'Tis the Season to Make a Charitable Donation to AMHCA's Foundation
As the weather takes on the chill of late autumn and the calendar year winds down, many of us are in the habit of making end-of-the-year donations to worthy charities and organizations.
The American Mental Health Counselors Foundation (AMHCF) would welcome your end-of-the-year contribution, as it does all year long. Donations to the Foundation help support the Foundation’s operation and activities, and demonstrate to grant-making agencies the level of AMHCA members’ support.
Many AMHCA members may not realize how AMHCA’s Foundation benefits members, and why it was formed, says former AMHCA President Gail Adams, LPC, LMFT, CCMHC. Adams explained the difference between professional associations and foundations in an article she wrote for The Advocate in January 2008.
Foundations Exist to Promote the Welfare of Others
She points out in the article that “A professional association exists to promote the interests of a profession. Advocating for the profession of mental health counseling has been the focus of [AMHCA] for more than 30 years. This focus includes a strong legislative advocacy component. Licensing is necessary for any profession, and many other issues are decided at the legislative level.”
Another important role AMHCA plays is advocating for mental health counselors with insurance and managed-care companies. “AMHCA has been the force behind the advancement of the profession of mental health counseling,” Adams wrote.
The purpose and activities of the Foundation—AMHCF—are distinct from those of AMHCA. “A foundation exists to promote the welfare of others,” she explains. The mental health of all Americans is the welfare that the AMHCF exists to promote.
“This is reflected in the parts of our mission statement that focus on Research into mental health issues, Education of the public about mental health problems, promoting the highest standard of Practice of the profession, and Service to our fellow man.
“The Foundation seeks to be the REPS to the public about mental health,” she wrote.
Associations and Foundations Are Financed Differently
Associations are primarily supported by membership dues. Foundations are supported by donations and grants.
The dues you pay to join AMHCA do not support AMHCF. Your contributions to the AMHCA Foundation are vital to the Foundation mission, but also to our goal of demonstrating that we have the support of the association membership so that we can seek grants from other funding sources.
The Foundation’s mission is unique in the world of charitable giving, Adams notes. The Foundation mission is “To improve the mental health of all Americans through public education about mental health issues, mental health research, access to mental health services and promoting high standards for mental health practitioners.”
As the year comes to an end, please consider a financial commitment to the work of the Foundation. Making an end-of-the-year, tax-deductible donation to the Foundation will enable the board to move forward on accomplishing its goals for 2012.
You can make your donations by writing a check payable to “AMHCA Foundation” and mailing it to: AMHCA Foundation, c/o Wachovia Bank, Box 758717, Baltimore, MD 21276. Or call the Foundation office at: 1-800/326–2642, ext. 104.