AFC administers a private, responsive grants program that provides an average, multiyear grant award of $20,000 to assist agencies in providing HIV prevention, care and advocacy work.
The program is made possible through direct contributions from HIV/AIDS supporters and signature AFC fundraising events, including World of Chocolate and AIDS Run & Walk Chicago. Private grant-making funds enable partner agencies (community based organizations, academic institutions, hospitals and primary care sites) to provide HIV/AIDS-related prevention, care and advocacy projects to communities across the Chicago metropolitan area.
AFC began its formal grant-making program following the Marshall Fields-sponsored benefit “A Show of Concern,” held in 1987. The original plan and the first seven cycles consisted of two grant cycles per year. In 1992, a formal evaluation was conducted, and private grant-making was moved to one cycle per year and specific priorities were abandoned as agencies identified their own pressing priorities. The grant review panel consists of AFC Board members, and the Service Providers Council serves an advisory role by setting the context for discussions to ascertain priorities.
AFC recently restructured the grants application program to provide awards based on four new categories — community mobilization, strengthening communities and reducing health disparities, integration of service systems and improving outcomes at every stage of HIV care.