For some proposals, there is no need for a sustainability plan, because it is either self-evident (as in a grant for a building) or the project has a definite end (e.g., a two-year study). However, for projects that are designed to be ongoing, it is important to have a sustainability plan. Think past the anticipated grant period when devising your program and preparing your proposal. How will it continue after the initial grant expires? Although it may be tempting to decide to think about it later, (after you have the hoped-for grant) thinking about it now makes your present funding proposal more compelling. Some possible plans to sustain your project may be:
- institutional funds will sustain it if initial grant-funded period is successful (this option viable only for highest-priority projects)
- more fundraising (tenuous)
- project includes some type of earned income which eventually will be sufficient to support program
- project plan includes partner organizations who will play a role in sustaining the project
- all or a portion of the project will be integrated into an existing campus department with sufficient resources to sustain it
It may not be possible to nail down every detail by the time you must submit the proposal, but even a rough plan will show foundation reviewers that you are planning for the long term.