The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) is excited to announce a donation of $375,000 to DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS, creating the new Design Impacts Life Fund. The Fund will offer grants to nonprofits that provide services, education, and treatment to those affected by HIV/AIDS, with the potential to expand its reach to support others in need. This donation represents one of the largest single gifts ever to DIFFA.
The gift comes from the ASID Benevolent Fund, which was started in 1974 by ASID members to provide funds to those in need in the design community during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. ASID paused fundraising for the Benevolent Fund when DIFFA was launched as a larger design industry focused organization. This donation closes the chapter on the ASID Benevolent Fund and opens opportunity for DIFFA to increase its organizational impact and reach. The ASID Design Impacts Life Fund will be leveraged to create the greatest possible impact on those living with HIV/AIDS and the DIFFA organization. Thanks to the national reach of both ASID and DIFFA, potential grantees may apply from all over the country.
“ASID is passionate about positively impacting lives beyond the practice of design,” states Randy Fiser, Hon. FASID, ASID CEO. “This profession is made up of diverse individuals whose shared goal is to make the world better for its inhabitants. Our new Design Impacts Life Fund speaks to our mission: to touch lives thanks to the power of design. We’re thrilled to give back to such a worthy cause and can’t wait to see how together with DIFFA and the entire design community, we can make a difference in people’s lives.”
In addition to its grant support, the Design Impacts Life Fund will leverage the combined power of ASID and DIFFA to spur the industry to action. Through their various programs and partners, the two organizations will continue to broaden the scope of the fund to inspire support from the design world and maximize its effect on all communities in need.
“With the generous donation from ASID—a huge thanks!—and DIFFA’s strong network of design professionals behind it, the Design Impacts Life Fund has so much potential to help HIV/AIDS-affected communities,” says Cindy Allen, Interior Design magazine’s Editor-in-Chief and DIFFA’s Chair of the Board of Trustees. “DIFFA remains as committed as ever to helping those in need and galvanizing our community to push the boundaries of what is possible.”
Adds Dawn Roberson, DIFFA Executive Director, “We are thrilled to start the Design Impacts Life Fund with this most generous donation from ASID! These funds, combined with the continued generosity of the design community, will contribute significantly to DIFFA’s granting for years to come. We could not possibly be more grateful to partner with ASID in such a meaningful way.”
In the U.S., 80 percent of the interior design community is female, and Hispanic and Latin women are among the most affected by HIV/AIDS. The CDC estimates that roughly 1.2 million people in the United States are living with HIV – and nearly one in eight of those are not aware that they are infected. Increasing levels of intravenous drug use, linked to an epidemic of opioid misuse, are threatening the gains made on reducing HIV among people who use drugs. HIV-related stigma remains a huge barrier to preventing HIV and is linked to the low number of people who receive HIV testing, as well as poor adherence to treatment, particularly among young people.
Both ASID and DIFFA have a rich history of helping others. ASID provides monetary support through the ASID Foundation, which advances the profession and communicates the ability of interior design to enhance the human experience through research, scholarships, and education. In addition to its fundraising and volunteer events, DIFFA has granted more than $44 million to support nonprofit organizations across the country supporting HIV/AIDS.
The Design Impacts Life Fund was officially announced at the annual NYCxDesign Awards on Monday, May 20, 2019 at New York’s Pier 17. Both the Society and DIFFA will continue promotion of the fund through their various annual programs.