Secure Diverse Financial Opportunities

Budget reductions can create sustainability challenges for SBHCs. It is important to set funding goals at the outset and to be aware of and act on ways that SBHCs can achieve financial stability. They can then incorporate sustainability activities into their overall funding strategies.

SBHCs can assess their current budget resources and align them with essential services to address students' health care needs of students enrolled. By gaining a better understanding of what is needed to provide essential services, SBHCs can seek additional funding to match revenue and expenses, including using strategies to maximize the return on scheduling students according to their needs.

Targeting a variety of funding sources helps SBHCs adapt to funding fluctuations. SBHCs should determine what funding sources or financing structures can best meet their needs and should consider how or whether their external key stakeholders and community champions can help. They should also seek opportunities to build capacity around fundraising, which may include training staff on grantwriting or event planning. SBHCs may also explore funding options through

  • In-kind resources, such as donated equipment and supplies.
  • Local and community foundations.
  • Modified organizational financial structures, such as referring students to a community professional or moving to a sliding fee scale model.
  • Existing federal, state, or local funding through the education system, to the extent that program services are offered through schools.
  • Local partnerships with other organizations or programs, such as federally qualified health centers.
  • Federal- and/or state-funded programs, such as Medicaid or the state Children's Health Insurance Program.
  • Other nontraditional funding sources, such as the business community, churches, or other entities.

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Action Steps

  • Review the program budget to identify core activities and services.
  • Identify and seek funding opportunities.
  • Develop a strategy for securing funding.
  • Create a budgetary line item.
  • Build fundraising and grantwriting capacity.
  • Establish reimbursement status from all available public and private payers of oral health services.

Highlights from the SBCOHS Grant Program

  • When their SBCOHS projects first launched, a number of the grantees were not maximizing available funding sources. Since then, Summit Community Care Clinic (CO), Share Our Selves (CA), and Lemon Grove Elementary School District (CA) have enrolled as health professionals in their respective state Medicaid and CHIP programs.

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