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Funding Your Fatherhood Program

National Fatherhood Initiative® understands that you want to do everything you can to promote the well-being of children through father involvement and fatherhood programs. However, organizational budgets are tight and funding can be difficult to secure. The good news is that there are a variety of ways you can fund - or find funding – to work with fathers and take advantage of NFI’s wide range of affordable skill-building resources and out-of-the box fatherhood programs.

Funding from Your Own Budget

The first and best option to consider is how you can find funding within your own organizational budget - which can certainly be difficult. But, it has been said, where there’s a will there’s a way. Consider pulling a small amount of money from a program or two that are not as successful as expected, or from a budget where, with some shrewd planning, costs could be reduced, and that extra funding be shifted to investing in low cost fatherhood resources to augment your services. (Of course, when you have the opportunity to plan budgets for the next fiscal year, be sure to include fatherhood in your planning, and earmark funds for fatherhood skill-building resources, just as you would for other handouts/brochures for other types of clients you serve.)

NFI offers affordable skill-building materials that you can start using in your day-to-day activities with a small budget and little to no staff time. For example, NFI’s brochures ($15.99 for a 50 pack) and pocket guides with tips for dads and new dads ($12.99 for a 5 pack) are easy, low intensity ways to begin by adding some fatherhood materials to your offerings. Providing materials that are specifically father focused is an easy, budget-friendly way to begin.

Conversely, if you are eager to start a more robust, high intensity fatherhood program with funding from your own budget, NFI offers complete fatherhood program kits that allow you to begin your fatherhood program for as little at $600 or less with no formal facilitator training required. This “out-of-the-box” approach means that NFI’s complete program kits come with a facilitator’s manual, CD/DVD, and at least 10 fathering handbooks for your class attendees; all you need to budget for is the ongoing handbook costs (approximately $9 per dad, per class.) No formal training is required for your facilitators because of the easy to follow program format and facilitator tips within the facilitator’s manual. (Note: NFI does offer formal curriculum training for facilitators if desired.) Think about whom in your organization could lead a fatherhood group, or seek volunteers to step into this role.

Another programming alternative could be investing in one of NFI’s medium intensity workshops kits that cover a variety of topics. For example, The 7 Habits of a 24/7 Dad® Workshop is an 8-hour workshop you can run for fathers that combines the fundamental fathering principles from National Fatherhood Initiative's 24/7 Dad® programs with FranklinCovey®'s timeless 7 Habits. The 7 Habits program costs as little as $379 to begin, plus the cost of additional handbooks for dads who attend. Or, consider the popular Doctor Dad® Workshops, which allow you to choose from four child health and safety topics to equip dads with practical skills they need to care for their children: The Safe Child, The Injured Child, The Sick Child, and the Well Child. You can simply run one or all four workshops, for as little as $79 per workshops (or get all four for $239 including starter handbooks.)

Whichever fatherhood programming level you choose, providing father-specific, skill-building materials at some level is a step in the right direction. You can get started quickly and easily with NFI’s help - contact our Program Support Staff here for customized assistance or a quote.

Funding from Outside Sources

Funding from outside sources is an option that your organization may want to pursue – in addition to starting fatherhood work on a smaller scale using funds from your own budget. With some planning, hard work, and dedication, you may be able to find an outside funding source that will provide for all aspects of your work with fathers. Form training your fatherhood program facilitators, to providing funding to sustain your program (staff stipends, ongoing fathering handbook costs, and other materials needed to run fatherhood program classes), outside funding could open up doors for your fatherhood program that you may have never imagined. And, you may be able to serve even more fathers than you ever thought possible.

There are several routes your organization may want to explore in seeking outside funding:

  • Individuals
  • Foundations
  • Corporations
  • Local, State & Federal Government
  • Special Events/Fundraisers

Below are suggested websites where you can research funding opportunities. 

Federal Grant Resources - A federal site that aggregates all federal grant opportunities. You can search for grants currently being offered and access grant writing resources.

Office of Management & Budget (OMB) Circulars - Provide direction on federal budgeting and expensing for nonprofits, education institutions and state, local and Indian Tribe governments.

Foundation / Grant Funding

Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Grants In 2005, Congress established a five-year, $150 million program of grants for Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood. 2010 is the last year of funding for these grants. With the current grants coming to an end, the Administration has proposed a more comprehensive Fatherhood, Marriage and Families Innovation Fund as a successor initiative.

Foundation Center - A subscription based website that offers research on foundations, including family foundations and other tools for grant seekers.

Alliance for Nonprofit Excellence - Search for all types of grants.

  • The Grant Station - An online funding resource for organizations seeking grants throughout the world.  Providing access to a comprehensive online database of grant makers, as well as other valuable tools, GrantStation can help your organization make smarter, better-informed fundraising decisions. 
  • The Grantsmanship Center - Offers a variety of trainings such as The Grantsmanship Training Program, Earned Income Strategies and Competing for Federal Grants.
  • Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT) - Provides a range of training programs and webinars to help you raise money from your community.  Additionally, they offer articles and subscription based services to aid in your fundraising efforts. 

Proving Return on Investment

You may have a desire (or requirement)  to show return on investment (ROI) for your fatherhood program. Watch these two webinars from NFI’s past Capacity Building project for guidance on sustainability and ROI.

Future Casting for Sustainability

Original Air Date: 03/18/10

Presenter: Bernice Sanders Smoot

This webinar focuses on future casting for sustainability in the compelling case statement.  

>> Download Webinar

Proving Return on Investment: Cost Benefits

Original Air Date: 03/04/10

Presenter: Bernice Sanders Smoot

This is part 2 of the Proving Return on Investment series (Part 1 was presented at Certification College). How to develop the cost benefits for a compelling case statement are discussed.

>> Download Webinar