Nonprofits to Support Autism Awareness Month
Autism Awareness Month takes place every year in April. The purpose of the campaign is to promote awareness and understanding of autism spectrum disorders (ASD).
The color associated with Autism Awareness Month is blue. Many buildings and landmarks around the world are illuminated in blue lights during the month to support the cause.
Autism Awareness Month provides an important opportunity to educate people about ASD and to dispel common myths and misconceptions about the disorder. It also helps to promote early intervention and treatment for individuals with ASD, which can greatly improve their quality of life.
Donate to these nonprofits for Autism Awareness Month:
Organization for Autism Research (OAR)
The Organization for Autism Research (OAR) is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. OAR was founded in 2001 by parents and grandparents of children with autism and is based in Arlington, Virginia.
OAR's mission is to apply research to the challenges of autism. OAR also seeks to disseminate information about autism and to advocate for the needs of individuals with ASD.
OAR offers several programs to support its mission:
- The OAR Scholarship Program awards scholarships to students with ASD who are pursuing post-secondary education.
- The Hire Autism initiative connects employers with job-seekers with ASD, providing support and resources for both parties.
- The Kit for Kids program provides free resources to educators and parents of children with ASD, including guides on behavior management, communication, and social skills.
- The Autism in the Military initiative provides support and resources for military families with children with ASD.
The organization is committed to improving the lives of individuals with ASD and their families through research, education, and advocacy.
The Autism Community in Action (TACA)
The Autism Community in Action (TACA) is a non-profit organization that educates, supports, and advocates for families affected by autism.
TACA offers a variety of programs and services:
- Parent Education and Support: This program provides information, resources, and support to parents of children with autism, including workshops, webinars, and one-on-one mentoring.
- Autism Journey Guides: These guides help families navigate the complex process of autism diagnosis and treatment, including tips on finding the right doctors and therapists, and how to obtain insurance coverage for treatment.
- Family Events: TACA organizes events and activities for families affected by autism, including picnics, bowling nights, and sensory-friendly movies.
- Medical Outreach: TACA works with healthcare providers to increase awareness and understanding of autism, and to promote best practices for diagnosis and treatment.
- Advocacy: TACA advocates for better services and treatment options for individuals with autism and their families, working with policymakers and other organizations to improve access to care.
TACA's ultimate goal is to help families affected by autism achieve the best possible outcomes for their loved ones.
Have Dreams is a nonprofit organization that provides programs and services for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families.
The organization's mission is to help individuals with autism achieve their full potential, by providing individualized programs and services that address their unique needs and strengths.
Some programs Have Dreams’ offers include:
- Life Skills Training: Have Dreams offers a comprehensive life skills training program that focuses on social, communication, and independent living skills. This program is designed to help individuals with ASD to achieve greater independence and to prepare them for adulthood.
- Vocational Training: Have Dreams offers vocational training and job placement services for individuals with ASD, providing them with the skills and support they need to succeed in the workplace.
- Family Support: Have Dreams provides support and resources to families of individuals with ASD, including workshops, counseling, and advocacy services.
- Recreational Programs: Have Dreams offers a variety of recreational programs and activities for individuals with ASD, including sports teams, arts and crafts, and music and dance programs.
Have Dreams is committed to helping individuals with autism to achieve their full potential. The organization provides them with the support and resources they need to succeed. Through its innovative programs and services, Have Dreams is helping to build a more inclusive and supportive community.
Autism Society of America (ASA)
The Autism Society of America (ASA) is a non-profit organization that advocates for individuals with autism spectrum disorder, as well as their families and caregivers.
Founded in 1965, ASA is one of the oldest and largest organizations dedicated to improving the lives of those affected by autism. The headquarters of ASA is located in Rockville, Maryland.
ASA's mission is to improve the lives of all affected by autism by promoting awareness, advocacy, and support.
Some ways in which ASA works towards this mission include:
- Advocacy: ASA works to advocate for policies and legislation that benefit individuals with ASD and their families, including increased funding for research, improved access to services, and more inclusive education and employment opportunities.
- Support: ASA provides various resources and support services to individuals with ASD and their families, including local support groups, educational materials, and an online community.
- Awareness: ASA aims to increase public awareness and understanding of autism through public education campaigns, media outreach, and community events.
- Research: ASA supports research efforts aimed at improving our understanding of autism and developing more effective treatments and therapies.
The Autism Society of America is a leading advocacy organization for individuals with ASD and their families, working to promote greater awareness, understanding, and support for this community.
