Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Bringing home the money

Don't be embarassed to ask for money!

Time and time again I talk to charities and public sector workers who can't ask for the money they need to deliver the service people deserve. Money isn't dirty. Money isn't evil. Even the love of money isn't evil. Money is like energy - you use it for good, or you use it for bad, and the more that passes via you the more you can achieve.

On Monday I gave a workshop on Evaluating Innovation at the "New Ways of Working in Health and Social Care" conference in Manchester. My theme helped innovation make the leap from prospective funding (looks like a good idea, here's something to get you started) to sustainable long-term funding (fantastic - we get all this and you only need this much per user to run the service). I picked on measurement, because it's often the weakest part of many proposals - how can you show that you are making a difference?

The points are these:
  • commissioners are people too: they will put money into innovation that looks likely to succeed - and you can show that you have already succeeded by showing the results you achieve (and show you mean business by submitting to evaluation)
  • there is a finite amount of money - but it is enormous (health for example has £100billion to spend). If you can show that your idea will deliver more 'bang per buck' in the things that matter - care, outcomes, patient satisfaction, value for money (and not even all of these: if we wanted to save money on health we'd still be spending £42billion not £100billion), and raise it up the priorities list above competing projects, then you will get funded - provided you can generate enough confidence that you can succeed
Get a sponsor/ mentor. Do a great thing. Dare to dream. And be quite open and honest about the resources you need!
strategic process for business case

Good luck! Hugo

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