Investing in Infrastructure

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Guest post from Tom Vance of PFund Foundation. Read more of Tom's Tips on PFund's blog.

When I was getting ready for work early Wednesday morning, I ran my shower for a minute to warm up the water before climbing in. When it came time to get in the shower, I noticed water all over my bathroom floor. I hadn’t seen it yet because I was standing on the rug. AHH! I shut off the water immediately and began to trace the problem.

Trying to be thorough, I thought I should head downstairs just to double-check – and there it was, water all over my basement, too! I am not a plumber, but I found a way to stop the water … for now.

It’s frustrating when things don’t work the way I expect them to. But I can’t give up and let my basement and bathroom continue to flood. I feel a sense of responsibility to improve my infrastructure and make it better – for myself and for the next owner.

When I don’t know what to do, I like to do research, and reach out to an expert. I’ll get a trusted professional to assess my home’s plumbing and whatever they tell me, I’m likely going to trust and pay for them to fix it.

This story is all to say, that when you’re feeling flooded by political data, news stories and soundbites that are tough to digest, you can turn to PFund Foundation to help!

I have been researching the current state of the LGBTQI community’s infrastructure lately and thinking about what will happen if and when federal funds for HIV/AIDS organizations get slashed because the Affordable Care Act or Ryan White Act are gutted or repealed. Most HIV/AIDS service groups are funded (90 percent or more) through these core programs. The life-saving work these groups do require robust infrastructure; it costs millions of dollars in Minnesota alone to ensure that the prevention, testing, housing, nutrition and treatment needs are met.

In some spiritual communities tithing is practiced – earmarking 10 percent of your income to your spiritual home. The practice of tithing is often an effective way of supporting a community you love in a grassroots way.

Financial support for LGBTQI people and issues has been lackluster since the years when the marriage equality fight was at its peak. Individuals have an amazing opportunity to intentionally invest in the people, projects and communities they care deeply about.

It is through consistent investment like a tithing or scheduling monthly contributions that protects, stabilizes and grows our community’s infrastructure. PFund Foundation was founded 30 years ago during the height of the AIDS crisis. For that reason, we have always been particularly attuned to the imperative of addressing the financial needs of those most vulnerable in our community. Working toward giving 10 percent or more of your income takes time, intention and planning. I’m not there, yet. But, I’m well on my way – making incremental increases in my monthly giving.

I invite you to join me.

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