StarChapter of August: AWAF

Automotive Women's Alliance Foundation (AWAF) is a non-profit dedicated to the advancement of women in the automotive industry. They raise funds to award academic scholarships for women seeking to enter or advance their automotive careers – 139 recipients for a total of $344,500 to date! We were able to connect with AWAF’s Marketing Co-Chair, Patricia Price, to talk about developing new programs to add member value to AWAF.


What was AWAF’s strategy for engaging new members in the past year?   

Between the various board members and existing members, we all contribute to engaging new members and make them feel welcome. We do that through inviting them to join a committee, ensure we connect with them specifically at events to welcome them, get to know them, introduce them to others, allow them to volunteer to help at specific events, etc.  In the past, we’ve had “buddy” programs where board members are assigned new members to help in their assimilation into AWAF. We also strive to add new and engaging programs such as our mentorship, coaching, and professional development, which make it valuable for our members to become and stay members. 

Tell us about a successful event/meeting you organized last year.   

Last year marked our 21st year hosting the Swinging “Fore” Scholarships golf outing, and it was a year to remember! AWAF awarded another record?breaking number of scholarships, Awarding $35,000 in scholarships to 14 deserving recipients. This event is our biggest yearly event and includes great networking, renowned executive luncheon auction and fishbowl auction, too.  We are really looking forward to this year’s event as we approach $350,000 awarded to deserving women in automotive since 2001 and as we embark on 22 years of hopefully another record breaking event hosted at Forest Lake Country Club.

The AWAF network is extensive. Does the board get ideas on how to improve membership value from other foundations?   

We collaborate with other similar non-profit organizations through in-kind partnerships. We certainly learn a lot from each other in ways to better add value to our members. We help one another create awareness and consistently help make introductions to industry leaders who participate as speakers at events. 

Do you have any tips/advice to share with other board volunteers? 

In addition to continuous online engagement with members, board volunteers can play an integral role in engaging new members offline.  Face-to-face focus groups or one-on-one interviews will provide answers to questions that you really want to know: Why did you become a member?  Are we meeting your needs?  Will you renew your membership?    Have you recommended membership to any friends or family?  Why or why not?  What else can we be doing?

What is in store for your members this year? 

We have our 22nd annual Swinging “Fore” Scholarships golf outing right around the corner on August 21stat Forest Lake Country Club. We also have a couple of other annual events coming up later in the year. These include Pumps and Power at Sundance Shoes, and our Year End Holiday event at the Birmingham Country Club. These events are great for our members to mingle with each other, and non-members to see what AWAF is all about. We also started our Mentorship and Coaching programs that are designed to build and embrace your personal and professional brand. We would love for anyone interested in learning more about AWAF to join us at one of our events as we help create and sustain a diverse automotive industry, optimized by empowered women.

How have been able to utilize StarChapter to run AWAF and reach its goals? 

Our goal in switching to a new website platform with StarChapter was to more effectively communicate our vision and mission to scholarship applicants, past scholarship recipients, sponsors, potential sponsors, members, and potential members. We have received numerous compliments from users of the new website stating that it's overall easier to use, easier for scholarship applicants to apply, etc... 

StarChapter of August: AWAF

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