Fundraising is critical, but it is not the only factor involved in sustaining a healthy program. New programs in particular require champions, both internally and externally to maintain quality and to continue to improve and adapt the program to evolving needs. The most successful HPPAEs have the strong support and commitment of their deans, agency CEOs and staff for fundraising and resources to program development and evaluation. Below are resources both within your university and your HPPAE university-community partnership that you can tap for financial and in-kind support:
- Development Office
Most development offices are staffed by professional fundraisers who raise funds for the institution’s operating expenses, programs and special events. If your school/agency has been assigned a liaison person in the development office, schedule a meeting with that person to discuss your ideas and determine how he or she can be helpful. Offer to send a draft of your ideas/proposal before the meeting and/or the questions you would like to address.
- Dean, Director or Agency Executive Director
Securing the support of the Dean or Director and the Agency Executive Director is integral to the long-term sustainability of an HPPAE because fundraising is one of their core charges and their leadership stature will raise the prominence of your HPPAE. Specifically, work with the Dean to identify funds that can be re-allocated from the school’s budget to support the HPPAE. The dean’s office discretionary fund may support grant-writing costs.
Many faculty are adept at finding money to support their research projects. In the course of looking for funding for research projects, faculty may come upon opportunities to support service and education projects. There is also the possibility that a faculty member’s research interests will overlap with the HPPAE.
- Community Agencies
Colleagues in community agencies, especially those who depend upon “soft money,” are also adept at finding funding. There may be opportunities to include a component of your program in a partnership member’s grant if it can be linked to client services. Agency colleagues may know of foundations and individual donors who might be interested in your program.
Just as your university relies on alumni for fundraising, you can, too, for your HPPAE. Because the field of aging has not been as well funded as other practice areas, alumni who specialize in aging may be especially sensitive to the need to support a program like HPPAE. We have heard from HPPAE graduates who say they feel indebted to their program, and almost obligated to “pay it forward” by supporting another student. Keep in mind that some alumni prefer to support specific initiatives, programs, event or even a specific student rather than contribute to a general operating fund, so how you frame your funding request is critical. While individual contributions may seem small relative to a foundation grant, they can add up when pooled together. An important additional benefit of this approach is that your donors can become your word-of-mouth foot soldiers, which can help bring in more supporters.
Alumni could also be encouraged to provide non-monetary support. One of the most powerful ways alumni can give back to the HPPAE is to become a field instructor.
|Alumni Involvement Spotlight:
The Agency for Gerontology Intercultural Field Training
A Houston based HPPAE
- Mentor current gerontology students
- Staff their Employment Information and Referral Services
- Provide training to paraprofessional service providers in aging care agencies
- Evaluate and disseminate products from the paraprofessional training program
- Teach continuing education courses in Houston's Graduate School of Social Work’s Human Services Certificate Program in Gerontology
- Communications Office
Every university, if not every school within the university, has an office dedicated to publicizing the institution’s activities. Your school may have a dedicated staffer within the communications office charged with publicizing the social work school. Communications staff engage in media relations, post news on the university’s Web site, run visitor tours, and produce publications—all of which can help attract students and raise your profile with potential funders.
- Other University Resources
Research office: This university office typically has extramural funding contacts
Work-study programs: This student financial aid resource can also be a source of student stipends for your HPPAE
Continuing education: You may coordinate with this program at your university to formalize an incentive for field instructors and community agencies to work with the HPPAE
Interdisciplinary programs: Talk with members of other geriatric fields, such as nursing and medicine to see if there are joint funding opportunities
Hartford Partnership Program for Aging Education
1216 Fifth Avenue | New York, New York 10029 | 212-822-7200