Washington, D.C. – March 3, 2013 – Thanks to its work with the federal grant through the Social Innovation Fund, AIDS United has developed a toolkit for non-profit organizations that are funded through federal programs. “Commit to Compliance,” an internet-based “Prezi” presentation, features instructions, tips and tactics, as well as downloadable, printable resources, all designed to demystify the process of maintaining compliance with the requirements of federal grants.
AIDS United (AU) has long understood the importance of compliance with its federal grants, which historically came from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for the Business Responds to AIDS/Labor Responds to AIDS program in the late 1990s, and from the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) the organization’s AmeriCorps program, the first HIV-focused AmeriCorps program. But it was AIDS United’s grant from CNCS’ Social Innovation Fund (SIF) for AU’s Access to Care initiative that required an increased level of compliance rigor, because those funds were re-granted to community-based organizations to develop innovative solutions to get people living with HIV/AIDS into life-saving care.
“After receiving our SIF grant in 2011 we knew that we would have additional responsibilities in accountability and transparency for the use of SIF dollars for our access to care work,” said Vignetta Charles, PhD, AIDS United Senior Vice President. “We created and filled the position of Grants Compliance Officer, and began strengthening our compliance for all of our programs.
“Our work with the SIF inspired us to lead by example, particularly with our sister community-based HIV/AIDS organizations, which may be overwhelmed by the rigor with which federally funded projects might be scrutinized,” she said. “We wanted to be able to provide high-quality technical assistance that is based on our first-hand experience in meeting compliance challenges.”
Michael Smith, Chief Executive Officer of the Social Innovation Fund, said, “Sharing knowledge that can be practically applied is core to the Social Innovation Fund’s model. We’re delighted that AIDS United has taken the initiative to make this terrific compliance toolkit publically available. This toolkit brings a clear, concise approach to what can be a difficult process for many small, community-based organizations.”
Dr. Charles indicated that the “Commit to Compliance” toolkit emphasizes the importance – and the value – of a strong compliance protocol to the integrity of any program, but especially those receiving federal funds.
“Compliance is more than just following the rules for a funder,” she said. “Compliance is a pledge of integrity and transparency to all stakeholders of an organization. It’s a commitment to funders, the community, and clients. It is the organizational and financial framework on which innovative and effective programs are built.”
For more information about compliance issues for federally-funded community-based organizations, contact Brad Ward, AIDS United Grants Compliance Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.