As we begin a new year at the Michigan Architectural Foundation, now is a good time to reflect on how we closed out 2022 and to look forward to what lies ahead for 2023. I am truly excited to share some excellent news on both fronts.
On an extremely positive note, I am happy to report that by the end of last year, our Foundation raised over $185,000 from both donations and fundraising activities. In a year of constant negative news regarding inflation and the economy, this is phenomenal – and once again emphasizes that MAF is supported by a group of very generous donors and dedicated volunteers. We cannot say thank you enough.
Now, looking ahead as we enter 2023, I am excited to highlight two new initiatives that MAF is embarking upon. First is the MAF Education Awareness Grants program which is launching its application process this month. This is a completely new grant with a budget of $20,000 available to fund programs that encourage architectural awareness in the education of our children. Please see the related article in this newsletter for more information on the grant program and how to apply.
The second initiative we will explore in 2023 is sustainability. A few years ago, our Foundation conducted a survey of our donors and AIA Michigan members to see how we were doing and how our message is received. Surprisingly, and unsolicited on our part, we heard from a number of people that they were surprised that we were not talking about sustainability in the built environment. At our MAF January Board meeting, we appointed a task force to explore how our Foundation can add sustainability to our message and to our programming. We don’t know yet where this commitment to sustainability will lead, but we are eager to explore the possibilities. Regardless of your views on climate change and sustainability, we all recognize that our natural resources are limited, and our built environment has a direct effect on how those resources are used. Stay tuned for more news as our task force goes to work.
As always, please let us know if you have any thoughts or suggestions on how we are doing. We encourage your ideas and participation.
Doug Kueffner, AIA 2022/2023 MAF President