NOFAS opens the New Year with ambitions goals while also understanding the challenges ahead. From a practical standpoint, the overwhelming priority for 2018 is to secure increased funding. Only with greater resources will NOFAS meet its key aims to do more for individuals and families, expand its networks and partnerships, reduce stigma, promote addiction treatment, advocate for services and investment, and expand public health.
As the year begins, NOFAS is administering its information and referral clearinghouse and resource directory, engaging with its affiliates and planning the annual affiliate summit, editing the Weekly Roundup and leading social media sites, partnering on the upcoming release of practitioner-specific web-based training, monitoring and pitching the media and developing non-stigmatizing messages, promoting new research, leading an initiative with alcohol beverage control states, and launching a Native American Collaborative.
These programs and strategies are in full swing and all are at least partially funded for the year.
There are also many strategies and activities that are important to the NOFAS mission, yet have no funding, making the search for new grants and contributions paramount.
Vital programs that are unfunded include the Circle of Hope, education and training forums and seminars, legislative and policy advocacy, the NOFAS Justice Task Force, new messages and materials addressing all prenatal exposures known to harm fetal development, and interventions for individuals and families, among countless other worthwhile strategies on the NOFAS wish list.
Last year, NOFAS made the decision to direct its limited unrestricted resources towards a sophisticated grants development program. This program is now underway, and NOFAS is kicking off the year with outreach to an initial dozen fundraising targets. The plan is to build relationships with potential donors and submit proposals monthly with the expectation of having new resources for existing and dormant projects by year’s end, if not sooner. New resources are also critical for NOFAS to continue the evolution of its mission to address all harmful prenatal exposures–while maintaining its focus on alcohol and pregnancy and FASDs–and promoting healthy practices during pregnancy.
NOFAS in 2018 is poised to deliver innovative and effective programs with its current funding, reaching more people than ever before. The true measure of success for the year will be the growth of resources and how well NOFAS can make its mission a viable cause for a wider audience of public, private, and individual donors. If progress is made on this objective–and NOFAS is optimistic that it will be–serving more individuals and families and improving their outcomes will be the real achievement of the year.