1. Player, Sharon M.

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Improve your grant-writing efforts

While there's no magic formula for successful grant writing, consider a few hints to help you apply for grants for your facility.


1. Smartly select the grants you pursue. Restrict your efforts to projects where you've a demonstrated track record of expertise. Your history, space, and staff talents are more appealing to funding organizations.


When Long Beach Medical Center, a 200-bed community hospital with outpatient alcohol treatment services, applied for a grant to establish an Underage Drinking Coalition to focus on teenage alcohol abuse, we presented a concept that was a natural extension of our preexisting alcohol treatment services and staff experience. Consequently, we received a $10,000 grant from New York State (NYS).


2. Show demonstrated outcomes. When the Underage Drinking Coalition demonstrated its success the first year, NYS awarded a second grant of $80,000 to expand the coalition's work. As that grant expired, the coalition received a $100,000 federal grant to continue its work. Each success stemmed from a previous success and well-demonstrated outcomes.


3. Work with community-based organizations. Relationships with community-based organizations strengthen a project and increase the likelihood of receiving funds.


4. Bring services to your constituents. Foundations are more likely to fund projects that'll establish or improve services for residents and patients.


5. Focus on projects that your institution will support beyond the grant's time frame. Projects that your organization will sustain with internal funds usually fare better in the application process. For example, grants working through your community outreach department will be more favorably considered because of the department's prior commitment to community health.


6. Ensure staff expertise. The expertise of those involved in the grant-writing process is key. When managers remain closely tied to their fields and in tune with what their constituencies need, it greatly enhances their chance of success in funding programs.