Franchising Gives Back: Expanding Our Reach, Sharing Our Stories

People, News & Events

During next month’s IFA Annual Convention, “Franchising Gives Back” will kick off an exciting, year-long celebration of franchise-wide community leadership.

By Steve Romaniello, CFE

Many of you know “Franchising Gives Back” as an annual day of service that takes place at the start of the International Franchise Association annual convention. For years, it has been our chance to get together and roll up our sleeves to serve a specific need in the community. For many of us the spirit of teamwork and “giving back” to the community where IFA’s convention was being conducted was the highlight of our convention experience. As we shared stories about how our businesses give back by supporting charities in our local communities, we began to realize something very important:  Franchise businesses are engaged in charitable and community support activities each day in thousands of communities across the United States and around the world. Through these efforts — by contributing countless hours of volunteer time and financial support to local charities and service organizations — we make a huge impact on our local communities. We often talk about the incredible impact franchising has on our nation, employing millions of Americans and creating tens of thousands of new jobs every year. But the charitable work being done by the franchise community reaches even more people and in many ways has as much or an even greater impact. Originally inspired from a desire to serve others and make a difference, we recognize that “Franchising Gives Back” can make an even bigger impact. It can become our opportunity to share best practices for the charitable and community support activities that we perform daily in our own communities. From supporting Little League baseball teams, to donating food for homeless shelters, to organizing marches for cancer research, franchise businesses contribute billions of volunteer hours and dollars to give back to their communities — and we have been doing it for many years.

A Renewed Vision for Franchising Gives Back

As the lead sponsor of “Franchising Gives Back,” Roark Capital Group has partnered with the IFA Educational Foundation to launch a year-long, nationwide celebration of community leadership and the countless ways that franchise businesses support their local communities. It will kick off at the upcoming IFA convention in Las Vegas. Throughout 2015, “Franchising Gives Back” will salute the best, most innovative, most impactful community leaders and charitable programs across the United States and around the world. In addition to serving as a shining a light focused on the exemplary leadership demonstrated by franchisors, franchisees and suppliers in their local communities year-round, “Franchising Gives Back” has a number of forward-looking goals.

  • A National Registry will gather data and recognize franchise businesses for their community support and charitable initiatives.
  • A “Franchising Gives Back” annual report, aggregating and cataloging the contributions of franchise businesses to their communities and charities, will be published each year.
  • A “Franchising Gives Back” awards program will recognize those companies and businesses with the best, most innovative community support and charitable programs. Several awards in different categories will be presented each year.
  • A “Franchising Gives Back” guide will be published to provide information and share best practices with other IFA members who want to develop their community support and charitable activities.
  • A public relations program will recognize companies and businesses at the national and community levels in coordination with the participating organizations.

Franchising is the Ideal Vehicle for This Initiative

We in the franchise community share much more than just a very dynamic growth model, we are a community of like-minded individuals who share expertise, energy and best practices across the board. We like to get things done, whether in service to our customers or in our communities. It is this camaraderie and synergy that creates an ideal environment for initiatives like “Franchising Gives Back” to succeed. This is our opportunity to share these stories of hope, of inspiration, and most of all — impact! Through “Franchising Gives Back,” we can tell our stories and inspire many more ways to give back to our communities. We hope you will join us for the kick-off at the IFA convention in Las Vegas, Feb. 15-18, 2015. For more information, visit our website –

Steve Romaniello, CFE, is managing director of Roark Capital Group, and is active in IFA.  His posts have included serving as IFA chairman in 2013 and as IFA Educational Foundation immediate past chairman during 2013-2014.  Find him at