Though we continue to hear troubling reports about the economy, job loss and unemployment, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS was able to bring some much needed good news to hundreds of organizations that faced cuts in government and private funding in 2010.
Following 2009, in which a 20% drop in fundraising necessitated that appropriate cuts be made in both administrative expenses and grant-making, 2010 brought reasons to be optimistic. With fundraising regaining strength this year, BC/EFA has been able to increase support to hundreds of AIDS and family service organizations through its National Grants Program in 2010.
Over the last eight months, Broadway Cares provided grants totaling $3,720,000 to 475 AIDS and family service organizations in 46 states, Washington, D.C. and Puerto Rico, compared to $3,125,000 to 462 organizations in 2009, an increase of 17%.
This past July, in the third of three grant rounds making up its 2010 National Grants Program, BC/EFA granted $1,785,000 to 322 AIDS and family service providers nationwide, a 10% increase over 2009’s third round of $1,684,000.
“Many organizations have been forced to continue cutting their budgets in 2010. So we are very pleased to be able to make these increases over 2009,” says BC/EFA Executive Director Tom Viola. “For those service providers we were able to restore to 2008’s level of support or increase above last year’s grant, it will seem like a small respite in the midst of very difficult times.”
In January, BC/EFA awarded $1,235,000 to 110 food service and meal delivery programs, up from $1,000,000 in 2009, an increase of 20%.
In March, 43 nationally recognized and advocacy organizations (including 17 health clinics) received $700,000, a 35% increase above 2009’s funding of $458,500 to 35 agencies.
Grant checks sent in July totaling $1,785,000 to 322 service providers focused on four categories: Direct Services ($625,000 / 109 providers), Emergency Assistance ($690,000 / 123), Harm Reduction ($300,000 / 45 ) and Quality of Life ($170,000/ 45). This is an increase of $294,500 from grants totaling $1,490,496 and awarded to the same number of service providers in 2009.
HISTORY OF GIVING
In 22 years, BC/EFA has given more than $53 million to AIDS and family service organizations through its annual National Grants Program. This ongoing funding support is an essential component of BC/EFA’s commitment to people with AIDS, their families and the organizations that serve them.
HIV has always created or reinforced economic hardship. It magnifies issues of poverty, absence of decent, affordable health care, lack of job opportunity, homelessness, hunger and a fraying network of resources, social services and care.
To address these continued and current challenges, BC/EFA focuses its National Grants Program on direct services such as food and meal delivery programs, supportive housing initiatives, job training, recovery support and vital emergency assistance programs to avoid evictions, loss of health insurance or other essential services.
Homelessness and disconnection from the most basic social services is a devastating circumstance for any individual. For a person living with AIDS, it is the beginning of the end, particularly if the resulting personal chaos keeps someone previously on medications from adhering to essential compliance of the drugs regimen, thereby compromising their own health and increasing the likelihood of being unable or unwilling to follow essential prevention and safe sex practices.
At the same time, BC/EFA was compelled to develop funding options that supported the integrity of families and the quality of life for people living with AIDS. In addition to funding a wide variety of small, grassroots and nationally recognized service providers offering essential case management, housing and health services, funding is also available for simple quality of life activities and efforts particularly for families with dependent children, including summer camps, recreational and cultural outings and alternative therapies and pet support.
BC/EFA’s National Grants Program is made up of three distinct rounds awarding grants in six categories:
GRANT ROUND #1
Food Service and Meal Delivery Grants / January
Broadway Cares recognizes the critical role that appropriate nutrition plays in the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS. BC/EFA serves as a grant-making conduit between our donors and Broadway audiences compelled to respond to the most basic needs of those living with AIDS. Nothing embodies this concept more than ensuring that a person who is sick has a decent meal. Without proper nutrition, the effectiveness of AIDS medication, combinations of which can reduce viral load and increase T-cells, is reduced significantly. With this in mind, BC/EFA made this category its own separate grant round in January 2006, affording food pantries, congregate meal and meal delivery programs the opportunity for a larger grant than is available in the four other categories awarded later in the year.
In the last five years, with BC/EFA’s encouragement as a funder, the largest meal delivery programs have expanded their services to include people with AIDS and those with other debilitating illness to great success. BC/EFA largest food service grants are available to those with expanded services that believe “widening the net” is a smart, strategic plan that not only offers assistance to more people in need, but in doing so increases funding opportunities in a very difficult fundraising climate. This ensures that delivered meals will continue to be provided to people with AIDS for the foreseeable future.
GRANT ROUND #2
Nationally-Recognized AIDS Service and Advocacy Grants / Marc
BC/EFA supports organizations serving large metropolitan areas with a particularly high concentration of those living with HIV/AIDS as well as those doing advocacy work which increases funding, advances treatment and supports public policy in a way that is pivotal within a large geographic area or on a national level thereby affecting the work of the entire network of AIDS service providers.
