How to Lead a Successful Spinoff
Stick to your organization's mission when expanding
Every association that launches a foundation does so with good intentions. Perhaps the idea is to serve charitable goals, such as providing scholarships or conducting public outreach.
But the process can be fraught with complications. People might confuse the mission and goals of the two groups; members of the association, often the target of the sister foundation’s fundraising efforts, might come to resent being dunned to open their wallets beyond their dues and event fees.
Jane Balek has seen those challenges firsthand, running foundations at the National Association for Music Education and the School Nutrition Association. Since 2018, she’s served as executive director at Think About Your Eyes (TAYE), a spinoff of the Vision Council that’s designed to encourage people to get eye exams. It’s been remarkably successful: Balek says the organization attributes 11 million eye exams since 2014 to its efforts, with 300,000 people searching its database of eye doctors so far this year.
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