Association foundations face an array of common challenges. Organizations may struggle to articulate the different roles of the foundation and the association, or to communicate the basic charitable giving proposition (will giving advance the profession? Benefit society? Both?). Even those organizations with a clear sense of self may have trouble identifying specific funding opportunities that members find meaningful and compelling.
Every foundation is required to have its own board of directors; issues frequently arise as the volunteer and staff leaders from both groups work out roles and responsibilities. Are foundation boards included at the strategic planning table? Is there a shared awareness that all volunteer leaders must donate before the rank and file can be expected to? Does the foundation have bandwidth in the association’s member communications, and guaranteed access to the contact lists needed for solicitation? On any of these issues, association fundraising can misfire.