“Even if you don’t have a dollar to give, you still have your time, your focus, and your voice. Be generous.”
We can’t think of a better quote to frame up #GivingTuesday, a day where Americans embrace the charitable spirit of the holiday season and commit their resources, time, or money to organizations and individuals in need. Acts of kindness and goodwill are well-received any day of the year, but this is a particularly fitting time to share a list of 10 sterling national dental organizations that would be grateful for, and deserving of, your support. If you’re looking to give back to the industry you love, these are some excellent places to start!
1. Oral Health America (OHA)
Why should you care? Oral Health America is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization which was established in 1955. Their motto is “bringing healthy mouths to life,” and their mission is to change lives by connecting communities with resources to drive access to care, increase health literacy, and advocate for policies that improve oral health for all Americans – especially those most vulnerable. They provide education centered around self care, regular dental visits, tobacco avoidance, and healthy food choices. OHA invites you to get involved through a variety of avenues, including monetary donations, attending their annual gala & benefit, donating dental products, joining their Smiles Across America program, or even submitting your own idea for a collaboration. All of this information can be found in their website above.
2. American Association of Dental Office Management (AADOM)
Why should you care? This spirited group is dedicated to the empowerment and education of the dental office management community. They connect members with industry leaders as well as their peers, to help them stay connected to trends and innovations in the practice management space. From local chapter meetings to well-respected national events, there are endless opportunities to lend your expertise by speaking or teaching at an AADOM function. You can find out how to get in touch with your existing local chapter, or information on how to start your local chapter, on the website linked above. For a more in-depth look at partnering with AADOM, take a look at our blog post here!
3. America’s Dentists Care Foundation, Missions of Mercy (ADCFMOM)
Why should you care? The America’s Dentists Care Foundation facilitates the delivery of charitable oral health care to the underserved. Since 2003, Mission of Mercy events have helped more than 254,000 patients and provided $166 million in free oral health care. They are always looking to grow their network of concerned individuals and organizations that raise awareness and address the oral health needs of the underserved, and they invite you to participate by making a donation, volunteering at a Mission of Mercy event, or starting an event in your area. Information on how to move forward with any of these three opportunities can be found on their website above.
4. National Children’s Oral Health Foundation (NCOHF)
Why should you care? America’s ToothFairy: NCOHF was formed in 2006 as a collaborative effort of clinicians, academicians, corporate leaders, and caring individuals to provide an aggressive response to the children’s oral health crisis in the U.S. Since its inception, NCOHF has distributed more than $18 million in resources and programming to support children’s oral health programs. Whether you’re looking for an individual volunteer opportunity or a fun project for your colleagues to do together, there are lots of opportunities to help improve children’s oral health in your community. Ideas listed on their website above include making a monetary donation, holding a toothbrush drive or a smile drive event, and getting your practice involved by becoming “Smile Drive Superstars.” Information on how to take the next steps may be found using the link above.
5. Organization for Safety, Asepsis and Prevention (OSAP)
Why should you care? OSAP was founded as a non-profit organization in 1985, and is a growing community of clinicians, educators, researchers, and industry representatives who advocate for safe and infection-free delivery of oral healthcare. OSAP focuses on strategies to improve compliance with safe practices, and on building a strong network of recognized infection control experts. They are dedicated to making every dental visit the safest dental visit. To get involved, they invite you to become a member or to make a monetary donation – either a one-time gift, or an automatically renewed monthly contribution. Information on both options can be found using the web link above. For a more in-depth look at partnering with OSAP, check out our blog post here!
Why should you care? IgniteDDS is a community of students, new dentists, and seasoned professionals, aimed at providing members with the education, encouragement, and confidence to live their dental dreams and jump start their careers. They provide dental students with free access to guided videos, job opportunities, blogs, educational resources, and more. They invite you to volunteer your expertise by speaking at events, leading workshops, or writing for their website. They also have many corporate sponsorship opportunities available on any level. Visit their website above to get in touch!
7. Dental Lifeline Network
Why should you care? Dental Lifeline Network was founded in 1974. They are a nonprofit humanitarian organization and charitable affiliate of the American Dental Association, who provides access to comprehensive dental care for those who cannot afford it, those with disabilities, the elderly, and the medically fragile. Interested dentists and their teams can sign up to become providers of donated dental services, interested dental laboratories can sign up to donate services or materials, and any interested individual can make a monetary donation. Details on how to sign up or donate may be found using the link above. For photos and stories of real lives that were forever changed by the Dental Lifeline Network, take a look at this blog post!
Why should you care? The American Dental Partners Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization supported through generous contributions from individuals and organizations. They were founded 12 years ago, and strive to support the betterment of oral health care through education, disease prevention, and community patient care. In 2010, they expanded and started the Institute for Oral Health Improvement (IOHI) to enhance and advance oral health care in America through education, research, and the provision of quality dental care to underserved populations. They would be grateful for your monetary support, whether that’s as an individual, through their corporate partnership options, or by funding a scholarship. More information can be found on their website listed above.
9. Give Back a Smile
Why should you care? The Give Back a Smile program is a charitable foundation of the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. They assist in rebuilding the smiles and lives of adults who’ve suffered dental injuries from domestic and sexual violence, at no cost to survivors. They are committed to raising awareness, providing volunteer services, and giving survivors hope for a better tomorrow. Since its inception in 1999, over 900 dental treatment cases have been completed. There are a host of ways to get involved with this organization, including becoming a volunteer, planning a whitening fundraiser, participating in their virtual “Race for Smiles,” and making a monetary donation. Volunteer forms and additional information can be found on their website above.
10. Patterson Foundation
Why should you care? The Patterson Foundation is a private grantmaking foundation that provides grant funding to non-profit organizations working to expand healthcare to those most in need. The Foundation focuses its grants on human services and education programs related to oral health and animal health. Many of the programs it supports assist disadvantaged individuals and those with special needs. Theystrive to provide resources to programs and non-profit organizations that make a distinct contribution to enhance quality of life, and create social and economic value in communities. You can apply for a grant at any time through the foundation website above. You can also support the foundation’s work with a monetary gift. Gifts of any size are welcome and acknowledged with gratitude!
This list is by no means exhaustive, but all of these organizations have wonderful and important missions, and operate with compassion and integrity. Which of these groups do you feel compelled to reach out to? Which organization that isn’t on this list do you support? Please let us know in the comments below!