The number of foundations that fund aging as a discrete program area is relatively small, but funding for aging issues can be found under broader programs areas such as health, public health, mental services, and families. The Foundation Center (www.fdncenter.org) is a good place to start when looking for foundation funding. The Foundation Center offers a comprehensive scope of information about private and corporate foundations and individual donors. It also provides education, training and seminars on proposal writing and other grant-seeking skills.
Within the federal government there are departments, agencies and offices that provide funding for programs, education, research and services related to aging. The government has a web site, www.grants.gov, a searchable and single point of access for 900-plus grant programs from all 26 federal grant-making agencies. The Veteran's Administration is one such source for funding.
As older adults frequently do not receive adequate mental health services, there are opportunities for HPPAEs to secure mental health grants to expand services or to support a research agenda. Additional federal government resources can be found on the "Facts on Aging" page at www.socialworkleadership.org.
State governments administer various Titles under the Federal Older Americans Act of 1965, and a variety of State-funded programs that serve elders. These programs are administered through Area Offices on Aging (AOA) or Area Agencies on Aging (AAA) or local departments for the aging.
Case in Point
|University at Albany||The University at Albany has received funding from the State of New York to support its HPPAE. Check with your state Medicaid Office to determine if social workers are reimbursed for services to clients. If so, your students may be reimbursed for the services they provide.
Local businesses want to be "good citizens" of their respective communities and will often make small donations to support some programs. Existing HPPAEs have successfully obtained support from medical supply companies, local restaurants and banks. Local businesses, versus multinational corporations, tend to be better targets for fundraising because of their strong community ties and because their executives and employees typically have stronger alumni ties to their local universities.
Identifying individual major donors requires time but it can pay off substantially. The key is to find people with a track record of giving to aging, education, or health programs. Start by making a list of the foundations and agencies that have funded initiatives of relevance to HPPAE. Then look at their annual reports, Web sites and marketing brochures to see if some of the seed money came from large contributions from individuals or families. Similarly, make a list of non-profit organizations that advance aging issues, and look at their donor lists. You may have the most success by narrowing these lists of individuals to correspond to those living in your region.
It's worth noting that the average age of major gift donors is 72—precisely the demographic that is concerned about aging care.