By Barbara O'Hare, Endowment Committee Chair
The Endowment Committee is responsible for the distribution of funds for our current endowment programs, for developing new initiatives to address AAPOR interests, and for raising funds to support these efforts. The Roper Fellows awards and the Sudman student paper award have many successful years of recognizing AAPOR members at the early stages of their careers. Both of these funds are sustained primarily through the generous gifts of beneficiaries in memory of Bud Roper and Seymour Sudman. The Heritage Fund, currently ably led by Mike Mokrzycki, was established a few years ago to direct funds to preserve the legacy of AAPOR through electronically archiving our documents and interviewing key AAPOR leaders, including past and current presidents.
The current endowment committee is committed to expanding the funding of students to help them become more involved in AAPOR – an ongoing interest of a number of members. This year we established the Student Travel Awards to fund eight graduate students with $500 gifts to attend the annual conference. The committee is pursuing suggestions from the business meeting to look for ways to expand the financial support of students, and will report back to the membership.
With AAPOR financially strong, you may wonder why fundraising for endowment funds is important. Endowment funds are directed toward initiatives outside the operating budget of the growing AAPOR organization. The successes of the Roper, Sudman, and Heritage funds are good examples of donations at work. While large donations can fund a new initiative, we want to broaden our base of givers, and encourage gifts at all levels. We hope this will develop a shared commitment to supporting our members and expanding the benefits of our collegial organization.
If you have any questions or are interested in volunteering to work with the Endowment Committee, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for your support!