OAH Sustainability Tip Sheet

Publisher: Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Adolescent Health
May 01, 2017
Authors
Subuhi Asheer, Julia Alamillo, Betsy Keating, and Jean Knab

Former PAF grantees highlighted five key lessons related to program sustainability:

  • Diversify funding sources
  • Communicate regularly with key stakeholders in the community
  • Join or form a partnership of like-minded programs
  • Consider choosing an evidence-based intervention
  • Begin planning for sustainability as early as possible in the grant period
Identifying the key elements that affect the sustainability of a program is an increasing priority for funders and practitioners. Federal grants are not designed to fund programs indefinitely, and institutionalizing a program or seeking funds for its continued implementation takes time. It is therefore important for organizations to think ahead and take effective measures to sustain their programs beyond the grant funding period. To better understand the challenges grantees face in sustaining their programs, and to learn from the successful efforts of former grantees, the Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) launched a sustainability study. OAH’s sustainability study examines whether—and in what form—programs first funded in 2010 to support expectant and parenting youth and families have continued operating beyond the federal grant, and the types of strategies and resources they found useful in attempting to sustain their programs. This tip sheet summarizes the first set of findings from the sustainability study based on the experiences of seven former OAH Pregnancy Assistance Fund (PAF) grantees funded from 2010 to 2013.