Donors Share Reasons for Supporting NASW Foundation

May 18, 2023

By Paul R. Pace

Richard P. Barth, PhD, MSWAs someone who ran a large organization when he was dean at the University of Maryland School of Social Work, Richard P. Barth, PhD, MSW, says he knows the need for unanticipated expenditures that may not be very large but are timely and important.

“Discretionary funding to support leadership can help make an organization run more smoothly and have a greater scale of accomplishment,” Barth says of one of the reasons he donates to the NASW Foundation.

In fact, he has donated to several NASW Foundation funds, including the NASW Social Work Pioneers® program, Memorial and Tribute Fund, Annual Fund, and Social Work Public Education.

“Another part of my giving has been to recognize people who make exceptional efforts in their roles,” says Barth, PhD, MSW, professor and chair of the executive committee of the Grand Challenges for Social Work at the University of Maryland School of Social Work.

“For example, in the last year, I have donated to thank Sarah Butts (director of Public Policy at NASW) for helping me with my policy course for my students,” he says. “She went above and beyond by taking time to come speak with our graduate students. She gave great remarks that may well inspire a turn toward policymaking by an MSW student.”

Barth said he also wanted to acknowledge former NASW CEO Angelo McClain’s tenure at NASW:

“I think he was very instrumental in making some difficult changes at NASW and has also been inspirational to me and many (others). Angelo spoke to our graduating class online during the COVID-19 restrictions. It was our first online graduation in our school’s history. It really made a difference to have Angelo bring his energy, insight and experience. I also appreciated the other ways he contributed to the profession and the work that I have been doing on the Grand Challenges for Social Work. Those are things I thought were important to recognize.”

Barth notes foundations are vital for professional associations because endowments help fund long-range projects. Over the long term, if you want to support the profession, this is the place to do it, he said.

“NASW is committed to the heart and soul of the profession and is absolutely essential to its greater success and to strengthening society.”

Read more in the NASW Social Work Advocates magazine.

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