Sustainability was an integral part of Sisters in Common’s budget building process. Here’s how sustainability was incorporated: Long-Term Financial Planning: Sisters in Common engaged in long-term ﬁnancial planning to ensure the organization’s ﬁnancial sustainability. This involved forecasting future expenses, revenue streams, and funding sources to establish a pathway to a solid ﬁnancial foundation for ongoing operations. Diversiﬁcation of Funding Sources: To enhance sustainability, Sisters in Common diversiﬁed its funding sources. Rather than relying solely on one funding stream, such as grants, we sought to secure multiple revenue streams (i.e. Cost reimbursement contracts). This also included seeking government sub- contractor contracts, fee-for-service arrangements, partnerships with other organizations. Cost- Eﬀectiveness and Eﬃciency: Sisters in Common carefully considered cost-eﬀectiveness and eﬃciency in budget planning. This involved identifying areas where operational expenses could be minimized without compromising the quality of services. We sought ways to optimize resources, streamline processes, and eliminate unnecessary expenditures to maximize the impact of our budget. Building Reserves: Sisters in Common prioritized building ﬁnancial reserves to create a cushion for unexpected expenses or potential ﬂuctuations in funding. By setting aside funds for reserves, we aimed to maintain ﬁnancial stability and mitigate the risk of ﬁnancial challenges that could threaten sustainability. Services Evaluation and Outcome Measurement: Sisters in Common implemented robust services evaluation and outcome measurement strategies to assess the eﬀectiveness of our initiatives. By gathering evidence and data on program outcomes, impact, and cost-eﬀectiveness, we could make informed decisions about resource allocation and prioritize sustainable programs that demonstrate positive results. Collaboration and Partnerships: Sisters in Common actively sought collaborations and partnerships with other organizations and stakeholders. By leveraging collective resources, knowledge, and expertise, the we could enhance sustainability by sharing costs, accessing additional funding opportunities, and expanding the reach of our services. By integrating sustainability principles into our budget building process, Sisters in Common aimed to ensure the long-term viability and eﬀectiveness of our services, ultimately maximizing the impact on the communities we serve and are members of.
Flexible work and services funding provided to Sisters in Common. Flexible funding allow Sisters in Common to achieve several outcomes that restricted funding would not have allowed. The ﬂexibility of the funding enabled the organization to: Respond to Emerging Needs: With ﬂexible funding, Sisters in Common had the ability to adapt and respond to emerging needs within our communities. We could allocate resources to address urgent and evolving challenges promptly. This agility allowed us to provide timely support and services, ensuring we were responsive to the changing needs of the population we serve and are members of. Support Innovation and Creativity: The ﬂexible funding provided Sisters in Common with the freedom to explore innovative approaches and creative solutions to address social determinants of health disparities. We could implement new services, pilot initiatives, and experiment with novel strategies to improve outcomes. This ﬂexibility fostered a culture of innovation within the organization and empowered us to think outside the box. Invest in Capacity Building: Flexible funding allowed Sisters in Common to invest in capacity building initiatives. We could allocate resources towards training and professional development for our staﬀ, enhancing their skills and expertise. This investment in capacity building strengthened our ability to deliver high-quality services and expand our impact in our communities. Collaborate and Leverage Resources: The ﬂexibility of the funding enabled Sisters in Common to collaborate with other organizations and leverage additional resources (e.g. Contract BIPOC physical health professionals). We could form partnerships, pool funds, and coordinate eﬀorts with like-minded individuals and entities to maximize our impact. This collaborative approach helped Sisters in Common to reach our deep dive community members and extend our services beyond what restricted funding alone would have allowed.
Additional ﬂexibility could include allowing for reallocation of funds based on emerging needs, reducing administrative restrictions, and providing more autonomy to our organization in determining resource allocation. Flexibility could also involve longer funding cycles or multi-year funding commitments, providing greater stability and continuity to support long-term service delivery.