Giving Season 2018
Written by AST Secretary, Richard Formica
This year, two leading charity evaluators, Charity Navigator and GuideStar, awarded AST with their highest rating. This designation assures donors that the Society is operating with the transparency, commitment to accountability, and fiscal responsibility that is required of top-tier charitable organizations. It also reassures our supporters that their donation is used for the purpose it was intended.
In 2018, the AST launched several new initiatives across different areas of the organization. Some highlights include:
- New Educational Resources:
- New Member Resources: The AST added its 16th Community of Practice, the Advanced Practice Providers COP (AAP COP) this year. This new COP represents nurse practitioners and physician assistants who practice in the transplant community.
- Patient Engagement: The AST took its Power2Save initiative to the Transplant Games of America in Salt Lake City, UT. We provided educational seminars and expanded the Power2Save footprint to the thousands in attendance.
- Research Grants: The AST awarded over a half million dollars in research grants in 2018. Additionally, the Society sponsored 11 pre-doctoral medical students for a research internship.
- Advocacy: For the first time, transplant recipients joined the AST’s leadership on Capitol Hill, where they offered their critical personal perspectives to our legislators on the Dialysis PATIENTS Demonstration Act and Living Donor Protection Act.
Did you know that member dues account for less than 25% of AST’s funding?
Every AST program is important to our Society but comes at an expense. All AST members pay annual dues, and many may assume that dues cover the organization’s expenses. However, in 2017, membership dues accounted for just 23% of the AST’s income.
Other notable sources of incomes are acquired from meetings, research contributions (sponsorships and individual contributions), and general contributions.
In 2017, just 7% of AST members made a donation to the Society.
Last year, we had a record number of member donations due to the popularity of the COP Donation Derby. However, just 7% of members made a donation, which increased from 3% in 2016.
Despite the rise in member donations, expenses from our many initiatives continue to increase. The AST is a very financially healthy organization, however, many of our other sources of external revenue have remained flat while our expenses have been continuously on the rise.
The Donation Derby
The AST’s leadership does not overlook the incredible work that our COPs do. However, funding for projects is limited. The COP giving contest, the Donation Derby, was designed in 2017 to help COPs achieve their goals, while supporting core AST programs.
The COP Donation Derby benefits all participating COPs. Each COP receives 50% of the funds they raise during the Derby. For the first time in 2018, COPs with 10% participation or higher will receive 75% of the funds.
This contest tracks the progress of COP giving on a weekly basis. There will be two additional $1,000 winners this year: the COP that raises the most money and the COP with the highest percentage of participating members. Last year, the winners of the contest were the Liver and Intestinal COP (LICOP) and the Transplant Pharmacy COP (Tx Pharm).
LICOP used their winnings for a mentoring program for trainees interested in liver transplantation, as well as several face-to-face networking opportunities.
Tx Pharm plans to use their funds for an additional ATC travel grant and a future AST consensus conference.
This is an exciting time to contribute to the AST. Not only are you supporting the program of your choice, but your donation also directly benefits your COP(s).