The Asperger/Autism Network (AANE)
The Asperger/Autism Network (AANE) provides information, education, and support to individuals with Asperger syndrome (AS) and autism spectrum disorder, as well as their families and professionals.
Some of the programs and services offered by AANE:
- Workshops and Training: AANE offers workshops and training programs for individuals with AS and ASD. These programs cover a range of topics, from social skills and communication to employment and transition planning.
- Peer Support: AANE provides opportunities for individuals with AS and ASD to connect with others who share similar experiences.
- Coaching and Mentoring: AANE offers coaching and mentoring services to individuals with AS and ASD. The organization provides them with personalized support and guidance to help them achieve their goals.
- Information and Resources: AANE provides a wide range of information and resources to individuals with AS and ASD. These resources include educational materials, online forums, and referrals to other services and organizations.
AANE is committed to improving the lives of individuals with AS and ASD, by providing them with the support, information, and resources they need to thrive. Through their innovative programs and services, AANE is helping to build a more inclusive and supportive community for individuals with AS and ASD and their families.
Autism National Committee (AUTCOM)
The Autism National Committee (AUTCOM) is a nonprofit organization that advocates for the rights and interests of individuals with autism spectrum disorder, as well as their families and caregivers.
AUTCOM's mission is to promote the rights and interests of individuals with autism through advocacy, education, and support.
Ways in which AUTCOM works towards this mission include:
- Advocacy: AUTCOM advocates for policies and legislation that benefit individuals with ASD and their families, including increased funding for research, improved access to services, and more inclusive education and employment opportunities. AUTCOM also advocates for the rights of individuals with ASD, including their right to self-determination and their right to participate fully in their communities.
- Education: AUTCOM provides a wide range of educational resources and materials to individuals with ASD, as well as their families and professionals. These resources include publications, webinars, and conferences, covering a range of topics related to autism advocacy and self-advocacy.
- Support: AUTCOM provides a supportive community for individuals with ASD, as well as their families and allies. This includes local support groups, online forums, and a network of advocates and allies who can offer guidance and support.
AUTCOM is dedicated to promoting the rights and interests of individuals with ASD and ensuring that their voices are heard and their needs are met.
Autism Speaks is a non-profit organization that advocates for individuals with autism spectrum disorder and their families. Founded in 2005 by Bob and Suzanne Wright, grandparents of a child with autism, Autism Speaks is one of the largest autism advocacy organizations in the world, with offices in North America, Europe, and Asia.
The mission of Autism Speaks is to promote solutions, across the spectrum and throughout the lifespan, for the needs of individuals with autism and their families.
Some of the ways in which Autism Speaks works towards this mission include:
- Autism Speaks advocates for policies and legislation that benefit individuals with ASD and their families, including increased funding for research, improved access to services, and more inclusive education and employment opportunities.
- Autism Speaks supports research efforts aimed at improving our understanding of autism and developing more effective treatments and therapies. The organization has funded a number of important research studies, including the Autism Genome Project, which helped to identify genetic markers associated with ASD.
- Autism Speaks provides a variety of resources and support services to individuals with ASD and their families, including an autism response team that can provide information and referrals, a 24/7 support line, and a website with educational materials and resources.
- Autism Speaks aims to increase public awareness and understanding of autism through public education campaigns, media outreach, and community events.
The Autism Science Foundation
The Autism Science Foundation (ASF) is a non-profit organization that supports and funds autism research. ASF was founded in 2009 by a group of parents, scientists, and other advocates, with the goal of promoting innovative research and improving our understanding of autism spectrum disorder.
The mission of the Autism Science Foundation is to support autism research by:
- Funding research grants: ASF provides funding for innovative research projects aimed at improving our understanding of autism, developing new treatments and therapies, and addressing the needs of individuals with ASD and their families.
- Promoting collaboration: ASF works to foster collaboration among researchers and stakeholders, bringing together scientists, clinicians, individuals with ASD, and their families to share knowledge and expertise.
- Supporting education and outreach: ASF provides educational resources and outreach programs to increase awareness and understanding of autism, as well as to promote acceptance and inclusion of individuals with ASD.
- Advocating for policies and legislation that benefit individuals with ASD and their families: ASF advocates for policies and legislation that increase funding for autism research, improve access to services, and promote the inclusion and acceptance of individuals with ASD.
The Autism Science Foundation is committed to promoting high-quality research that can make a real difference in the lives of individuals with ASD and their families. Through its funding, advocacy, and outreach efforts, ASF is helping to build a more comprehensive and evidence-based understanding of autism and supporting the development of effective treatments and therapies for individuals with ASD.
