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ACNL Success with Member Donations

Wednesday, July 24, 2019  
Posted by: Stephanie Mearns
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ACNL gives member-designated scholarship funds to nurses pursing an advanced degree, for program development, and to groom future Nurse Leaders attending the Foundation for Leadership Excellence and Executive Leadership Academy programs. ACNL had also given a small percentage of these funds to CNSA for scholarship distribution to students during the time that ACNL managed their organization. ACNL is committed to supporting and educating tomorrow’s leaders.

Prior to 2016, ACNL raised scholarship monies through the Scholarship Walk and opportunity drawings (AKA “raffle tickets”) at the annual ACNL Conference. I am sure some of you will recall some of the lovely trips and other great gifts that were offered as part of those opportunity drawings. Whatever money we raised at the Annual Conference was disbursed to scholarship recipients the next year. Tuition to the next year’s Annual Conference was included with each student scholarship if recipients planned to attend the Conference to receive their scholarship.

ACNL began the Circles of Giving campaign in 2016 after hiring a consultant to assist in moving from a “Mom and Pop” bake sale type of fundraising during each Annual Conference, to developing a philanthropic arm for ACNL. ACNL wanted to engage our members to give on an ongoing basis and to attract philanthropists to consider endowments for scholarships. Philanthropists tend to donate to organizations where members also donate for a given cause. The consultant helped ACNL with the campaign to kick off the Circles of Giving program, and more than $125,000 was raised in the first year. This provided a nice nest egg to be able to give scholarships and still have money in a market account that will continue to grow.

Having that nest egg allowed us to provide larger scholarships. In the past, we gave scholarships that ranged from $1,500 to $2,000. We also had the ongoing scholarship funding from Alpha Consulting and Catalyst Systems. We were able to provide $5,000 to $10,000 scholarships with our new Circles of Giving funding.

Here is an accounting of the use of scholarship donation dollars since the Circles of Giving Campaign began:

In 2017 ACNL used:

$11,500 for program development

$24,500 for scholarships


In 2018 ACNL used:

$14,171 for Executive Leadership Academy scholarships

$24,500 for scholarships


In 2019 ACNL used:

$22,500 for scholarships


Many of you received scholarships along your career path. You may recall what it meant to have that boost when you were struggling to juggle all the balls of school, work, and life. ACNL needs your help to ensure the scholarship funds are there for RNs who want to improve their skill set as future Nurse Leaders.

ACNL will continue to ask you to help fulfill someone’s dream to succeed. Every donation helps another nurse to succeed. However, only 4% of ACNL members donate to scholarships each year, and we want to increase that number to at least 50% so we can attract philanthropists to assist with endowments along with your ongoing help. Please consider donating. If every member of ACNL donated $10/month we would have almost $200,000 per year to be able to give more and larger scholarships.

Click here to donate now.

We all know that paying it forward is important for our profession. Please let us know what other information you need or if you need assistance with donating.

As the Co-chair of the Philanthropic, Recognition, and Scholarship Committee, I am your resource to answer any questions or to entertain your thoughts on how we can all make a difference. Do not hesitate to reach out to me at

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