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Franchising Gives Back Seeks Award Nominees, Partners

IFA members are invited to nominate their charitable initiatives and community support for the first Franchising Gives Back Annual Awards Program.

By John Reynolds, CFE



During the International Franchise Association’s Annual Convention, after months of planning and preparation, the IFA Educational Foundation unveiled Franchising Gives Back. There are many ways that franchise businesses not only do a great job of serving their customers, but also serving their communities. Franchisors, franchisees and suppliers, large and small, devote countless hours of volunteer time and billions of dollars annually to support local charities and other organizations, from Little League baseball teams to homeless shelters and marches to find a cure for cancer. Thanks to the generous support of our founding sponsor, Roark Capital Group, Franchising Gives Back will put the spotlight on some of the most innovative and impactful charitable and community support programs.

We launched our first Franchising Gives Back Annual Awards Program to celebrate the stories of how IFA members have established themselves as true leaders through their commitment to giving back to their communities. The awards will salute the best, most innovative community leaders and charitable programs, as well as the collective impact of these efforts.

Nominate Your Brand Today

Now through May, members can visit to nominate their organization’s program(s) for one or more awards, including:

  • Spirit of Franchising Award. Recognizes an IFA member whose charitable or community support program embodies the spirit of what it means to be a part of the franchise industry by giving back to his or her local community.
  • The Newcomer Award. Highlights a new charitable or community support program launched within the past year 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 its local community along the way.
  • Innovation and Impact Award. Recognizes an IFA member whose charitable or community support program focused on using creative, innovative ways to maximize the benefits and impact on its community with limited resources.

Winners will be honored at a special event during the Public Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C., Sept. 28-Oct. 1. Our public relations partner, Fish Consulting, will launch a nationwide public relations campaign to garner media coverage about the awards program and this year’s recipients.

Building Our National Registry

Since the launch of Franchising Gives Back and the awards program, members have visited to help build our National Registry by creating profiles for their brands and companies, and provide information about their community support programs. Members also post their press releases, blog posts and news about upcoming events.

Become a Franchising Gives Back Partner

Visit to learn how you and your company can become a Franchising Gives Back Partner.

Brands such as Massage Envy Spa, for instance, told us it raised more than $1 million in a single day during its fourth annual Healing Hands for Arthritis event benefitting the Arthritis Foundation. Tropical Smoothie Café restaurants across the country contributed $640,000 to its national partner, Camp Sunshine, during its annual National Flip Flop Day. Others, like Great Clips, introduced a new, ongoing initiative in 2014 where locations in the United States and Canada provide complimentary haircuts to customers facing hair loss due to cancer treatments through its Clips of Kindness program.

Stories like these will help us grow Franchising Gives Back in 2015 and beyond — and we have big plans. In 2016, the IFA Educational Foundation will publish its first Franchising Gives Back Annual Report highlighting the industry’s contributions. Additionally, we will develop a Franchising Gives Back Guide featuring best practices for IFA members who want to develop their community support and charitable activities.

Looking ahead, we are developing a Franchising Gives Back Partner program for companies, organizations that and individuals who want to sponsor and support the Annual Awards program, the National Registry and other activities. For more information, contact me by email at

I encourage you to visit to share your story and help us make Franchising Gives Back a huge success in its inaugural year. Franchise businesses give back in countless ways each day, bringing people together in service to others and building strong communities. We want to shine a light on these exemplary leaders who are giving back and inspiring their peers to do the same.

John Reynolds, CFE, is president of the International Franchise Association Educational Foundation.  Find him at



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