Funding Allocation Modeling

Public agencies responsible for distribution of state and federal funds often use computer modeling techniques to determine how funds are to be allocated to clients within their service areas.

A variety of factors may be included in any funding model, such as: service population as a straight percentage of the area’s population; service population share of the area’s poverty (at some agreed-upon Federal Poverty Level), service population share of the area’s unemployment, and the number of clients served as a percentage of all clients served in the area.

Several types of formula are also available for implementation, including: base plus or hold harmless plus, historical, formula-alone and formula with variables. An equitable formula result is more likely to come from a combination of factors, perhaps weighted to reflect the viewpoints of funding administrators and board members on fairness and other policy objectives.  Changes to existing allocation formula models can be constructed to limit the extent of loss (or gain) that may occur for any service population within a given area.  Oftentimes, a base formula is used to ensure that smaller eligible entities have sufficient funding to stay in operation.


Maricopa County, AZ -- Funding, activity, and future projections study of Community Services Areas, 2008.

Maricopa County, AZ – Analysis and recommendations for changes to allocation formulae used to distribute funding to Community Action Program agencies, 2003.

Maricopa County, AZ – Evaluation of County’s administration of Community Action Programs; analysis and recommendation of alternative funding allocation formula, 1995.