Meeting Challenges – Assuring Success!
This is the theme for the fundraising campaign of the AAPG Foundation, whose mission is “to provide a source of funding to support educational, charitable and scientific objectives that directly and indirectly benefits the geologic professional and general public.”
This financial campaign is designed to assure the mission is successful well into the future.
We first considered the program three years ago under the guidance of then-Foundation Chairman Jack Threet. As a result, the AAPG Foundation started planning a financial program to increase funding for its key programs and emerging new opportunities.
The goal was to double the Foundation portfolio, which at that time was valued at a little over US$16 million.
We initiated the program by hiring a consultant to conduct an audit and survey of selected AAPG Trustee Associates. We were not surprised that the survey indicated the Foundation had a good reputation, but we were very surprised to find that most members were not familiar with Foundation activities or support.
As a result we started a major ad campaign in the AAPG EXPLORER to define the Foundation’s programs and objectives.
The survey also queried members about their interest in certain programs and topics. Based on the survey, the areas of greatest interest are K-12 education, public outreach and support of students and teachers. Of course, there also was great interest in science and dissemination of technical data.
After Bill Fisher became chairman of the Trustees, a Financial Campaign Committee was established with Jack Threet and Larry Funkhouser as co-chairs. Marta Weeks was asked to join the campaign, along with Bob Ardell, Bill Crain, Mike Party and Ed Picou. The remaining Foundation Trustees – John Amaruso, Bill Barrett, Marlan Downey, Jim Gibbs and Bill Gipson – are key members of the committee.
The “quiet phase’ of the campaign began in July 2005. Shortly after, Austin Weeks bequeathed $10 million to the AAPG Foundation. Marta Weeks agreed for its use as the lead gift in the campaign.
I am writing this column a few weeks before we formally announce the campaign at the AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition in San Antonio. Already the committee has raised another $3.5 million mostly from only 70 Trustee Associate members.
Most important, the Financial Committee members have planted seeds for future giving. Many AAPG members have responded with great interest, and we expect to announce other major gifts in the near future.
We sincerely appreciate all of the work accomplished by the committee members and their tremendous service to both the Foundation and Association as well as the general pubic.
The “public phase” of the campaign is officially open. Our goal is to build the portfolio mostly with endowments for future generations.
The following are our key areas of focus and programs:
- Support opportunities for students and teachers to study geology.
- Provide financial assistance to students of all over the globe.
- Fund geoscience research and publications.
- Fund professional education opportunities.
- Facilitate the preservation and dissemination of geoscientific knowledge – especially in digital format.
The next step in the public phase is to provide all members with the opportunity to be part of the fundraising program. Look for announcements in the EXPLORER, BULLETIN, special mailings, town meetings, and on the AAPG Web site home page for information on how you can participate.
AAPG also will talk to industry and other institutions to provide immediate funding to jump start key projects.
Giving is contagious. I am always amazed how one gift leads to another.
We invite all AAPG members and the general public to give to the future of our profession, industry and society.