Utilizing QI to Improve the Acceptance Rate of Grant Proposals


Impact Statement: 
By improving its grant application process, the Bethlehem Health Bureau increased the success rate of funded grant applications and increased the amount of grant funding received. The improved process now enables the organization to better meet the needs of the community it serves.

Grants represent an important source of funding to local health departments. They help to increase health services to the community and help the Bethlehem Health Bureau (BHB) improve its efficiency in their delivery. BHB found that its success rate in being awarded grants was low, that the grants received were not necessarily aligned to its mission, and that the submittal process was consuming too many resources.

BHB's goals for this quality improvement (QI) project were to increase the success rate of grant applications, focus them better on the key purposes of the department, and reduce the amount of time it takes to prepare a quality proposal.

BHB's approach was to use root-cause problem solving targeted at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the grant application processes. This includes how BHB selects the ones to pursue, how they are prepared, who prepares them, how they are reviewed, and the final quality of the proposal.

The improved approach that was created includes (a) staff screening for alignment with the organization’s mission, (b) partnering in the grant creation, (c) peer review, and (d) use of funder feedback and lessons learned to continually improve.

BHB's results included an increase from 2010 to 2011 in both the success rate and the overall amount of grant funding (2010: applied for 21 grants and was awarded 12, with $928,462 in total grants awarded; 2011: applied for 29 grants and was awarded 21, with $1,124,158 in total grants awarded). BHB continues to track performance, extract learning from funder feedback, and improve. Additionally, BHB has recently completed an integrated set of strategic, annual, and project plans so that it can do an even better job of aligning grant proposals to the organization’s mission and to the City of Bethlehem’s needs.

Organization that conducted the QI initiative: 
Bethlehem Health Bureau

Wenrich, K. Public Health Quality Improvement Exchange. Utilizing QI to Improve the Acceptance Rate of Grant Proposals. Fri, 03/29/2013 - 19:39. Available at https://phqix.org/content/utilizing-qi-improve-acceptance-rate-grant-proposals. Accessed May 20, 2024.

Submission Status: 
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