A hybrid approach to LGBTQIA+ youth mental health: How a Zoom nonprofit partner expanded its reach
Kaleidoscope Youth Center provides hybrid mental health services for LGBTQIA youth and was able to expand its reach with Zoom Cares' support.
Updated on October 05, 2022
Published on May 11, 2021
Governments around the world responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic crisis with stimulus efforts to help individuals and organizations. In the U.S., healthcare organizations have received billions of dollars in federal funding to respond, recover, and build capacity to improve access to care.
While healthcare organizations may know that funding is out there, wading through eligibility and application information can be a tricky and time-consuming process.
“We see the same questions pop up time and again — particularly during the pandemic when stimulus and other funding is abundant,” said Cheryl Henshaw, president and founder of Learn Design Apply (LDA), Zoom’s grant consulting partner that works with U.S.-based organizations in a variety of industries, including healthcare.
Read on for Henshaw’s answers to some of the most common questions LDA sees from healthcare organizations.
Q. How do I know what is (or is not) an eligible use of funds? I can’t seem to find a list of eligible expenditures in many of the stimulus funding programs, and this makes me nervous about whether the project we are proposing will be approved.
A. Federal grant program guidance usually provides a list of both “eligible” and “ineligible” budget items, which helps applicants clearly understand what can be included in the grant budget.
COVID-19-related stimulus funding eligibility is a bit different. Rather than specific items being eligible, the stimulus funds focus on eligible activities or “use cases” — the way a specific technology or service supports the funding priority through its intended use.
Some examples might include:
The applicant or awardee must align their proposed application of funds to the approved use case through a justification narrative.
Q. How do I apply for a stimulus grant? What’s the best way to justify the use of funds and align them with the approved use cases?
A. We recommend starting with a very detailed line-item budget, with requested expenses organized by site and necessary quantities, so that the evaluators understand which location will be receiving specific budget line items.
Then, create a narrative that describes how you are proposing to spend your funding and the ways in which those activities or purchases align with the priorities established by the grant.
Here’s a step-by-step process, with examples:
For example, a hospital is requesting stimulus funding that prioritizes COVID-19-related activities.
In our example, the hospital serves a rural, high-poverty population where limited broadband availability and lack of personal devices in residents’ homes create significant barriers to COVID-19 testing and vaccinations. Consequently, the only option for many of these residents is to schedule appointments via telephone.
At the onset of the pandemic, the hospital transitioned much of its administrative staff to work from home to limit viral spread. Incoming calls to schedule appointments for COVID-19 testing and COVID-19 vaccines are being routed to the homes of hospital call center employees. The hospital’s phone system is old and employees are experiencing major disruptions as a result.
Additionally, when call center employees use their home phone to call patients for appointment reminders or changes in scheduling, it creates the potential for a caller ID to identify their name and number, presenting privacy and security concerns.
Going back to our example, the hospital might detail how a cloud-based voice system will replace an outdated and failing phone system needed for appointment scheduling.
This system allows for greater efficiencies in scheduling COVID-19 testing and vaccine appointments, enables contact tracing capabilities, and allows appointments to be made for health exams for patients with COVID-19 symptoms. Additionally, it protects the privacy and security of hospital employees who are now working from home to limit viral exposure.
Q: What is the best way to find funding that is a good fit for my healthcare organization?
A: There is an unprecedented amount of funding available today, but that sometimes makes the process of finding relevant grants even more challenging. Here are some tips for finding grants that are a good fit for your organization.
Q: What is the number one reason that grant applications are not funded?
A: The answer may surprise you! Most often, the reason grants are rejected has nothing to do with how well-written they are or how well-qualified an applicant is. Grant agencies typically begin their review process by first looking at required elements:
The list above is by no means exhaustive, but it illustrates the fact that the simplest things can get your grant rejected before anyone has had the chance to read the brilliant narrative you worked so hard on! Ask for a second or third set of eyes before you submit — you will be glad that you did.