CHICAGO — SITE Foundation’s fundraising events generated almost half a million dollars earmarked for research and education, it was announced Nov. 7.
SITE’s three annual events — SITE Classic, SITE Nite Europe and SITE Nite North America — provide the majority of the Foundation’s funding. SITE Nite North America, one of the most popular events of IMEX America week, sold out with more than 1,200 people in attendance. For a second year, the Foundation hosted Auction 2.0 where the public was invited to bid on 75 unique travel experiences – more than 4,500 people visited the online site raising more than $110,000.
“On behalf of the Foundation Trustees, I would like to thank all of our sponsors and guests for their generous support of our fundraising initiatives this year. We are thrilled with the exceptional results achieved, surpassing our goals and raising more than $425,000 for future investments for our members and the incentive travel industry. For 2017, our successful fundraising has created the largest volume of grant approval in the Foundation’s history,” stated Foundation president, Denise Dornfeld, CIS, chairperson, AlliedPRA.
This year the Foundation invested in an extensive job analysis study to develop competency-based curriculum specifically for incentive travel professionals, forming a foundation for SITE’s current, as well as future, training and certification programs. For 2017, the trustees have approved a $150,000 grant for development of new education and certification for members, including an online learning management centre and a mid-level certification program, specifically designed for manager- and director-level incentive professionals.
The Foundation is also investing $280,000 in new research for 2017. Early next year Participants’ Viewpoint India will be released, a continuation of the popular U.S. and U.K. studies that probe participants’ beliefs about incentive travel programs and their effectiveness. Plans are also underway for similar studies in China and Mexico. Additional research includes a study of the European Incentive Market, as well as the annual SITE Index, in partnership with J.D. Power.