By: Kathleen Hatfield, Esq.
Law Offices of Stewart and Stewart
Washington, District of Columbia
In this difficult economic environment, the U.S. government has targeted non-profits for the continued distribution of funds through a number of continually-evolving mechanisms, some of which we have discovered do not involve “traditional” competitive grant requests. As explained below, at least one $230 million health care program we’ve found is formula-based — meaning eligible applicants who submit a properly completed application will be funded.
The federal government’s support of non-profits makes sense in light of an alarming study by the Nonprofit Finance Fund released in April. That study showed that seven-in-eight non-profits are seeing increased demand for services, but over half reported they only have enough cash on hand to sustain their operations for three months or less.
As has been widely reported in the media, the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year upheld much of The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). The PPACA authorized a wide range of new programs that were instituted for non-profit organizations within the past two years by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
Various programs within PPACA fund hospitals, medical research, federally-qualified health centers (FQHCs), telemedicine programs, rural health, and a long list of other initiatives. Since enactment of the health law in March 2010, particular agencies within HHS, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have created numerous opportunities which provide a steady stream of funding for purposes unique to each agency’s particular mandate. As long as PPACA remains on the books, funding authorized for these new initiatives will continue to be distributed to eligible non-profits as discretionary, competitive or formula-based grants.
One example of such an opportunity is a program designed to create consortia among hospitals, universities, and community health centers. Specifically, the Teaching Health Center Graduate Medical Education (THCGME) program funds community-based ambulatory care training sites such as health centers, in collaboration with hospitals, universities, and/or medical schools to educate primary care physician residents and dentists. And, while certain grants are considered strictly “competitive,” meaning they are awarded at the discretion of the agency after careful review of all applicants, this grant is “formula-based.” This means eligible applicants who submit a properly completed application will be funded. This is a $230 million, five-year initiative.
Funding for other types of non-profit entities remains widely available, too. Examples include:
These are just a few examples of a multitude of funding streams that are available to interested non-profits through Primerus members’ efforts, efforts likely improved through coordination with knowledgeable advisors who work regularly with agency officials in pursuit of federal dollars.
How Best To Obtain Federal Funds Provided by These Agencies
The probability of success in obtaining federal funds from these and other agencies requires a different approach than the traditional one used in the “earmark-era”, that being one of seeking assistance only from Members of Congress.
While the support of Congressional offices remains important, today such monies remain available but are awarded by federal agency officials and their staff. Consequently, non-profits are more likely to be funded if they lay the groundwork for their grant requests and applications with federal officials long before their grant applications are due. With proper guidance, applicants can deliver effective presentations and create constructive relationships ahead of time with precisely the agency officials who will determine which organizations receive funding.
In sum, the U.S. government remains an important source of funding for a good share of non-profits for good reason: the expenditures create jobs and provide improved access to many necessary human services.
If you and your clients would like to discuss funding opportunities and how to effectively approach federal agencies and Members of Congress, please contact Kathleen Hatfield email@example.com at the Law Offices of Stewart and Stewart, 202-785-4185.
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