While tax deductions can be part of the equation, to transcend mere membership and join the ranks of member-donors, members must perceive that their foundation support achieves something that their dues do not. In general, association members respond to appeals for programs that they believe will enhance their credentials, advance the profession or identify and prepare the next generation of talent. They may give out of gratitude for the profession’s role in their own quality of life, for the joy of collaborating with likeminded colleagues to better society, or to leave a personal legacy. The last is especially powerful as Boomers – who may have benefited from decades of membership – face retirement and begin to reflect on opportunities to express their feelings of gratitude and to influence the next generation of professionals.
As with all nonprofits, there may be as many giving motivations as there are donors; the art comes in showing member-donors how they can fulfill their professional and emotional needs and express their values by supporting your organization’s programs.