New Video Series: What Does it Mean to be an HIV Funder?

As 2019 marks the penultimate year of the FCAA strategic plan, we have started to reflect on the progress to date on our current plan. Established in 2015, it was the first in our history to include a specific focus on the underlying drivers of the epidemic. Our next plan will need to go even further.

We crafted the second day of the 2019 AIDS Philanthropy Summit agenda to support that effort – focusing the conversation on what it means to be an HIV funder today, as we balance the need to prioritize HIV with the need to integrate it into broader efforts to address healthcare and human rights. The responses we heard — some of which are highlighted below — were varied and thought provoking.

As the epidemic and the environment that surrounds it continue to evolve, this is a conversation that merits further exploration. That is why FCAA is launching a new video series.

The first, featuring Stan Wong from the Levi Strauss Foundation, can be seen below.

Throughout the coming months, we will be sharing more of these interviews with funders and other stakeholders from throughout our community. Each will describe how they view the role of an HIV funder. In addition, they will highlight where they see gaps and how we can be more effective in the response.

We encourage you to add your perspective to this conversation. Please let us know what you think it means to be an HIV funder at this moment in time by sharing your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #FundAIDSFight. Meanwhile, here is what others in our network have to say:


Being an HIV funder means….


…being integrated


“Standing in place is not an option. HIV work is stronger when it’s supported by other issues and other perspectives.” – Nancy Mahon, MAC Viva Glam Fund

“California Wellness doesn’t identify as an HIV funder, rather as a funder concerned about HIV. Our HIV and STI work is done under the umbrella of reproductive health… we try to look at issues holistically to bring reproductive and HIV justice together to promote health and wellness for women of color.” Crystal Crawford, California Wellness Foundation

“The HIV/AIDS movement has great things to contribute [to political change]. And the reality is, if HIV movement leaders are not there, then the most marginalized groups might be left out of universal healthcare.” – Sergey Votyagov, Robert Carr Fund


…being community-led


“We take pride in an insistence and a determination to always be informed and be led by local knowledge and by the aspirations and the visions of local civil society that are far more expert in what they need in their health outcomes than any funder could be.”Patrick Gaspard, Open Society Foundations

“It’s important to have people with lived realities leading this work…People living with HIV are NOT the disease. It is the system that is not well.” – Dr. Stellah Bosire, UHAI-EASHRI

“It’s more important than ever that funders fund sex workers organizing. Sex workers need not just a seat at the sex worker funding table, but they need to be at the head. And not just sex workers, but sex workers most impacted by oppression.”- Maryse Mitchell-Broder from Third Wave Fund


…being relentless


“I am hopeful. But as a movement, our partners are working from a place of deficit. We are so close to being AIDS free but are not sufficiently funding.”– Stan Wong, Levi Strauss Foundation


…thinking holistically


 “We have to bring the biomedical and psychosocial together. Funding is decreasing. We’ve got to be able to work better. We must deliver a holistic package of support. We’re funding people not targets.” – Lisa Bohmer, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation