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Consumer Voice 40th Anniversary Fundraising Campaign

Ensure Another 40 Years of Making Quality Care Matter

We are pleased to announce that 2015 marks our 40th anniversary, and we invite you to contribute to our special campaign to ensure that all persons who will be dependent on long-term care services are not alone and have advocates and a voice speaking up for their needs and their rights.


Campaign Purpose

For 40 years, we have been the national Consumer Voice calling for quality of care, dignity, and human rights for nursing home residents and all who depend on long-term care services.  We have come so far in our fight to achieve quality care, and yet many challenges remain. Our commitment, achievement and effectiveness since 1975 provide us with a solid foundation to meet and overcome these challenges, as we work to continue to ensure that the consumer voice is heard by policymakers and providers, and that consumers nationwide have the tools and support they need to demand quality care.


Nursing home reform advocates pushing their case on Capitol Hill

Our efforts are ceaseless. When we led the campaign to eliminate use of restraints in nursing homes we did not rest when they were determined to be illegal. We immediately picked up and began the battle to end use of “chemical restraints” such as inappropriate and dangerous anti-psychotic medications.

Fighting for quality care takes many forms. A key priority is our advocacy for higher staffing standards to ensure that enough nurses and enough personal care time is provided to each consumer so that quality care can occur. Consumer Voice is the organization that has fostered the campaign for 4.1 hours of direct nursing care for each resident each day, roughly double the average amount of direct nursing care presently provided.


Achieving adequate staffing is a critical goal for Consumer Voice

An entirely new focus for Consumer Voice is on the ever growing demand for assisted living and the realities of home care where many people want to “age in place.”  Yet, these settings are either largely unregulated or not transparent in terms of the conditions that consumers are forced to endure. The Consumer Voice Leadership Council and Governing Board are both working on new approaches to these growing problems, including work with the National Ombudsman Resource Center, to identify new and effective means to achieve quality care in these settings.

Finally, a growing part of our work involves a focus on elder justice. We are reaching out to criminal justice personnel at all levels of government so that incidents of abuse, neglect, exploitation, injury and poor care can be adjudicated – and with the intent of setting a standard for high quality care.


What your contributions can do

The purpose of the 40th Anniversary Campaign is to raise $125,000 and $40,000 in new funding to provide a solid foundation to finance Consumer Voice advocacy for quality care.  By new funding, we mean amounts that are above and beyond funds received in a normal year.  Our campaign has begun with our Governing Board which has already doubled its giving over 2014. Now we are reaching out to friends and past supporters, people we know who recognize the importance of an ever-vigilant and aggressive approach to advocating on behalf of all people who depend on quality long-term care.

Financing advocacy for long-term care is no small matter. There is literally no other national organization dedicated year-round to preserving the dignity, rights and well-being of all long-term care consumers – and certainly none with the commitment and record of Consumer Voice. We have not only a dedicated staff, but also thousands of activists and volunteers as well as our 30-member Leadership Council and our Governing Board. We are focused full-time on long-term care.


Consumer Voice Leadership Board President and consumer Brian Capshaw  discusses his experience living in a nursing home during the White House Conference on Aging (WHCoA) listening session during the 2014 Consumer Voice Annual Conference seated with Kathy Greenlee, Administrator of the Administration for Community Living (ACL)/ Assistant Secretary for Aging (middle) and Nora Super, Executive Director of the WHCoA (right).

But today financing is key to effectiveness. We cannot just "talk the talk" but if we wish to continue to advocate for consumers, we must “walk the walk.”  Your contribution and your commitment make it possible for Consumer Voice to be the voice and the advocate for all long-term care consumers, people who are dependent, often weakened and need someone to help them speak up or to speak for them.

We are seeking important investments to help advance our work.  Here is what donations made at different amounts can do:

  • $25, 000: Underwrite 6 months of advocacy for a key issue (e.g., antipsychotics)
  • $20,000: Underwrite a day of our annual advocacy and policy conference
  • $15,000: Underwrite 3 months of the staffing campaign
  • $10,000: Underwrite a plenary session at the annual conference
  • $7,500: Sponsor a state-by-state analysis of weaknesses in laws governing assisted living
  • $5,000: Underwrite scholarships for LTC consumers to attend the conference
  • $2,500: Underwrite our weekly e-newsletter The Voice for 2 months
  • $1,500: Underwrite a consumer or advocacy webinar
  • $1,000: Underwrite two Action Alerts to the Consumer Voice advocacy network

Note that any contribution of $1,000 or more can be made as a pledge with half payable by September 1, 2015 and the balance due by June 1, 2016.  Contributions can also be made as gifts of stock or securities (see Q&A below).


Recognition

Each donor will be recognized according to their wishes.  Donors wishing to remain anonymous can do so.  Other donors can opt to have their name displayed during the annual conference in Washington, DC; as a part of the conference program book; and shown on our website.


Q&A


Consumer Voice provides resources on long-term care information to residents, family members, caregivers, and advocates.

What is the purpose of this campaign? Contribute financially to the ability of Consumer Voice to

  • Continue to be the “voice of long-term consumers” at a time when critical policy issues will be made
  • Address critical long-term care issues
  • Transition to new funding patterns

Specifically, what will these funds be used for?

Fund Consumer Voice public policy and advocacy initiatives targeting key priorities:

  • Advancing the “4.1” campaign whose objective is to require nursing homes to have sufficient staff so that every resident receives 4.1 hours of direct nursing care per day vs. the current average of 2.1
  • Initiatives to address policies governing assisted living where, as a result of fragmented state regulation, conditions today for many consumers are as bad as nursing homes in 1975
  • Ensure that new or revised regulations protect the rights achieved for residents in the 1987 Nursing Home Reform Law, that regulations are enforced nationwide, and that more aggressive measures are implemented to end inappropriate use of antipsychotic medications

How does Consumer Voice make decisions about how its funds are used?

Consumer Voice has dual governance bodies.  First, we have an effective national Leadership Council composed of volunteers who are grass roots activists, ombudsmen, consumers and experts. They are a group of 30 that meet quarterly and in committees throughout the year. They work with staff to develop a policy agenda that prioritizes our advocacy work.

The second group is our national board of directors composed of a maximum of 13 members. It is a strong group of knowledgeable leaders from all walks of life who are in reality a new generation ready to help Consumer Voice tackle the long-term care issues we face.  They are focused on strategies that will make the organization as effective and efficient as possible and also a sustainable organization that can address long-term care challenges for many years ahead.  Current Board President, Michael Koenig is himself the son of a well-known long-term care ombudsman, Jackie Koenig. Michael serves to honor and to help to continue her leadership and work.

 
Consumer Voice Director of Public Policy & Advocacy Robyn Grant speaking at a recent Hill briefing on the need for
Round-the-Clock Registered Nurse Coverage in Nursing Homes

Does Consumer Voice have a strong future?

Consumer Voice has been in operation since 1975 and in many respects has never been stronger. Since 1994, Consumer Voice has been the recipient of a federal grant from the Administration on Aging to support the National Ombudsman Resource Center..  For our public policy and advocacy program, we continue to raise funds through grants, contracts and most importantly individual contributions.  Our annual conference, memberships and sales also contribute to our funding. We have a new executive director who has a history in long-term care and patient advocacy and a lot of experience in fundraising. Along with capable senior staff members and the efforts of our board members, we feel confident that we are establishing a sustainable future.

If I give a gift, can I make sure it is used for advocacy and not overhead?

Yes, you can dedicate 100% of your contribution to our Public Policy and Advocacy program, which we feel is the area most needing donor support.  We would be delighted to do that.

I feel that I can only give $___. I wish I could give more.

That is wonderful and we thank you so much. Every contribution to Consumer Voice helps. We have said that any pledge of $1,000 or more can be made in two payments as long as the first is made by September 1, 2015 and the second by June 1, 2016; that would spread payment over two tax years.  Another thing you might wish to consider is that Consumer Voice is able to accept gifts of stock. By giving stocks that have gone up in value, you may save by not having to pay capital gains tax and by getting a charitable gift deduction for the entire amount of your contribution. Finally, for larger contributions, we can set up an automatic payment plan, which makes the monthly amount reasonable.

How will my contribution be recognized?

We would like to recognize your gift in a way that you are comfortable with. We plan on having a campaign display at our annual conference that will recognize all of our major contributors and we will also recognize our contributors in the conference program book. Finally, we will display our contributors on our Consumer Voice website.

Who can I speak with about making a contribution to Consumer Voice?

To start, please call Richard Gelula, executive director, at (202) 332-7255 x209 or send him a message by email at rgelula@theconsumervoice.org. If you would like to speak to board president, Michael Koenig, or another board member, Richard will be happy to put you in touch.


Contribute Today!

Please make a generous contribution now.