The successful fundraising efforts in the last months of 2009 will have a powerful impact on the support BC/EFA can offer to scores of AIDS and family service organizations in 2010 through its National Grants Program.
In February, $1,235,000 was awarded to 118 Food Service and Meal Delivery Programs across the country, restoring over $200,000 in cuts made in the 2009 grant round.
There is no more important component of BC/EFA’s National Grants Program than ensuring that a person who is sick has a decent meal. Certainly for people living with HIV/AIDS, good nutritious food is essential if lifesaving medical regimens are to have a lasting impact.
For over 20 years, BC/EFA has served as a grant-making conduit for the Broadway community and its audiences and is committed to respond quickly to the most basic needs of people with HIV/AIDS. Traditionally, our National Grants Program has encompassed six categories: Food Services; Direct Services; Emergency Financial Services; One-Time Expense Request; Harm Reduction; and Quality of Life Services.
BC/EFA decided to expand the Food Service category to Food Service and Meal Delivery Programs in January 2006 and to make it a separate grant round, prioritizing these services and affording the opportunity for a larger award than was available in the overall national grant round awarded every spring.
The current economic crisis has affected us all. BC/EFA’s fundraising revenues in 2009 fiscal year were down 20% from 2008’s record level. This meant that for the first time, BC/EFA had to reduce grants made through the National Grants Program, beginning with the 2009 Food Service Organizations.
Happily, thanks to a reinvigorated fundraising campaign in the last months of 2009, BC/EFA was able to reinstate these cuts substantially in the recent 2010 Food Service and Meal Delivery grant round.
A recent Feeding America study which found that the number of Americans receiving some form of emergency food help had skyrocketed since 2005, growing by 46%. In 2009, one of every eight Americans – 37 million in total – received some form of emergency food help, with one in five children receiving food from pantries, soup kitchens and other agencies.
Of BC/EFA’s $1,235,000 grant-round total, $752,500 was distributed in larger grants to 39 agencies that have expanded their delivered meal programs to include people and their families homebound with debilitating diseases.
An additional $480,000 was distributed to 71 other organizations, including food pantries, group meal providers and delivered meal programs, all of which are struggling to meet the increased demand for their services.
We are proud to report that since 2006 BC/EFA has, with your generosity and support, awarded over $5.4 million to 126 food pantries and meal delivery programs in 36 states, Washington DC and Puerto Rico.
Overwhelmingly, respondents confirm that funding from BC/EFA allows them to feed their clients medically appropriate meals and to ensure that each client has access to nutritious food.
At God’s Love We Deliver in New York City, BC/EFA’s $35,000 grant provided nearly 30,000 life-sustaining meals and nutrition counseling to their clients living with a range of critical and chronic diseases, while Project Angel Heart in Denver, Colorado, with an expanded mission since 2001, used its grant to help it prepare and deliver more than 404,000 meals to its 1,624 clients in 2009.
Lifelong AIDS Alliance in Seattle reported that improving the nutritional health of more members of their community would enhance and strengthen their overall organizational mission. Several groups report that a portion of their decision to expand came from the practical realization that economies of scale would benefit all of their clients, HIV/AIDS and others, as they would be able to prepare more food and feed more people while maintaining standards of excellence. Many organizations noted their institutional “culture” supports a natural inclination to reach out to others, and that they acted out of a sense of ethical duty to expand their services to others. Further, respondents discussed their understanding that expanding their mission to feed more people would increase their donor and volunteer bases as well.
Grantees also expressed that receiving a grant from BC/EFA often helps “open doors” to other funding sources. Grantees have used BC/EFA’s name recognition to help build their funding support from other individuals and foundations. Many of them express that being able to list BC/EFA as a supporter has helped secure meetings with new funding partners. All report that since an ever-growing number of funders are reducing their disease-specific funding, mission expansion has introduced them to funding sources they would not have previously been able to partner with.
In short, the reported benefits of expanded missions overwhelmingly include increases in financial and volunteer support and organizational sustainability, but also greater recognition within the community.
These organizations are genuinely excited to provide their services to even more vulnerable people in their areas, and with the support of dedicated partners like Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, they will continue providing the food and nutrition support their clients rely on as they face a range challenges in an increasingly difficult economic environment.
BC/EFA’s compassion and commitment is a direct reflection of yours. Thank you for making so much good work possible.
For a complete list of grants made to all 118 food service and meal delivery programs across the country in the February 2010 grant round click here.
For more information on BC/EFA’s National Grants Program and the March 2010 and June 2010 grant rounds click here.