Last year, America’s Blood Centers conducted its SEQuaLS member satisfaction survey, where ABC member blood centers could pose questions to both ABC and the Foundation for America’s Blood Centers staff. One member asked, “Is there a way to make more grants available to member centers?” To provide the short answer – yes, the FABC is working to provide more useful grants to ABC members, but let’s start at the beginning.
As most of you know, grants are awarded to ABC’s member blood centers through the FABC, which was initially founded in 1997 as a vehicle to accept financial contributions from sponsors and suppliers to fund ABC programs that benefit the membership, like the popular My Blood, Your Blood. The FABC sought to provide additional value to ABC member blood centers without raising dues. In 2002, the Foundation began awarding small grants to ABC member blood centers, while also funding ABC National Initiatives.
In recent years, the number and monetary value of grants given to ABC members has increased. Meanwhile, the FABC continues to fund certain ABC programs with a national scope. The recent “member-focused” grants have included the redesign of the recently launched AmericasBlood.org and the future redesign of the ABC members’ website, as well as the ABC Specialty Workshop Scholarship Program, which provides 26 scholarships to ABC members to supplement costs for attendance at an ABC Specialty Workshop.
However, it goes without saying, that the more money we raise, the more grants we can give to member blood centers. The FABC board recently began a strategic planning process, led by Board Chair Francine Décary, MD, PhD, MBA, and Board Member Roy Roper, focused on increasing our funding and diversifying the sources from which we solicit funds, while also working to ensure that our grant programs benefit all ABC member blood centers.
I encourage all members to apply for a grant when we issue the Request for Proposals later this fall. Meanwhile, the FABC will keep exploring ways to increase revenue so that we can award more grants that benefit the ABC membership. It is also timely to recognize the industry suppliers that have continued to support the FABC despite the financial squeeze felt during these tough economic times. We are grateful for their support and we hope to continue counting on them.
I would, however, not be doing my job if I failed to mention that we need you to support the FABC! Whether it is attending an event like the annual gala or Links for Life Golf Tournament, or sharing information about the FABC with friends and colleagues, or making a financial contribution, your support does matter. Even a small donation can go a long way in increasing the dollars we have to give back to our members and the blood community!
Jodi Zand, Director of Fund Development, the Foundation for America’s Blood Centers; email@example.com