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Rural Health Information Hub

How to Plan for Sustainability

A sustainability plan must meet the particular needs of a community, with each community having different requirements. Sustainability plans often address the following organizational and contextual factors:

  • Adaptability of program
  • Coalitions and partnerships
  • Communication approaches
  • Environmental supports
  • Funding and financial support
  • Organizational capacity
  • Program evaluation
  • Political support
  • Strategic planning

For sustainability planning considerations for specific types of programs, see:

Resources to Learn More

The DNA of Program Sustainability: Findings from a Study of Federal Office of Rural Health Policy Grantees
This report identifies factors that contribute to program sustainability after grant funding ends, based on a study of Rural Health Care Services Outreach Program grantees. Discusses leadership, collaboration, alignment between need and demand, data use, and policy expertise as contributors to sustainability for rural programs.
Organization(s): Georgia Health Policy Center
Date: 7/2020

The Dynamics of Sustainability: A Primer for Rural Health Organizations
This report was created to assist rural health organizations collaborate and build sustainable partnership projects. It includes success stories and tangible strategies to apply lessons learned to other rural community partnership programs.
Organization(s): Georgia Health Policy Center
Date: 2/2012

Sustainability Planning Tools
This website includes links to other resources to help plan sustainable programs in rural communities. It highlights long-term approaches for programs.
Organization(s): Georgia Health Policy Center