Pathways to Sustainability: 8-Year Follow-Up From the PROSPER Project

Janet A. Welsh, Sarah M. Chilenski, Lesley Johnson, Mark T. Greenberg, Richard L. Spoth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


The large-scale dissemination of evidence-based practices (EBPs) is often hindered by problems with sustaining initiatives past a period of initial grant funding. Communities often have difficulty generating resources needed to sustain and grow their initiatives, resulting in limited public health impact. The PROSPER project, initiated in 2001, provided community coalitions with intensive technical assistance around marketing, communications, and revenue generating strategies. Past reports from PROSPER have indicated that these coalitions were successful with sustaining their programming, and that sustainability could be predicted by early aspects of team functioning and leadership. The current study examines financial sustainability 8 years following the discontinuation of grant funding, with an emphasis on sources of revenue and the relationships between revenue generation, team functioning, and EBP participation. This study used four waves of data related to resource generation collected between 2004 and 2010 by PROSPER teams in Iowa and Pennsylvania. Teams reported annually on the amount and sources of funding procured, as well as annual reports of team functioning and leadership and annual reports of EBP participation by youth and parents. Data revealed that teams’ overall revenue generation increased over time. There was significant variation in success with revenue generation at both the community level and across the two states. Teams accessed a variety of sources. Cash revenue generation was positively and predictively associated with EBP participation, but relationships with team functioning and leadership ratings varied significantly by state. State level differences in in-kind support were also apparent. The results indicated that there are different pathways to sustainability, and that no one method works for all teams. The presence of state level infrastructures available to support prevention appeared to account for significant differences in sustainability success between Pennsylvania and Iowa.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)263-286
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Primary Prevention
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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