Over $1.6 million for a semi-forgotten cause, ROI of $6.70 raised to $1 spent
Harlem United: Community AIDS Center
How does an organization that built its reputation on combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic at its peak continue to thrive when HIV/AIDS is no longer on the forefront of the national consciousness? From the start, Harlem United understood AIDS as part of a cycle of poverty, disenfranchisement, lack of nutrition, and susceptibility to other medical conditions. But the government contracts that enabled Harlem United to provide comprehensive medical care and social services to underserved men and women in Upper Manhattan and the South Bronx were not sufficient to fulfill the agency’s dream of eradicating HIV/AIDS in those neighborhoods.
LAPA recommended that HU conduct a six-month program feasibility assessment that cost $25K. The assessment tested their ideas among 25 peers and 40 members of the proposed program user community. As a consequence, the agency developed several new programs including the “BLOCKS Project,” which proposed to take an apartment-by-apartment, block-by-block, geographical approach to HIV prevention, focusing on the most at-risk blocks or neighborhoods in its purview. The BLOCKS model provided HIV and STD testing services, educational resources, and treatment—not only for HIV/AIDS, but also for hepatitis, hypertension, and other conditions. LAPA successfully shopped this innovative new programming to major HIV/AIDS funders.
LAPA secured $300,000 for each of two years from the M-A-C AIDS Fund as a matching gift for municipal funding of $400,000 for the BLOCKS Project. We secured a $30,000 Community Development Block Grant for a Harlem United Bronx-area youth development program—a first for the client. Within six months of being introduced to Harlem United’s proposed youth internship program, we secured a $75,000 grant that exceeded the program budget for a full year.
HU’s annual ROI averages $6.71 for every dollar spent with LAPA, with $1,625,615 in secured funds over the last two years alone.