Art of Autism
The Art of Autism is a non-profit organization that promotes the creative abilities of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Founded in 2011 by Debra Muzikar, a mother of a son with autism, The Art of Autism provides a platform for individuals with ASD to showcase their artwork, share their stories, and connect with others in the autism community.
The mission of The Art of Autism is to:
- Promote the talents and abilities of individuals with ASD: The Art of Autism believes that individuals with ASD have unique talents and perspectives, and seek to showcase their artistic skills and creativity through various platforms.
- Increase awareness and understanding of autism: Through its exhibits, publications, and events, The Art of Autism seeks to raise awareness and understanding of autism, and promote acceptance and inclusion of individuals with ASD.
- Provide opportunities for individuals with ASD to connect and share: The Art of Autism provides a supportive community for individuals with ASD, where they can connect with others, share their experiences, and find inspiration and encouragement.
Some of the ways in which The Art of Autism works toward its mission
- Art exhibits and events: The Art of Autism showcases the artwork of individuals with ASD through exhibits, events, and online galleries. These exhibits provide a platform for individuals with ASD to showcase their talent and creativity and help to raise awareness and understanding of autism.
- Publications: The Art of Autism publishes books, magazines, and other materials featuring the artwork and stories of individuals with ASD. These publications provide a unique perspective on autism and help to promote greater acceptance and understanding of individuals with ASD.
- Workshops and programs: The Art of Autism offers a variety of workshops and programs for individuals with ASD, as well as their families and caregivers. These programs provide opportunities for creative expression, as well as social connection and support.
The Art of Autism is a unique and inspiring organization that celebrates the creativity and talent of individuals with ASD, while also promoting greater awareness and understanding of autism. Through its exhibits, publications, and programs, The Art of Autism is helping to build a more inclusive and accepting world for individuals with ASD.
NEXT for Autism
NEXT for Autism is a non-profit organization that works to improve the lives of individuals with autism spectrum disorder. Founded in 2003 as the New York Collaborates for Autism, the organization was renamed NEXT for Autism in 2018 to reflect its national focus.
The mission of NEXT for Autism is to create and support innovative programs that improve the lives of individuals with ASD and their families.
NEXT for Autism focuses on four key areas:
- Innovative programs and services: NEXT for Autism partners with leading organizations and experts to develop and support innovative programs and services that help individuals with ASD and their families. These programs cover a wide range of needs, including education, employment, housing, healthcare, and more.
- Research and development: NEXT for Autism supports research and development efforts aimed at improving our understanding of autism and developing new treatments and therapies for individuals with ASD.
- Advocacy and public awareness: NEXT for Autism advocates for policies and legislation that improve the lives of individuals with ASD and their families. The organization also works to increase public awareness and understanding of autism through public events, media outreach, and other initiatives.
- Collaboration and partnership: NEXT for Autism believes in the power of collaboration and partnership to achieve its mission. The organization works with a wide range of stakeholders, including individuals with ASD, families, advocates, researchers, and service providers, to develop and implement effective programs and services.
Some of the programs and initiatives supported by NEXT for Autism include:
- The Center for Autism and the Developing Brain: A state-of-the-art clinical and research facility in New York City that provides comprehensive care and support for individuals with ASD and their families.
- The Autism Job Club: A program that helps individuals with ASD find and maintain employment through job coaching, skills training, and other support services.
- The Spectrum Support Program: A program that provides support and resources for families of children with ASD, including educational workshops, peer support groups, and advocacy services.
NEXT for Autism is a dynamic and forward-thinking organization that is making a real difference in the lives of individuals with ASD and their families. Through its innovative programs, research, advocacy, and partnership efforts, NEXT for Autism is helping to create a brighter future for individuals with ASD.
Groundswell is a donation platform powered by DAFs, giving employers and their employees the power to make an impact in their local community. Learn more about Groundswell.io.
Unlocking Philanthropy: A Ready-to-Use Corporate Giving Policy for Modern Businesses
Sample Corporate Giving Policy You Can Use Today
In today’s socially conscious environment, more companies than ever are recognizing the value of corporate philanthropy. Not only can a robust giving policy boost a brand’s image and reputation, but it can also play a pivotal role in community development and global betterment. If your company is considering the establishment of a formal corporate giving policy or refining its existing strategy, this sample policy might be the perfect starting point for you.
