Modern Woodmen builds the giving back to the community factor right into their business model. As a member-owned fraternal financial services organization, the company is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the communities in which it operates.
|McFarland and Conley give dog treat donation to ARL Director|
Representatives help members find the financial services they need and then the members receive a range of benefits. When someone purchases a product from Modern Woodmen, they become a member of the organization. Once a person becomes a member, a list of membership benefits is available to them, including the opportunity to participate in a wide range of service and fundraising events to make a difference in their community.
In Windham, there are two Modern Woodmen representatives: Tim Graham, managing partner, and Zachary Conley, financial representative. Together the two are working to give back in as many areas as they can, Conley said.
On Thursday, September 8, Conley and his Activities Coordinator, Hannah McFarland, were at the Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland to donate homemade dog treats to the shelter. Not only did Modern Woodmen help the animal shelter with the donation, but they also supported the local small business McFarland operates, Petey’s Treaties, who made the donated treats.
This is just one small service project the company has participated in, and like all of their events, members were invited to participate as well. Though not many members will show up for a simple donation delivery, other events get widespread participation, Conley said.
For instance, the company did a Matching Fund Program for a fundraising event for a woman with stage 3 lung cancer. Not only did they hit the matching fund goal of $2500, they far surpassed it. So many people showed up to the event, that over $10,000 was raised to support the cause.
Modern Woodmen chapters offer many types of activities throughout the year, including social activities. In Windham, they recently sponsored an evening where members received a discount on their meals at Applebee’s. “It’s a way to get families out and have a family night, especially those on a budget,” said McFarland. “We had a huge turnout that night, and had a lot of fun.”
Promoting local business is part of their goal, Conley added. Another recent social event was a discounted ticket night at Smitty’s cinema.
There are the larger programs, such as the Matching Funds, Hometown Hero and Good Neighbor programs; they all contribute to the community in various ways. Hometown Heroes is a community-selected member who receives recognition, including a plaque and $100 to donate to any charity they wish. On September 15, at the Hope JG Foundation Golf Scramble at Spring Meadows Golf Club in Gray, they will present John Gregoire, co-founder of the Hope JG Foundation, with a Hometown Hero award.
With the Matching Funds Program, the organization either creates a fundraising event or supports an already existing event, matching a certain amount of money generated. Each chapter has $2500 in matching funds to support local causes. The fundraiser for the woman with cancer is one example of this type of event. They will also be supporting Riding to the Top’s upcoming Triple B event with matching funds.
The Good Neighbors Program supports a community building project, and other programs include planting a tree in the community, and much more. Modern Woodmen also offers educational events for both adult and child members. Recently, they had a brewery tour for members. They also supported the Windham SACC by purchasing and donating $250 worth of back to school supplies.
Though Conley doesn’t operate a youth service club at present, it is another possibility with Modern Woodmen. “The biggest thing is getting families and people connected and getting them involved. Whenever we do an event, it’s just trying to promote people coming out together; people putting their differences aside and coming out for a greater cause,” Conley said.
An area can have any number of reps, and Modern Woodmen is looking to grow in the Windham region, Conley said. Conley grew up in Raymond, graduated from Windham High School in 2014, and has been a representative with Modern Woodmen for close to a year. He said he intends to have a long career with the company because he enjoys the opportunities to give back to the community he grew up in.