Project sustainability is an important factor — and goal — for government agencies, nonprofits, and other organizations that rely on grants, donors, and other funding sources.
The sustainability of a project allows the impact of an organization’s specified project to continue beyond the project’s end date, ensuring potential donors a long, positive association.
Sustainability can be upheld in one of three categories: Financial, community, or organizational/business.
Financial sustainability speaks to the ability of the organization to continue to provide financial support for continued project impact after the close of a grant or depletion of other funds. This sustainability type can be highlighted through a written demonstration of advocacy goals, such as the intent to crowd-fund or annual campaigns or fundraising events.
Community sustainability is measured by the lifecycle impact of the project on the community it is targeted to serve. For example, if a project trains mothers on specific infant nutrition information, the trained group of mothers can share this information with other mothers in their community, reaching many indirect beneficiaries after the project’s official end.
Organizational and business sustainability addresses the ability of the agency or nonprofit to continue functioning after project close — how it will control costs, achieve financial gains, and continue functioning on income earned through financial sustainability activities.
In this area, indirect costs such as utilities, office equipment, rent, and other administrative costs can be considered, even at the grant writing level.
Managed Services for Project Sustainability
When writing a grant, indirect costs should be specified according to the grant writing guidelines to ensure your project is fully funded. Best practices suggest grant writers show a network of strong community partners that can assist with monitoring and controlling these costs.
One way to show increased organizational and business sustainability is to tap into the cost savings associated with managed services such as managed print and managed IT.
A managed print environment presents several ways to simplify and reduce indirect costs. One monthly fee for services, for example, allows agencies to streamline the processes of maintenance, supply replenishment, purchasing, and billing, reducing staff hours and potential errors.
Managed print offers the ability to optimize infrastructure, removing underutilized devices, and ensuring energy consumption and spending is reduced through the control of devices and paper, toner, and ink usage.
With optimized infrastructure comes process efficiency to allow project staff to accomplish more in less time. Preventative device maintenance ensures limited downtime for further project gains.
Finally, document management options can reduce paper consumption and further speed up project tasks for increased productivity and staff salary savings.
With the cost of hiring IT professionals to staff your project on the rise, managed IT makes perfect sense as a method of deferring indirect costs. Managed IT costs are significantly lower, and you still have access to high-quality technical expertise when you need it.
A robust managed IT program can ensure you have the right technology to speed project processes and that project data is secure and protected, reducing the costs associated with risk. Additionally, support is typically available on a 24/7 basis, allowing you to access assistance when you need it without occurring extra fees.
Finally, because managed IT is billed in one monthly fee for a complete package of services, your project can avoid being hit with exorbitant fees for upgrades, updates, or extra services as in the traditional break/fix model.
Virginia Business Systems Can Provide the Right Services for Your Next Project
At Virginia Business Systems (VBS), we provide both managed print and managed IT services for our agency and nonprofit clients to keep costs low — and manageable.
We staff experts in the areas of print and information technologies, so you are assured of getting the highest quality recommendations and services to help your project to a successful conclusion — and beyond.
Our teams understand the many challenges faced by today’s nonprofits and government agencies as they seek funding in an increasingly competitive world. Using our managed services to help lower your organization’s indirect costs can be an important project management tool to include in your next grant writing efforts.
Help your project get funded — or take an ongoing project to a successful conclusion. Contact VBS today and let our team of managed services experts design and deploy a program custom-tailored to your specifications.