AMA Houston Gives Back

That’s what it means to be an AMA Houston Gives Back volunteer!

Did you know your marketing expertise could make Houston stronger and better for all — without making a career change? Actually, that’s the essence behind the American Marketing Association (AMA) Houston Gives Back program. We, as AMA members, have the conduit to make a tangible community difference without stretching us beyond capacity. And at the end of the day, don’t we all want to leave the world a better place than we found it? You can help in two ways: Nominate worthy non-profit organizations for grants and donate your time to grant recipients as a marketing volunteer.


The AMA Houston Gives Back grant program provides financial support through grants to non-profit organizations needing assistance with marketing-related campaigns. Since its inception in 2008, AMA Gives Back has granted a total of $55,000 to more than 25 local non-profit organizations in Houston. In 2015, a new role was added with the pairing of AMA members who volunteer their time and expertise to grant recipients. The marketing volunteers assist grant recipients in strategically and effectively applying grant funds to achieve measureable impacts for the organization.

2015 Recipients

The following non-profit organizations received grants from AMA Houston Gives Back in 2015: US Vets Texas, Bering Support Network, PupSquad, Playworks Texas and Second Servings of Houston.

Pup Squad is an organization whose mission is to save as many puppies and nursing litters as possible from life on the streets before they enter an animal shelter. They work with BARC, the City of Houston’s Animal Shelter and Adoption Facility, and other area shelters to rescue litters before they are exposed to diseases in the shelter environment. Pup Squad makes it a priority to never leave a momma dog behind because they deserve the same care as their puppies.

Kristy Bell, Pup Squad Board member and AMA member, explained much of their time and resources are devoted to coordinating adoption events and services for the animals, such as veterinary and spay/neuter costs.

“Last summer, an estimated 77,000 dogs were available for adoption in Houston. So, we started looking for new ways to highlight our adult dogs to find them homes,” she said. The AMA grant helped tremendously by providing funds to update brochures, create signage and launch paid advertising campaigns on social media outlets to promote these dogs and special “adults only” adoption events. In addition to the grant, Sarah Grimmer with Savage Brands and an AMA member, volunteered her time and expertise to Pup Squad. “Sarah’s enthusiasm and new ideas, such as seeking sponsors, helped us consider many options as we make plans for Pup Squad’s future,” explained Bell.

As the only prepared food rescue organization in Houston, Second Servings recovers excess unserved food from regulated food businesses, such as hotels, arenas and cafeterias, and delivers it safely and promptly to non-profit meal providers that serve the hungry, like Impact Houston, Magnificat House and Loaves and Fishes.

Founded a little more than a year ago, Second Servings has already rescued 50 tons of food in Houston. Perfectly edible food destined for the landfill has been redirected to people who really need it. Founder Barbara Bronstein expressed much appreciation for the AMA grant and marketing expertise provided by Ann Iverson, Chief Consultant at Creating Selling Opportunities and an AMA member. With the grant, Second Servings was able to reprint their brochure and develop a fridge magnet that includes a rescue hotline for chefs and other food donors. “Ann’s advice was invaluable in finding ways to get the word out about Second Servings, such as reaching out to local food editors that eventually led to us being featured on Channel 13 and in a local magazine,” explained Bronstein. Ann, in turn, found the volunteer experience very rewarding. She helped connect Second Servings with the Houston Texans, Roots, the Chamber Orchestra and Aramark. “I was honored to work with Second Servings because it fills a niche in Houston that did not exist,” said Iverson.

Amy Dionne and Suzanne Jarvis have served as co-chairs for AMA Gives Back since 2014. “I’m proud of what AMA Gives Back has achieved over the last year. The volunteer addition was well received and for some recipients, the marketing expertise volunteers shared was as valuable as the grant itself,” said Dionne.


2016 Applications

AMA Houston Members – this is your time to aspire to inspire. Become a volunteer now and make a lasting impact for a deserving non-profit organization. Grant applications are now being accepted for the 2016 period. The deadline is April 1. Winners will be announced at the AMA Houston Crystal Awards May 12.

For additional information on AMA Houston Gives Back, to apply for a grant or volunteer your expertise to a grant recipient, visit:

For more information on the 2015 AMA Houston Gives Back recipients:

Pup Squad:

Second Servings:


US VETS, Houston:

Bering Support Network:

About AMA Houston and AMA:

AMA Houston is the area’s premier professional marketing organization. With more than 1,200 members AMA Houston is the nation’s largest chapter of the American Marketing Association an organization of more then 38,000 marketers worldwide.

AMA Houston provides marketers the ability to remain competitive in today’s business environment through networking events, special interest groups and real-world educational programs. For over six decades, the AMA has been the leading source for information, knowledge sharing and development in the marketing profession.

Carrie Paxton-Lamke, AMA Houston member and owner of New Leaf Consulting Services, specializing in communications consulting, marketing, project management and writing.

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February 26, 2016

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