How to sponsor a shade structure application

All shade structure grant program applications must include a letter of recommendation from an AAD member dermatologist.

The recommendation of an application is designed to create a new relationship between the organization and an AAD member, or strengthen an existing relationship. You may choose to write a letter of recommendation for an organization you have worked with to develop a sun safety program or with which you are familiar (e.g., a school your children attend, your house of worship, the local community center, etc.) or for an organization that is new to you.

Members are free to recommend multiple organizations. If you are unfamiliar with the group that is asking for your recommendation, and if time allows, you can ask for more information about the program or ask to schedule a visit to the location. You then can mention your visit and the strength of the organization's sun safety program in your support letter. Members also may initiate the process by suggesting an organization apply and recommend that application.

The letter of recommendation should include the following:

To: AAD Shade Structure Program Review Committee
From: AAD Member Name and AAD Member ID Number
Body copy: As a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, I recommend.......

  • The letter should appear on the AAD member's office letterhead.
  • The letter should be mailed or scanned as .pdf or .jpg documents and sent to the organization that is applying for the grant. They will upload it to their online application. Recommendation documents mailed separately from the application are not accepted.
  • There are no financial obligations or other requirements of AAD members to recommend an organization's application.

    Please note: you may receive phone calls, letters, or email inquiries seeking your recommendations, especially as it gets closer to the application deadline. If you are unfamiliar with the organization inquiring about recommendation or if their request for recommendation is last-minute, do not hesitate to decline the invitation. The AAD encourages all applicants to allot appropriate time for requesting recommendations and completing their application by the submission deadline.
Benefits of being a sponsor

In addition to strengthening or developing a relationship with a local organization, if the organization you recommend is selected as a recipient of the grant, your support will be recognized in numerous ways.

Sponsoring AAD member names are:

  • Featured on the Academy awards display at Annual Meeting. Check your program book for exact location of the display at each meeting.
  • Recognized in AAD Annual Report to Members.
  • Recognized on the AAD website.
  • Listed on the scrolling PowerPoint presentation that plays continuously at the Academy awards display.
  • Listed in the program book for the AAD Recognition Luncheon, which is attended at the Annual Meeting by more than 350 of your colleagues and AAD leadership.

In addition, recipient organizations may choose to publicize their award locally and you can work with them to ensure that information about the importance of sun safety and skin cancer awareness are part of any news they release to the media.

Recipient organizations are required to hold a dedication ceremony for their shade structure. As the recommending AAD member, you should be invited to attend the ceremony and you may be asked to share information about the importance of sun protection. The AAD has resources available that can assist you in developing a brief presentation.

If the organization you recommend for the shade structure program is selected as a grant recipient, you may want to send a letter to the editor of your local newspaper after the structure is installed, announcing the grant and encouraging your community residents to Be Sun Smart®.


If you have any questions about the AAD shade structure program or application sponsorship, please email them to

Explore additional resources for the Shade Structure Grant Program