Why a program will make your grant request stronger

A program increases awareness about the value of what you’re asking for, and can positively impact agency morale


“How do I make my application better?”

That is one of the most common questions I receive as a grant writer. Simply requesting funds for a piece of equipment is seen as singular and costly.

Grants have become increasingly competitive over the past decade, with reduced budgets due to the economic climate and decreased donations from private foundations leading to more applicants. The Congressional Budget Office estimates an increase of 80 percent in the number of applicants applying for federal grants since 2006.

How do you assure your application stands out?

Why programs pay off
Implementing a program with your grant request can increase your chances of receiving funding. In fact, the majority of complex federal grants, such as the Innovation Grants through Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, actually require the implementation of thorough programs. You can take this model for small-scale grants to get the funding on equipment projects by folding in a program.

Programs do not need to be complex, but an effective program needs to:

  • Have an objective and goal
  • Reach a target population
  • Be measurable
  • Have a timeline

An effective program will fit within your mission statement. For instance, if you are funding a vehicle, you are enhancing public safety and increasing the quality of care you provide.

But a private foundation that is not educated in emergency services just sees a vehicle. From their standpoint, it’s an expensive piece of equipment that does not have the impact on the community the way that an outreach program does.

By building a community outreach program around the vehicle you can promote volunteerism by recruiting new members, educate the community on your service, build a young workforce through targeted youth programing, and meet the public in a positive space on your own terms instead in the middle of an emergency.

Program implementation has a high impact on your agency as well. Programs create career ladder advancements and lateral promotional opportunities that are scarce in our industry.

By increasing provider involvement in activities other than patient care you’ll see higher employee morale, increased retention rates, and diversify the knowledge and skills of your employees.

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