Earlier last month, AST was recognized by Charity Navigator with a 4-star rating for the society's philanthropic efforts. Achieving this designation lets our supporters and others within the transplant community know that AST continues to strive to be a good steward of its financial resources.
Continue reading to learn more about how you can contribute to the good work of the AST from Dr. Richard Formica of Yale University, this month's guest author on the blog.
This year the AST, your society, achieved an important milestone; we were recognized by Charity Navigator, America’s largest independent charity evaluator, with the highly coveted 4-star rating. This achievement represents the concerted effort of society members like you and the AST leadership to redefine the society as a world-class philanthropic organization. This designation assures donors that the society is operating with the transparency, commitment to accountability, and fiscal responsibility that is required of great, charitable organizations. It also tells benefactors that their generosity is used for what it was intended.
The society stands on four pillars:
- Education and service to its membership;
- Promoting and fostering research to better the lives of patients with solid organ transplants;
- Publically advocating for legislation and policies to help patients with organ failure and their families; and
- Optimizing organ donation by removing barriers to donation.
AST strives to be a good steward of its financial resources. In the past year, the following programs and initiatives have been funded through the responsible use of our endowment, development work, membership dues, and philanthropy:
- Supported the education of 146 fellows by providing travel grants to the AST Fellows Symposium,
- Allocated $1.3 Million in funding to support transplant research,
- Partnered with a major insurer on a new program for living donors that will reimburse non-medical expenses,
- Supported new legislation focused on living donor protections and medication coverage,
- Launched new COP initiatives in the form of webinars, focused websites, and consensus conferences.
While many medical societies focus on professional development and advocating for their membership, the AST has always devoted much of its human and financial capital to improving the lives of transplant patients. You all are the embodiment of this mission through the work you do in your lives and in the communities of practice in which you participate. In striving to and achieving a 4-star rating from Charity Navigator, the AST is now a philanthropic society worthy of its membership.
As the giving season approaches, I want to personally ask you to consider the AST in your charitable giving. For many years, the AST has enjoyed yearly participation by the full board of directors and management team in the annual giving campaign. This year the goal is to try for full participation from the entire membership.
Enhanced COP Challenge
Realizing that the strength and vitality of the AST come from its membership and their good work through the COPs, this year the board of directors has modified the COP challenge. As it was last year, the COP that has the highest percentage of its membership participating in giving will receive an additional $2000 to use towards its mission. However, in addition, this year all COPs will keep 50% of the money raised from their members to use on COP specific projects and initiatives. You, the members, are what make the AST special, and the AST leadership are committed to finding more ways to channel your energy and creativity to enhance our society’s mission.
Please help us make a difference for transplantation. Donate now.
Richard N. Formica Jr., MD, is a Professor of Medicine & Surgery and Director of Transplant Medicine at Yale University