With Congress pushing to repeal or change the Affordable Care Act, the future of healthcare remains ambiguous, leaving organizations and patients in a state of limbo. While smaller organizations and rural hospitals already rely heavily on government funding for new programs and services to provide to their patients, we realize that you may be worried or strapped for cash more than ever with the current situation at hand.
Applying for grants is a long, competitive process. Although rural organizations must rely on grants to sustain their practice, they face challenges that their urban counterparts do not, such as competing against larger organizations with more time and manpower to apply. Or, being in rural areas, they are further from organizations that provide grants, giving them less access to networking opportunities.
That said, it’s important to get connected and to be prepared for the worst. The Internet makes anything possible, and we found this helpful guide from Rural Health Information Hub to help connect you with federal agencies and funders, as well as keep you up-to-date on grant opportunities.
Additionally, here is a quick list of tips to keep in mind while applying for or preparing to apply for a grant:
- Seek out rural-specific funders. There are numerous organizations that provide funding (or financing) to rural hospitals, which cuts back on the competition when you are applying.
- Connect with and create a relationship with different funders. Maintain that relationship even after receiving a grant.
- Don’t just request money in your proposal. Funders are interested in the sustainability of programs. Show them how your programs have made an impact, and explain to them how proper funding will create more long-lasting projects to help your community.
- Pay very close attention to the funder’s instructions and follow them to a T. Some funders want to be contacted before being sent a proposal. Others don’t. Make sure your needs match theirs before putting in unnecessary work.
- Identify your organization’s needs clearly. You might consider hiring a consultant when applying for grants, depending on your staff size, skills, current projects, or competition.
We hope that you find this guide and information helpful. To refer back to this blog post, download a PDF version below.