Core Competency: Sustainability

Successful sustainability planning is an ongoing process that you should begin early in your grant and revisit often throughout program planning and implementation. It may be unrealistic to expect that all of your efforts will be continued at the same level and intensity after your grant, so it is important to prioritize which efforts to maintain.

Consider focusing your efforts on sustaining the strategies that have had the most impact and are most needed. Evaluation data can assist you in deciding which efforts are working best and should be your top priorities to sustain. Additionally, it can be helpful to look at which functions or activities could be picked up by partnering organizations or departments, and how you can prepare these partners to take on these responsibilities.

It’s also important to document your successes, approaches, and procedures throughout the grant period to ensure continuity after the grant has ended and some staff move on, or if program responsibilities are transferred to partner organizations. As you document your successes and approaches, also consider what information should be conveyed to key stakeholders to ensure their support beyond the grant and the best way to present this information to them.

Core Competencies

  • You consistently include sustainability considerations in program planning and implementation.
  • You prioritize which efforts to maintain after grant funding ends, based on what has worked best, what is most needed, and what can realistically be kept going.
  • You plan for leadership succession in different program areas and program components by building organizational and partner capacity to take on key functions.
  • You implement policy and other lasting changes to sustain suicide prevention and postvention.
  • You document program successes, approaches, and procedures, and strategize how best to communicate program results.

How Your SPRC Prevention Specialist Can Help

Your Prevention Specialist can:

  • Provide you with sustainability tools and resources developed specifically for GLS grantees
  • Help you identify what components of your program should be prioritized and assist you in developing a plan to keep these efforts sustained in the long term
  • Assist you in strategizing about the best ways to document your program successes and to communicate this information to key stakeholders and partners to maintain their support
  • Share strategies that other grantees have used to sustain their efforts
  • Connect you with alumni grantees through virtual events and individual referrals to share successes and brainstorm about similar sustainability challenges