Very simply stated, funding and sustaining a program could be broken down into four steps:
Each step breaks down into multiple tasks to assess thoroughly your needs, secure your support and study the program’s impact to discover future needs.
Think sustainability. To create a program that works, your sustainability plan should be specific. What role will parent fees play? Where will you seek funds? How can you use in-kind resources? Who are your logical partners? Who will approach donors and/or write proposals? How can you take the long view to stay in business?
Make a plan. Start from your mission statement and strategic plan. Allocate adequate time to meet with stakeholders, review data and do some thinking about a plan to sustain your program. Research is required to identify your most likely funding sources.
Gather data. Plan to evaluate. Few programs get funded without showing that they are serving a real need and are able to perform. Expansion and even continuation is usually impossible without evidence of quality. Organize data you already have (waiting list numbers, etc.) and community interest as well as the value of what you are already delivering. Use data from the school district help establish need.