Children's Funding Project - Technical Assistance

The Children’s Funding Project
Smarter Financing + Increased Investments = Better Outcomes

Is current funding failing to close gaps in opportunities for your children and youth?
Do you struggle to sustainably fund child and youth services and supports?

The Children’s Funding Project helps communities figure out how to sustainably fund the systems and supports that children and youth in their community need in order to be successful. We guide communities in comprehensive strategic financing strategies for children and youth system and supports by helping them to: gain a deeper understanding of their current funding landscape, collaborate to maximize use of existing funding streams, generate new revenue, and make comprehensive investments in better programs for improved outcomes. We also provide a range of services that help local governments create strong coordinating structures and rally their communities around shared goals for children, youth and their families.

 

FIND - Does our community have a clear picture of its full set of investments in children and youth?

We help communities develop the capacity to rigorously identify, track, analyze, and forecast funding sources and funding needs for services that support children and youth by:

·       Facilitating fiscal mapping from a child-centered (not department-centered!) perspective

·       Guiding budget holder conversations about shared outcomes, target populations and types of services provided

·       Providing technical support on instrument development, data collection and visualization and analysis

 

ALIGN – Are there policy changes we could make to more efficiently and effectively use funding?

We help communities address gaps and overlaps in their existing funding landscape by:

·       Guiding diverse stakeholders through the tough strategic decisions around adjustments in how funding is allocated, managed and accounted for within and across agencies

·       Providing technical support on blending, braiding and seeking waivers with their funding streams

 

GENERATE – We need more funding, how do we get it?

Communities who find that their current revenue streams are not sufficient are looking for ways to generate new revenue. We help stakeholders identify and implement financing strategies for generating new revenue through:

·       Research: Identifying possible new revenue sources and funding mechanisms; making a case statement on the needs of children and the gaps in the budget; sharing examples from other communities

·       Public Engagement: Poll development, delivery, and analysis; message development; campaign strategy; voter modeling, identification, and persuasion; guidance on petition signature collection

·       Key Stakeholder Activities: Facilitating coalition development; engaging local funders; engaging policymaker champions; design of ballot measures or legislation

·       Fund Implementation: Planning for strategic administration of new locally-generated funds; design of accountability infrastructure

 

EVALUATE – How do we know our investments are making the intended impact?

In order to improve outcomes for children and youth, communities must fund systems and supports that make an impact. We help stakeholders create the infrastructure for evaluating impact by:

·       Collecting and sharing complete data on the flow of funds, performance of programs and services, and trends in child and youth outcomes

·       Providing a research-based methodology for continuous quality improvement

·       Outcomes-based financing: Creating an intervention evidence map; assessing data collection and performance management capabilities; designing performance-based funding options tailored to the local priorities

 

The Children’s Funding Project team includes a wide range of experts with knowledge and experience in local, state, and federal policy and funding; polling and messaging; coalition building and campaign coordination; evidence-based practices and performance measurement. Beyond the immediate staff at the Forum for Youth Investment, our team includes:

·       Celinda Lake, Lake Research Partners

·       Todd Patterson, Public Progress

·       Nirav Shah, Social Finance

·       Joe Bertoletti, The Weikart Center for Youth Program Quality

 

To learn more about the Children’s Funding Project please contact:

Elizabeth Gaines | The Forum for Youth Investment | Elizabeth@forumfyi.org