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PHI Exceeds Goal in First Phase of Unique Fundraising Campaign to Improve Quality of Long-Term Care by Improving Quality of Direct-Care Jobs

August 21, 2014

— "Philanthropic Equity" Campaign Raises $3.4 Million with Support from National and New York State Foundations — 

Bronx, NY — PHI has raised $3.4 million — exceeding its initial $3 million goal — during the first round of its three-part "Philanthropic Equity" Campaign. PHI launched this five-year fundraising effort last summer with an overall target of $9 million. The support provides PHI with essential capacity to improve the quality of home care, community-based care, and nursing home care for elders and people with disabilities by improving the jobs of direct-care workers — home health aides, personal care aides, and nursing home assistants. 

The initial phase of the Philanthropic Equity Campaign was supported by four foundations. The John A. Hartford Foundation ($1.6 million) and the F.B. Heron Foundation ($1.5 million) provided crucial lead investment, guidance, and support. The Booth Ferris Foundation ($200,000) and The Clark Foundation ($100,000) added crucial support to carry the campaign forward.

"We appreciate the dedication and vision that our first round of philanthropic equity funders have shown in supporting PHI's work," said Jodi M. Sturgeon, president of PHI, the nation's leading authority on the direct-care workforce. "Their contributions have already helped PHI to broaden and deepen the impact of our efforts to strengthen both the quality of jobs for direct-care workers, and the quality of care for clients. We're excited about the possibilities ahead." 

Philanthropic equity is a special approach to investing in social change by using grant-based capital to build overall organization capacity to support major program growth, rather than funding a specific program. This type of support, which leverages sophisticated financial modeling and a comprehensive business plan to strengthen an organization's infrastructure, income blend, and overall impact, makes it possible for funders to closely monitor mission outcomes as well as financial sustainability.

"Nonprofits deserve access to the same tool that for-profits have access to — the capital to invest in capacity that builds reliable revenue streams and healthy balance sheets," said Clara Miller, the Heron Foundation's president. "PHI's capital campaign will help its operations increase in both scale and scope to help improve the quality of life of many workers and the quality of care for their customers."

The F.B. Heron Foundation, a pioneer in the field of investment-based social change models, brought the concept of philanthropic equity to PHI's attention, recommending it as a way to strengthen overall organizational sustainability and impact.

"Today, more than four million direct-care workers serve as a lifeline for our nation's elders and individuals living with disabilities," said Corinne H. Rieder, executive director and treasurer at the John A. Hartford Foundation. "As demand for services grows, it's important that an organization like PHI — widely acknowledged as the leading authority on the direct-care workforce — build sustainable capacity to help ensure quality care for all Americans, by improving the quality and opportunity inherent to direct-care jobs."

PHI has already seen significant results from its philanthropic equity investments — strengthening its management, informational technology, and development capacity, expanding its Coaching & Consulting Services and Workforce & Curriculum Development field-service capacity, and strengthening its balance sheet and cash reserves.

The direct-care workforce — projected to grow to 5 million workers by the end of the decade — will be the largest occupational group (pdf) in the nation, exceeding retail salespersons, teachers from kindergarten through high school, all law enforcement and public safety workers, fast food and counter workers, and registered nurses.

Today, direct-care workers account for 30 percent of the U.S. health care workforce (pdf), far outnumbering other health care practitioner occupations such as physicians, nurses, and therapists.

Of all direct-care workers in the nation:

  • The majority (90 percent) are female;
  • More than half (53 percent) are women of color;
  • Nearly half (48 percent) live in households earning below 200 percent of the federal poverty level income;
  • Nearly half (49 percent) live in households that receive one or more public benefits such as food stamps; Medicaid; or housing, child care, or energy assistance; and
  • More than a quarter (28 percent) of direct-care workers lack health care coverage

PHI aims to raise a total of $6 million by early summer 2015 and welcomes inquiries from potential funders to take advantage of an exciting opportunity to strengthen the quality of the jobs held by direct-care workers, and the care received by individuals across the United States.

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PHI, the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute, works to transform eldercare and disability services, fostering dignity, respect, and independence — for all who receive care, and all who provide it. The nation's leading authority on the direct-care workforce, PHI promotes quality direct-care jobs as the foundation for quality care.

Deane Beebe, PHI Media Relations Director; 718-928-2033; 646-285-1039 (cell)

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