One common lament among the many naturopathic medicine organizations is that there are never enough resources to do all that we want. Exacerbating that is that we all have so many things to do that it’s hard to make time to look for those needed resources.
To address this important issue, the AANP last year moved to bolster the profession’s ability to raise funds for important priorities. AANP agreed to assume responsibility for the Institute for Natural Medicine. The INM is a nonprofit organization that was established in the 1990’s to raise awareness of naturopathic medicine. Under the outstanding leadership of INM Board Chair Michelle Simon, ND, our goal is to turn the INM into an active fundraising arm that can support worthwhile initiatives that advance naturopathic medicine, both at AANP and elsewhere. The INM has established three overarching goals:
Access –Ensure that every patient who wishes to be seen by a licensed naturopathic physician is able to do so
Education –Increase public awareness of naturopathic medicine and boost the number of patients seeking the services of a naturopathic physician
Research –Support research initiatives that assess the overall impact on health of whole-person care along with research that addresses naturopathic medicine approaches to many of the most serious health problems facing Americans
One of the first tasks the INM is undertaking is developing a consumer-oriented web site. The web site will provide information about naturopathic medicine approaches to a wide variety of health conditions, and it will aim to drive prospective patients to naturopathic physicians. The INM has contracted with a web developer and the site is expected to be ready for launch late this spring.
The INM is a 501(c)(3) organization under the Internal Revenue Code. That means contributions to the INM are tax-deductible. To take advantage of that, the INM recently hired a director of development who has over twenty years of fundraising experience. Initial fundraising efforts will likely focus on identifying grateful patients who would like to support naturopathic medicine.
There are several ways you can become involved in the INM. We’ll soon be issuing a call for volunteers to help provide content, such as blogs or videos, for the INM consumer web site. The INM is also seeking potential Board members and members of its Council of Advisors. If you would like to assist in the INM’s fundraising efforts, please do not hesitate to contact either Michelle Simon
Raising funds for the profession will require a lot of hard work and persistence, but the goals are important and well worth the effort.