The International Franchise Association's Franchise Education & Research Foundation announced it is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Franchising Gives Back Annual Awards. In partnership with Roark Capital Group, the third annual awards program salutes the best, most innovative community leaders and charitable programs nationwide. Winners will be honored at an awards celebration and dinner on Sept. 11 during the IFA's Franchise Action Network Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C.
"Over the last three years, Franchising Gives Back Award honorees have donated millions of dollars and thousands of volunteer hours to help communities across the United States," says Steve Romaniello, CFE, managing director, Roark Capital Group. "When we consider the number of franchise businesses nationwide—more than 733,000—we realize the incredible impact franchising has and how much we as an industry contribute. Franchising Gives Back is just the tip of the iceberg."
Now through June 12, current IFA members and/or any of their affiliated organizations are invited to the website and nominate their company's charitable activities performed between January and December 2016. Winners will be selected in five categories:
Spirit of Franchising Award—honors an IFA member whose charitable or community support program embodies the spirit of what it means to be a part of the franchising industry by giving back to his or her local community.
The Newcomer Award—highlights a new charitable or community support program launched that has made a significant impact on a local community.
Enduring Impact Award—honors an IFA member with a longstanding commitment to his or her community that has been executing an outstanding charitable or community support program(s) for at least five consecutive years.
Support Our Veterans Award—recognizes an IFA member whose charitable or community support program has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help those men and women who have served in the U.S. military and their families, and positively impacted their local community along the way.
Innovation and Impact Award—honors an IFA member whose charitable or community support program focused on using creative, innovative ways to maximize the benefits and impact on their community with limited resources.
Last year, the IFA Franchise Education & Research Foundation recognized five Gold Winners, including: Edible Arrangements (Edible Cares), Auntie Anne's (Alex's Lemonade Stand Foundation), Ampex Brands (Snowball Express), Benetrends Financial (The Little Rock Foundation for the Blind), and AAMCO Transmissions, Inc. (Wheels of Freedom Project).
Eleven additional Silver Award Winners were recognized, including: Citrin Cooperman (Citrin Cooperman Cares), Express Employment Professionals (Brand it Blue Day), Dunkin' Brands franchisee Ron Portnoy (Dunkin Donuts & Baskin-Robbins Community Foundation), Rainbow International of Columbia franchisee Reed Mattingly (Rainbow International Charity Golf Classic), Arby's (Share Our Strength / No Kid Hungry), Marriott International (Wounded Warriors Family Support), Sports Clips (Ageless Aviation Dreams Foundation), Newk's Eatery (Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance via Newk's Cares), Painting with a Twist (Painting with a Purpose), Wienerschnitzel (Skate For Change—Hot Dogs for Change), and Pinot's Palette (St. Jude Children's Research Hospital).
"The Franchising Gives Back Awards continue to grow each year and we're constantly inspired by the stories shared by franchisors, franchisees, and supplier partners," says John Reynolds, CFE, president of the Franchise Education & Research Foundation. "We encourage all IFA members to get involved in Franchising Gives Back, whether it's by nominating their charitable program for an award or contributing to our national registry by sharing their story online."
Last October, the IFA Franchise Education & Research Foundation launched a national registry to profile franchise businesses and their charitable activities nationwide. To date, the registry features profiles for 250 IFA members showcasing the efforts of nearly 226,000 volunteers who have donated more than $120.7 million and 1.7 million hours to non-profit organizations throughout the country.
Franchising Gives Back depends on donations to the Franchise Education & Research Foundation.