Membership Hack: Give Back at Annual Meetings

During its annual meeting, the American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives partners with a local charity in the host city. Funds raised not only help support a worthy cause, but the effort also offers opportunities for attendees to engage and interact with one another.

How to hack it? Last year, as part of its annual meeting in Orlando, the American Alliance of Orthopaedic Executives (AAOE) raised more than $32,000 for a central Florida nonprofit called Give Kids the World Village, which provides cost-free vacations to critically ill children and their families.

Much of that money came from a successful T-shirt sale, where members purchased and wore shirts in solidarity with the nonprofit. That effort turned viral with members posting photos of their shirts on Twitter:

Why does it work? The charitable giving campaign was an opportunity for AAOE to engage with attendees before, during, and after the meeting. Messages about the nonprofit and effort were emailed prior to the meeting, and a final tally on funds raised was sent afterward.

T-shirt sales also helped build a sense of member camaraderie on the show floor. “Once attendees saw how many people wore them, others scrambled to donate and buy shirts before they sold out,” wrote Alyssa Gibson and Ashley Uhl, CAE (ASAE member log-in required).

What’s the bonus? The effort also served as an opportunity for AAOE members to promote the nonprofit and its worthy cause in daily interactions. From social posts to email signatures and event badges, members were encouraged to post and share their support for Give Kids the World Village.

(VectorStory/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Tim Ebner

By Tim Ebner

Tim Ebner is a senior editor for Associations Now. He covers membership, leadership, and governance issues. Email him with story ideas or news tips. MORE

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