Philanthropy Friday: AIDS FUND

Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week: AIDS Fund, whose “mission is to raise awareness about the ongoing HIV/AIDS epidemic in our communities and to provide funds to HIV/AIDS service providers.”


AIDS Fund Executive Director Robb Reichard

Who are you? Robb Reichard, executive director of AIDS Fund

When was AIDS Fund founded? AIDS Fund’s roots go back to 1987, when the first AIDS Walk in Philadelphia was produced by Penguin Place, the predecessor of the William Way Community Center. We were incorporated as an independent organization two years later.

The organization’s shining moment, to date? In 2011, to mark the 30th year of the epidemic, and the 25th annual AIDS Walk Philly, we produced “1981 – Until It’s Over … ” a multimedia exhibit of the local history of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It was very rewarding to present both the struggles and advances we have experienced as a community. The positive responses we received from individuals who were a part of that history were particularly gratifying. The project then took on a life of its own with the development of the “1981-Until It’s Over … ” Timeline, a walk through history of the AIDS epidemic. We display The Timeline at community events and at high schools, colleges and universities throughout the region.

If a check for $1 million found its way to our doorstep … We would distribute it to our partner organizations providing critical HIV/AIDS prevention and care services in our communities. We’ve come so far over the course of the epidemic, however, too many are without the basic necessities to live a long and healthy life with HIV. I would also want to be sure that some of the funds were targeted to address the increasing rates of new infections among youth, particularly young gay and bisexual men.

A scene from Black-Tie GayBingo, which is coming up on June 6th. | Photo by Jeff Holder

A scene from Black-Tie GayBingo, which is coming up on June 6th. | Photo by Jeff Holder

Special events coming up? Our annual Black-Tie GayBINGO, hosted by the fabulous Bingo Verifying Divas, will be held on Saturday, June 6th at the Crystal Tea Room. A more formal version of our monthly GayBINGO, it’s by far the campiest fundraising dinner in the city!

Are there ways I can help AIDS Fund without donating money? We always need volunteers and couldn’t produce our monthly GayBINGOs and AIDS Walk Philly without the help of hundreds of volunteers each year. Another way you can contribute is by being a fundraising Walker or Runner in AIDS Walk/Run Philly. If you recruit your friends, family and co-workers to form a team of fundraisers for AIDS Walk/Run Philly, you can make an even bigger impact!

And if I do want to donate money? You can find out more about AIDS Fund and make donations through our web site,