Pillars of a Strong Corporate Giving Policy
Corporate giving programs range from employer donation matching programs to full blown corporate social responsibility programs with grantmaking and volunteerism. Many companies find somewhere in the middle that aligns with their size, budget, geographic presence and most importantly company values and commitment to diversity and inclusion. But what truly makes a corporate giving policy stand out? Let’s delve into the key features, from donation matching to the strategic use of platforms like Groundswell.
1. Donation Matching: Doubling the Impact
One of the most effective tools in a giving policy is donation matching. This is where companies match employee donations to eligible non-profits, effectively doubling the contribution. Such programs not only amplify the impact but also motivate employees to participate, knowing their chosen cause will receive twice the support.
2. Charitable Stipends: Encouraging Employee Choice
Charitable stipends are allowances given to employees to donate to a non-profit of their choice. This not only encourages a culture of giving but also empowers employees to support causes they’re passionate about. The stipends can be a fixed amount annually or can vary based on the employee’s role or tenure.
3. Dollars for Doers: Volunteering Translated to Contributions
“Dollars for Doers” programs convert volunteer hours into monetary donations. When employees volunteer their time for a cause, the company makes a donation equivalent to the hours spent. This fosters a culture of hands-on involvement and ensures that both time and money are being donated to valuable initiatives.
4. Corporate Grants: Sowing Seeds for Bigger Change
Beyond individual employee contributions, companies can set aside a dedicated fund for corporate grants. These grants can be given to non-profits, research initiatives, or community projects that align with the company’s CSR objectives. Such grants can lead to substantial, long-term changes and foster strong partnerships with community leaders and organizations.
Why Choose Groundswell for Your Giving Initiatives?
Incorporating these elements into a giving policy requires streamlined management, transparency, and ease of execution. This is where platforms like Groundswell come into the picture.
Groundswell offers an efficient and affordable solution for companies aiming to elevate their philanthropic endeavors. Here’s why it’s the ideal choice:
- User-Friendly Interface: Groundswell’s platform is designed for both companies and employees, ensuring smooth navigation and straightforward donation processes.
- Versatility: Whether it’s donation matching, handling charitable stipends, or managing corporate grants, Groundswell offers solutions tailored to each company’s unique needs.
- Cost-Effective: Groundswell provides a comprehensive suite of tools at competitive prices, ensuring that more of your money goes towards the cause rather than platform fees.
- Transparency: Track donations, monitor employee involvement, and generate detailed reports to measure the impact—all in one place.
An effective corporate giving policy is a blend of structure, employee engagement, and impactful contributions. By incorporating elements like donation matching, charitable stipends, “Dollars for Doers,” and corporate grants, businesses can create a ripple effect of positive change. And with platforms like Groundswell, executing these initiatives becomes not just feasible but also highly efficient and cost-effective.
5 Tips to Boost Engagement & Impact on Giving Tuesday
Leverage GivingTuesday to boost generosity
Every November, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving is known as GivingTuesday, which often serves as the unofficial start of end-of-year giving campaigns. This comes on the heels of holiday shopping deals on Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday. It is a worldwide phenomenon, inspiring millions to lean into the end-of-year holiday spirit with generosity and compassion. For many charities, GivingTuesday has become their biggest day for donations – and can help resource their ability to have an even greater impact in the year ahead.
For companies, GivingTuesday and the end-of-year giving season offers an opportunity to double down on their commitment to social responsibility, strengthen relationships with employees, and boost their impact in the community and broader world.
At Groundswell, we partner with companies all across the country to design and launch GivingTuesday campaigns – leveraging our easy-to-use platform that makes it easy for employees to participate and send donations to the causes and charities that they care most about. Below are some best practices to boost engagement and inspire generosity during the giving season.
1. Make Giving Easy:
A lot of giving platforms out there make it incredibly hard to donate. Some don’t have all 1.5 million IRS-approved charities listed. Others require employees to navigate through a web of intranet or sharepoint sites to find the giving program landing page. And others require that HR is notified of any donations an employee wants to make. At Groundswell – we are committed to removing all of the friction, and ensuring that employees can find charities easily, through a platform that is accessible from the palm of their hand, so they can give whenever they want to.
2. Launch a GivingTuesday Match Campaign:
Through Groundswell you can customize and launch a special GivingTuesday match campaign in a matter of minutes. Simply pick the nonprofits to include in the special campaign, select the start and end-date for the campaign, and then determine the match – 2x, 3x – along with any overall budget limits, then you’re done!
3. Boost engagement by involving ERGs:
Share nonprofit recommendations from Employee Resource Groups to provide inspiration around causes and nonprofits that matter to your employees. You can feature these nonprofits on dedicated ERG Corporate Spotlights and Campaigns that will be visible to all employees on their Groundswell dashboard.
