and many others is available for the asking, according to H.C. Sonny Covington, consultant with I Can! America, a nonprofit grant, resource and management consulting firm based in Lafayette, LA.

"There is an abundance of funds," says Covington. "People look at me strangely when I say that, but funding is only limited by your imagination."

"Health funding is a generally stable area of support," says Steven Lawrence, director of research at The Foundation Center, based in New York City. "It normally accounts for about 16% to 17% of total private and community grant funds and is about 12% to 13% of the number of grants," he adds. A quick review of The Foundation Center’s database, sampling grants over $10,000 in a three-year period, revealed 518 home care-related awards.

Providers seeking grant funding should first conduct an organizational assessment and mission review, identifying your interests and strengths, Covington advises. Then closely evaluate community needs. "You need to look at what it would take to make your community healthy," he says.

Matching fundable organizational interests and community needs requires "being outside the box, looking at things nontraditionally and not getting caught up in We’ve never done this before,’" Covington says. You also may need to consider new and unique collaborations — with competitors, hospitals, and community organizations. Projects that combine multiple providers and services are especially fundable, he notes.

Monies for programs and services that focus on the elderly are also increasing, according to Edward Miles, editor at Manasquan, NJ-based Health Resources Publishing, which produces Grant Funding for Elderly Health Services, an index of funding sources and popularly supported programs. "As the population ages, there will be even more foundations recognizing the need to increase funding for senior services. Adult day care, hospital-based senior services, and research into aging are all big right now," he says.

Sources

• H.C. Sonny Covington, Consultant, I Can! America, 427 St. John St., Lafayette, LA 70501. Telephone: (318) 235-7005.

• Steven Lawrence, Director of Research, The Foundation Center, 79 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10003-3076. Telephone: (212) 807-2410.

• Edward Miles, Editor, Health Resources Publishing, 1913 Atlantic Ave., Suite F4, Manasquan, NJ. Telephone: (732) 292-1100.