Managed Resources

4 Resources

The term “managed resources” means effectively monitoring resources as they are needed to support prevention efforts at the intersection of suicide, overdose, and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs). This may include, but is not limited to, sustained funding, funding sources, staffing, training, and internal resource sharing.

Look at the results of Q12-13 in your completed SPACECAT to find opportunities to strengthen capacity in relation to managed resources.

Find more information about staff training in the Workforce Capacity section of the toolkit.

Funding programs and services that explicitly address the intersection of prevention issues can be challenging. Even if you have a sustainable funding source for suicide, ACEs, or overdose prevention activities, keep exploring and pursuing different funding sources that can target all three intersecting issues.

Ideally, support for these programs and services would be built into state or local government funding (e.g. General Funds) to the local health department (LHD) to promote sustainability. However, as LHDs continue to experience underfunding or reallocation of funding to other pressing issues (e.g., pandemic preparedness and response), grants can be a particularly useful source of funding, especially to pilot or demonstrate value of a new initiative.

Government. A variety of government agencies may fund community health programs or research related to suicide, overdose, or ACEs prevention. Look for grant opportunities by conducting internet searches or stay aware of new opportunities by signing up for dedicated listservs.

When exploring Federal grant opportunities through Grants.Gov, think about agencies that support:

  • Traditional public health services, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), or the Health Resources Services Administration (HRSA).
  • Specific populations of interest, such as the Administration for Children and Families, Departments of Veterans Affairs, Department of Defense, or Indian Health Service.
  • Settings for interventions, such as U.S. Department of Education, U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

States may have relevant, dedicated grant programs or serve as a pass-through entity for federal funds provided to local health departments as subrecipients. Similarly, associations such as the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), National Association of Counties, National Association of Community Health Centers, Association of State and Territorial Health Officials (ASTHO), and National Rural Health Association may have funding opportunities available as a pass-through entity.

Philanthropic Organizations. National, state, and local foundations or charitable organizations may offer funding opportunities to support one or more aspects of this work. While we often think about well-known national foundations, such as the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, consider also looking for local organizations through the Community Foundation Locator or speaking to partners who may be familiar with opportunities for local funding. Local foundations are already deeply invested in the community and may be more open to unsolicited proposals to advance health within the community’s specific needs and context.

For-profit or Private Organizations. The private sector can act as a potential partner to strengthen funding and increase impact. While some for-profit organizations may be motivated solely by a desire to improve the health of the community, others may see benefits for their own business to participate. For example, a health system may be looking to improve the quality and efficiency of their crisis center and may consider providing funding for LHD programming that ultimately encourages the use of crisis resources (including their program) within the community. For-profit or private organizations, particularly those potentially involved in the planning and implementation of the programs and services, may also be able to offer resources beyond simply funding. See Networked Partnerships for more information.

There is unlikely to be a single grant opportunity that will perfectly capture the work you are trying to do, as they’re often highly targeted in eligibility and scope. As funding often has some requirements or restrictions, using multiple funding sources may help you fill the gaps between them.

Braided funding is the weaving together multiple sources of funding (e.g., federal, state, private) to offer more creative, diverse, and encompassing programming and increase the reach and impact of your services. Braided funding may be subject to separate reporting requirements dependent on the funding source.

Blended funding is the combination of funds from two or more funding sources to support a program or initiative. However, unlike braided funding, costs are not allocated or tracked by separate funding sources. Blended funding requires specific authorization, and funding sources for local initiatives may have restrictions that do not allow blended funding.

Given the comparatively higher levels of funding available for overdose prevention, it may be possible to use some resources associated with those efforts or incorporate aspects of suicide and ACEs prevention into those work plans. Using funding to target the underlying shared risk and protective factors across suicide, overdose, and ACEs can maximize impact across prevention areas. For example, given the clear links between ACEs and long-term risk for substance use, overdose prevention work could incorporate implementation of evidence-based ACEs prevention strategies as part of an upstream prevention approach. Similarly, the complex, interrelated mental health issues associated with suicide risk and substance use disorders mean that both accidental and intentional overdose, while requiring different secondary and tertiary prevention strategies, should both be addressed through a comprehensive prevention approach.

