Prevue November/December 2015 - (Page 18)
Community Outreach at ASAE
Community-based CSR initiatives create monumental impact
ASAE attendees join forces with Stray Rescue St. Louis
hen the American Society of Association Executives
seeks out nonprofits for its CSR efforts, it doesn't pick the
big guys. Instead, it looks for those charities "that might
be underappreciated and are more community-based," says John
Graham, CAE, president and CEO.
For its recent Annual Meeting & Exposition in Detroit in August,
that meant working with Alternative For Girls, an organization whose
goal is to provide resources and opportunities to homeless and
at-risk young women. "It offers them things that your typical middleclass child might get at home-but they are not," says Graham.
ASAE found the charity through the recommendation of the
Detroit Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau, as it does for each
annual convention. "We want to give back to the city in an area
that the DMO views to be an important need." Volunteers made
bookmarks, read to the girls and created hygiene kits. In all, the
organization raised $35,000 in donations.
Each year, ASAE holds two activity days, usually on the
Saturday morning and afternoon before an event and on the final
day, a Tuesday afternoon, between the closing general session and
the evening event.
Graham estimates that about 10 percent of attendees
participate, "but for those people who do, it is incredibly
meaningful." He sees that percentage growing as the younger
generation joins the ranks of associations.
"If you look at the demographics going forward, you see
that the Millennials want to make a difference. They're looking for
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authenticity and they want to get involved in efforts like this."
While Graham refers to ASAE's efforts as modest, they have
made a huge impact in each community where the association
meets. Last year in Nashville, ASAE raised $23,554 for the Second
Harvest Food Bank, resulting in 103,780 meals for the community.
Volunteers prepared, sorted and packed food that was then
distributed through the food bank's programs, including BackPacks,
which helps kids who don't have access to food during weekends
and school breaks. A similar program in Dallas in 2012 benefitted
North Texas Food Bank and raised $61,442, far exceeding ASAE's
goal of $50,000. Other programs through the years have had
attendees volunteering at L.A.'s Midnight Mission soup kitchen and
clearing walking trails around Atlanta with Hands On Atlanta.
One nonprofit that still has people talking was Stray Rescue St.
Louis. Participants went on-site, where they gave the dogs baths
and groomed them. Some furry friends even made an appearance
at the convention. Graham couldn't confirm if any pets were
adopted that day, but the love was palpable. "In many respects,
what we do might be considered modest," he says,
doubt it's from the heart."
THE POWER OF ASSOCIATIONS
The American Society of Association Executives created "The
Power of A" to promote the creative, innovative charitable
contributions of its members in creating a stronger America. Each
year, its award program recognizes associations for programs
and activities "that have had a positive, measurable impact on the
economy and/or our collective quality of life."
One winner was the Million Dollar Roundtable's Million Meal
Challenge, its largest-ever volunteer event. Its goal was to package
and send one million rice-based meals to children and families
suffering from malnutrition in impoverished communities worldwide.
More than 2,300 MDRT members from around the world-China,
India, Japan, the U.S. and other countries-volunteered for a twohour food packing shift during the event-meeting the goal.
"Millennials want to make a
difference. They're looking for
authenticity and they want to get
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Prevue November/December 2015
Planner’s Pick: Salt Lake City
Bureau Buzz: Birmingham
Fresh Meets: Melia Hotels International
Good Business: Community Outreach at ASAE
Sea Shores: Crystal Cruises
Ode to Inspiration
ASIA & THE PACIFIC
On Location: South Korea
On Location: Istanbul
On Location: Panama
On Location: Scottsdale
Checkout: Kalahari Resort & Convention Center
Prevue November/December 2015