CBOs Feel Dismissed: New Report Outlines Failures of Federal Grants during COVID-19

September 8, 2022: Vaccinate Your Family (VYF) and Día de la Mujer Latina (DML) released a report today outlining the failure of federal grants to support community-based organizations (CBOs) during COVID-19. According to the report, “Supporting Community-based Organizations to Reignite a Culture of Immunization,” the federal grant applications often excluded CBOs based on requirements including: quick response time, project length, and conditions of funding which allowed larger institutes to apply as CBOs.

“Many of us advocates feel dismissed,” said Venus Ginés, founder and executive director of DML. “For example, DML has dedicated 25 years educating Latina communities about critical health issues and connecting people to preventive and treatment services. We have built a genuine trust which is often recognized by larger hospitals and universities. They come to us for help when they need to reach Latinas, but when it comes time to compensate us for our work, months can go by before we receive a dime. Sometimes, that work is never compensated at all.”

The report lists all of the groups that received federal funding from HRSA and CDC through key COVID-19 funding vehicles. While each organization likely did important work during the pandemic, most of the groups are not CBOs.

“All of us, from the federal government to public health nonprofits such as ours, must do a better job supporting CBOs,” said Amy Pisani, CEO of Vaccinate Your Family. “CBOs are the backbones of our communities on so many issues including health. It is high time we started making sure they have the consistent, robust funds they need without the immense administrative barriers that can often accompany those grants. Without CBOs, we cannot reignite a culture of immunization.”

VYF and DML will be hosting a Day of Learning on Monday, September 19 at 2 PM Eastern to discuss the report and to hear firsthand from CBOs across the country about their specific needs. You can register for the event here.

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