Prevention work to address underlying risk and protective factors may be split or siloed across teams, departments, agencies, or organizations. In particular, ACEs prevention work is often touched by many but owned by none. Working at the intersection of complex, interrelated health issues presents a natural opportunity to share resources (e.g. funding, staffing):

  • Within the local health department
  • Across agencies of local government
  • Between the health department and community partners
  • Across jurisdictions

The mechanisms through which this resource sharing may occur may range from informal (e.g. in-kind contributions of staff time) to more structured agreements (e.g. public private partnerships).

To effectively share resources:

  • Identify all initiatives and programs within the health department, local government, and community that may be relevant to that which you are trying to fund (see Networked Partnerships for ideas).
  • Discuss each stakeholders’ current funding sources for the work, including the funding period, funding restrictions, and current capacity to share resources with others.

Remember that sharing resources can and should go both ways whenever possible. Be sure to identify any additional funding- or resource-related needs of teams or departments, agencies, or organizations and consider ways to explore or pursue solutions through the coordinated effort. The strongest partnerships will be those that are mutually beneficial.

Too often, we start thinking about sustainability when funding is coming to an end, rather than at the beginning.

Sustained funding can be defined as a “reliable, recurrent” funding source. Though, sustainability of resources is much more than that. It is both the ongoing commitment and ability, through funding, staffing, training, and infrastructure, to make progress towards achieving the public health goals. Sustainability planning should start as a program or initiative is developed and adapt over time as LHDs and partners learn and respond to the reach of the program and what is needed to keep it going in the community.

A true sustainability plan should consider potential challenges, as well as strategies to address them in both the short- and long-term. Look at Questions to Consider: How to Plan for Sustainability for more information. Then, after reflection, develop an action plan to map out specific steps and strategies that address those needs identified and will help build sustainability capacity for your program.

  • Public Health Finance (NACCHO)- A resource repository that provides resources to help local health departments increase their knowledge of local public health finance and enhance their individual organizational financial health.
  • Public Health Finance Bootcamp (Public Health Finance & Management)- A toolkit that provides several tutorials on public health finance. Some tutorials provided include: financial planning and budgeting, financial reporting, and assessing financial performance.
  • Search for Funding (Public Health Finance & Management)- A resource repository that lists databases to search for public health funding opportunities.
  • PHUND$ (NACCHO)- A database that serves as a web-based public health financial data collection and analysis portal.
  • Prevention Funding Opportunities (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services)- A database to search for prevention funding opportunities.
  • Grant Writing Guidance & Tips (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)- A resource repository that includes information on CDC grant policy guidelines, contract, and tips on applying for grants.
  • Keys To Writing a Successful Rural Health Opioid Program Grant Application (National Organization of State Offices of Rural Health)- A presentation that provides information on how to write competitive grant applications for rural health opioid programs.
  • Determining and Distributing Costs of Shared Public Health Services (Center for Sharing and Public Health Services)- A primer that provides guidance on cost apportionment between shared services.
  • Sample Agreements (Centers for Public Health Services)- A list of sample agreements, organized by type, that help govern cross-jurisdictional sharing arrangements.
  • Publications from the Center for Sharing Public Health Services (Centers for Sharing Public Health Services)- A resource repository that provides several guidelines, sample agreements, and templates to strengthen sharing initiatives.
  • Generating, Managing, and Sustaining Financial Resources (Community Tool Box)- A compilation of resources that provide information on grant writing and other sustainability planning.
  • Sustaining the Work or Initiative (Community Tool Box)- A toolkit that supports planning for using different tactics to sustain your organization or community initiative.
  • Program Sustainability Assessment Tool (Centers for Public Health Systems Science)- A tool from the Centers for Public Health Systems Science that helps agencies rate the sustainability capacity of their programs

This page is part of the SPACECAT Toolkit. It was last updated on September 22, 2022. To report broken links, please email ivp@naccho.org.

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