The holidays are quickly approaching and for many of us, the question of “how can I help?” tends to come to mind quite often. Is your association offering opportunities to give back to local charities, the community, or your members?
Multiview connected with Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) and Parthenon Management Group (PMG) to take a look inside their philanthropic efforts. Based on what we learned, we’re here to say that having the community and giving spirit should be year-round.
“I believe any organization that exists has a social responsibility to be good neighbors and good citizens,” Jonathan Webb, MPH, MBA, CEO of AWHONN said.
PMG highlights all their employees’ causes on their websites to showcase the value in that person and their charity of choice.
We have something called ‘Give Back Day’ at our company where we allow our team to pick a charity on any day and give back to the community. We highlight them throughout our social channels to show our associations and members that we’re working in the community and are truly passionate about what our employees’ passions are.
- Sarah Timm, CAE, CMP-HC, President, and CEO of PMG
The amount of giving back has consistently been growing, too. In 2021, there was a 4% increase of giving than in 2020. Now, not every association is in the position to launch such large volunteer or donation initiatives. Giving back doesn’t have to mean donating an enormous amount of money, either. You can start small.
AWHONN hosts a 5k every year as part of their Every Women, Every Baby initiative, which generates funds from participants.
"One hundred percent of generated funds from the event goes into other projects – none of it goes back into the association. For example, a portion of the funds have been used to help support members, education, research scholarships, general research, and more,” Webb said.
Giving back to the members, education and more, are ultimately creating more buzz for your association. AWHONN, for example, uses the research scholarships and grants for their own journals. So the donation is a 360 approach – donation to member(s), research completed, published in journals for the industry.
“We’re amplifying the industry that we serve," Webb said. "Nurses are always on the front lines and have been for quite some time. However, now more than ever we rely on them to be there to meet the needs of their patients and families. As an organization, we are doing our best to support them and the partners or organizations that are important to them. In addition to their traditional work shift commitments, we want to invest in additional areas they’re passionate about. One of the things that gives them life is to do more for others. AWHONN can support that.”
Other ways to start small are connecting with local food pantries, by doing a canned food drive, or by doing a toy drive over the holidays. No matter what you choose, you’ll generate great team-building activities internally all while making an impact in the community.
"One of things that our company is doing with our clients is encouraging everyone to have their meetings 100% carbon neutral by 2025,” Timm said. “By doing so, we are calculating the carbon footprint per attendee of an event, which gives that client the opportunity to give back whatever donation is collected to several vetted charities, one of which is Charity Water, a clean water organization and a reforestation project.”
PMG’s employees are passionate about green initiatives, so the company participates as much as they can including recycling, composting, and more. This is a great way to make a positive impact and stay within a budget. This green initiative has been embedded within the company for so long that they feel that it’s their duty to carry out this responsibility within their association clients’ meetings.
Tackle it a little differently on the meetings side, and take a piece from AWHONN’s playbook, where they take a portion of their conference registration fees and use it to give back to the local communities that their meetings are held in.
"During the annual conference, we do land acknowledgements to the indigenous people and the land that we’re operating on. This year  we donated funds to the Denver Indian Health Service who works with the indigenous community that resided in – Aurora, CO – the space we held our conference in,” Webb said. “We plan to continue this each year moving forward.”
AWHONN has a plethora of organizations that they support throughout the year. In fact, though it fluctuates, they strive to raise $100,000-$125,000 to give back to the community. The association even has two organizations written into their budget, as it’s been a continuous trend of giving year over year.
Having your association give back to the community isn’t something that will happen overnight. It takes time and energy to really determine what aligns best with your association and its mission.
For management companies, “find individuals within your company who have a passion for giving back and empower them to put together a ‘Give Back Day’ of some sort,” Timm said. “Allow your staff to use time during their workday, too, as it will build higher morale and impact for your company.”
As an association, your approach might be a little different as not every association may be in the position to give monetary donations because there’s a difficulty even bringing them into your association.
It’s important to be as good as you can globally and as social citizens. You need to determine what initiative aligns best with your mission and the industry you serve. From there, you can plan accordingly and see what will resonate best with your membership. You’ll have to make sure the motivation is there, so you can channel it for the better.
- Jonathan Webb, MPH, MBA, CEO of AWHONN
No matter where your association is at in this “giving back” aspect, there’s no time like the present to begin to plan. There’s no right or wrong answer, either. Start small, involve your members, and grow from there.
To learn more about Multiview's recent philanthropic efforts, click here.
To learn more about Parthenon Management Group’s philanthropic work, please reach out to Sarah Timm, President, and CEO of PMG at email@example.com.
To learn more about AWHONN’s philanthropic work, please reach out to Shannon Doolin, AWHONN Senior Director, Marketing & Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Association of Women's Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) is a nonprofit membership organization whose mission is to improve and promote the health of women and newborns and to strengthen the nursing profession through the delivery of superior advocacy, research, education and other professional and clinical resources to nurses and other health care professionals. Their mission is to empower and support nurses caring for women, newborns, and their families through research, education, and advocacy.
ABOUT PARTHENON MANAGEMENT GROUP:
We are Solutionaries. We offer strategic guidance that goes far beyond keeping an association's doors open. Solutionaries bring creative solutions with a vision for the future. They set organizations apart both to their members and their field. The pandemic has shown us that the ability to be agile out-of-the-box-thinkers and implementers is the key to growth. Our team is continuously scanning the environments of our clients so that we can offer expertise to guide the organizations through day-to-day needs and difficulties. First, we partner with association leadership to refine the strategic plan. Then, we relieve the volunteer member leadership of administrative burdens so they can devote their time to focusing on strategic thinking. We then facilitate the work of the society's committees, who will perform most of the work necessary to achieve those goals.