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Race 3.0: A Means to an End
The Foundation for Dental Laboratory Technology (FDLT) was established in late 2008 by the National Association of Dental Laboratories (NADL). Its first operational year was a year of development, outlining a development plan to brand the organization’s mission in the marketplace. The FDLT effectively has two key pathways to support the industry: formal dental laboratory education, and workforce development.
During the past 7 years, the industry has rallied around the Foundation. Like most charitable organizations, it lives and dies on the generosity of donations. A 501 (c)(3) tax-exempt organization, the FDLT has its own board of directors and operating budget.
The success of the FDLT in the early years and still today rests largely on the support of individual donors, including technicians, laboratories, and suppliers. More than 65% of budgeted revenues come from donors who have signed up for multiyear pledges. Donations are fully tax deductible.
Since 2014, the FDLT has hosted a special program fundraiser, the Race for the Future—a race within a race. The event brings together individuals from across the country to participate in a triathlon (sprint, Olympic, or relay options) or as a cheerleader/supporter.
The event has hit a nerve and has resonated with the industry. Revenue generated through sponsorship support and donations given in the name of individual racers has tripled in the first 3 years. The 2016 revenue was nearly double the budgeted amount, with a record number of sponsors and racers.
You may ask what this means to you and why it is important. The FDLT, through its planned giving allocations, is able to enhance the number and level of grants/scholarships that it can offer each year when revenues exceed budget targets.
Grant/scholarship opportunities exist for technicians at all skill levels and work settings.
In addition, an exciting deliverable this year is the launch of a new online learning library. For more information on the FDLT programs and services as well as to see a list of donors, visit dentallabfoundation.org.