Even in difficult funding environments there are opportunities to find additional resources. Here are some ways that effective
agencies maximize revenues and resources:
- Diversify the agency’s funding base, such as through leveraging private investors, making novel proposals to those interested in the agency’s cause and managed care strategies that bring in novel funding streams. These efforts are effective in “bridge funding” situations where conventional funding is still required to support continuing operations while innovations are piloted, tested and eventually made conventional once their ROI has been established.
- Agencies should use more senior staff to write grants. Grant writing is often delegated to more junior staff who may not be knowledgeable enough about the broad operations of the agency to write a compelling proposal.
- Don’t limit financing to traditional Child Welfare funding streams (e.g., IV-E, IV-B, CAPTA). The agency should be collaborating with Medicaid and TANF leaders around budget/fiscal/financing decisions and the respective budget staff should be in regular contact.
- Identify ways that current resources are used that do not meet the test of ROI analysis and shift them to higher-value efforts.
- Use spending limits or scrutiny regarding current resources as a springboard to reallocate them where they will have the greatest impact, turning “lemons into lemonade.” For example:
- Some training investments do not result in improved performance and the related staff development programs and methods might be improved even as the investment in them is reduced.
- Major cuts in technology projects may reveal more efficient and effective solutions to addressing information needs. Increased accountability for desired outcomes that occur in a diminishing budget environment, such as systematic accountability mechanisms, may lead to stronger justifications for investment in particular practices and services.
- Limitations in hiring staff may lead to improving performance from existing staff through capacity management methods like work plans, scoping documents, charters and meeting protocols.
- Staffing limitations may also lead to greater role clarity between different organizational levels, in turn leading to greater empowerment and fewer management positions.
- Capital project constraints or cuts may drive the need for improved partnering with others in a system of care for those served.