The creation of this category in 2002 is recognition that community-based efforts in response to the HIV/AIDS epidemic have grown into national and metropolitan leadership organizations making a significant impact on HIV/AIDS throughout the country.
Much in the same manner that BC/EFA started the National Grants Program in 1988 to leverage awareness and greater access to services at a community based level, the funding available in this second annual grant round is designed to reach those serving the largest numbers of people with AIDS and, by example, change the landscape of service delivery, public policy and treatment options for people living with HIV/AIDS nationwide.
GRANT ROUND #3
Emergency Assistance, Direct Services, Harm Reduction and Quality of Life Grants / July
Emergency Assistance Grants. This includes emergency or short-term support for utilities, rent, food vouchers, transportation or short-term health insurance premium support for people living with HIV/AIDS.
Direct Services Grants. This includes case management programs that support an individual living with HIV/AIDS with his/her needs in assessment, planning, facilitation and implementation of health coverage, federal assistance and drug access, links to health service providers and supportive housing programs. Grants also cover expenses toward personal care items, ongoing transportation programs and equipment replacement and purchase.
Harm Reduction Services Grants. This includes projects focusing on injection drug users and other persons with addiction problems who are HIV-infected or at significant risk for HIV infection. It is not uncommon for a person’s involvement in harm reduction services to be the first step towards recovery services.
Quality of Life Services Grants. This includes programs for persons living with HIV and their families, including group outings, art and hobby supplies, pet support, recreational activities and summer camps for children.
PROVIDING MUCH NEEDED ASSISTANCE AND SUPPORT NATIONWIDE
Across the country, grant checks sent from BC/EFA at the end of July in the areas of emergency assistance, direct services, harm reduction and quality-of-life services have an immediate impact on service providers and their clients, not only in cities, but in small towns and rural areas, as well.
BC/EFA has funded Caritas House in Morgantown, West Virginia since 1999. “An increase of $2,500 from 2009’s grant of $5,000 to $7,500 at the end of July of 2010 came as a lifesaver,” says Lindsay Knotts, the agency’s housing coordinator. “$2,500 can have a powerful impact. Some of our clients have to travel over one hundred miles for services. We can now provide additional emergency overnight accommodations for appointments with doctors and case managers,” she says. “For those traveling such a great distance, a $50 mileage reimbursement makes it possible for many to maintain essential relationships ensuring their adherence to drug regimens. With the rest, we will be able to provide an additional food vouchers which also encourages clients to actively participate in their on-going health care. It may seem like a small amount of money, but it makes a huge difference to us.”
“Housing is health care,” says Mike Smith, executive director of San Francisco’s AIDS Emergency Fund, which also received a $2,500 increase from 2009’s $5,000 grant to $7,500 in 2010. “A San Franciscan with HIV who is marginally housed or homeless is four time more likely to die of AIDS and, in the process, infect someone else than a person with stable housing. A person with HIV cannot maintain the adherence necessary for drug treatment to be effective if their lives are chaotic. AEF’s clients try to remain self-sufficient and productive despite their HIV diagnosis. But work for many is sporadic. AEF’s emergency support makes a huge difference while they try to navigate through the complicated state disability process and BC/EFA’s grant makes that support possible.”
Floods devastated Nashville this spring, making life even tougher for people struggling to survive on marginal incomes. With that in mind, BC/EFA increased its award of $7,500 to Nashville CARES in 2009 to $10,000 in July. Nashville CARES has been a part of BC/EFA’s National Grants Program since 1992. “Some of our clients are now dealing with job loss and home damages so the flooding has increased their need for assistance. The additional support from Broadway Cares at this time is tremendously helpful,” says Joseph Interrante, CEO of Nashville CARES. “Additional funding from BC/EFA will enable Nashville CARES to provide twice the number of monthly bus passes and gas vouchers to as many as 100 people living with HIV/AIDS. It offers vital support to help them get to doctors, pharmacy, grocery and service appointments. It has made their lives just that much more manageable, more hopeful.”
Amy McMahon, CEO of Cincinnati’s Stop AIDS says, “Broadway Cares’ unwavering support allows STOP AIDS to meet some of the most essential needs for our clients who would otherwise have nowhere to get this help. When so many others are cutting back or dropping out, being able to count on $7,500 from BC/EFA helps STOP AIDS maintain delivering services to over 1,000 HIV+ clients annually. It seems like a modest amount, but it isn’t. It completes the picture. We couldn’t do it without you!”
And we, here at BC/EFA, could not offer these four AIDS service providers and over 300 more across the country our financial assistance in these most challenging times without your continued support, friendship and generosity of spirit.
You make BC/EFA’s work possible. You have allowed BC/EFA’s 2010 National Grants Program to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of men, women and children facing the day to day challenges of living with HIV/AIDS in times of diminishing resources and harsh new realities. Your support maintains a modest but essential safety net of social services too easily left under-funded and allowed to fray. With your help, BC/EFA’s support can remain constant and strong.