It is a natural tendency for cash-strapped organizations to try to cut costs when designing a Getting Ahead initiative. While fiscal responsibility is important, so is having a safe place for investigators to fully discuss the carefully sequenced information. Removing barriers to attendance, building group identity and support, compensating investigators for their time and knowledge, and celebrating successes also require budgeting consideration.

Many Getting Ahead sponsors fund initiatives through grants from the United Way and local foundations as well as contributions from businesses.

In communities where there is more than one site offering Getting Ahead, collaborating on grant writing will relieve funders from receiving competing requests for the same program.

There are four books in the Getting Ahead series:

  1. Getting Ahead in a Just-Gettin’-By-World, the original workbook and accompanying Facilitator Notes. This is used in many institutions and communities, first published in 2004 and revised twice since then.
  2. Getting Ahead in the Workplace, for people preparing to enter the workforce and those in entry level jobs, published in 2015.
  3. Getting Ahead while Getting Out, the pre-release workbook and accompanying User Guide used by correctional facilitates, Bridges collaboratives and/or reentry programs. Published in 2015.
  4. Investigations into Economic Class in America, for first generation low-income post- secondary students, published in 2011.

Below are two sample budgets: one that includes the cost of payments to GA investigators and one that doesn’t. Payments are the highest line item in the budget so it’s necessary to provide two samples. The first sample includes the cost of payments to Getting Ahead Investigators. The complete rationale for paying investigators can be found in the Facilitator Notes for Getting Ahead. In short, investigators are paid because they act as a focus group that generates much needed information to planners in institutions and communities that design programs for people in poverty.

Two books in the GA series pay investigators and two don’t. The first two in the list above, Getting Ahead, the original workbook, and Getting Ahead in the Workplace do require that investigators be paid.

The two books that don’t pay investigators are Getting Ahead while Getting Out and Investigations into Economic Class in America. In prisons and colleges there is no mechanism for making payments for participation.


For more information about the steps associated with launching a Getting Ahead initiative, click on the links below:

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