Outreach in a Time of Budget Tightness

The fiscal situation in many states has deteriorated dramatically over the last couple of years, raising questions about whether and how Covering Kids & Families (CKF) grantees’ outreach has been affected; how grantees are responding; and whether promising new approaches can be identified for use under a constrained budget.

CKF grantees had previously only practiced outreach in a much more positive fiscal environment. As part of the evaluation’s formative feedback to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) on the CKF program, the evaluators convened a meeting of state and local grantees to exchange information and explore this issue in depth, under the guidance of neutral experts.

This highlight memo synthesizes the information gathered from these grantees about promising or successful outreach strategies for use in times of budget tightness. This information may be useful to both RWJF and CKF if it aids understanding of how grantees approach outreach in the new environment and if it helps to improve the effectiveness of outreach. This process also provided the evaluation team with front-line experience with a major program goal: outreach implementation.