By Rheba Howard
“Tis the season” one hears people say. “Tis the season” for what, you ask? “Tis the season” for gifts, love, shopping, wrapping presents, great food, giving thanks, and tacky Christmas sweater parties; more importantly “tis the season” of giving. FFA members use this time of year to give back to their community through food drives, caroling parties and other events. There are also many people who give to the National FFA Organization throughout the year. They volunteer at the national convention and expo as judges, speakers or workshop presenters. They evaluate proficiency and scholarship applications. Some volunteer their time throughout the year serving on one of the organization’s leadership boards. Seventy-five individuals serve on these leadership boards and help direct the work of the organization.
The National FFA Foundation is pleased to say that 100 percent of FFA board members have made or have committed to making personal financial contributions to show their support and are not required to do so. This shows that our board members believe in what they do for FFA. These 75 people sit on one of four different boards. The first of the boards is the National FFA Foundation Board of Trustees, which is the governance body overseeing fundraising and donation policy. The National FFA Board of Directors is the governing body for the National FFA Organization and determines policies that drive the work of the student organization. Both of these boards are comprised of agricultural education leaders, student representatives, and representatives from business and industry. The National FFA Foundation Individual Giving Council is composed of nine FFA supporters who work to bolster donations from individuals. The National FFA Foundation Sponsors’ Board is composed of 35 individuals from our corporate sponsor companies who develop relationships within agriculture and help FFA acquire new sponsorships to support the organization. Not only do they give their time, but all 75 made a personal gift to FFA.
Why is this so exciting? According to the 2007 Nonprofit Governance Index, only 46 percent of charities have 100 percent of board member giving. Sixty-eight percent of nonprofits require their board members to give to the organization. When looking at the trends, we are part of a select group who have full board participation and united giving. We are lucky to have so many wonderful people who serve on our board and who care about the future of agriculture and young people.
Yes, “Tis the season” to be jolly but also to give thanks. As Paul Williams wrote, “… every night will end and every day will start, with a grateful prayer and a thankful heart.” To our board members we say thank you for your support and continued drive of securing the future for our members. Thank you to everyone and may your holiday season be full of giving.