4. Surprise (and Delight) Employees With A Gift to Give:
Consider sending a surprise “gift to give” to reward those already participating in your giving program (and to incentivize others to enroll). These gifts might be used to further maximize impact through the existing campaign, or to donate to other nonprofits your employees care about. Groundswell’s custom gift feature allows companies to easily schedule and send gifts with little to no administrative burden.
5. Level up with Volunteer Matching:
Groundswell’s Volunteer Matching program – sometimes known as Dollars for Doers – recognizes that some employees may not have funds to contribute, but have time – and rewards them in the same way. It’s an inclusive approach that invites everyone to participate in GivingTuesday, even those who may not be able to donate their own funds.
12 Employee Benefits Survey Questions Modern Companies Should Ask
In today's business environment, having the right and highest performing talent is more critical than ever. With benefits packages playing a vital role in these decisions, how can companies truly gauge their effectiveness? By initiating regular employee benefits surveys.
Scroll down for a free survey template below.
Let's dive in to the importance of asking the following questions.
Is our workforce satisfied with the current employee benefits package?
Gaining insights from "how satisfied are you with our company’s benefits package?" can offer companies a quick pulse on the effectiveness of their benefits. A dip in satisfaction might signal a need for re-evaluation, especially if you're looking to maximize your budget.
How comprehensive are the employee benefits we offer?
Do employees feel that the organization covers a wide range of their needs? Asking, "do you feel our benefits package is comprehensive in its offering?" can shed light on any potential gaps in coverage.
Are we showing true commitment to Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion through our benefits?
Are the company's efforts in promoting DE&I resonating? This can be gauged by asking if the benefits genuinely support diversity and inclusion. If they aren't, here's an opportunity to collect ideas directly from your employees.
Read more about how to make sure your giving program is equitable and inclusive.
Do our benefits reflect our company culture and values?
The question, "do you feel our benefits package supports our cultural values?" will highlight any potential discrepancies in practicing what you're preaching.
Are we catering to the needs of a remote or multi-location workforce?
With remote work on the rise, is the company adapting its benefits accordingly? It's essential to find out if employees feel supported, regardless of their work setting.
Would employees recommend the company based on our benefits?
This is an easy one to skip, but it's a great question to ask. See how influential your benefits package is for employee referrals. Determining if employees would advocate for the company based on its benefits can be a key metric for recruitment.
How do specific benefit categories fare?
By querying satisfaction levels across various benefits – physical health, social impact, mental health, financial health, and fringe benefits – can companies discern which areas are thriving and which need enhancement?
What additional benefits do employees desire?
Is there a particular benefit that could make a difference in employee satisfaction and retention? Discovering this can be as straightforward as asking, "if you could choose one benefit not currently offered, what would it be?"
If your workforce desires a more meaningful benefit, see why decentralizing your corporate philanthropy strategy can achieve greater impact at scale.
How often should I send an employee survey about our benefits?
While every business has their own set of unique needs, conducing a quarterly employee survey at minimum can help you get a pulse check.
There will be some natural and unplanned peaks in valleys throughout the year that can drastically affect employee morale and company culture. By proactively seeking feedback through surveys, companies can foster a culture of continuous improvement, ensuring they remain at the forefront of employee satisfaction.
What are some affordable benefit options we can provide employees?
Corporate matching or giving programs can be a low-cost addition to your benefit offering that supports your employees’ unique passions and perspectives through charitable giving and boosts your company’s commitment to social impact. Groundswell offers a comprehensive solution with a simple implementation and nearly zero administration burden.
- How satisfied are you with our company’s benefits package?
- Do you feel our benefits package is comprehensive in its offering?
- Do you feel our benefits package supports our cultural values?
- Do you feel our benefits package supports our commitment to Diversity & Inclusion?
- Do you feel our benefits package supports our remote or multi-location workforce?
- How likely are you to recommend applying based on our benefits package?
- How satisfied are you with our physical health benefits (i.e. health care, sick leave, etc)?
- How satisfied are you with our social impact benefits (i.e. corporate matching, volunteering, etc)?
- How satisfied are you with our mental health benefits (i.e. vacation time, EAP, etc)?
- How satisfied are you with our financial health benefits? (i.e. retirement, student loan assistance, etc)
- How satisfied are you with our fringe benefits and perks? (i.e. fitness subsidies, stipends, etc)
- If you could choose one benefit not currently offered, what would it be?