By Roland A. Rhynus, CRA, FAHRA
It’s been good reading recent LINK articles by Sandy Edson and Joe Phillips, stating appreciation for everyone’s support of our own AHRA Education Foundation (EF) and the various contribution options available to each member. I wholeheartedly support their kind and genuine approach. But honestly, as a long time AHRA member (I’m calling it my heritage involvement) I’m somewhat embarrassed to have to ask this question: “why wouldn’t each of us support our own foundation?” We all know the significant and personal financial burden we would experience if the EF was not there as the backbone of our growth and development, right? Membership dues might go up and certainly all educational programs would have a significantly higher price point. Should you need some facts on this, take a quick look at AHRA’s cost benefit analysis in the member benefit section of the webpage, that outlines what the benefits of a modest investment (yes that’s the correct word here… investment) from all of us brings to the association, it’s worth your time, especially if you have not yet contributed, so please do grasp that picture.
No doubt I get it… every one of us are continually asked to support many, many good causes; seems like that occurs every day. And of course we’d like to help each one, but even the world’s billionaires must pick and choose. They seek the most benefit for their bucks just like we do (of course probably for them, “big bucks” would likely be the more appropriate term). We are aware that as Foundations go, growing is the key to providing more benefits; and one of the big ways to grow, is to engage the deeper pockets (aka, our many supportive industry partners). And the best way to get their attention and then their commitment is by being “above the rest,” and trust me, they see many requests for money. What do I mean by above the rest? Actually it’s quite simple. The benchmark number they want to see is: “what percent of AHRA members contribute to their own foundation?” You can imagine that when seeing 1%-2% participation, they take a pass, and with good reason. Why should they contribute to an association that has such low membership (aka personal) investment in their own foundation? When they see higher than average engagement, they too want to engage. The enthusiasm becomes contagious, and the EF grows.
Sometimes short can be sweet, so let me get to the point. OUR EF needs more members on the right side of the ledger, increasing our contribution percentage and demonstrating that we support and care. Participation is the takeaway here! The small cost of one of your favorite Starbucks beverages places you on that winning/growing side, so please… jump in and invest in your (our) future!
Emeritus member, Roland A. Rhynus, CRA, FAHRA, is a past AHRA President and Gold Award recipient. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.