Finding funding is the starting point for securing investment. A typical mistake for nonprofit charities is to assume that there are national sources for funding a charity pharmacy. The reality is that the financial, health, and mission benefits of a community charity pharmacy are close by, rather than distant. Therefore, funding is more often going to be found close by, rather than distant.
The following as a series of resources that you can use to identify potential funders:
- Foundation Center Database–This service is a subscription-based database which provides searchable access to every foundation in the United States. Information includes items such as the total endowment of each funder, the annual giving, the members of the board, and the approach process. Further, results can be filtered by foundation location, foundation service area, and types of causes addressed by the foundation. It maintains the most comprehensive database on United States and, increasingly, global grant makers and their grants — a robust, accessible knowledge bank for the sector. It also operates research, education, and training programs designed to advance knowledge of philanthropy at every level. The Foundation Center has 5 regional hubs and over 400 funding information centers across the country. An example of the use of the Foundation Center is to conduct a search of every national foundation that might have a presence in your specific city and which are concerned with healthcare access for low income adults. The results of such a search include details on the list of foundations and contact information for each.
- Guidestar–provides free access to the IRS 990s produced by foundations. An IRS 990 is a United States Internal Revenue Service form that provides the public with financial information about a nonprofit organization. Included on this document are fields mandated by the Internal Revenue Service. They include total endowment, annual expenses, vendors, investment portfolio data, board members, and gifts given. Typically, submissions to GuideStar run two years behind the current date. An example of the use of GuideStar might be a search of all of the IRS Form 990s of all of the organizations that are similar in mission and are located in your community, which would give you a feel for what kinds of funders are investing into the health of the uninsured in your community.
- Grantsmanship Training Center State Resource Database– This resource provides a searchable list of funders in each state. The information is general in nature (top givers, corporate foundations, community foundations) but it does provide a free starting point for funders.
- Grants.gov– This portal provides a central repository for information on federal government grants, as well as tools to support grant applications, grants management, budgeting, and other grant writing activities.
Local, State and National Funding Resources
- Local Hospitals– Hospitals have the most to gain in your success. Community charity pharmacies have a large impact on the health of the uninsured, and can therefore impact the financial position of the hospital (See: Return on Community Investment (ROCI) Fundingand relationships).
- State and Local Government– A smart place to begin your search is to sit with the Mayor’s Office or meet with the Governor’s staff to understand possible funding to open a community charity pharmacy.
- Individual Donors – Community leaders of considerable financial ability often have a deep concern for healthcare. Identifying such leaders may not be easy, but by asking other leaders in the community, it is possible to meet with those who have the interest and ability to launch a community charitable pharmacy. Funding of this type will require a solid business plan and trustworthy leadership. Like all funding, relationship comes before transaction.
- Local Corporate Foundations –Corporations like to be positive neighbors in the community. An approach to the largest corporations in the region is worthwhile, but not until your initiate has researched the past giving of every corporation. Past giving is a good indicator of current interest and willingness. Know that funding should only be requested after a meeting. Again, relationship and trust come before investment.
- Faith Community – Many large denominations have funding programs to serve the low income, vulnerable populations. Speak with area ministers, imams, and rabbis to learn of and access these funding pools.
- Pharmaceutical Manufacturer Foundations – Often among the most generous and largest foundations annually in the US, foundations of the largest manufacturing companies may have funding programs to help support the work of a community charity pharmacy.