1. Section Editor(s): Mock, Melinda S. RN, ONC, CLCP
  2. President & CEO

Article Content

The History

The NAON Foundation was established in 1994 at the direction of the NAON Executive Board. As NAON Treasurer at the time I recall the discussion: What is a Foundation? Why do we need a Foundation? What has to be done to establish a Foundation? In response to the questions, we learned a Foundation is a nongovernmental entity that is a corporation or charitable trust with a principal purpose of making grants to organizations, institutions, or individuals for scientific, educational, religious, or other charitable purposes. The keys to the discussion were two major components. Foundations derive their support from diverse sources that may include other foundations, individuals, and government agencies; it was pointed out in making their decision to provide their financial support is whether their funds have tax deductibility. The NAON Foundation would therefore be organized and operated as a Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Tax Code-why? The 501(c)(3) provisions are unique when compared to other tax exempt entities as it provides for the deduction for federal income tax purposes for charitable donations; most states allow for deductability for state income tax purposes. Thus, being able to provide a tax deduction would open the door for greater opportunities for funding sources to provide scholarships and grants for scientific and educational purposes for NAON members. After thoughtful consideration, the decision was made to proceed with the development of the Foundation. Bylaws were developed; a Board of Trustees was established (as required as a separate entity from NAON); application to the Internal Revenue Service for 501(c)(3) status was made; and Articles of Incorporation were filed with the State of New Jersey (NAON was headquartered in Pitman, NJ at the time). On June 8, 1994, the NAON Foundation was officially born by virtue of being designated a corporation as by the state of New Jersey!


Then and Now

Over the years, the NAON Foundation has undergone many changes. Initially, there were four members of NAON, one industry representative and the NAON President serving as an ex-officio member of the Board of Trustees. Today, we have ten trustees; six NAON members plus representatives from industry, finance, and an academic institution, as well as an ex-officio representative from the NAON Executive Board. Then management services were contracted to handle day-to-day functioning, such as correspondence, meeting arrangements, coordination of fundraising, and so forth. Now we are self-managed, thereby significantly reducing our overhead. Then, funding to attend Board of Trustee meetings was funded by the Foundation. Now, the Trustees' in-kind donations reduce the cost of the meetings. Then, communication was via paper. Now technology is used to communicate through our Web site and e-news, providing us with the ability to provide timely information. Our Web site is; we urge you to check it regularly for scholarship offerings and other opportunities related to the Foundation. Are you receiving our e-news? If not, go to our Web site to provide your e-mail address to receive our announcements. Then, donations could only be made by check or cash. Now, we have the capability of accepting your credit card donations. Then, when you made a donation it was a single transaction. Now, with your authorization we can automatically charge your credit card on a monthly or quarterly basis and you don't have to lift a finger! How about budgeting $83.34 a month resulting in an annual donation of $1000.00, or if that is not quite in the budget, then consider $10.00 a month for a total of $120.00 for the year. Think about it, $10.00 a month is about two Starbucks! Remember, all donations are tax-deductible. Then and now our mission is "to provide funding for grants and scholarships to advance orthopaedic nursing practice, research and leadership." Then, offerings were primarily based around NAON Congress scholarships. Now, opportunities have expanded to include academic scholarships, New/Experienced Investigator Research Grants, a Fellowship, and the recently introduced Chapter Scholarship sponsored by DJO Global. The Clara Donahoo Scholarship has been redesigned as the The Clara Donahoo Memorial Clinical Lectureship to address best practices, health policy, or research as a general session presentation at NAON's Annual Congress. The Past Presidents Leadership Scholarship was established by the NAON Past Presidents and administered by the Foundation to educate a NAON member who has demonstrated leadership in the specialty of orthopaedic nursing and has not served NAON in an elected position. In addition, there continues to be a focus on providing scholarships to attend NAON's Congress with the support of Stryker Orthopaedics and the Orthopaedic Nurses Certification Board. This past spring a new scholarship was introduced, The Vernon Clark Military Scholarship, which is privately funded to provide a scholarship to a member of the United States Military, active or reserve, to attend NAON Congress. Many other changes have occurred over the years to further strengthen the Foundation to better address our mission.


Will You Join The Celebration?

As the saying goes, "We've come a long way, baby!" since that 1994 decision to establish the NAON Foundation. There is a lot to celebrate. Let us celebrate the past while celebrating the potential for additional educational funding opportunities in the future by the NAON Foundation. Will you join the celebration by making a donation? Will you consider making a monthly $20.00 (or more) donation over the next 12 months ($20 monthly in 2014) for a total gift of $240? Will you reach out to colleagues, family, physicians, industry contacts, and others to tell them about the NAON Foundation and urge their financial support? Will your chapter consider a gift to the Foundation, perhaps to honor a colleague? A legacy gift is an excellent way of honoring the memory of a special person in one's life. As 2013 draws to a close, now is an excellent time to think about your needs for a tax deduction and/or planning your 2014 budget. Aesop reminds us, "It is thrifty to prepare today for the wants of tomorrow." Join the Celebration... celebrating 20 years while preparing for the future.


Our Vision: Promote excellence in musculoskeletal health by supporting orthopaedic nursing.


Our Core Values: Advocates of life-long learning, empowerment, and stewardship.